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Moving To London For The First Time

Published: 01/07/2021

Once you are here and settled, London is a fantastic place to live. If you haven’t lived in this sprawling metropolis before then where do you start and what hints and tips can we offer as Londoners ourselves?

1. Accommodation in London is expensive:
Regardless of where you decided to move in London, it is expensive. Be prepared for the cost of buying or renting and do your research into whether you will have enough money to cover your outgoings.

2. Search for like-minded people ASAP:
Generally, when first moving to the city it is a great idea to get into shared accommodation. It’s not only a great way to meet new friends but having people around you that have been in London longer than you have is handy for advice and tips. Not only will you learn the city’s ways a lot faster by hanging out with them, but your flat-mates’ advice will also boost your moral if things become tough.

3. Avoid unnecessary expenses:
Keep your costs to a minimum, your rent and bills will take up a significant amount of your monthly money anyway. Don’t buy a car. The expense is prohibitive and traffic speed in central London averages 10 mph, about the same as in horse-drawn days, 150 years ago.

4. Get a scooter:
If you do decide to be independently mobile and hate public transport then get a scooter. They are cheap and you can weave in and out of all the traffic!

5. Know how to get around:
If you do choose not to have a car or scooter when living in London, then familiarise yourself with London’s public transport system and getting around the city using alternative ways is crucial to save yourself time, stress and money.

6. Walk!
One thing that you will quickly realise is that often it is easier and cheaper to walk places as opposed to getting even the tube. Not only will it keep you fit, your effort will be amply rewarded by the variety of architecture, the smells and activity of street markets, and the unexpected views down little streets and alleys.

7. Red buses are awesome:
Most other places you will live in the UK the bus service isn’t great. However, in London they’re not only sometimes a nicer travel experience than the airless tube, but also much cheaper. You pay when you board but remember you can only use contactless credit or debit card.

8. Be vigilant:
Street crime in London is not common regardless of what the papers say, but don’t invite it by carrying your mobile phone, camera, wallet, or handbag in such a way that thieves can easily snatch it. London is a huge city, and just like any other metropolitan cities, there are neighbourhoods that are safe and those that aren’t safe at all.

9. Londoners aren’t all bad:
It a common misconception, even though you may encounter a few bad apples, generally Londoners are polite. They say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ at supermarket checkouts and hold doors for each other. If you want to fit in with the culture, the people, and become a true part of London, do likewise.

10. Take advantage of all the choices:
You are moving to one of the biggest cities in the world and it has almost anything you could ever want. Good food? It’s here. Good clothes? Everywhere. Awesome clubs? Plenty. Good beer? There will be a pub within walking distance of your home!