You have it all planned out. You’ve booked your ticket and have packed your things for that big move to London.
One thing is for sure. You want a life in the Big Smoke and need some handy, useful tips. Well, here are a few words of advice…
Research All Areas Of London
Try to think of London as a load of little towns rather than one collective city. Each borough, area, and street has a different feel and vibe to it. Think about what you want, what matters to you and what you wish to be close to before just renting in any old area in London. Research each area in depth before deciding: choose Shoreditch or Hoxton if you’re a bit quirky (aka “hipster”), or Brixton for the diversity, etc.
Consider A Flat Share
Of course, many of us wish to rent a flat for ourselves. But unless you’re very lucky or are earning enough, there really isn’t much point. Many one bedroom apartments won’t be under £1,400, but you could easily get a 3+ bedroom flat for £1600+. Splitting the cost leaves you with a lot more money to play with – and what’s the point of living in London if you have no money to enjoy it?
Don’t Pay A Deposit Until You’ve Seen The Property
Landlords and letting agents only want you to pay for that property, so don’t rely on photos and their advice to show you the full picture. Book a viewing if possible (which only takes 10 minutes!) because you don’t want to be stuck somewhere you hate. See the area and property for yourself before signing your money over.
London IS Expensive
You’ve heard this one before. But unfortunately, unlike many London myths, this one is true. If you’re moving from abroad, check out Numbeo before you head here to compare the prices to other cities.
Londoners Love A Discount
Despite the expensiveness, you can use food blog advice, a TasteCard for great food offers, or even Groupon and Woucher for great offers on both essentials and activities within London.
You Will Never Be Bored
Endless restaurants, pop-up venues and bars make this a haven for foodies, socialisers and boozers. And the museums and London parks are FREE. If its sunny, head to Hyde Park and relax, or if its raining (more likely) choose from all of the museums to venture through.
You Do NOT Need A Car
I spend most of my time in London, and the fastest – and sometimes cheapest – way to get around the city is via public transport. Car parks are extortionate (think £10 UPWARDS per day, sometimes even just for an hour or two), congestion charges, and the often horrendous traffic…
Get A Contactless Bank Card
Nearly everywhere in London offers contactless payment, and you can even use them for the tubes/buses. It is my back-up if I ever lost my oyster card. You CANNOT use cash on any of the buses.
You’re Only One Tube Stop Away? Walk.
Most stops on the tube are actually extremely close together. Unless it is pouring down with rain, you could probably walk to the next stop in the same amount of time that it takes to tap in, get on the tube, get off, and tap out. For example, Leicester Square is only 250 metres from Covent Garden. Walk it.
Find Your Favourite Spot
When the frantic pace of the city, or the cloudy skies above are getting you down – its important to have a place that reminds you why you love London so much. Whether it is a pretty garden square, one of the many awesome coffee shops and cafes, or just a great bar that makes a mean Cosmopolitan – there are a thousand reasons to fall in love with London.
After all, why else would it be so busy, right?