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9 things you should know before moving to London

Lisa Bennett
April 4, 2019

If you’re planning a move to London – congratulations! You are definitely relocating to one of the world’s most exciting cities. As the eighteenth-century writer Pepys said, if you’re bored of London, you’re bored of life!

Here are nine things you should know before you arrive.

1.) It’s not cheap

Although the property market has stagnated recently, placing buyers in a slightly stronger position, rents remain high. It’s also competitive – so if you’ve seen somewhere you like, grab it! In fact, frankly, most things in London tend to be quite expensive.

2.) Get an oyster card

Walking will get you acquainted with the city more quickly. But the rechargeable, pay-as-you-travel Oyster Card covers most of the city’s public transport. Night-term Tube (subway) services now run, and there is self-service bike hires.

3.) A collection of villages

London has long been known as a ‘collection of villages’, with each district having its own ambiance. Chelsea and Knightsbridge, for example, are upper-class, while Shoreditch is for what’s known as the ‘bearded hipster brigade.’ Decide whether you want to be east, south, north or west, consider commuting distances for work, and research accordingly.

4.) Take advantage of free stuff

London holds many free events, and most museums are free. There are probably more free places to visit here than anywhere in the world. Time Out is invaluable for learning more.

5.) Food and drink heaven

Whatever your taste, this city delivers. New restaurants and bars pop up every day, not to mention street markets, and there are influences from across the world. Whether you crave a cocktail, Japanese street food or a Peruvian dinner, or a craft beer, London has it. Soho and Shoreditch are particularly great foodie areas.

6.) Taxi!

London’s black cabs are iconic of the city. But Uber minicabs are much cheaper. The city is more spread out than, say, New York, so budget accordingly.

7.) The budget for council tax

Everyone has to pay council tax for local authority services. Factor this cost into your budget – in some parts of London, this can be quite expensive.

8.) Working out gym costs

In London, a gym membership can be pricey. If you can’t get a discount via work, try ClassPass and try out exercise classes across the city.

9.) Be appy

Finally, some great apps to download include Citymapper to plan journeys, Uber for cabs, Deliveroo for food deliveries, the Met Office for weather forecasts, and the Cycle Hire and Tube Exits apps.

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