However, there are a lot of vital things you need to know before making your move. Perhaps, it does not matter where you come from, be it India or USA, you will find life is completely different in London.
Until and unless, you experience the transition, you will not truly appreciate how much your life will change for both better and worse when you first come to London.
So, should you stay or should you go? London may be a minefield, but if you fancy the challenge, here are a few basic things you need to get adjusted to London.
Life in London is Expensive
Create a realistic budget of what it costs to live in London. Along with the rent remember to consider the cost of electricity, water, gas and council tax, which varies in price per borough. In London, groceries, petrol and public transport are more costly than those in other places.
Making Friends and Developing Communities
While London is regarded as the most international multi cultural city in the world, English people are pretty hard to befriend beyond a surface level. As an instant fix, your best bet is to find companionship within communities you identify with (i.e. hobby, culture, religion, Cross Fit box, etc) and build your community there. All foreigners bond over their commonalities and delicious food and general disdain for UKIP’s hostile position against immigration. Start at the pub and work outwards.
Getting on the Tube
Driving is pretty hard in London, with loads of traffic, little parking and an obligatory congestion charge. Leave your car at the garage and opt for the tube. Make sure to be on the right tube line. Like the different areas of London that they all connect, the tube lines on the London underground are their own little ecosystem with their little nuances that you have to be aware of. The Northern bisects the city, but painfully slowly and with its own peculiar odour. The Victoria line is quick, with a train every 100 seconds, whereas the Central line is always late. The average Londoner spends £118 on travel, but with all the mayhem that can ensue on public transport it may just be easier to walk. Remember to use an Oyster card wherever possible to pay for your journey.
Rent can be crazy Expensive
Housing and rental prices in London are among the highest in the world and are effective in eating up to 50% of your after tax income if you’re not careful. Below are some typical rental prices for individual flats but they can vary widely from borough to borough.
Monthly Rental Prices in London
- 1 bedroom flat (apartment) in City Centre: £1,200+
- 1 bedroom flat outside of centre: £900+
- 3 bedroom flat in City Centre: £2,150+
- 3 bedroom flat outside of Centre: £1,500+
The golden rule is that you should not spend more than 30 % of your household income on rent. With the average graduate in London earning £30,000 and the average rent on a one-bed flat being £15,168 per year, you surely don’t need to have a maths degree to see the sums don’t add up. More than likely, you’ll be house-sharing into your early 30s. Also, give up any hope of owning your own home – unless you want to live off crackers for a year.
Get Prepared for Changing Weather
The city has a moderate temperate climate in both winter and summer. Temperature in January is typically 4°C and in July is 17.5°C. While it will occasionally get significantly warmer and cooler than these temperatures, it does not tend to be for long. One other thing to be aware of in London is that while it rarely rains hard, it does rain often. Better, invest in a good umbrella and rain jacket.
Apps to Save your Life
Londoners love technology, especially if it allows them to be a little lazier – and there are some brilliant apps to help you get around the city. You can use Citymapper to map your journey across London with route, time and price indications. For pre-booking a taxi using Hailo or to ride anywhere in the city at anytime, use Uber. If you’re craving for Korean food, get your favorite bibimbap delivered to your doorstep with Deliveroo app. Don’t forget to download Met Office for weather forecasts and Dojo or Great Little Place City Guide to be up-to-date about all the hip things happening in your city. If you’re particularly keen on saving a few precious seconds of your commute, download Tube Exits too.