England’s capital, London, is a large cosmopolitan city, with a huge Roman heritage. Considered the world’s cultural capital by many, London is home to more than 22,000 expatriates, making it one of the top relocation choices for expats who wish to live in a fast-paced and international economy. Famous for its iconic attractions and cultural centers, there is so much to discover in this amazing city.
What to expect
- Here are the main highlights of what to expect when living in London.
- You might know that London’s weather is not the people’s favorite, due to its rainy days and cold winters. However, the city offers an over-the-top life quality and benefits, that make the weather worth the opportunity of living in a cultural and technology hub. Summers are mild and comfortable.
Average Daylight: 16 hours in summer and 8 hours in winter.
Average weather: 23º C in summer and 5º C in winter.
Average rainfall days: 196 days.
Cost of living
- The cost of living in London is moderate in terms of grocery shopping and entertainment. However, the one thing that will take the largest portion of your income is housing.
Finding an apartment
- It is highly recommended to do some research before moving to London on what neighborhoods are the best in terms of price and closeness to the city center. The Greater London Authority website includes an interactive map that shows the average rental prices for private housing, which can help you decide where is the best place to rent an apartment. There are plenty of real estate agencies and websites readily available to help you find the apartment that suits your needs and adapts to your budget and lifestyle!
- London’s famous underground metro, The Tube, is one of the best ways to get around in the city; they run very frequently and are highly reliable. There are 270 tube stations across London, getting you to where you need to be in a matter of minutes. The London Overground, the bus service, runs for 24 hours and covers the entire city. Another preferred mode of transport within the city is going by bike. If you live near the city center, this is an excellent option as there are bike lanes almost everywhere.
- The metropolis is vibrant, fast-paced, and glooming with opportunity. It attracts many young and enterprising people with the city’s strong sense of individualism. The city is home to large companies and headquarters, but it is also known for being a startup hub. As new professionals arrive, the ideas come with them too, introducing new products, services, and technological innovations.
- At first, you may think that people in London might be cold and serious but, in fact, they are one of the most easy-going people you are going to meet. They are as excited to meet new people as you are, and they won’t be afraid to show it. Soon enough, you will know plenty of people with different backgrounds with whom you’ll share expertise and experiences.
- London is considered the world’s cultural capital by many, as it includes three of the top ten museums and galleries in the world, and over 190 museums, four UNESCO world heritage sites: Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Westminster Palace, and Kew’s Royal Botanic Gardens. There are over 300 languages spoken in London, and over 22,000 music performances yearly across London’s more than 300 venues including the O2 Arena. Over 195 festivals take place in London every year, including the largest free festival: Mayor’s Thames Festival, and Europe’s biggest street festival: Notting Hill Carnival. London loves standúp comedy, hosting new talent in small pubs to Chris Rock in major arenas. There are more cinemas in London, with 911 cinemas, that in any other part of the country. Additionally, the city organizes the London Fashion Week, which generates over £100m of orders and over 32,000 hours of digital content. London is home to The Globe, where Shakespeare had his first performance in 1599, and there are now around 200 shows to choose from every day. And, if you are a classical music fanatic, London has Wilton’s Music Hall, the city’s oldest Music Hall built in 1743. The city also has more than 325 public libraries, if you enjoy reading! These are just a few of the things London’s culture includes, so you will have plenty of things to check out in your spare time and explore this amazing city!
- London’s International Airport connects you to 396 international destinations, making it one of the busiest airports in the world, but also one of the most efficient. Thanks to London’s proximity to the rest of Europe, you can reach many cities in a short time, via airplane or train. If you like to travel by land, the train can get you to almost every European city.
- Even though the city is widely international and you will find all kinds of foods from all cultures, make sure to dive into some of London’s most traditional dishes! One of the most popular dishes you need to try when you arrive is the fish and chips. It’s fried fish with potato fries, and the combination could not be better! Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Pudding is a true British classic. Traditionally, this meal is eaten Sunday afternoon, and you can choose what meat or vegetable you’d like to roast, but the important ingredient is the Yorkshire pudding! Pie and mash, a classic comfort food for the British, pie served with a pile of creamy mashed potatoes and gravy.
- London is home to four stadiums, Wembley, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Twickenham. So, if you are a football enthusiast, London is waiting for you! Moreover, the city also has the Wimbledon Tennis Museum, to learn a little about the history of the sport and how it grew in popularity. Some popular sports practiced around the city include football, cricket, rugby, bowling, tennis, swimming, American football, cycling, golf, and many more!
- Bath, Windsor Castle and Stonehenge: just a one-hour train ride away, Bath feels like traveling back in time to the Georgian times. The historic Roman town has an incredible history and has been so well preserved that it feels like you have stepped some centuries back in England. Close to Bath is the Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. You can purchase tickets for a visit and see this historical castle from inside out!
- The Cotswolds: catch an early train from London and book a full-day tour of the Cotswolds in advance to get the most of this beautiful town. Londoners head to Cotswolds to escape the city for a perfect weekend getaway!
We hope that you have found this guide useful.
Find more details, information, and KPIs about London in our Expat Guide.
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