Moving to London is the best thing I ever did. Living in London has set me up for experiences I could never have even dreamt about in my former Australian life.
From relationships to travel experiences to all the new and delicious food. I love living in London and know that anyone else moving here will love it to.
With that said, I know how scary it is to board a plane and move to the other side of the world with nothing but stubborn determination and a sense of possibility.
When I moved to London I didn’t have a house or a job—I didn’t even have job interview lined up, and I didn’t know a soul in London. But somewhere along the way I built a life.
I now have a flat, with my name on the lease, a real job and so many amazing friends that I eat, drink, travel and enjoy London with.
In London anything is possible, but not without a little hard work and a few tips from this expat to you.
A couple of months ago I started putting together my Living in London Like a Local series to help other expats with tips and information to help you settle into London.
While I have lots of tips across money, insurance, getting a job, getting a flat, these is a round up of my top five tips. I hope they help you settle into London and live it and love it as much as I do. R xo
2016 London Like a Local Review: My Top Five Living in London Tips
1 There is no public transport on Christmas Day in London.
Read more from my Living in London Like a Local: Christmas Day In London post.
2 You can do yoga 35 floor ups with views of the Gerkin at the Sky Garden for £10.
The Sky Garden it’s self is free and the viewing deck is truly amazing. Being 35 floors up and just north of the river, you can follow from Tower Bridge to Big Ben with the Shard right across from you, and from the back of the building the Gerkin and cheese grater greet you. Again you get 360 degree views but being so high up you see further afield of London than the Tate Modern.
3 When flat hunting, be open!
When I arrived in London I was so incredibly lucky to find a spare room in NW10 through a friend where I lived for three months. I fell in love with the area and was determined to stay. I looked at a dozen flat shares in this area, but none were quite right.
At work one day I was talking about my rental struggle when a colleague mentioned a flat a friend of their’s was listing. It was in SE1, not NW10, so I wasn’t keen but I made a viewing appointment anyway—I needed a home.
The flat was gorgeous, the girls lovely, the location fucking insane and the price so cheap people’s jaws hit the floor when I tell them. I said yes straight away. The point of the story, it’s good to have boundaries about what you want in a flat, but always be open to a diamond that might present its self.
Read more at Moving to London? 6 Tips to Help You Find a Flat
4 In London you can pay separately on card and with cash.
This is not something you can do in Australia and a welcome change or pace!
If you’re out to dinner in a group and you all have cards to pay with it’s not a problem. You can split the bill across card and cash, just say how much everyone is paying.
5 Do not order a flat white in London
This one is for all my fellow Aussies (holla!) who love a good flat white–strong coffee, milk, dash of foam; it was once the perfect start to my day. But alas it is no more, as London do not know what this coffee beverage is.
Yes you will see it on the menu and you will order it, possibly from a Pret or maybe an artisan cafe. You will be excited that a creature comfort from your previous life continues to exist. As you take your first sip you will fight the urge to spit this burnt and bitter, watery liquid across the counter. But at nearly £3 pounds for an 8oz cup, you will hold it in your mouth and try to enjoy every last drop.
There is one flat white in London that is so beyond incredible that I thought I’d transported back to Aus. The flat white in question is from Blighty Coffee in Finsbury Park and you can read all about it (and the amazing eggs and avocado I had) on What Rebecca Eats: London.
And there you have it. My top five living in London tips from my 2016 Living in London Like a Local blog posts.
Where there any living in London like a local tips that helped you in 2016 that didn’t make the cut? Share them below.