25 Tips for Moving to London
9 min

25 Tips for Moving to London

9 min
Uploaded on
Nov 13, 2021
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Uploaded on
Nov 13, 2021
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Big ben and the House of Parliament
Off on a foxy adventure!

If you're thinking about moving to London, you're probably aware that London is an incredibly diverse city with a lot to offer. But a big city like London can be very intimidating at first which is why we've scoured the internet for local advice and compiled a list of the best tips for moving to London.

London Lifestyle & Travel Tips

London’s Lifestyle

1. Keep an eye on London’s weather.

London’s reputation for having frequent rainfall is unfortunately pretty accurate so it would be wise to keep an umbrella with you just in case. London has four distinct seasons all year round, each with its own charm. Make sure to pack waterproof clothing and an umbrella for the monsoon and warm jackets for chilly days. Another thing to keep in mind is that like most of UK, London also follows daylight saving

2. Get familiar with London.

One important thing you need to learn about when moving to London is that the city is divided into zones and boroughs, both of which are very important to be aware of, especially when planning your travel and moving to London. 

London Zones

London is divided into six different fare zones managed by Transport for London. Zone 1 includes areas near the city centre while zone 6 marks the outskirts of the city. If you are moving to London and live in the city centre, you probably won’t be moving out of zone 1 on a daily basis, but it's good to have an idea of the different zones for when you need to travel further away from the city using the London Underground. Each zone is made up of different boroughs. 

London Boroughs

There are 32 London boroughs, each governed by a separate council. Each borough has its own unique charm so it's important to know the different areas so you can make a more informed decision about where you want to live, study and work. For example, Islington is often cited as one of the nicest London Boroughs so it would be wise to search for accommodation in Islington when you are moving to London. 

3. Most of London’s attractions are free to explore.

With some of the world’s most spectacular sights, London is filled with attractions you must not miss if you wish to learn more about the city. You’ll be glad to learn that most of these, especially the museums, offer free entry, so you won’t be limited when exploring the city’s wonders. Not only this, moving to London means enjoying the immense greenery at the city’s several parks where you can get some fresh air at. 

4. Mind your manners. 

It’s no secret that the people of London are quite polite, so if you’re trying to fit in, you might like to do the same. This doesn’t necessarily mean going out of your way for a stranger, but its best if you at least remember your ‘please’ and ‘thank you’s. 

5. Consider giving up your smokes. 

If you’re a regular smoker, moving to London might just be your push to quitting. With cigarettes priced astoundingly at around £13 a pack, London is clearly no friend to smokers with its law forbidding smoking in enclosed public spaces as well as on pavement restaurants, cafes and pubs. 


6. Figure out how to get around London. 

When moving to London, you will need to get a good idea of how to get around the city. The London Underground or the Tube is, of course, one of the best resources London has to offer. However, it can cut quite a hole in your pocket and often faces strikes and delays, which makes it worth exploring other means of transport. London’s double-storied buses offer an affordable way of getting around the city. However, you might want to consider just walking to your destination as most often, the time it takes to walk to your destination is almost the same as the time it takes to get there by bus.

7. Get an Oyster Card.

If you’re going to be using public transport often, make sure you purchase a London Oyster Card. Keep your card handy while entering and exiting the stations so you don’t hold up the line behind you. Make sure you keep an eye on your card’s recharge date.

8. Navigate using Citymapper.

An app that will be your lifesaver when getting around London is Citymapper. Not only does it let you visualize exactly which route to take, it even offers additional sorting options such as the fastest, quietest or most scenic route to take. You can even filter your results according to mode of transport.

9. Get used to using passes.

Moving to London means exploring the city, which requires a significant amount of travelling initially. If you plan on using public transport frequently. You might want to get your hand on a daily, weekly, or monthly pass, which allows you save a few pennies. With its cost of living skyrocketing, you will be glad to save on travel in this expensive city when moving to London. 

10. Expect to be impressed by cabbies.

Another common way of getting around after moving to London is taking a cab. You’re sure to spot a black cab driving on London streets, during your stay here. These drivers, also known as cabbies, are skilled at remembering each and every road of the city. The recent rise in Uber and Google Maps popularity and use has sadly led to a decrease in the value of a cabbie’s knowledge. However, you have got to admit, it’s impressive to meet a cabbie who knows exactly where to take you without a glance at a map or phone. 

London Food and Essential Tips


11. Take advantage of the diversity in choices. 

Moving to London exposes you to its diverse culture, which means finding everything you could possibly imagine when it comes to food and shopping such as restaurants, cafes, and unusual haunts. Take your time exploring the city so you can narrow down your favourite spots. Get an idea of the most affordable options close to your housing in London and frequent them.

12. Keep an eye out for the best deals.

Among grocery stores, you might notice that Sainsbury has relatively better deals than most other stores, offering quality goods at low prices. If you’re planning on stocking up food, head on down to NISA Local which is a 24/7 retail store selling products at wholesale prices, which means you save with big discounts

13. Cooking is much cheaper than eating out or getting takeout.

After moving to London, you’ll soon realise how difficult it is to stay within your determined budget in this expensive city. There are, of course, several ways of saving money and cutting down on costs, including opting for home-cooked meals over takeout or dining out. It might require more effort and time, but cooking can also equip you with an essential skill. So put on those aprons and try your hand at cooking, starting with some easy recipes

14. Meal deals are a good alternative. 

If you can’t cook yourself, try meal deals at grocery stores, which usually cost you around £3-4. Some of these even offer additional snacks and drinks at lower additional costs, ensuring you’re satisfied with your hunger for savings and goof food. Some of the best meal deals can be found at stores such as Tesco, Boots, and Sainsbury’s.

15. London is the most vegan-friendly city in Europe.

If you’re moving to London and are following a vegan diet, you’ll be thrilled to learn of this fact. London’s restaurants consist of several vegan options, some with menus designed specially for vegans. For fast food, you should check out Temple of Seitan, Camden, Hackney, Brixton and King’s Cross. You’ll find vegan Caribbean cuisine at Eat of Eden, Brixton, Shepherd’s Bush, Clapham and Lewisham. Holy Carrot, Knightsbridge offer a vegan take on high-quality British cuisine. 

Don’t forget to…

Don't forget to...

16. …register with NHS.

One of the first things you should do on reaching London is register with a local general practitioner. You can apply for a National Insurance number through your local government. All you need to register with a GP, is an address and a proof of residence. You can find practitioners near you with the help of the National Health System (NHS) index.

17. …be cautious.

Yes, moving to London opens you to great opportunities but you can’t ignore that moving to London can also invite trouble and make you prone to crimes. Avoid getting robbed on the streets by carrying your belongings, such as your phone, wallet, and handbag, in a way that thieves won’t be able to easily snatch them off. Find out which neighbourhoods are safe and steer clear of the dangerous ones. If you do ever run into any problem or even just get lost, don’t feel shy to ask the police for help. London’s police have a good relationship with the public and can be contacted by dialing 101.

18. …get a UK SIM for your phone.

Getting around in a new city requires you to have internet access. Although there are several places that do offer free Wi-Fi, it is no doubt a better idea to get a UK SIM card and data plan so you do not have to rely on the nearby area as much. If you plan on staying in London for a while, it is best to get a SIM card or a data plan that is customized to your needs, such as calling abroad, sending large files, etc. 

19. …download these helpful apps. 

Get ready to keep your phone close once you land in London, as you’ll find that there are several apps to help you find everything you need. As we’ve already mentioned, Citymapper will help you track your route, along with its time and price. You can book cabs using Hailo or Uber. Deliveroo will drop off anything you crave right at your doorstep. You can plan your day based on weather updates from Met Office and an up-to-date list of events happening in the city at the time using Gojo or Great Little Place City Guide. 

20. …get a UK bank account. 

If you plan on staying in London for a while, it’s best to open a UK bank account. You’ll be using it to pay your fees, bills and other daily needs without any additional charges. You could either open a local bank account or if you’ve come to London for studying, you could opt for an international student bank account. 

Living Abroad

21. Plan a daily budget.

Calculate your income and track your expenses to help stretch your money out. When moving to London, a famously expensive city, budgeting is something you will consider a saviour if done right. Using excel or any other app that allows you to do so, you can create a record of your income and expenditure, according to which you can then understand how much you can expect to have left for travelling and treating yourself to fun stuff. Once you’ve done this step, decide upon a daily spending limit that you will stick to in order to not dip into the red. 

22. Start job hunting. 

If you’re looking for a way to increase your income, getting a job is the simplest solution. However, you must first make sure your visa allows for it, as some visas set restrictions on working and defying these could lead to forced removal from the country. If you are allowed to work legally, you can revamp your LinkedIn profile Behance website. You can also get in touch with a few recruitment agencies for feedback on your portfolio or CV.

23. Be wary of shady landlords.

When signing your lease, there are several things to check before you do so. First, you need to visit the housing you have chosen yourself in order to make sure it is the right place for you. When you get the tenancy agreement, get a good lawyer to go through a copy of it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding the terms and conditions of the agreement, especially the small print. Make sure you completely understand your rights and obligations to avoid being the victim of rental scams and frauds. When booking with amber, we will ensure you do not face any trouble throughout your booking process and make it as smooth and simple as possible for you.

24. Expect a high cost of living.

Moving to London offers residents several opportunities but it does also cut a huge hole in their pocket, if not planned well. Before moving to London, understand the cost of living in London, check out the best and most affordable areas to live in when booking housing when moving to London and get an idea of how much you will be spending on daily needs. 

25. Put together a roommate agreement.

Sharing your housing in London is a great way to save on bills. You must make sure you get a written agreement with your roommates on how the bills and rent will be split and paid. Also, discuss and disclose the plan of action if a roommate has to leave the housing. Check out our blog on Roommate Agreements for some tips on how to write one!

There’s often a lot of research to be done before moving to London. We have tried to present you with the essential tips for moving to London to try to make the shift less intimidating for you. London is a great city and a great place to live so no matter how scary it may seem after you are done moving to London it will no doubt be worth it. We hope these tips for moving to London will help you set off on this new journey. Bon Voyage!