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The Reality of Living in London – What is Living in London Like??

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I read a blog post recently which claimed that London itself gets blamed for people’s bad days and after a year of living in London I do think it’s true. If you’re late for work, you say it’s because London is so busy and the tube is so crap, not because you got up late. You say that the people in London are so rude instead of blaming the fact that maybe you’re just in a bad mood and could be in Bali and still think that the people are rude, so maybe we all need to lighten up on London just a little bit?

Update: I wrote this post after 1 year of living in  London, I ended up living in London for 2.5 years. I loved it but I also didn’t so the thoughts here are still true to the day I left.

Here is my reality of living in London, what it’s like living in London as a 20 something with no family in the city, trying to see friends, trying to get a decent paid job, trying to save money but also trying to enjoy London – one of the best cities in the world! I am British but not from London and after living in Australia for 2 years I decided to move to London in an ‘expat’ way, and live like I was living in Australia, basically trying to have fun!

If you’re wondering the benefits to living in London, do you like living in London and expats living in London, I hope this will help you!

The Reality of Living in London

Reality of living in London

Keep Reading for my Honest thoughts on the Reality of Living in London!

Negatives of London in London

Not Seeing Your Friends Who Live in London!

First things first, just because you live in London and lots of your friends live in London, it DOES NOT mean that you’ll actually get to see them that often!

Whether its to do with the long tube or bus journey from their place to yours or just the fact that one of you is always busy. It takes some serious commitment to actually see your friends when living in London, but if they’re good enough friends then, of course, you will make the effort!

Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking you know a lot of people living in London and that you’ll get to see them all the time unless you live with them or very close to them!

Never Ending List of Things To Do in London, In a Bad Way!

You have a never-ending list of brunch spots in London, cafes, bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants that you want to go to and sometimes it’s never-ending because you just don’t have the time or money to actually go and tick them off.

And sometimes it’s never-ending because by the time you’ve been to a few you head on Instagram and all of a sudden have a load more that you want to visit!

Hey, it’s hard being a millennial in London!

Reality of living in London!

Cost of Living in London is HIGH!

The cost of Living in London can be hard unless you earn a good wage in London!

Rent in London is as expensive as everyone says! You’ll be lucky to get a room in a houseshare for less than £600.00 a month (and even that is classed as cheap) unless you want potential bedbugs and a stealing housemate (I’m talking from my friends experience) so you do end up working mostly just to pay rent!

You pay an obscene amount of money every day/week/month/year to use the Tube (compared to most other Cities and Countries public transport) and all it does is turn you into a fast paced walker who gets annoyed at people who stand on the left side of the escalator and people who don’t stand in the middle of the carriage to make more room during rush hour and to basically turn you into a sweaty mess, especially in Summer!

Essentially money will be on your mind a lot, there are so many things to do in London, so many things to pay for and often, wages are not all that high!

But hey that’s what you get for wanting to live in one of the best cities in the world right??

London Life is a Busy Life!

Life suddenly becomes really busy when you move to London and even if you’re not busy you still feel like you are!

I usually have something on every weekend, a few nights a week and sometimes that’s good, sometimes it’s bad and you have to remember that life is not always about being busy all of the time, but in London, it just feels like everyone is busy all of the time!

Hating on Tourists!

You quickly start to hate tourists! Whether it’s the selfie sticks, the slow walking pace, the lack of tube etiquette or just their general annoyance.. it will get to you when you start living in London!

Reality of living in London

Dating in London is Hard!

There may be over 8 million people in London but if you want a date and aren’t on all of the dating apps then think again!

This may well be true of most places now but from what I’ve heard/ my own experience it’s certainly true in London. I’ve heard it dubbed the worst place to date many times!

You won’t be Losing Weight!

With all the amazing food and drink places plus the expensive contract ridden gym memberships don’t go thinking you’ll come to London and lose weight.. but who needs to be bikini body ready in England anyway??

Buying a House Becomes a Dream!

Buying a house in London is impossible for most people and when you start working in London and meeting other people who live in London, or outside of London and communte you’ll quickly realise through these adult conversations that if you want to buy a house in the future, it probably won’t be in London!

In addition to this, to make it even harder, your dream house list just continues to grow and grow and grow because there are so many amazing houses in London! Especially in Hampstead where I live!

Reality of Living in London!

Beautiful Hampstead houses that you can’t afford is the reality of living in London!

Benefits of Living in London!

There Are So Many Places to Explore!

Going somewhere new is literally my favourite thing to do and thankfully due to London being so big and so diverse, there’s no shortage of new places to explore!

Each neighbourhood is so different you could spend weeks going to a new area every weekend and they’d still be so much that you haven’t seen!

My favourites are Shoreditch, Greenwich, Kings Cross, Hampstead, Camden and Kensington!

It’s Easy to Leave London!

One of the biggest positives to living in London is being able to leave it so easily and often, inexpensively.

There are so many places that you can visit in the UK on day trips from London by train, you can visit places like Oxford, Stonehenge and Brighton!

You can also visit Europe for a weekend too without taking annual leave! You can do European City Breaks on a Budget! I got flights to Copenhagen for £20.00 return! 

This is what expats living in London love about living in London!

Reality of living in London

Cheap Flights to Copenhagen was a benefit to living in London for me!

Shopping in London!

English fashion is some of the best in the world and with so many shops all that money that you don’t have will be spent on shopping, even if you aren’t a shopaholic, hello shopping spree on Oxford Street on a random Tuesday on the way home from work!

There Are So Many People to Meet in Lonon!

You’ll meet so many like-minded people, whether it’s through friends of friends, social media, work, travel meet ups, houseshares etc.

With 8 million people in the City, your number of friends will most definitely increase, if you have time to see them of course!

If you are having trouble meeting people, be sure to find Facebook groups as they are usually for people who have moved to London as an expat and overseas and everyone is in the same position as you!

There Are A Lot of Job Opportunities!

Although there are a lot of people in London and a lot of people looking for jobs, there are also a lot of jobs on offer.

Whether you want temporary work or a permanent job you can apply with the many agencies to help you find work or look for yourself. 

From experience, I also found that within a year you can change jobs and get a higher paid job too!

These days, employers in London don’t expect you to stay around for long so it’s common to move around a lot and find that higher wage if your current employer won’t give it to you!

It’s an Experience of a Lifetime!

Whether you live in London for 1 year or 5 years, living in London is an experience many of us want to do at least once in our lives, and I think you should!

It really is one of the best cities in the world, there are endless things to do, so many people to meet and so many memories to be made.

Even if you are standing on a train station platform in the cold and rain one morning for a train that’s been cancelled, once you leave, you’ll start to forget those things and remember only the good things instead! I talk from experience!

Reality of living in London

Enjoying the coolest afternoon tea in London!



Tuesday 24th of April 2018

Haha So True ???


Wednesday 25th of April 2018

Haha glad you feel the same!


Thursday 25th of January 2018

yes, all very true! it's a love / hate relationship with London but once you get used to it you can't imagine fitting in anywhere else...sixteen years and counting for me!


Thursday 25th of January 2018

That’s very true! I wrote this post awhile ago and although some of the points are still true, I have found balance in others! 16 years wow!! Go you. Thank you for reading and commenting :)


Monday 30th of May 2016

So true! I want to own pretty much every house in Hampstead.


Monday 30th of May 2016

I know the feeling!! Haha


Friday 20th of May 2016

I've only just moved here two weeks ago and agree with all of this! :)


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

Yep spot on!


Wednesday 11th of May 2016

Haha glad you agree!!