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Are you interested in living in London and wondering if you should move to London in 2024?

I’m Mel, a native Londoner born and raised, who has lived all over London – and I’m here to help you!

With my local expertise and on-the-ground insights from living in London, I’m here to help guide you through the amazing (and probably overwhelming) journey of moving to London, specifically in the year of 2024.

I’m also here to help you make a decision if you’re wondering, should I move to London in 2024?

Ready to find out if you should move to London? Keep reading!

A brunette woman in a hat, white shirt and blue jeans walks down a brickwork alley surrounded by flowers with Tower Bridge visible in the background

Enjoying a stroll near the iconic Tower Bridge in London

Is London Right for You in 2024?

I lived in London before, during, and after the pandemic. And I still live here!

Fast-forward to 2023, London emerges from the pandemic more resilient than ever.

(But as someone who lived in London during the pandemic, trust me when I say it was a pretty tough couple of years).

As we rebuild from the aftermath of All The Things (namely: Brexit, the pandemic, and now the cost of living crisis), what London will be like to live in next year in 2024 presents some interesting opportunities and challenges that are worth exploring.

London’s job market has bounced back, it’s diverse and vibrant now, but the cost of living is still incredibly steep compared to other UK cities. Since 2021 the city, if not the country, has been experiencing a severe cost of living crisis. This crisis is something that has affected all residents.

While the city’s hustle and bustle are gradually returning, the ripple effects of this crisis can still be felt in certain industry sectors, and especially in different parts of the city.

I’ve previously lived abroad as an expat and digital nomad before coming back to the UK, because there’s nowhere like London, but it does feel different after the pandemic.

That’s why choosing where to live in London is an important decision – your income, budget, and work location are key deciding factors.

A neat row of Georgian townhouses on a sunny day in Notting Hill, London

Living In London: What You Need to Know

A Londoner’s Tips for Renting in London

London’s rental market is as diverse as it is competitive. From modern apartments in towering skyscrapers to charming Victorian flats, there’s something for every taste. But finding the right place requires patience and diligence, and it helps to start your hunt well in advance.

Here are five key tips to navigate the wild west of London’s rental market in 2023:

  1. Know Your Budget: London is renowned for its high rental prices, so decide on your budget and stick to it. Don’t forget to factor in additional costs like council tax, utilities, and possibly service charges.
  2. Commute Considerations: Research the commute times to your work or study location from potential areas. The farther out you go, the cheaper the rent, but the cost of transport could offset these savings.
  3. Explore Different Platforms: Don’t just stick to one property website. Check out various platforms like online portals, letting agents, and even local social media groups.
  4. Act Fast: The rental market in London is incredibly fast-paced. If you come across a flat that meets your needs and budget, act quickly. Flats within a reasonable price range don’t stay on the market for long.
  5. Keep a Record: Once you’ve got a flat, make sure to document its condition in detail before moving in. This can save you from any unfair claims on your security deposit when it’s time to move out. Remember, the rental market can be a bit unpredictable, so it’s always good to play it safe.
Brunette girl wears yellow dress whilst walking on a road in front of pink, yellow and blue houses in London

Crossing the street in the world-famous area of Primrose Hill in London, known for its colourful townhouses

Where Should You Live in London?

What are some of the best areas to live in London?

From the hipster vibes of Shoreditch to the leafy suburbs of Richmond, London is a city of neighbourhoods, each with its own character.

Where you decide to live will largely depend on your lifestyle preferences and budget. (Repeat – your budget will dictate everything!)

As a West London native, I have a soft spot for the village boutique feel of Hampstead, the multiculturalism of Notting Hill, and the chaotic charm of Camden.

I actually grew up in Queensway, between Paddington and Notting Hill.

But more recently costs have been driving people out of zones 1, 2 and 3.

In East London, Hackney’s eccentric charm has amassed loyal renters and buyers, which has pushed people further out to Walthamstow, Leytonstone and Homerton.

In Southeast London, vibey (or rather, rapidly gentrifying) cultural hotspots like Brixton, New Cross and Peckham have meant that more people have flocked further out to places like Forest Hill, Nunhead, Sidcup and more.

Which areas in London have the most diversity?

Quite honestly, almost every borough in London has diverse sub-cultures from around the globe.

What I love the most about London is that in particular pockets around the city are thriving immigrant communities that have made certain parts of London their own.

Brixton has a lively Afro-Caribbean community, as does Notting Hill, home to Notting Hill Carnival (more on that later).

Earl’s Courtis known for its Filipino community. Tooting and Harrow are known for their Indian community. Golders Green is known for its Jewish community.

London is a true melting pot.

Brunette girl in a pink dress sits on a park bench in a leafy suburbof South London, with a fresh bouquet of purple flowers

Sitting on a park bench in the Wimbledon Village area of South London, holding a fresh bouquet of flowers

Should you live in North, South, West, or East London?

What’s living in North London like?

North London, which includes North West and North East London, is home to “cool” neighbourhoods like Islington, Camden, and Hampstead.

Hampstead is a real gem with its mix of charming residential streets and fancy boutiques, cafes, quirky shops, and Hampstead Heath, which offers awesome views of the city. However, it’s pricey to live around there.

I’m currently in West Hampstead which I love, because it’s SO well-connected (it has an overground, tube and train station, as well as multiple buses straight into central) – and because I’ve found a really decently priced flat. The most popular places to live in North London include:

  • Islington
  • Camden Town
  • Hampstead
  • Highbury
  • Highgate
  • Crouch End
  • Muswell Hill
  • Finsbury Park
  • Primrose Hill
  • Walthamstow
  • Finchley
  • West Hampstead
  • St John’s Wood
  • Belsize Park
  • Archway
  • Golders Green
  • Barnsbury
  • Barnet
  • Hendon
  • Tottenham
  • Seven Sisters
Cost of Living in London - Budget 2024 - Should I move to London in 2024? Peace sign and a cup of tea at my flat in Bermondsey London Bridge

Having a cuppa in my two-bedroom rented warehouse-conversion flat in London Bridge, Bermondsey

What’s living in South London like?

South London is a melting pot of cultures, with ‘hipster’ areas like Brixton and Peckham that offer a buzzing nightlife and food scene. You’ll also find leafy suburbs like Crystal Palace and Dulwich, which have cosy village vibes and plenty of green spaces.

The downside is that public transport here relies mainly on buses, so getting around can be a bit of a pain.

  • Bermondsey
  • Brixton
  • Battersea
  • Clapham
  • Wimbledon
  • Peckham
  • Greenwich
  • Deptford
  • Wandsworth
  • Crystal Palace
  • Camberwell
  • Tooting
  • Nunhead
  • Forest Hill
Brunette girl smiles in a vest and mini-skirt whilst holding a potted plant in front of a flower shop

At Brixton Village in South London picking up some cute potted plants to decorate my flat!

What’s living in West London like?

West and Southwest London has that fancy feel to it, especially in areas like Kensington, ChelseaFulham and Notting Hill. This is where you’ll find impressive architecture, high-end shopping, and amazing restaurants.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more laid-back and family-friendly vibe, Chiswick is a great option with its beautiful riverside walks.

You should probably know that these areas are highly expensive, sought-after, and primarily consist of expensive shops and boutiques.

Fulham, known for its relaxed residential atmosphere, boasts beautiful parks such as Fulham Palace Gardens and Bishops Park. It’s also home to two major football stadiums, Fulham and Chelsea, making it a hotspot for sports enthusiasts.

On the other hand, Hammersmith offers a vibrant mix of culture and commerce, with excellent shopping centres and a thriving theatre scene. It’s also blessed with a picturesque riverside, serving as an ideal spot for leisurely walks and picnics.

Last, but certainly not least, is the affluent area of Chelsea. With its high-end boutiques, art galleries, and world-class restaurants, it exudes sophistication. It’s also home to the famous Chelsea Flower Show, an event that attracts green thumbs from all over the world.

Popularised worldwide by the hit TV show Made In Chelsea, property in this area doesn’t come cheap, with property prices among the highest in London.

Some great places to live in West London are:

  • Notting Hill
  • Ladbroke Grove
  • Kensal Rise
  • Kensal Green
  • Willesden
  • Kilburn
  • Kensington
  • Fulham
  • Hammersmith
  • North Acton
  • Shepherd’s Bush
  • Kew
  • Twickenham
  • Harrow
  • Barnes

View along the Hackney Canal near Broadway Market on a sunny Sunday in East London

Hackney Canal Walk near Broadway Market on a sunny Sunday in East London

What’s living in East London like?

East London is a hotbed of creativity and diversity, with trendy neighbourhoods like Shoreditch and Hackney leading the way in cool fashion and street food markets.

It’s a popular choice for young professionals and artists, although living costs are on the rise due to gentrification.

Stratford, home to the 2012 Olympics, has undergone major regeneration and now boasts world-class sporting facilities, shopping centers, and the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In my opinion, Stratford can feel a little sketchy at night.

However, areas like Wanstead and Leytonstone offer more affordable options with family-friendly vibes and access to green spaces. Here are some other options:

  • Shoreditch
  • Whitechapel
  • Canary Wharf
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Bethnal Green
  • Shadwell
  • Hackney
  • Hackney Wick
  • Hoxton
  • Stratford.
  • Walthamstow
  • Wanstead
  • Leytonstone

To sum it up, choosing where to live in London depends on your lifestyle, budget, and personal preferences.

Each area has its own unique charm, making London a truly diverse and exciting city to call home.

Red bus on Chelsea Bridge in South West London whilst brunette woman with red coat smiles

Walking down Chelsea Bridge in South West London on a sunny autumn day – matching the red bus with my red coat

Living and Working in London

Living in London doesn’t come cheap. From rent to groceries and entertainment, it’s crucial to budget carefully. Keep an eye on exchange rates too, as they can significantly impact your finances if you’re earning or saving in a different currency.

An Overview of London’s Cost of Living Crisis

In 2021, London saw a big jump in the cost of living. And guess what? It’s still going strong in 2023, with a noticeable rise in the price of basic stuff. Check out these quick facts about the situation:

  1. Rent: The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom flat in Central London has climbed to approximately £1,500-£2,000 as of 2023, up from around £1,350-£1,800 in 2021.
  2. Groceries: A monthly grocery bill for a single person in London is estimated to be around £150-£200 in 2023, compared to roughly £120-£180 in 2021.
  3. Utilities: The average monthly bill for basic utilities (including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage) for a 45m2 flat has risen to nearly £130-£160 in 2023, up from £100-£130 in 2021.
  4. Public Transport: The cost of a Monthly Travelcard for unlimited travel in Zones 1-2 has jumped from approximately £130 in 2021 to around £138.70 in 2023.
  5. Dining Out: The average cost of a meal at an inexpensive restaurant in London has increased to nearly £15-£20 in 2023, up from around £12-£17 in 2021.

These figures depict the climbing costs of living in London, underlining the need for careful budgeting and financial planning for anyone looking to live in the capital.

London’s Public Transport and Commuting Costs

London boasts a world-class public transport system, including the tube, buses, and trams, all managed by Transport for London (TFL). An Oyster card or contactless payment card will be your key to the city, offering the freedom to explore at will.

Travel costs in London can vary a lot based on how much you’ll be using public transport and which zones you’ll be exploring – as well as what time of day you’re likely to travel at. We have peak and off-peak hours, for example.

What’s the cost of commuting to work in London?

As of 2023, a Monthly Travelcard for unlimited travel in Zones 1-2 costs around £138.70, while for Zones 1-6 (including most of Greater London and Heathrow Airport) it’s about £246.60.

With this pass, you can hop on the tube, buses, trams, DLR, London Overground, and some national rail services within the zones.

Remember, these prices might change, so it’s always a good idea to check the latest on the TFL website.

What are Working and Employment Opportunities like in London?

If you’re thinking about working in London, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. Just keep in mind, competition can get pretty intense. As an expat, immigrant or transplant, it’s important to know the ins and outs of work visas and permits.

  • Skilled Worker Visa: So, the UK government has this point-based immigration system now. If you’re a skilled worker looking to move to the UK, you’ll need to show that you have a job offer from an approved employer sponsor. The job offer has to be at RQF3 level or higher (think A-Levels or equivalent), and you should be able to speak English at the right level.
  • Priority to High-Skilled Workers: Now, the UK government wants to attract top talent and give the economy a boost. That’s why they’re giving high-skilled workers the upper hand. These folks have a better shot at getting visas since their skills are in high demand, especially in fields like engineering, healthcare, and IT. And that means they’ve got a better chance of settling down in happening cities like London.

If you’re coming from another country, I’d really recommend speaking to an immigration solicitor who can give you support.

London's iconic Shard building reflected in the water of the River Thames during a pink sunset

London’s iconic Shard building reflected in the water of the River Thames during a pink sunset

What’s Healthcare Like in London?

Is Healthcare in London free? 

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s publicly funded healthcare system. It’s been around since 1948 and offers most healthcare services, including specialist treatments, free of charge to all UK residents.

The NHS is super accessible in London, but it’s worth getting the lowdown on how it works. In London, the quality of NHS treatments can really vary from borough to borough.

Here are some pros and cons of the NHS:

Pros of the NHS
  • Inclusive: The NHS upholds the principle that good healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. It provides for everyone, regardless of their economic or social status.
  • Comprehensive: The NHS covers a wide range of health services, from routine screenings, treatments for illnesses and health conditions, to specialist care and emergency treatment.
  • Cost-effective: Most healthcare services under the NHS are free at the point of use for residents, funded through general taxation.
Cons of the NHS
  • Waiting Times: Due to high demand, there can be long waiting times for non-emergency treatments and procedures.
  • Underfunding: The NHS often faces budget constraints and resource shortages, which can impact the quality of care.
  • Postcode Lottery: Access to certain treatments can vary across the country, often referred to as ‘postcode lottery,’ making some services more accessible in certain areas than others.

Having free healthcare systems like the NHS in the UK is a huge advantage. It takes a big financial burden off people’s shoulders because healthcare, which can be really expensive, is available to everyone without charge when they need it. For me, I’m a huge fan of the NHS. I don’t support the idea of it getting privatised.

Having the NHS is an amazing benefit that means that all residents in the UK have a safety net for their health, no matter how much money they have. It’s a fair system that puts health first!

Getting NHS staff to be paid more is the next step. But that’s for another time!

Tower Bridge at Sunset - Pastel Pink Sky and Rainbow over the River Thames from above - view from City Hall balcony - illumelation

Tower Bridge at sunset, and a lovely pastel pink sky with a rainbow over the River Thames

What does London offer in terms of Schools, Colleges & Education?

  • Diverse Educational Institutions: London has a bunch of public and private schools, catering to different educational philosophies and needs from primary to secondary education.
  • World-Class Universities: Home to globally famous universities like the University of London, Imperial College, and the London School of Economics, the city is a hub for higher education.
  • Vocational and Professional Training: London offers loads of vocational and professional training courses for adults looking to upskill or switch careers.
  • Extra-Curricular Activities: London has a ton of extra-curricular activities, from music and drama to sports and languages, promoting well-rounded growth and development for students of all ages.
  • Nurseries and Early Education: The city has plenty of nurseries and early education options, giving children a solid foundation to start their educational journey.
  • Specialised Institutions: For students with unique learning needs or interests, London has a range of specialised institutions, including those focusing on the arts, technology, or special educational needs.

In other words, if you’re a student, or you want to do further education, or you’ve got kiddos, London’s got loads of educational options for you.

Not to mention the short courses and free masterclasses offered all around the city.

London is a brilliant place for career growth and professional networking.

But I will say that the rat race can get very tiring – and expensive.

Is London a good place to live if you enjoy travelling?

If you love travelling, living in London also gives you an amazing chance to explore the rest of the UK or even Europe.

London is a transport hub with five international airports, a huge railway network, and the Eurostar service that connects the city to loads of European capitals. It’s a super connected city.

So, if you fancy checking out the stunning Scottish Highlands, the charming city of Bath, or the beautiful beaches of Brighton, you’re just a train ride away.

It’s super easy to hop on a quick flight or Eurostar journey from London to cool places like Paris, Amsterdam, or Brussels. You can be there in just a couple of hours!

Weekend getaways to explore the art, culture, and delicious food of different European cities become a regular thing, which is incredible for anyone who loves to travel and experience new cultures.

It’s also not too expensive to explore Europe from London, as flights can start from as cheap as £12 in off-peak season.

Basically, if you’re based in London, you’ve got access to so many exciting experiences across the UK and Europe. It’s like having a perfect home base for all your travel adventures!

One of the things I love most about London is its cultural diversity.

When you’re on the ground in the city, not only does London have some of most incredible, diverse food and culture in the world, but there is such a rich array of theatre, cinema, shows, talks, and exhibitions from all over the globe, that you’ll always be able to feel connected to other cultures.

So, if you’ve got that travel bug, but also want to build your career, London is the place to be.

Woman heading to the pub for a Sunday Roast in Camden, North London

Heading to the pub for a Sunday Roast in Camden, North London

London’s Culture and Lifestyle

Why is London such a great place to live in?

London is like a vibrant melting pot, bursting with cool museums, galleries, restaurants, and festivals that totally show off its multicultural vibe. Embrace the diversity and you’ll never get bored, with so much to see, do, and eat!

  • Historical Landmarks: London has some seriously famous landmarks like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum. These iconic spots give you a taste of the city’s fascinating history and cultural heritage.
  • Diverse Food Scene: With such a mix of people, London’s food scene is seriously diverse. You can chow down on a classic English brekkie or tuck into some mouth-watering Indian curry – there’s something for everyone!
  • Public Transport: London’s transport system is top-notch. Think red double-decker buses, black cabs, and the famous Tube – it’s so easy to get around this city.
  • Green Spaces: Even though it’s a busy city, London has loads of parks and gardens like Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and Kew Gardens. They’re perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle.
  • Art and Theatre Scene: London’s West End is all about epic theatre experiences, with places like the Royal Opera House and Shakespeare’s Globe. And if you’re into art, you’ll love the Tate Modern and the National Gallery.
Shoreditch - brunette girl in sneakers and a black dress ventures out in East London nightlife

Ready to explore Old Street’s nightlife in Shoreditch, East London

What’s the nightlife in London like?

London has one of the most amazing nightlife scenes in the world. I’ll vouch for that, ever since I was a 16-year-old rolling out to underage discos with my friends, all the way until now, preferring a cocktail with a great view or a niche comedy night!

  • Vibrant Nightlife: London is renowned for its pulsating nightlife, with clubs like Fabric, Ministry of Sound, and XOYO offering eclectic music, from mainstream pop to underground techno.
  • Comedy Clubs: For a dose of laughter, venues like The Comedy Store and Soho Theatre host some of the best stand-up performances from both established and budding comedians.
  • Karaoke Nights: Sing your heart out at London’s popular karaoke bars such as Lucky Voice Karaoke and Karaoke Box. It’s a fun-filled experience, whether you’re a seasoned performer or just there for the laughs.
  • Live Music: Check out live music gigs at renowned venues like The O2, Brixton Academy, and the Roundhouse. You’ll find concerts of every genre, from rock to jazz to pop.
  • Festivals: London hosts a multitude of festivals throughout the year. Don’t miss out on events like the Notting Hill Carnival, Wireless Festival, and Lovebox for a truly unforgettable experience.
  • Late-night Eateries: From late-night diners to 24-hour bakeries, London’s food scene doesn’t sleep. Grab a late-night bite at places like Duck & Waffle or Beigel Bake.
  • Rooftop Bars: Enjoy panoramic views of the city from trendy rooftop bars like Sky Garden and Madison. They’re the perfect place for a night out, offering stunning vistas, creative cocktails, and occasionally live DJ sets.
  • Craft Beer Pubs: For beer enthusiasts, London’s craft beer pubs like The Craft Beer Co and BrewDog offer a wide range of local and imported brews. You can even find pubs offering brewing workshops and beer tasting events.
Two women dressed in feathered costumes at Notting Hill Carnival

Two women dressed in feathered costumes at Notting Hill Carnival

What kind of annual events and festivals take place in London?

London’s got a bunch of awesome events happening throughout the year that cater to different tastes and interests.

For example, there’s the famed RHS Chelsea Flower Show and the London Marathon, which sees runners from around the world and nation come to London for a run through the city streets.

One of the coolest ones is the Notting Hill Carnival. It all started in 1966 as a way to celebrate Caribbean culture, and now it’s Europe’s biggest street festival!

Every August Bank Holiday weekend, the streets of West London come alive with vibrant floats, extravagant costumes, calypso music, and mouth-watering Caribbean food stalls.

Another event you won’t wanna miss is the London Design Festival. Happening every September, it showcases the city’s pivotal role in global design, with installations and exhibitions spread across different venues.

And for all you film buffs out there, the BFI London Film Festival is an absolute treat! It premieres some of the year’s most anticipated films every October.


London City Skyline views from the top of Primrose Hill in London

London City Skyline views from the top of Primrose Hill in London

What does London offer in terms of parks and green spaces?

London has an amazing variety of green spaces, each with its own unique charm.

As a Londoner, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy these beautiful havens in all their glory. I grew up right near Hyde Park. Honestly, I think London has some of the best parks in Europe.

From the expansive woodland and stunning views at Hampstead Heath, to the peaceful vibes and iconic skyline view at Primrose Hill, there’s no shortage of nature in this city.

Victoria Park, known as the ‘People’s Park’, is perfect for a leisurely stroll with its lovely lake and gardens. And of course, Hyde Park is a must-visit with its famous Serpentine Lake, beautiful flower gardens, and impressive monuments.

Sunny Sunday morning walk in Hampstead Heath

Doing a sunny Sunday morning walk with my friend Kaye in Hampstead Heath

What are the best parks to visit in London?

Here are the top 10 parks in London known around the world:

  1. Hampstead Heath: Breathtaking views and swimming ponds at Parliament Hill.
  2. Primrose Hill: The iconic skyline view of London.
  3. Victoria Park: A beautiful lake, Chinese Pagoda, and lots of wildlife.
  4. Hyde Park: Serpentine Lake, Speaker’s Corner, and the stunning Italian Gardens.
  5. Regent’s Park: London Zoo, open-air theatre, and gorgeous rose gardens.
  6. Greenwich Park: Panoramic views and home to the Royal Observatory.
  7. Richmond Park: Famous for its deer herds and Isabella Plantation.
  8. St. James’s Park: Resident pelicans and a view of Buckingham Palace.
  9. Kensington Gardens: Kensington Palace, the Albert Memorial, and the Serpentine Galleries.
  10. Bushy Park: Free-roaming deer, beautiful gardens, and the Diana Fountain.

I’d like to add some honourable mentions too: Peckham Rye Park & Common, Wimbledon Common, Clapham Common, Telegraph Hill Park, Dulwich Park, and Brockwell Park.

All these incredible South London spots offer so much greenery to residents.

Generally, all the above parks offer a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, giving us Londoners a decent balance of urban living and peaceful nature spots.

Gathered with some friends at my flat in London

Gathered with some friends at my flat housewarming in London

Ask a Local: A Londoner’s Advice for Moving to London

5 Key Tips for Living in London

Adjusting to life in London can be a rollercoaster. From my time as an expat, I learned that keeping an open mind, making local friends, and taking time to explore the UK beyond London are crucial for a fulfilling experience.

  1. Embrace the Weather: London is famous for its ever-changing weather and frequent rain showers. So, don’t let the grey skies bring you down. Get yourself a good waterproof coat and umbrella, and seize the chance to explore, rain or shine.
  2. Try the Local Food: London boasts an amazing food scene that goes beyond the typical ‘fish and chips’. Make sure you don’t miss out on experiencing traditional British dishes like Sunday roast, full English breakfast, and Cornish pasties.
  3. Travel by Public Transport: London has a fantastic public transport system, including the Underground (Tube), buses, and trains. It’s often the fastest and most budget-friendly way to get around the city. And it gives you a great opportunity to soak up the local culture. Don’t forget to grab an Oyster Card or use contactless payment for hassle-free travel.
  4. Make as many friends as you can. Living in a city like London can be lonely and overwhelming – even for someone like me who grew up here. You want to make sure you build a community and have people you can rely on and make memories with. After all, people make a place!
  5. Cover all bases before moving. Remember to sort out your banking, utilities, and other must-have services when you get here – and do as much as possible ahead of moving. It’ll save you so much stress.
Living in London - should you move to London? Brunette girl smiles in an iconic red telephone box in London, UK.

“Hello, operator? There’s a funny smell in here…” doing a classic red telephone booth shot in Pimlico, South West London

My #1 tip before you move to London?

In my opinion as a London local, the most important thing you can do before moving to London is… Try Before You Buy.

You need to visit and experience the city first before making such a huge commitment – ideally for longer than a week, if that’s possible.

Putting it lightly, moving to London requires a lot of effort – especially now, post-Brexit, since the UK is no longer part of the EU.

Depending on what passport you have, moving here involves more paperwork than before.

Though if you’re British, it’s not as difficult. The main obstacle you’ll come up against when moving to London from elsewhere in the UK is quality of life and cost of living.

Sitting on the curb by a parked London black taxi in Portobello Road

Sitting (rather unsafely) on the curb by a parked London black taxi in Portobello Road

5 Reasons to Visit London Before Moving to London

  1. Check Your Adaptability: Living in a new city is way different from being a tourist. When you stay for a while, you get a real feel for life in London – the pace, the weather, and the lifestyle. It helps you figure out if you can adapt before committing long-term.
  2. Get a Handle on Living Costs: Let’s face it, London is pricey. By staying a few weeks, you can get a grip on expenses like accommodation, food, transport, and other costs. This way, you can plan a budget that works if you decide to make the move.
  3. Explore Different Neighbourhoods: London has so many diverse boroughs, each with its own vibe. A longer visit gives you the chance to explore different areas and find a neighbourhood that suits your lifestyle and preferences.
  4. Scope Out Job Opportunities: The job market in London is tough. Use this time to network, job hunt, and go to interviews. Getting hands-on experience will give you valuable insights into your career prospects in the city.
  5. Dive into the Lifestyle: London is bursting with arts, culture, food, and events. Spending time in the city lets you fully immerse yourself in this vibrant lifestyle. It helps you figure out if it’s what you’re looking for and if it matches your expectations and desires.
White vintage car with flowers parked outside blue houses in Ladbroke Grove, West London

White vintage car with flowers parked in Ladbroke Grove, West London

Should You Move to London in 2024?

Moving to London in 2024 is an exciting prospect. It’s a city of opportunities, cultural richness, and unique experiences.

However, it’s also a decision that should be thoroughly considered, keeping in mind your personal circumstances and aspirations.

So, is London calling you in 2024?

…Only you can answer that!

Mel Legarda

Melissa Legarda is the founder of illumelation. She has worked as a travel blogger, creator and writer since 2015, and has collaborated with well-known brands worldwide. She has helped over 1,100+ students improve their travel photography skills since launching her creative courses. Her mission is to encourage and empower others to travel and create more. Find her on Instagram.