Get us in your inbox


29 tips for when you first move to London

Written by
Time Out London contributors

As part of our reader takeover, we asked readers: what one piece of good advice would you give to someone who's just moved to London? Here are their top tips for city living. 

1. When you get tired of London, its crowds and its noise, talk a walk across Waterloo Bridge – preferably in the winter when the Southbank is sparkly with fairy lights – and remind yourself what keeps you here. Victoria Briggs 

2. Find a park that's close to you, and go and familiarise yourself with it. Especially if you work in central London and will be forgetting what grass looks like sometime soon! Laura Evans

3. Take the number 38 across London, from Clapton Pond to Victoria, and soak it all up. Melanie Miller

4. Visit all the free museums and galleries as soon as you can otherwise once you start to settle in you will never get round to it. Tania Rahman

Tony Hisgett

5. Don't be that person who leaves early to go home and get a good night’s sleep when your group is going on somewhere else. You'll miss the 3am snacks, the 4am night bus crowd, and inevitably a huge and life changing adventure that your friends will talk about for years. You'll nod along and hate your past-self who was hungover the next day anyway. Flora Bartlett

6. Mind the gap between your salary and your rent. Ksenia Ivanova

7. Don't give up! It's difficult to adjust in many cases, rent is ridiculous, but it's all worth it. Tatjana Berthelsen

8. Don't go to Hendon… ever. Kat Comer

Ian Muttoo

9. Eat at Gaby’s Deli on Charing Cross Road for a cheap first date. If they say no then they're too pretentious for a good time. Janet Chan

10. You will get used to the crowds. You will get used to the underground crush. You won’t get used to the price of everything. But still, suck it up and stop moaning. Ben Willison

11. Don't walk while using your phone, you're just slowing the pace of life for the rest of us. Matthew Skipper

12. Unless you want to fall into the 'hopeless tourist' category, put down the selfie stick. Cheers. Charlotte Winter

Garry Knight

13. Save money on food by shopping at Turkish supermarkets. Vive the cash 'n' carry! Jamie Pallas

14. Speak up for what you want, whether at work, when deciding where to go on a night out with friends, or even if you just want everyone to move down the carriage so you can get the rest of your leg in the tube. Lindsay Weisberg

15. Getting a seat on the tube is all about marking your territory. Spread yourself too thin and you will be subject to counter attack. This is your empire now and you protect it with your god damn life. In reality you can cover four seats maximum if you've got your wits about you. Lottie Coltman

16. There will be times the city can feel lonely and daunting, but we're all in the same boat and nine times out of ten those people you think are too cool and busy to make a new friend are probably just as keen to buddy up as you are. Patrick Courtney

Mike Rolls

17. Take your first biblically-sized hangover to Posini's on Poland Street and order an escalope melt. Everything will be just fine. Sally Rowberry

18. Stand on top of Primrose hill at sunset. Robert Baker 

19. Look at the yellow lines on the underground and stand where the paint has faded – that's where the doors open. Hannah Williamson 

20. Get some earplugs. Yuan Zhang

Christopher Brown

21. Don't get Netflix, it will steal your Sundays. Jess Flynn

22. Avoid Leicester Square on the weekends… or always. Heather Johnstone

23. Your snot will go black, it's fine. It just means your nose is filtering out SOME of the pollution. Chiara Pinto

24. Do it all. Say yes all the time. Spend all the money. Eat all the food. Care about it later. Because London is so so so much better than your imagination could conjure. Fosca Ferace 

Gabriel Villena

25. Never eat in the same restaurant more than once. Hanh La-Bell

26. London’s not just Hugh Grant and the Queen. And not ever, EVER, Dick Van Dyke. Kai Johnson

27. Move. Down. The. Platform. Louise Sparkes

28. Don’t, for whatever reason, date a bartender. Carolina Are

29. Master the art of weather-based small talk. Whether in a lift, before a job interview, or with your landlord, being able to mindlessly blather about the rain is the not-so-secret key to existing happily in the capital. Despina Christodoulou

Want more useful advice? Take a look at nine sneaky tube shortcuts that only Londoners know.

Popular on Time Out

    You may also like
    You may also like