Who wouldnt agree with Samuel Johnson ? London aka “The Big Smoke” is amazing place to visit and live. It is full of life, excitement and movement… No wonder why every year around 140 000 people move to London. My journey ? I thought it also an amazing place to do Master in Business as it is business capital of Europe. So I researched, applied and moved to London in Spetember 2016.
It has been almost 3 months since I moved. I can only describe my experience as a crazy, hectic and beautiful adventure… But it was also very challenging… before my arrival, I heard so many things about living in London; some of them was true and some of them was nothing but pure exaggeration. And of course there are facts that I wish I had known but had no idea … Here are some myths, truths and crucial info…
Its so expensive that you wont afford to do anything ! ——- Verdict: MYTH
It is true that London is very expensive city but there are plenty of cheap or even free stuff to do. It took a lot of time for me to figure out the cheap or free stuff to do. So I will do you a great favor 🙂 I discovered a great website called www.brokeinlondon.com I recommend this website to anyone on a budget. In this website, you can get crucial info about finding cheap place to live, cheap restaurants, free events, free courses etc. I remember when I first discovered this website, I was very surprised with amount of cheap or free events and courses in London offered by big brands. Now I regularly follow the website and especially love their regular weekly post named “Free things to do in London this Weekend” which is posted every Thursday.
You can only afford to live in a shoebox, next best thing to being homeless —– Verdict: TRUTH
My main struggle in London was finding an
apartment room. Noone can disagree with the fact that renting or buying property in London is very very very expensive. And even you are willing to pay large sums of money, timing is everything…
I thought I can search for an apartment after I arrive and get to know the city and decide where to live … bla bla bla… What a mistake! By the time I get to know the city (1 week), everybody already rented their places and there was nothing left except really super expensive or super crappy apartments. And I learned that my classmates who got the OKish places with not so high prices arrived to London in August to search for an apartment.
My current living situation: sharing my room with 3 very nice Spanish girls but living in a good neighborhood in zone 2. I actually live in long term living facility called LHA London. If you cant find a decent apartment, I highly recommend one of their housing facilities because they are all centrally located, clean and living in an international house is actually so much fun !
Always Cold, Rainy and Gloomy—-Verdict: MYTH
Ok ok, its not a mediterranean climate. But you can spot clear, blue sky most of the days even though it is not that warm. I have been living here since September. Now its the 3rd of December and I can say day gloomy and constantly rainy days were only an exception. But I would suggest to keep an umbrella in your bag all the time because it can be quite unpredictable
Londoners are very snobby and nobody speaks to each other —— Verdict: MYTH
Quite the contrary ! In public transport, on the streets everybody speaks to each other, smiling and joking all the time. They are additionally friendly when they drink 🙂
Of course there are some people who look or behave similarly to this lady above but I wouldnt say they are more than %10… or maybe I do not hang out with rich-royal people 😛
Public transportation is horrible in rush hour —- Verdict: TRUE
Normally I like London tube, it is the fastest and most convenient public transportation in London but I had one horrible experience. I tried to get in a very crowded tube, but after managed to get in tube only got more and more crowded to a point that it was impossible to move and very hard to breathe. So if you feel that tube station is already full of people and tube itself is not so different, do not try to get in….
THINGS I WISH I KNOWN
*Do not ever get on a bus in rush hour. Even for city sightseeing reasons… because it doesn’t even moveeeee
*Always prefer Overground to Underground, as it is surprisingly faster
*Timeout is the real agenda setter, bible of social life… check their website regularly
*Never ever go to Oxford Street or any major touristic attraction on weekends