Few global destinations offer the grandeur and excitement of London. Perched on the banks of the famed Thames, the city shines with possibility even in the greyest weather and buzzes with an electric energy rivalled only by the likes of New York. Moving to London, you will encounter a multicultural, densely packed melting pot of people working feverishly against an amalgamated backdrop of cutting-edge technology and two millennia of rich history.

Living in London as an expat

London is the undisputed powerhouse of the UK's economy, and you can find all sorts of great work opportunities in the city. Sectors particularly well-established in London include finance, business, law, IT, medicine and engineering, as well as more creative industries such as fashion, graphic design and media.

London might feel physically removed from Europe, but it is ideally positioned for cross-continental sightseeing. London itself is also home to world-class tourist attractions, magnificent architecture, incredible theatre, concerts and art, plus beautiful expansive inner-city parks for restive lunch breaks. Foodies will delight in the fact that the city boasts a wonderful array of restaurants where expats can sample cuisines from across the world.

London is a vast and densely populated metropolis with housing options for every budget, lifestyle and situation. The areas and suburbs in the city are all very different in look and feel, from leafy suburbs with spacious terraced houses to central districts with compact apartments, diverse and eclectic communities, and an overwhelming array of shops and restaurants. Unless intending to own a car, expats should search for a property near a bus, train, or Tube station.

Cost of living in London

Living in London is thrilling but pricey, and the city ranks 9th out of 226 global expat destinations in Mercer's 2024 Cost of Living survey. While opportunities abound, budgeting wisely is crucial. Rent is a significant expense, particularly in central areas. Expats often prefer renting over buying, with costs varying widely depending on the location. It's worth noting that utilities and council tax are usually extra.

Transport is efficient but can add up. Regular commuters benefit from monthly or annual travel cards. Public transport includes the Tube, buses, and trams, offering extensive coverage. Driving incurs high parking fees and congestion charges. Groceries depend on shopping preferences, with discount supermarkets offering savings. Planning meals and using coupons help keep costs down.

Expat families and children in London

If you're relocating to London with your family, you will be pleased to know that there is a wide variety of schooling options available, and if you would prefer your child continues studying the curriculum followed in their home country, you are likely to find a good international school that meets your child's needs in London. The city is also chock-full of fun family activities, whether your family is in the mood to gaze over the city from atop the London Eye or if the day simply calls for a picnic in one of London's many lush parks.

Climate in London

Many expats struggle to adjust to the less-than-perfect weather patterns, with long English winters and relentless drizzles a trial for those hailing from warmer climes. Another common complaint relates to one of London’s most significant accomplishments and frustrations – its public transport system. Rush-hour commuting on the Tube or bus can be unpleasant, particularly in rainy weather. Still, you will be able to get to where you need to go without needing to use a car.

London has an enormous, colourful expat population. There are large, well-established communities of every major nationality and sizeable populations of Asian and Caribbean immigrants. The result is a dynamic, energised environment that never ceases to surprise and always values people’s skills over their origins.

Expat Health Insurance

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Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

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