How To Live In London Like A Local
London is one of the world’s great capital cities with countless attractions and places to visit. It can seem overwhelming at first but don’t worry, we’ve put together an expert guide to living like a local in London.
Shopping in London
You’ll find that the best place to shop for goods and groceries is actually your local borough. London is best seen as a collection of mini-cities so make the most of your local markets and the unique items they sell.
In particular, look out for Brick Lane and other clusters of independent restaurants and street food stalls as these are often cheaper and better than high-end restaurants or chains. Put simply, if you’re ordering a pizza from a high-street brand, you’re doing it wrong!
Places to go in London
When it comes to things to do, you’ll be spoilt for choice. London is almost 50% green space with hundreds of stunning parks that make ideal picnic locations. You’ll find many of the world’s greatest bars and clubs here, as well as over 60 Michelin-starred restaurants for all you food-lovers.
London also contains an endless list of must-see destinations, such as Big Ben, The British Museum, Tower Bridge and London Zoo. Not forgetting The London Eye, the Houses of Parliament, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and much, much more. The famous Samuel Johnson quote “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” is truer now than ever!
Travelling Around London
But to see all of these you’ll need to know how to get around. The London Underground Railway, better known as The Tube, is a pioneering, world-beating urban subway system if you use it properly. Thankfully, it’s quite difficult to get lost because the signage is good and clear, but knowing the different ‘lines’ will help speed up your trips around the city. And of course, always mind the gap between the platform and the train and wait for people to get off before you get on.
It pays to be polite so avoid carrying bulky backpacks on public transport if possible, and definitely don’t take up seats with your luggage. If you see someone in need of a seat, such as a pregnant or elderly person, give them your seat. On the whole, Londoners are friendly, welcoming people, and simple gestures like this go a long way.
Another great way to learn about London is to get out there and experience it so purchase a good pair of shoes or walking boots. But there’s a lot of truth to that old stereotype about British weather - it’s likely to rain a lot and can get icy cold in the winter, so get hold of a good quality raincoat. Taxis can often be the best method of getting somewhere quickly, plus everyone should experience a bona-fide London cabbie experience at least once.
The People of London
Finally, London is renowned as a great melting pot of cultures so as well as meeting friendly locals such as East-End Cockneys, you’ll undoubtedly end up making friends with people from all over the world. Go in with an open mind and a smile and you’re sure to have the time of your life.