We don’t want our advice to end as soon as you arrive in London, so if you’ve recently moved here, then the information on this page is designed to help you settle into London life as effortlessly as possible.
Having said this, as soon as you arrive in London, you’ll have some admin chores to take care of. You can read the information on our Living in London page for advice on finding accommodation and flatmates, but once you’ve actually moved into your new home, you’ll need to do the following:
- Contact your council and let them know that you live there so that you can go on the electoral roll and also so they can send you some council tax bills.
- Get an Oyster card for cheap travel around the city
- Let everyone know your change of address
- If possible, switch energy providers to ensure you get the cheapest utility bills. Contact Npower and EDF for competitive quotes.
- If you’d like any of: broadband, a landline phone and satellite TV, then contact a company such as Sky or similar for a quote.
- If you have a TV, then make sure that your TV licence is valid. Your licence covers you at a certain address and not you as a person.
The next thing you’ll need to do, is suss out what’s happening in your new local area. Our North London , South London , East London and West London pages offer area guides on popular areas of London, so check them out to see if your local area is already listed. All London areas will be uploaded in stages throughout 2010. The most important places that you’ll need to find the location of when you first move into your new accommodation are
a) the train/tube station or bus stop
b) the local supermarket
….. although some of you may argue that the local pub is more important than both of these! If you discover that your local supermarket is located a little further away than you’d hoped, there is often the option of using one of the larger chains home delivery services.
Click on the websites of
……to check availability in your area.
- < LA Fitness
- Virgin Active
- Fitness First
- Soho Gyms
- David Lloyd
Some of them will allow you to sign up and receive a guest pass before committing to a contract.
Socially, some of you might come to London not knowing a soul, others may arrive and be taken under the wing of existing friends and family. Everyone has different circumstances, but generally, the more people you know, the faster you’ll settle into life in London. A great site to use to meet other newcomers to London is Thinking Bob which costs £1 to join up to and will connect you to thousands of other Londoners who want to make friends and attend amazing fun events such as movie nights, 80s nights, picnic and beer pong etc. Check it out now! Alternatively, if you’re struggling to meet people in London , then think about what you enjoy doing as a hobby and join some classes, clubs or sports teams where you’ll meet likeminded people. You’re also likely to meet people through work, as workplaces in London can be extremely sociable and after-work drinks are a common event.
If you’ve recently moved in with flatmates who are either strangers, or friends-of-friends who you don’t know exceptionally well, then make a real effort to get to know them. It’s nice to get on well with your flatmates, but they could also provide you with an extra network of friends through people they know. Here are some tips on how to be a good housemate .
If you’re single and are looking for romance, then moving to London could be the fresh start that you need. There are millions of single people living in the capital, but you need to be looking in the right places and giving out the right signals in order to find Mr or Ms Right. Luckily, our Dating in London page is packed full of tips on finding a date, good dating signals, great London locations for a date and safe dating in the capital.
In terms of entertainment, you can never be bored in London. If you wake up on a Saturday morning and have no clue what to do with your weekend, there are a million different options available to you, even at short notice. You could go sightseeing, go to some free museums or art galleries, dine in London’s finest restaurants (there are restaurants in London to suit all budgets), walk lunch off in one of London’s beautiful parks, go to the cinema, get last-minute theatre tickets, laugh your socks off at some comedy, go bowling, sing badly at karaoke, go on an all-day pub crawl, try some wine tasting, or go shopping in one of London’s many famous shopping districts. For details of how to do all these things, please see our Entertainment in London page.
Keep yourself busy by experiencing all that London has to offer and before you know it, you’ll have already been in London for 6 months and won’t want to leave!