London is a city where hundreds of thousands of foreigners live, so there is no need to be so mean. In any case, living in London also has its advantages and disadvantages.
There is an excellent public transportation system. The London Underground lines and buses will take you anywhere. They are used by millions of people every day, and at rush hour you really feel like you are in a sardine can.The city is full of great parks to walk in when you have had enough of the concrete. All the major parks are easily accessible by subway.
The pace is very high, London is a city with a lot of traffic, a lot of smog and high air pollution. The standard of living is generally quite strenuous. There are almost 9 million people living in London, speaking more than 300 languages. About 40% of the people living there were born outside the United Kingdom. It is the most ethnically diverse city in the world, a cosmopolitan and welcoming place. London never sleeps, there are all kinds of activities (day and night), museums, art galleries, theaters and many events throughout the year.
The city is one of the 10 most expensive cities in the world, which means that the cost of living is very high. Housing prices in particular are very high, both for renting and buying. Rental prices range from expensive to incredibly expensive, depending on the area. Transportation and entertainment are also expensive. You will barely be able to buy a car and will likely have to live in rent forever given the prohibitive housing prices. If you have a low-skilled job, keep in mind that your salary will be enough for a room, a metro card, and food.
The UK healthcare system is free. When you work, you are automatically enrolled in the National Health Service (NHS). How good the service is depends on the facility and the staff you encounter. Some people have had good experiences, others not so much.
In England, there are no public kindergartens, only private kindergartens up to the age of three, which cost at least €1,500 per month. After the age of three, the child enters kindergarten, and the state pays part of the tuition. Public schools are free, but you can also choose to go to a private school for a fee, of which there are very famous ones, such as boarding schools. The university system is fee-based. Some of the best higher education institutions in the world are located in the United Kingdom. Like the University of Cambridge or the University of Oxford.
London is very safe compared to other metropolitan cities in the world. There are many surveillance cameras and the police are very professional. There is a general feeling of legality and respect for the law and those who represent it.
The notorious British weather can wear you out after a while. Nine months of the year you are accompanied by damp cold weather and gray skies. A day or two of wet, dark weather is also bearable, but if it lasts for two or three weeks, you may feel a little down.
English food is indescribable and Britain is, in my opinion, the country with the worst cuisine in the world. Fortunately, in London you can find cuisines from all over the world, street food of all kinds and ethnic restaurants of all kinds, so eating is not a problem.
Speaking of jobs, the unemployment rate in London is less than 3% and salaries are high on average. Having a well-educated job opens up exciting career opportunities and a good income. For those who do not have special qualifications, I recommend moving to cities like Liverpool or Manchester. The minimum wage is the same, but the cost of living is much lower and it is still possible to find an affordable flat. You should know that it is not necessary to live in a city like London to have a good career. Many other cities in the UK offer excellent opportunities and a better quality of life.
In London, there is a large supply of work in all fields. The merit system guarantees real opportunities for career advancement to those who demonstrate their abilities. The environment is very competitive, and to prevail you have to work hard and know your job well. If you are looking for a career, London is one of the best cities in the world, especially for jobs in the service, media or creative sectors. London is home to virtually every major company in the world. Salaries are high. They are higher in London than in any other city in the United Kingdom and in many other major cities in the world.
Living and working in London pros and cons
Living in London, pros
- Good work and professional opportunities
- Low crime rate
- Excellent services and infrastructure
- Free health care
Living in London, cons
- High cost of living
- Expensive nurseries
- Gray and wet weather
- No exquisite cuisine
- High stress
Living and working in London, conclusion
The quality of life in London is closely related to your ‘income’. If you earn a lot, you have an excellent quality of life. On the other hand, if your income is around the minimum wage, you are forced to live in an flat with other strangers (if you are lucky, only 3 or 4), and if you are even luckier, you find a job near your flat, otherwise you could spend an hour on public transport and your quality of life would be that of survival.
In any case, London is always London. You can live well or poorly, work a lot and earn a lot, work little and earn little, work little and earn a lot, start your own business or do many other things. Everyone can create their own lifestyle, depending on their priorities and goals.
For all the information on how to work in the UK, I recommend you to read the article: How to work in the UK after Brexit
On the other hand, if you want more information on how to move to the UK, I recommend you to read the article: Moving to the UK after brexit