8 Things To Know About London- Culture Tips
London is very international and full of culture
I have to admit, I was surprised about London and how amazing the culture is. Prior to London, I lived in Barcelona, known to be one of the best cities in the world. I didn’t want to leave the sun, the weather and the latin culture.
I was transferred to London via work in 2010 and never looked back. People all asked me why move there and leave the sun? At the time the economy was really bad and unemployment was at 24%. My response to friends was, ¨what am I going to do with my life if I don’t have a stable job?¨
I quickly learned that London was not at all what I thought it would be. I was pleasantly surprised and immediately felt right at home. Having lived and travelled across the globe, London is definitely one of the most international cities in the world. Irrespective of which part of the city you are in, you see people from different cultures/backgrounds and will hear people speak different languages. I absolutely love it, because I was born in Canada, raised in Germany, experienced adulthood in Spain. I finally found a place with people from similar backgrounds, whom I could relate to.
London is an incredible city full of life and culture. Through this short blog I hope that I can put the negative rumours about London to rest and give you some insights into the London culture.
Here are 8 things to know about London:
1. Very International & Cultural
Whether you are planning on visiting or moving to London, you will have no problems adjusting to the culture or meeting people/friends. People are generally quite outgoing.
Because most people are from another city or country, they have had to leave their comfort zones to adjust to their new lives in London and therefore also tend to be a little more outgoing and welcoming.
The majority of people in London have a story. As many Londoners are from different cultures, religions and backgrounds, it makes London so interesting and full of life. If you ask people what it means to be a Londoner most people would say ´it´s all about the spirit, being positive and embracing changes that are constantly happening around you.
2. The Weather
Having lived in London for more than 8 years, I can confirm that the rumour about it raining a lot can be put to rest. I don’t have a car and I never need an umbrella with me, and if it rains then it is only for a short period of time. I have lived in Vancouver and Düsseldorf for many years and those cities are very rainy during the winter, to the point that it can rain the entire day and for days, even weeks. That is not the case for London. It is a great place to visit all year long.
However, I would say that London is more grey in the fall, winter and spring than rainy. And even if it is grey you can still enjoy the city, see the sites and what London has to offer.
I guess you can say this about every city, but London is not as expensive as people say it is. You simply need to know where to shop, eat & go. Therefore, here are my tips on visiting London on a budget.
- Get an Air Bnb in east London. London has one of the best transit systems in the world and there is so much to see all over the city. You do not need to stay in a hotel or accommodation in West or Central London. You can easily take a tube from East London in 15-20mins.
- Waitrose, Sainsburys & Co-op are probably the most expensive supermarkets in London. Aldi, Lidl and Tesco are the cheaper options.
- Do not take a black cab. They are very expensive. Use the public transport system such as a tube or bus, which is a lot cheaper, quicker and more reliable. Alternatively, you can get an Uber.
- Most Museums are free
- Club entry is normally free if you are on the guest list.
4. Amazing Food
I think because the city is so international there are so many food options from all over the world throughout the entire city. Any type of food from any country you would like to eat you will find it without any problems. I have too many favourite restaurants to recommend, so stay tuned for my blog on good eats in London or check out my London blog which lists a few baby friendly restaurants.
5. The city never sleeps
There is always some event, something to do and activities for all types of people at all ages. From museums, to concerts, markets, clubs, musicals, pop up restaurants, baby related activities, Christmas markets and the list goes on. Doesn’t matter what time of the year you are planning on visiting London you will find so many events and activities to keep you busy and entertained.
6. Baby Friendly
After our daughter Havana was born I was pleasantly surprised to see how baby friendly London is. There are various support groups to help new parents adjust to being parents, help with breastfeeding, etc. I discovered so many great and free activities for Families with kids. It is amazing. See more details on why I think London is baby friendly via my blog here.
7. European Travel Hub
London has 5 airports and if you are planning on visiting various other cities within Europe you will most probably find cheap deals from one or a few of the airports. It is also quite easy to get to all of them, but it also depends on what area you are staying in. Some areas might be easier than others, so make sure you do some research before booking your other flights. Alternatively feel free to DM us on Instagram or email us for help.
8. A place for everyone
Whether you are creative/artistic, an athlete, working in finance, a chef, etc. London is the place for you to flourish. As it is such a big city full of talented and ambitious people from all over the world, opportunities are endless.
Doesn´t matter what type of person you are and what you like, I am 100% positive you will find the activity, job or friends circle best suited to your personality & liking. One thing about London is that you will never be bored and never run out of things to do.
I hope this gave you a little more information about London other than what you have already read on the city guides. I thought I would provide some culture tips as people tend to have this perception of an older London and I was also one of those people before moving to the city.
Happy Baby Happy Travels