Tuesday, 14 April 2015

An Expat Guide to Uncovering London




Moving abroad can be a daunting prospect, especially when that move is to one of the most populated and busiest cities in the world: London.  Expats arriving in London for the first time may feel equally overwhelmed as excited.  When balancing a new job with adjusting to a new city and home, there’s a lot to think about – so here’s our pick of the best ways you can uncover your new city, one day at a time. 



Through history
To discover the heart of London, it is important to look back and understand its history. London has such rich history going back more than 2,000 years.  It is the home of notable cultural attractions, incredible parks, landmarks, great architecture, and many old pubs, which each tell their own story. You can’t underestimate the benefit that’s to be had in simply going for a wander around the different areas of the city. Not only will you discover the well-known historical monuments like Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge (to name a few!), but it’s a great way to absorb the varying architecture, atmospheres and crowds that you’ll find in different, lesser known parts of the city. 

Through culture
For the culture vultures out there, London is a great place to be. With an array of museums, you’ll always have a place to get away from the rain which so often characterises London. Try the Kensington area to find some of the larger best-known museums, which contain exhibits on everything from British monarchy, through to scientific advances and natural history. There are plenty of other smaller, less mainstream museums too which nestle in different parts of the city and are well-worth exploring too.

Through markets
Dotted all over the city and offering everything from antique typewriters to fresh fruit and flowers, following the trails of London’s many outdoor markets are a great way to discover the depths of the city.  If you have an interest in dance, fashion, photography or tradition, it’s definitely worth a visit to Covent Garden. This bustling stretch is one of London’s oldest and most popular markets, which offers everything from entertainment to food and drink to fashion.  Or if you feel like mixing with London’s hipsters, head to Brick Lane market for some overpriced vintage gear and delicious street food, particularly curries. Get lost and go people watching: soak up the atmosphere, admire the fashion sense of locals or pick up decorations or fresh flowers for your new home. 

Through food
For many, London’s rich food diversity makes up a large part of the city’s appeal –a likely result of the wide diversity and different ethnic groups which make up London’s population, and it’s bound to open up the eyes of even the most well-travelled expat.. London has countless restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, with specific parts of the city often catering to a particular type of cuisine. Different ethnicities and cultures can be found in different geographic areas of London; for example if you are looking for good Asian cuisine it best to head to East London. To get the best afro Caribbean food and culture then South East, South West and North London are the best places to visit.

London’s rich and multicultural setting truly has something for everyone – and although Londoners have a bad rep for being miserable, most newcomers do find the city welcoming and friendly.
Remember – to explore is to understand. So get out there!


If you've made the move abroad, we want to hear from you, the 2015 Expat Explorer Survey is now open! Take 15 minutes to help fellow expats by letting us know your views on life abroad and spread the word by using #EESurvey15 on Twitter.

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