Cost of Living in London. Prices Updated Dec 2020.

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London is the best city in the world — you just can’t do it on a budget. It’s got an amazing tech scene but ALSO world class media, fashion, finance, art industries and many others. If you don’t want to live in a tech / expat mono-culture then it’s for you. It is a genuine melting pot with a huge range of nationalities and cultures living together (the US has a large number of nationalities but there seems to be hard segregations between them geographically, economically, culturally — so they don’t mix). The downside is definitely the cost — If you want to live in London you might want to consider getting a London job — so that your income will match the expenses — there’s loads of demand for developers (along with most other job types). I also want to address the strange stereotype perpetuated by Americans that the food is bad — which is laughable having toured North America extensively and found the food to be dire. London has more Michelin star restaurants than nearly anywhere. The food markets are amazing as are the cafes, restaurants and pubs. Again you’ll need to pay what everyone else pays to get good food so don’t expect to do this on a shoestring.

2 months ago

I’ve been living in London for most of my life. I still do not understand the hype for this city. It’s wildly expensive, unfriendly, polluted and with the worst weather I’ve ever seen. It’s not only cold — the sky is constantly plain white, it’s always just cold enough to make you uncomfortable, and it’s humid. It’s like stepping on a piece of paper, zero personality. If you’ve never felt depressed before and want to know what that’s like, come to London, you’ll be googling therapists within a few days. Should I continue? The skyline is ugly, the river is murky brown, it’s too crowded to move, and people don’t care about you. What are these £600 apartments people are talking about? Lol — try over £1500 for anything that’s better than a cardboard box in a terrible area. I guess you can visit for a few days to tick it off your bucket list, but I’d reconsider any plans to live here longer term. My only benefit of having lived in London is that any place is better and cheaper in comparison.

3 months ago

I have been living in London for over 2 years as a student. It’s ridiculously expensive. However, there are options. What I like about the city is you can find many events anytime you want. It’s active all year 24/7. There are so many foreigners and tourists which make the living more vibrant and less racist. London has sub-communities which I think is a good thing. Those communities bring their cultures, ethics and foods. Public transportation and restaurants are great. I used to spend 3-4 hours in Costa or Nero cafe without interruptions. Though if it’s raining or summer season it could be hard to stay long. On the negative side, the UK suffers from slow and old bureaucracies making life difficult sometimes. It’s not easy to open a bank account or to rent. The government systems are slow. Also, you will feel depressed in winter when the sunset is before 4pm and the temperature is 0c. All in all, everything is great about the city except the affordability and the winter.

1 year ago

Although London isn’t an ideal ‘digital nomad’ city due to the cost, it is very much made for working, networking and having a great time while you do it. Rent is silly expensive, but you can find a room in a shared house for around £500-600 per month. One review on here complains about bad food, unsafe and bad banking — sounds like they had a bad time to be honest. I disagree strongly with all those negatives. Food is awesome, with lots of incredible places to eat and reasonable (ish) prices. Head to Brixton, Brick Lane, Hackney/Dalston, Tooting etc for top quality food. For your banking, you’ll find Revolut, Monzo, Starling etc all allow you to get set up in a few days. Oh and safety…. I’ve lived here for 7 years (on and off) and been drunk in ‘dodgy’ parts of town and can say London is one of the safest cities anywhere. Can’t say the same for Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona etc.

1 year ago

I do not recommend London for nomads. It’s very hard to find places to work in London. Cafes don’t like people with laptops, there won’t be any power outlets and you’ll get funny stares from staff. That’s because London is expensive, and it’s a loss for cafes to have you. Flexible coworking is hard to come by and day passes are very expensive. That makes it practically impossible to work properly in London as a nomad.

1 year ago

Expensive and crowded. Low quality of services. Customer service is a joke. Great internet connectivity. Mediocre food, unless you like Indian, which is everywhere. Crappy weather. Not safe at night (depends on the area of course). I lived in Docklands, didn’t feel safe outside of my apartment. Difficult to get anything done without proof of address, so make sure to get a place as soon as possible. Opening a business account in a «traditional» bank can take weeks. Banking is very backward — unless you enjoy browsing PDF statements… I honestly don’t understand why London is so popular. I was deeply disappointed and left after a few months. The only real upside is the job market, but as a nomad, you can provide services to London-based businesses from somewhere else.

1 year ago

London is an amazing city but it’s eye-wateringly expensive, don’t expect to save money…


Expect to be paying a minimum of £600/month for a bedroom in a shared house (and for this price you’ll be in zone 2/3). Look on spareroom for houseshares and openrent for flats.


Download the app Citymapper to help you get around it’s a godsend — London is a massive city and it can take ages to get from one place to the next. There’s tonnes of cafes, workspaces and public spaces to work in (Google campus, Barbican, Southbank centre etc). World class food, world class culture, people from all over the world! Liberal city, mostly safe… Bad air quality though.


Don’t come here thinking you can do it cheap as you will end up in a 10 person houseshare with a dodgy landlord and be stuck in some crap area of town. It’s a hard, ruthless and expensive city to break into, plus we have a population of over 8.6MILLION so competition is tough. There’s start-ups on every corner so plenty of people in similar situations.


Just factor in the cost and be willing to stay for a while (so you can properly embrace the city) and you’ll have a blast.

2 years ago

London is a pretty bad place for nomads. It’s very hard to find places to work in London. Cafes don’t like people with laptops, there won’t be any power outlets and you’ll get funny stares from staff. That’s because London is expensive, and it’s a loss for cafes to have you. Flexible coworking is hard to come by and day passes are very expensive. That makes it practically impossible to work properly in London as a nomad. It’s a city where lots of people are scraping by cooped up into tiny shared housing with skyhigh rents, lots of superficial tourists and a few rich people.

2 years ago

Ask a question

My girlfriend and I decided to spend NYE in London and we were trying to buy tickets for the fireworks show since mid-September and we’ve couldn’t get it. So, do you guys know any other option? I heard about some boat parties, are they worth?



Are there any regular meet-ups or other places to meet nomads in London?

This was the only nomad focused event I saw on meetup.com:


https://www.meetup.com/meetup-group-BNBrelBl/events/252398877/

Oh cool, thanks!

Coming tomorrow

Hey Matic. I might be meeting a few people I found in this facebook group. Maybe you could post if you’re up for coming along?

Here’s another two groups you can check out:





I’m about to move to London Are you there?

Ive actually been to that first meetup. I only went to one event but it wasnt really about nomads.

2nd link looks interesting though. I love the indie hackers podcast.

Im actually out in the countryside at the moment but might be back in London at some point in the next few weeks. When are you moving?



Hey

I’m looking to run free introductory coding workshops in London.

Would any of you lovely people have any recommendations?

My requirements are:

  • room for 15-20 people in a boardroom or classroom setup
  • wifi
  • available weekday evenings (we usually do 6-9pm)
  • big screen or wall for projector (we will have our projector if needed)

Thanks!


Pete

Is it open to the public? If so google campus.


https://www.campus.co/london/en/host-an-event

Yes. It’s open to the public. Thanks for the Google Campus link. I’ll check them out.

Thanks!



I’m planning to stay in London for about a month in August-September, to coincide with an industry workshop that’s happening there at the beginning of September, and would really love to find a spot in or near the Brick Lane/Whitechapel/Bethnal Green area. AirBnB seems pricy, but I’m unsure of how easy it is to get a place via SpareRoom.

Factors/Questions

  • Budget: hoping to stay under £700, willing to go up to £800 for a perfect place right near Brick Lane
  • Looking for a furnished private room in a flatshare; I’m pretty okay with a closet with a bed, so long as it’s a clean, cozy closet.
  • Solo lady, so nowhere too dodgy. (My tolerance is about “New York at night in the hipster areas”-level. Mexico City in the historical district at night was a bit much for me.)
  • Anyone know how easy it is to get a space in SpareRoom without actually being in the city? Or am I better served getting a hostel for a few days and accommodation-hunting then? I worry about not finding a space if I put it off until I’m there, as evidenced by my thinking about this six months beforehand.
  • On that note, is that a time around when it might be harder to find accommodation, like university term starting or something?
  • Is it easy enough to find a place from mid-month to mid-month, or is it mostly going to be whole months? (I guess this wouldn’t be as much of a concern if it’s a week-to-week.)
  • Is it easy to get a space without a local bank account? DNing and all. Cash wouldn’t be an issue.
  • How is the cafe-working culture in London? Is free decent wifi and outlets a common thing in coffee shops? I’m not super-thrilled with the idea of coworking spaces; the prices feel a bit high for me, and I actually kinda like working with a bustle around me, so long as there’s power and internet. I’ll probably look into it if it turns out there aren’t really a lot of cafes equipped to do that sort of thing though.
  • … are there any questions I should be asking or issues I should be considering?

I realize it’s a lot of questions, but anything helps! Thanks!

Have you tried to contact with any local afency or to find some help in a Facebook group?

I used to live here and go back very now and then definitely one of my fave areas. But the regular monthly rentals for sublets are at least £800 around here these days as it’s tech-central (or Silicon Roundabout as we call it, after Old Street roundabout) with everyone working there pushing eastwards looking for better rents, you’re more likely to get a better deal out towards (but not in) Stratford (trace along the canal looking for neighbourhoods). Whilst commuting will add to your costs it’s still not much different than most coffees, and frankly anywhere along the canals are a delight to walk/cycle.

You may however find a summer sublet, take a ganders at GumTree, Craigslist and it’s not entirely unheard of to see people on Couchsurfing list places (if there’s a London flats group) I like to find sublets this way, but FB is indeed the obvious choice. (Potentially you might qualify in LondonStartupFlats…)

An alternative to these is The Collective, which is organised coliving (like WeLive) and just about within your budget yet includes a coworking space etc!

The pressure on cafés from laptop is enormous, if you rotate a few hours amongst a bunch you might get by, although power sockets are not common. There are endless awesome coffeeshops (such as The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Timberyard, Store Street Espresso, edgier little places like The Old Shoreditch Station … check out FourSquare of course, and there’s also a bunch of WiFi/coffee apps), you really needn’t ever set foot in a chain.

Google Campus is a proper coworking space and is free, if you get there first thing after they open you’re pretty much guaranteed a space. Otherwise only if you’re lucky…

London is not dodgy, you’ll be fine anywhere north of the river. (And is one of the safest places to push your tolerance a bit )

If you’re flexible on timings and willing to wait a bit longer, you’ll find mid-month short lets but otherwise it’ll almost entirely be month-to-month, however always ask the person leaving or going away might want some flexibility too. Late September onwards will be difficult (new semester) if you move your dates forward a bit it should easy getting rooms when students are away over summer. Personally I’d want to see the place, but some street view and a skype walkaround should pass muster.

A private sublet won’t be a problem without a bank account just use TransferWise or whatnot to settle up, but make sure you’ll get your deposit back similarly or as cash. Forget agencies.

Since the last time I was there it seemed everyone was using contact payments, I didn’t once need cash. (Thus a bankcard with contactless is desirable, else a smartphone/ApplePay; works on transport too.)

Hmm, the Collective sounds interesting, but it seems like they only have 9-month lets (or a short-term 3-month one that’s completely sold out). Not sure if I qualify for Google Campus, being neither a startup (nor employed by one) nor an entrepreneur — but I’ll dig around and see.

The rest sounds like it’s eminently manageable, otherwise! Thank you for the help!

Hey, seems like you definitely found the coolest spot to hang out in London. AirBnB is definitely overpriced in that city, even with the monthly discounts. If you can’t find anything on SpareRoom since your stay is only going to be about a month long I’d suggest checking out Facebook groups for flatshares. I think you might find what you’re looking for over there. Just type in “London flatshares”, “London roommates” or whatever on the FB search box and you should be able to find something good. Also, I think you’d be fine without a UK bank account especially if you’re looking six months out in advance.

As for coffeeshops, the Whitechapel area is loaded with them! All of London City really. My go-to spot was this place called Java’U right by Brick Lane… always seemed to be a really workable space whenever I camped out there. And East London just has that vibe. But, another thing I would do was head out to more bougie parts like Camden and Kensington to work out of Costa’s chains. All in all, I think you could totally do the coffeeshop thing over coworking spaces if your set on it.

Anyways, best of luck and hope you enjoy your time there! Londontown is really like no other. Btw, really diggin’ the artwork

Ah, thank you for all the info! I’ll take a gander at FB groups as well, that hadn’t occurred to me. If I can find a spot near Brick Lane, Java’U looks pretty great as a working spot.

Thanks for the compliment on the art, too! Looking forward to my time in London, fell in love with the city a few years ago and always wanted to come back.

I’m moving to London for a year and would like to know where I’ll have the best “access” to other digital nomads as well as facilities such as coworking spaces. If possible (I know it’s asking a lot for London), I’d prefer to live somewhere cheap (a relative term I know, but I’m looking to spend no more than £1,000), but still have the aforementioned items. Any help, guidance, or just simple insider advice would be much appreciated! Thank you =)

In my case my profession is centered on London so I need to spend some time there. If I were there longer term, I could be a property guardian (one of the few ways to make it affordable), but I don’t want to be there long term — the weather is dreadful and that may be my number one reason — so I am stuck with trying to find short-term house-sits and filling the gaps with Air B&B. The problem here is that London house-sits are very popular and London has the most expensive Air B&B offerings I’ve seen, with the ‘cheap’ rooms (if you can call them that) tending to be horrid. Hostels are no good — they drive me bonkers, and they’re not exactly cheap either. London is a real problem, although it’s my base and the place I go back to throughout the year. Sigh.

I’m here since July and i still want to experience the dreadful London weather, at least one time in my life Anyway i will be here until December when summer starts in South America

It’s true, Britain had a heatwave this summer along with the rest of Europe, although everyone seems to have forgot this and they’re complaining about the incessant rain they had, and I was certainly glad to miss that part of it. I got out of the country after multiple years of unbearable weather — the summer of 2012 was a complete washout, more than forty consecutive days of downpours, followed by the seven-month winter when it was still snowing in April, followed by the summer of 2013 when it was possible to wear short sleeves on one day only, in the middle of July. I left after that. I was back for the summer of 2014, and I admit it was a nice summer. But summer 2015 in the south of France has been much, much, much nicer.

@ld | 3yr

Where in the south of France did you stay? I am considering this location. Looking to enjoy natural beauty, and I figured places like Nice will be touristy and packed, but I assume it’s more than a tourist town. Thanks!

Yep, have just updated my reply. I’d be hard-pressed to spend £1000 a month unless I were trying to give my money away. Maybe on Air B&B, but not securing a long-term furnished room rental via Spare Room. Anyone who’s charging £1000 a month there is either on the game or in a very posh neighbourhood.

The current situation in london is the same as in San Francisco, NYC. etc. Its just a big scam, and lots of people are involved, rich owners, banks, property agencies, etc.


I see a bleak future for youngsters…

[quote=“Oskar, post:30, topic:4038”]

The current situation in London is the same as in San Francisco, NYC.[/quote]

Exactly, I never fully understand why people who make < £4,000/month would want to live there.

You spend £2,000 on a 1-bedroom apartment in Shoreditch. If you make £50,000 per year, that means you spend 50% of your gross income on rent. Who would want to do that? There’s not much left for savings or retirement there.

It’s especially dark since most of the time you’ll be outside that house, to work long hours to afford that house.

Unless you’re rich, I don’t see why anyone would want to live in London in 2015. There’s so much better options right now.

Well, for me London is the greatest city in Europe easily.

Now, I acknowledge that there is a huge problem with this rent scam and overvalued property prices, distorted as I said before by a very complex arrangement of actors like banks, oligarchs, real estate agencies and the “dont give a sh*t” attitude of the current and previous British governments.

I agree that currently London is not a place to live permanently, unless you are filthy rich, have an oligarch, mobster, bankster or sheik backgrounds, or you are a refugee in Calais hoping to cross the channel to live from benefits (that’s something nobody talks about, its very easy to live in London without working if you are a refugee or very poor) but if you can afford it for a period of time i would say do it.

What other options do you have in mind? I guess you are thinking in third world options? Yes its cheaper but I’m bored to death after a couple of weeks. Medellin? Living in El Poblado bubble and fearing to be mugged or killed outside of it? SEA ? Maybe?

The funny thing is that everyone complains about the prices in London, but as I’m currently here, I still see loads and loads of young people from every single corner of this planet coming to work and live in the city, and that makes it even more expensive but I’m far more interested and attracted of being part of it than staying in a third world option imho. At least for a period of time

I paid £420 plus my share of utilities for a very large room in a nice warm house in Barnes, just off the river, in 2010-2011. I know prices have gone up since then, but they can’t have gone up THAT much. Mind you, it was a good deal, but there are always good deals around if you take the time to find them.

Its clear that you have not been in London recently…


Rent prices are sky rocketing, and renting 1000 pounds rooms are not uncommon…

I’m not talking about a studio, just a room in a shared house. There’s no reason for someone to pay more than £600, for instance, unless they just want to spend their money… That said, I’d better go and take a look at Spare Room, and then eat my words if I have to…

But the first room that came up for Barnes, after the featured ad, is £120 a week, all inclusive, and scrolling down, while there are plenty that cost too much (which is always the way I’ve looked at it), there are plenty in the £500-£600/month range.

im not talking about a studio. I’m talking about rooms…

£1000 should be plenty for a room, I’m a little surprised people are telling you otherwise. I pay just under 1k, and that’s for a room slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch.

Shoreditch is fun, but I wouldn’t recommend living here. Aim for Dalston, Hackney, Stoke Newington, I think average rent for a room is around £850. In my opinion, price is only half of the battle, competition for the rooms is frustratingly tough!

If you want cheaper, but decent location… then you can look around Clapton. It’s a bit rougher, but it’s common in London for council flats to be mixed among high cost housing. Here’s a music vid to get you in the mood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIuQM_q0IUU

@magalhini @Ani — Thanks to you both! Funny you mention Gumtree as I have noticed some odd postings lately! I actually hadn’t heard of Spareroom, but it sounds good. I’m looking into the premium membership.

@magalhini you’re spot on — I’m def looking to cycle to work, so I’ll will keep this in mind.

Thanks again to everyone. The information provided here has helped tremendously. I can’t begin to imagine how long it would have taken to gather all of these nuggets of info on my own!

I agree about avoiding Gumtree. It used to be a better resource, but the many (would-be?) scam artists make it a pain to use. When I was living in London and I knew I was going to move, I would go ahead and pay for Spare Room’s short-term premium membership (or whatever it’s called) and get myself sorted. There is more of a screening process on Spare Room; Gumtree is a free for all.

Hey there!

I strongly suggest you to try websites like Spareroom, and to stay away from Gumtree where a big percentage of the ads are scams. Every room I found in London was through Spareroom, you can pay a small fee to have early access to the newest ads and it seems to be worth it.

East London, like everyone else said, is a great place to be, but it’s getting harder and harder to find a decently priced room in the area. You can get away with paying 500 ~ 600£, but you’ll have to be willing to share a house with 3 or 4 other people… it can go very well, but it also can go very wrong.

If you stay around Hackney/Brick Lane, I can recommend the co-working space my company uses, called East One Studios. Not expensive and quite cheerful the benefit of this area is also having places like Google Campus relatively near. Free wifi and working areas, although they can get quite busy (it’s London after all).

It’s definitely a challenge to save money in London, but after a while you learn the tricks. I’d strongly recommend to be in cycling distance from whatever working space you choose to be in. This is the best way to save money on transportation, which is a good chunk of money per month.

Good luck!

I second everything @magalhini said! I live in Brick Lane, currently paying around £600 (small room & no living room, but I’m really close to my work and friends). You can get cheaper & better, if you don’t mind spending a fair amount of time looking.


Regarding co-working spaces, look for something more indie & in line with the digital nomad mentality!


Get in touch if you need anything!

I lived in Haggerston/Hoxton for a couple of years (left 2 years ago). Definitely a fun and interesting area.

Agree with @NenaDodi , If I was to go back I would be looking at areas near London Field and Victoria Park. The connections aren’t the best but its such a good area. Followed by Stoke Newington!

Thanks @NomadAccountant !

Hope you found your surfing/climbing destination =)

Work in progress Nicholas! Got the diving and climbing in Southern Thailand now. Surf is on the backburner for a bit…

@FootprintsImprints — Thanks again for the info and advice. I’ll check those places out and you’re prob right about the flat sharing situation.

@levelsio — I totally get it

I’ve spent some time doing just that… now I’m in a special position

@NenaDodi — Thank you. It looks like East London is it. I’ll be sure to check out those areas and I really appreciate the links. Cheers!

Haha in that case, I take back my previous words

Hi ! I think London is great for Digital Nomads. Expensive but very interesting for all that is around new tech, startups and digital platforms.

East London is the best place to be if you are a tech savvy (Shoreditch, Hackney, Haggerston, Stoke Newington)

Coworking wise check: copass.org/ it’s a global platform where you can find cool coworking places (ex. 90mainyard.co.uk)

If you need to look around the first days: cohome.space

have a remarkable stay!

I’d suggest East and Southeast London. East London is getting gentrified though and has become ‘hip’. BUT it also has lots of warehouses-turned-co-working/startup spaces. It’s also lots of fun and creative, with markets, amazing cafes and street food.

SE is very cheap, but with lots of problematic and ‘poor’ areas. It’s not very well connected either (no tube, but there is overground and railway). Because of lots of immigrants, it’s culturally diverse, with small shops and food places.

If you don’t want in those areas, try NW or N, but mostly zone 3 <, if you want a whole place to yourself. SW and W is posh.

Btw, £1000 for a whole place or in a shared space?

@FootprintsImprints Thanks for the suggestions =)

Where in East London are you thinking? Any specific areas you’d recommend?

From the look of it, £1000 will not be enough for anything! I’m looking for a 2 bdrm (I plan to find a flatmate) flat and would “prefer” to pay no more than £1200, but so far ppl I’ve told that to have a essentially laughed at me! Lol.

Look at Shoreditch, Hackney, Hoxton, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green

£1000 with a flatmate/housemate is good! (if it’s all for the rent, not your total monthly budget including food and transport!)

Check out this website


http://www.moveflat.com/ or Gumtree (beware of scams there, though)

As a newcomer, it might be easier to move in within existing flat, as new flatmate/housemate than renting a whole place and then looking for flatmates.

Thank you all for the sincere and thorough responses.

@levelsio — To give a bit of background info. I spent the last 3.5 years in SE Asia and just need a change in the direction of ‘living where things work» for a change. Call it burnout or whatever… it’s just what I need at the moment.

I’m a dual national (German/US), so visas aren’t a problem and I do have a partner, so expenses will be shared for the most part.

@Ani — Thank you very much for the suggestions. I will look into these.

@Shayna , @jerriep & @Oskar — London is great! Perhaps a reason why it’s so expensive =) I agree that having a bit a of pressure is a good thing. «Necessity is the mother of innovation!»


Also, I feel like I’m stagnating a bit and want to be in a place where I can renew/expand my current skill set. Again, @Shayna thank you for the detailed information. I’ve been looking around Shoreditch, but it is indeed a bit expensive. I’ll start scouring the the borderlines. Hopefully, something will turn up! Totally agreed about your point on the number of flatmates. Funny, 10 years ago it wouldn’t have made a difference!

I guess for those who have made the transition to more expensive places. What strategies have you employed to increase business? Anyone outsourcing/referring in order to handle more business?

I’m in London currently and yes its expensive, but if you can afford go for it. Its the greatest city in europe where you can do and find whatever you could think of.


I’m from South America so i will only stay no more than a couple of months because of UK rules.Remember the saying “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”

Yes, it is possible to pay low levels of rent in London. Check out Camelot Guardians and other property guardian arrangements — I got by on around £300 a month, and I had an enormous room, etc. Otherwise look at Spare Room — you can get a room in a shared flat/house for around £500 — £600 a month. If you need your own flat, it will cost much more.

That budget sounds like very entry level for London. Student level budget. Or you’re sharing with a partner and s/he is footing a similar or higher budget.

You won’t be finding great places to live for much less than 900£ within any of the creative neighbourhoods.

Not to be facetious here, but I think for any digital nomad the goal would be to leave London rather than go there.

Not sure if you’re British or not, but if you’re from outside Europe, I’d strongly suggest any other place in Europe than UK right now. Unless you make great money, it’s pretty much scraping by with the cost of living being so high.

Since you mentioned “cheap”, I’d recommend to reconsider moving to London.

P.S. I love London for its culture, music scene (dnb head here ).

Just to push back a bit, if one is a digital nomad and making a decent amount of money (or actively aiming to get to that level) why not live in London if one enjoys it?

One of the key moments in my DN journey was traveling through Germany and realizing that although my business supported me comfortably in Brazil (cost of living $1500/mo for two people), I was going to have to step it up in order to spend time in more expensive countries. And I did step it up, and more than tripled my income. Result: husband and I were able to spend six months in London without breaking the bank.

I definitely would NOT recommend London as a first destination when you’re still getting your work off the ground, but part of the perk of being a location independent entrepreneur is being able to live anywhere, not only in cheap places.

OK, back to original post! I lived in Elephant & Castle, you can find cheap and it’s quite close to the center, though not the “prettiest” neighborhood. Everyone talks about Shoreditch as an alternative/creative area; prices there might be rising though. At under £1,000 you might have to share a flat but ideally try to share with only 1-2 other people (I lived in a house of 6, it was too much).

Check out this thread for the coworking spaces. Even if you don’t live right near them, you can try to find a place on the same tube line so that it’s a quick ride.

Another tip — some tube stations are on the border between zones, so if you can find a neighborhood that’s borderline Zone 2/Zone 3, you might benefit from lower rent prices yet still only have to pay the Zone 1-2 fare for the tube to get into central London.

Alternatively — you’ll save money if you manage to get a place that enables you to take buses to where you want to go (bus is quite a bit cheaper than the tube).

Look for places to live on Gumtree.com and Spareroom.co.uk and it’s best to text, I got way more responses when I texted the landlord than when sending e-mails.

Yeah, I can absolutely buy this argument. For the past 2 years I lived in Chiang Mai and I took it easy. For 20 years of my life I wrote software for other people and I decided it was time to work of things I enjoyed — my own projects, blogging and open source contributions.

Because the cost of living is so low here I never really pushed myself. Whenever I needed money I would pick up a paying project for a few months, saved up a bit of money again and then went right back to working on my own stuff.

So basically I earned according to my what I needed for expenses. Now that I am thinking of moving on to more expensive places, I am starting to take things more seriously. I can absolutely sense a change in attitude as I am focused more on maximising earning potential.

I think it’s natural that happens. But if you’re able to override that natural behavior, there’s a lot to be won.

Living in a low-cost place, and still being ambitious and making lots of money (and making cool stuff) puts you in a very special position. E.g. make $10,000, spend $1,000, save $9,000. That’s $100,000+ saved per year (pre-tax). That’s more than most people are able to save in a lifetime (except for retirement)

I agree completely with you, the concept of DN is about traveling the world to anywhere, regardless of budget. However, OP wrote

So there

My girlfriend and I decided to spend NYE in London and we were trying to buy tickets for the fireworks show since mid-September and we’ve couldn’t get it. So, do you guys know any other option? I heard about some boat parties, are they worth?



Are there any regular meet-ups or other places to meet nomads in London?

This was the only nomad focused event I saw on meetup.com:


https://www.meetup.com/meetup-group-BNBrelBl/events/252398877/

Oh cool, thanks!

Coming tomorrow

Hey Matic. I might be meeting a few people I found in this facebook group. Maybe you could post if you’re up for coming along?

Here’s another two groups you can check out:





I’m about to move to London Are you there?

Ive actually been to that first meetup. I only went to one event but it wasnt really about nomads.

2nd link looks interesting though. I love the indie hackers podcast.

Im actually out in the countryside at the moment but might be back in London at some point in the next few weeks. When are you moving?



Hey

I’m looking to run free introductory coding workshops in London.

Would any of you lovely people have any recommendations?

My requirements are:

  • room for 15-20 people in a boardroom or classroom setup
  • wifi
  • available weekday evenings (we usually do 6-9pm)
  • big screen or wall for projector (we will have our projector if needed)

Thanks!


Pete

Is it open to the public? If so google campus.


https://www.campus.co/london/en/host-an-event

Yes. It’s open to the public. Thanks for the Google Campus link. I’ll check them out.

Thanks!



I’m planning to stay in London for about a month in August-September, to coincide with an industry workshop that’s happening there at the beginning of September, and would really love to find a spot in or near the Brick Lane/Whitechapel/Bethnal Green area. AirBnB seems pricy, but I’m unsure of how easy it is to get a place via SpareRoom.

Factors/Questions

  • Budget: hoping to stay under £700, willing to go up to £800 for a perfect place right near Brick Lane
  • Looking for a furnished private room in a flatshare; I’m pretty okay with a closet with a bed, so long as it’s a clean, cozy closet.
  • Solo lady, so nowhere too dodgy. (My tolerance is about “New York at night in the hipster areas”-level. Mexico City in the historical district at night was a bit much for me.)
  • Anyone know how easy it is to get a space in SpareRoom without actually being in the city? Or am I better served getting a hostel for a few days and accommodation-hunting then? I worry about not finding a space if I put it off until I’m there, as evidenced by my thinking about this six months beforehand.
  • On that note, is that a time around when it might be harder to find accommodation, like university term starting or something?
  • Is it easy enough to find a place from mid-month to mid-month, or is it mostly going to be whole months? (I guess this wouldn’t be as much of a concern if it’s a week-to-week.)
  • Is it easy to get a space without a local bank account? DNing and all. Cash wouldn’t be an issue.
  • How is the cafe-working culture in London? Is free decent wifi and outlets a common thing in coffee shops? I’m not super-thrilled with the idea of coworking spaces; the prices feel a bit high for me, and I actually kinda like working with a bustle around me, so long as there’s power and internet. I’ll probably look into it if it turns out there aren’t really a lot of cafes equipped to do that sort of thing though.
  • … are there any questions I should be asking or issues I should be considering?

I realize it’s a lot of questions, but anything helps! Thanks!

Have you tried to contact with any local afency or to find some help in a Facebook group?

I used to live here and go back very now and then definitely one of my fave areas. But the regular monthly rentals for sublets are at least £800 around here these days as it’s tech-central (or Silicon Roundabout as we call it, after Old Street roundabout) with everyone working there pushing eastwards looking for better rents, you’re more likely to get a better deal out towards (but not in) Stratford (trace along the canal looking for neighbourhoods). Whilst commuting will add to your costs it’s still not much different than most coffees, and frankly anywhere along the canals are a delight to walk/cycle.

You may however find a summer sublet, take a ganders at GumTree, Craigslist and it’s not entirely unheard of to see people on Couchsurfing list places (if there’s a London flats group) I like to find sublets this way, but FB is indeed the obvious choice. (Potentially you might qualify in LondonStartupFlats…)

An alternative to these is The Collective, which is organised coliving (like WeLive) and just about within your budget yet includes a coworking space etc!

The pressure on cafés from laptop is enormous, if you rotate a few hours amongst a bunch you might get by, although power sockets are not common. There are endless awesome coffeeshops (such as The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Timberyard, Store Street Espresso, edgier little places like The Old Shoreditch Station … check out FourSquare of course, and there’s also a bunch of WiFi/coffee apps), you really needn’t ever set foot in a chain.

Google Campus is a proper coworking space and is free, if you get there first thing after they open you’re pretty much guaranteed a space. Otherwise only if you’re lucky…

London is not dodgy, you’ll be fine anywhere north of the river. (And is one of the safest places to push your tolerance a bit )

If you’re flexible on timings and willing to wait a bit longer, you’ll find mid-month short lets but otherwise it’ll almost entirely be month-to-month, however always ask the person leaving or going away might want some flexibility too. Late September onwards will be difficult (new semester) if you move your dates forward a bit it should easy getting rooms when students are away over summer. Personally I’d want to see the place, but some street view and a skype walkaround should pass muster.

A private sublet won’t be a problem without a bank account just use TransferWise or whatnot to settle up, but make sure you’ll get your deposit back similarly or as cash. Forget agencies.

Since the last time I was there it seemed everyone was using contact payments, I didn’t once need cash. (Thus a bankcard with contactless is desirable, else a smartphone/ApplePay; works on transport too.)

Hmm, the Collective sounds interesting, but it seems like they only have 9-month lets (or a short-term 3-month one that’s completely sold out). Not sure if I qualify for Google Campus, being neither a startup (nor employed by one) nor an entrepreneur — but I’ll dig around and see.

The rest sounds like it’s eminently manageable, otherwise! Thank you for the help!

Hey, seems like you definitely found the coolest spot to hang out in London. AirBnB is definitely overpriced in that city, even with the monthly discounts. If you can’t find anything on SpareRoom since your stay is only going to be about a month long I’d suggest checking out Facebook groups for flatshares. I think you might find what you’re looking for over there. Just type in “London flatshares”, “London roommates” or whatever on the FB search box and you should be able to find something good. Also, I think you’d be fine without a UK bank account especially if you’re looking six months out in advance.

As for coffeeshops, the Whitechapel area is loaded with them! All of London City really. My go-to spot was this place called Java’U right by Brick Lane… always seemed to be a really workable space whenever I camped out there. And East London just has that vibe. But, another thing I would do was head out to more bougie parts like Camden and Kensington to work out of Costa’s chains. All in all, I think you could totally do the coffeeshop thing over coworking spaces if your set on it.

Anyways, best of luck and hope you enjoy your time there! Londontown is really like no other. Btw, really diggin’ the artwork

Ah, thank you for all the info! I’ll take a gander at FB groups as well, that hadn’t occurred to me. If I can find a spot near Brick Lane, Java’U looks pretty great as a working spot.

Thanks for the compliment on the art, too! Looking forward to my time in London, fell in love with the city a few years ago and always wanted to come back.

I’m moving to London for a year and would like to know where I’ll have the best “access” to other digital nomads as well as facilities such as coworking spaces. If possible (I know it’s asking a lot for London), I’d prefer to live somewhere cheap (a relative term I know, but I’m looking to spend no more than £1,000), but still have the aforementioned items. Any help, guidance, or just simple insider advice would be much appreciated! Thank you =)

In my case my profession is centered on London so I need to spend some time there. If I were there longer term, I could be a property guardian (one of the few ways to make it affordable), but I don’t want to be there long term — the weather is dreadful and that may be my number one reason — so I am stuck with trying to find short-term house-sits and filling the gaps with Air B&B. The problem here is that London house-sits are very popular and London has the most expensive Air B&B offerings I’ve seen, with the ‘cheap’ rooms (if you can call them that) tending to be horrid. Hostels are no good — they drive me bonkers, and they’re not exactly cheap either. London is a real problem, although it’s my base and the place I go back to throughout the year. Sigh.

I’m here since July and i still want to experience the dreadful London weather, at least one time in my life Anyway i will be here until December when summer starts in South America

It’s true, Britain had a heatwave this summer along with the rest of Europe, although everyone seems to have forgot this and they’re complaining about the incessant rain they had, and I was certainly glad to miss that part of it. I got out of the country after multiple years of unbearable weather — the summer of 2012 was a complete washout, more than forty consecutive days of downpours, followed by the seven-month winter when it was still snowing in April, followed by the summer of 2013 when it was possible to wear short sleeves on one day only, in the middle of July. I left after that. I was back for the summer of 2014, and I admit it was a nice summer. But summer 2015 in the south of France has been much, much, much nicer.

@ld | 3yr

Where in the south of France did you stay? I am considering this location. Looking to enjoy natural beauty, and I figured places like Nice will be touristy and packed, but I assume it’s more than a tourist town. Thanks!

Yep, have just updated my reply. I’d be hard-pressed to spend £1000 a month unless I were trying to give my money away. Maybe on Air B&B, but not securing a long-term furnished room rental via Spare Room. Anyone who’s charging £1000 a month there is either on the game or in a very posh neighbourhood.

The current situation in london is the same as in San Francisco, NYC. etc. Its just a big scam, and lots of people are involved, rich owners, banks, property agencies, etc.


I see a bleak future for youngsters…

[quote=“Oskar, post:30, topic:4038”]

The current situation in London is the same as in San Francisco, NYC.[/quote]

Exactly, I never fully understand why people who make < £4,000/month would want to live there.

You spend £2,000 on a 1-bedroom apartment in Shoreditch. If you make £50,000 per year, that means you spend 50% of your gross income on rent. Who would want to do that? There’s not much left for savings or retirement there.

It’s especially dark since most of the time you’ll be outside that house, to work long hours to afford that house.

Unless you’re rich, I don’t see why anyone would want to live in London in 2015. There’s so much better options right now.

Well, for me London is the greatest city in Europe easily.

Now, I acknowledge that there is a huge problem with this rent scam and overvalued property prices, distorted as I said before by a very complex arrangement of actors like banks, oligarchs, real estate agencies and the “dont give a sh*t” attitude of the current and previous British governments.

I agree that currently London is not a place to live permanently, unless you are filthy rich, have an oligarch, mobster, bankster or sheik backgrounds, or you are a refugee in Calais hoping to cross the channel to live from benefits (that’s something nobody talks about, its very easy to live in London without working if you are a refugee or very poor) but if you can afford it for a period of time i would say do it.

What other options do you have in mind? I guess you are thinking in third world options? Yes its cheaper but I’m bored to death after a couple of weeks. Medellin? Living in El Poblado bubble and fearing to be mugged or killed outside of it? SEA ? Maybe?

The funny thing is that everyone complains about the prices in London, but as I’m currently here, I still see loads and loads of young people from every single corner of this planet coming to work and live in the city, and that makes it even more expensive but I’m far more interested and attracted of being part of it than staying in a third world option imho. At least for a period of time

I paid £420 plus my share of utilities for a very large room in a nice warm house in Barnes, just off the river, in 2010-2011. I know prices have gone up since then, but they can’t have gone up THAT much. Mind you, it was a good deal, but there are always good deals around if you take the time to find them.

Its clear that you have not been in London recently…


Rent prices are sky rocketing, and renting 1000 pounds rooms are not uncommon…

I’m not talking about a studio, just a room in a shared house. There’s no reason for someone to pay more than £600, for instance, unless they just want to spend their money… That said, I’d better go and take a look at Spare Room, and then eat my words if I have to…

But the first room that came up for Barnes, after the featured ad, is £120 a week, all inclusive, and scrolling down, while there are plenty that cost too much (which is always the way I’ve looked at it), there are plenty in the £500-£600/month range.

im not talking about a studio. I’m talking about rooms…

£1000 should be plenty for a room, I’m a little surprised people are telling you otherwise. I pay just under 1k, and that’s for a room slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch.

Shoreditch is fun, but I wouldn’t recommend living here. Aim for Dalston, Hackney, Stoke Newington, I think average rent for a room is around £850. In my opinion, price is only half of the battle, competition for the rooms is frustratingly tough!

If you want cheaper, but decent location… then you can look around Clapton. It’s a bit rougher, but it’s common in London for council flats to be mixed among high cost housing. Here’s a music vid to get you in the mood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIuQM_q0IUU

@magalhini @Ani — Thanks to you both! Funny you mention Gumtree as I have noticed some odd postings lately! I actually hadn’t heard of Spareroom, but it sounds good. I’m looking into the premium membership.

@magalhini you’re spot on — I’m def looking to cycle to work, so I’ll will keep this in mind.

Thanks again to everyone. The information provided here has helped tremendously. I can’t begin to imagine how long it would have taken to gather all of these nuggets of info on my own!

I agree about avoiding Gumtree. It used to be a better resource, but the many (would-be?) scam artists make it a pain to use. When I was living in London and I knew I was going to move, I would go ahead and pay for Spare Room’s short-term premium membership (or whatever it’s called) and get myself sorted. There is more of a screening process on Spare Room; Gumtree is a free for all.

Hey there!

I strongly suggest you to try websites like Spareroom, and to stay away from Gumtree where a big percentage of the ads are scams. Every room I found in London was through Spareroom, you can pay a small fee to have early access to the newest ads and it seems to be worth it.

East London, like everyone else said, is a great place to be, but it’s getting harder and harder to find a decently priced room in the area. You can get away with paying 500 ~ 600£, but you’ll have to be willing to share a house with 3 or 4 other people… it can go very well, but it also can go very wrong.

If you stay around Hackney/Brick Lane, I can recommend the co-working space my company uses, called East One Studios. Not expensive and quite cheerful the benefit of this area is also having places like Google Campus relatively near. Free wifi and working areas, although they can get quite busy (it’s London after all).

It’s definitely a challenge to save money in London, but after a while you learn the tricks. I’d strongly recommend to be in cycling distance from whatever working space you choose to be in. This is the best way to save money on transportation, which is a good chunk of money per month.

Good luck!

I second everything @magalhini said! I live in Brick Lane, currently paying around £600 (small room & no living room, but I’m really close to my work and friends). You can get cheaper & better, if you don’t mind spending a fair amount of time looking.


Regarding co-working spaces, look for something more indie & in line with the digital nomad mentality!


Get in touch if you need anything!

I lived in Haggerston/Hoxton for a couple of years (left 2 years ago). Definitely a fun and interesting area.

Agree with @NenaDodi , If I was to go back I would be looking at areas near London Field and Victoria Park. The connections aren’t the best but its such a good area. Followed by Stoke Newington!

Thanks @NomadAccountant !

Hope you found your surfing/climbing destination =)

Work in progress Nicholas! Got the diving and climbing in Southern Thailand now. Surf is on the backburner for a bit…

@FootprintsImprints — Thanks again for the info and advice. I’ll check those places out and you’re prob right about the flat sharing situation.

@levelsio — I totally get it

I’ve spent some time doing just that… now I’m in a special position

@NenaDodi — Thank you. It looks like East London is it. I’ll be sure to check out those areas and I really appreciate the links. Cheers!

Haha in that case, I take back my previous words

Hi ! I think London is great for Digital Nomads. Expensive but very interesting for all that is around new tech, startups and digital platforms.

East London is the best place to be if you are a tech savvy (Shoreditch, Hackney, Haggerston, Stoke Newington)

Coworking wise check: copass.org/ it’s a global platform where you can find cool coworking places (ex. 90mainyard.co.uk)

If you need to look around the first days: cohome.space

have a remarkable stay!

I’d suggest East and Southeast London. East London is getting gentrified though and has become ‘hip’. BUT it also has lots of warehouses-turned-co-working/startup spaces. It’s also lots of fun and creative, with markets, amazing cafes and street food.

SE is very cheap, but with lots of problematic and ‘poor’ areas. It’s not very well connected either (no tube, but there is overground and railway). Because of lots of immigrants, it’s culturally diverse, with small shops and food places.

If you don’t want in those areas, try NW or N, but mostly zone 3 <, if you want a whole place to yourself. SW and W is posh.

Btw, £1000 for a whole place or in a shared space?

@FootprintsImprints Thanks for the suggestions =)

Where in East London are you thinking? Any specific areas you’d recommend?

From the look of it, £1000 will not be enough for anything! I’m looking for a 2 bdrm (I plan to find a flatmate) flat and would “prefer” to pay no more than £1200, but so far ppl I’ve told that to have a essentially laughed at me! Lol.

Look at Shoreditch, Hackney, Hoxton, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green

£1000 with a flatmate/housemate is good! (if it’s all for the rent, not your total monthly budget including food and transport!)

Check out this website


http://www.moveflat.com/ or Gumtree (beware of scams there, though)

As a newcomer, it might be easier to move in within existing flat, as new flatmate/housemate than renting a whole place and then looking for flatmates.

Thank you all for the sincere and thorough responses.

@levelsio — To give a bit of background info. I spent the last 3.5 years in SE Asia and just need a change in the direction of ‘living where things work» for a change. Call it burnout or whatever… it’s just what I need at the moment.

I’m a dual national (German/US), so visas aren’t a problem and I do have a partner, so expenses will be shared for the most part.

@Ani — Thank you very much for the suggestions. I will look into these.

@Shayna , @jerriep & @Oskar — London is great! Perhaps a reason why it’s so expensive =) I agree that having a bit a of pressure is a good thing. «Necessity is the mother of innovation!»


Also, I feel like I’m stagnating a bit and want to be in a place where I can renew/expand my current skill set. Again, @Shayna thank you for the detailed information. I’ve been looking around Shoreditch, but it is indeed a bit expensive. I’ll start scouring the the borderlines. Hopefully, something will turn up! Totally agreed about your point on the number of flatmates. Funny, 10 years ago it wouldn’t have made a difference!

I guess for those who have made the transition to more expensive places. What strategies have you employed to increase business? Anyone outsourcing/referring in order to handle more business?

I’m in London currently and yes its expensive, but if you can afford go for it. Its the greatest city in europe where you can do and find whatever you could think of.


I’m from South America so i will only stay no more than a couple of months because of UK rules.Remember the saying “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”

Yes, it is possible to pay low levels of rent in London. Check out Camelot Guardians and other property guardian arrangements — I got by on around £300 a month, and I had an enormous room, etc. Otherwise look at Spare Room — you can get a room in a shared flat/house for around £500 — £600 a month. If you need your own flat, it will cost much more.

That budget sounds like very entry level for London. Student level budget. Or you’re sharing with a partner and s/he is footing a similar or higher budget.

You won’t be finding great places to live for much less than 900£ within any of the creative neighbourhoods.

Not to be facetious here, but I think for any digital nomad the goal would be to leave London rather than go there.

Not sure if you’re British or not, but if you’re from outside Europe, I’d strongly suggest any other place in Europe than UK right now. Unless you make great money, it’s pretty much scraping by with the cost of living being so high.

Since you mentioned “cheap”, I’d recommend to reconsider moving to London.

P.S. I love London for its culture, music scene (dnb head here ).

Just to push back a bit, if one is a digital nomad and making a decent amount of money (or actively aiming to get to that level) why not live in London if one enjoys it?

One of the key moments in my DN journey was traveling through Germany and realizing that although my business supported me comfortably in Brazil (cost of living $1500/mo for two people), I was going to have to step it up in order to spend time in more expensive countries. And I did step it up, and more than tripled my income. Result: husband and I were able to spend six months in London without breaking the bank.

I definitely would NOT recommend London as a first destination when you’re still getting your work off the ground, but part of the perk of being a location independent entrepreneur is being able to live anywhere, not only in cheap places.

OK, back to original post! I lived in Elephant & Castle, you can find cheap and it’s quite close to the center, though not the “prettiest” neighborhood. Everyone talks about Shoreditch as an alternative/creative area; prices there might be rising though. At under £1,000 you might have to share a flat but ideally try to share with only 1-2 other people (I lived in a house of 6, it was too much).

Check out this thread for the coworking spaces. Even if you don’t live right near them, you can try to find a place on the same tube line so that it’s a quick ride.

Another tip — some tube stations are on the border between zones, so if you can find a neighborhood that’s borderline Zone 2/Zone 3, you might benefit from lower rent prices yet still only have to pay the Zone 1-2 fare for the tube to get into central London.

Alternatively — you’ll save money if you manage to get a place that enables you to take buses to where you want to go (bus is quite a bit cheaper than the tube).

Look for places to live on Gumtree.com and Spareroom.co.uk and it’s best to text, I got way more responses when I texted the landlord than when sending e-mails.

Yeah, I can absolutely buy this argument. For the past 2 years I lived in Chiang Mai and I took it easy. For 20 years of my life I wrote software for other people and I decided it was time to work of things I enjoyed — my own projects, blogging and open source contributions.

Because the cost of living is so low here I never really pushed myself. Whenever I needed money I would pick up a paying project for a few months, saved up a bit of money again and then went right back to working on my own stuff.

So basically I earned according to my what I needed for expenses. Now that I am thinking of moving on to more expensive places, I am starting to take things more seriously. I can absolutely sense a change in attitude as I am focused more on maximising earning potential.

I think it’s natural that happens. But if you’re able to override that natural behavior, there’s a lot to be won.

Living in a low-cost place, and still being ambitious and making lots of money (and making cool stuff) puts you in a very special position. E.g. make $10,000, spend $1,000, save $9,000. That’s $100,000+ saved per year (pre-tax). That’s more than most people are able to save in a lifetime (except for retirement)

I agree completely with you, the concept of DN is about traveling the world to anywhere, regardless of budget. However, OP wrote

So there

✅ Pretty safe

✅ Fast internet

✅ Lots of fun stuff to do

✅ Good air quality on average

✅ Nomad List members liked going here

✅ Many Nomad List members here all year round

✅ Very easy to do business

✅ High quality of education

✅ Great hospitals

✅ Roads are very safe

✅ Great freedom of speech

✅ Democratic

✅ Everyone speaks English

✅ Very safe for women

✅ Family friendly

✅ Very friendly to LGBTQ+

✅ Not many people smoke tobacco

❌ Very expensive

❌ Cold now

❌ Gets cold in the winter

❌ Very humid now

❌ Feels crowded

❌ Very difficult to make friends

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