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What is the Cost of Living in London?

Updated: Sep 19

The cost of living in London depends on what you want to do there, where you want to live, and how long you’re staying in the city.


Whether you’re planning on spending your time exploring the city’s cultural attractions or looking for full-time employment, the cost of living can vary significantly.


The short answer to What is the cost of living in London? is that it can range from $70 per day to $230 per day, very much depending on what you plan to do and where you will stay.

What is the Cost of Living in London

The Cost of Renting in London

According to Numbeo, a rental price estimator site that calculates cost of living and consumer prices for cities across Europe, you’ll spend an average $2,600 a month on rent when living alone in London.


If you live with one roommate, your average monthly rent will be about $1,500. For two people sharing an apartment, it’s about $1,200 per month; three people: $1,100; four people: $950; five people:$900; six people: $800.


The Cost of Public Transport

The price for a day pass will vary depending on how often you plan to use public transport, but if you're moving to London and need to commute every day, it's worth investing in one.


A weekly pass will cost £21.60 and a monthly ticket costs £104.20. These prices are only valid during off-peak times (between 9:30am and 4:30pm) so be sure to check when tickets become more expensive.


If you want an annual travel card, you'll pay £1,000 or more per year depending on what type of card you want. So while it can be pricey, opting for public transport instead of driving helps save money and your own time!


The Cost of Shopping in London

The cost of living in London isn’t very cheap although some areas are much cheaper than others. But what about shopping in London? If you’re moving to London for work, then you may want to pick up a few suits and other work-appropriate clothes.


The cost of clothes and shoes can vary greatly from country to country – how does it compare to America or your home country?


Here are some tips on how to keep costs down if you’re shopping while abroad:


When possible, shop at high-street stores instead of designer shops.


High-street stores sell quality goods at affordable prices, while designer shops may charge more for their brand name.


Think ahead: if you need multiple items that coordinate together, buy them all at once.



The Cost of Eating Out in London

Eating out in London can be one of life’s greatest pleasures, but if you have a family or are on a budget, eating out every night can really add up.


According to Numbeo, for example, dining at a mid-range restaurant costs an average of $41 USD per person. A cup of coffee comes with an average price tag of $4.71 and simple lunch items like a sandwich cost about $7.25 each time you eat them out.


If you live by yourself, that may not sound too bad—but if your entire family eats out twice per day and enjoys three cups of coffee every morning before heading to work (not too unreasonable), suddenly your cost-of-living skyrocketed to over $100 USD per day!


The Cost of Drinking Out

London isn’t known for being particularly cheap, but a visit to a pub or two shouldn't break your bank account if you don't go overboard.


In fact, some breweries offer pint and pizza deals that cost as little as five pounds (around $7) per person. To keep your costs down while enjoying a few pints in one of our favorite cities, try any of these cost-effective tips:


  • Buy craft beer (London has more than 100 different breweries), drink during happy hour (most pubs have one—often lasting all day),

  • Stop drinking after 8 pm,

  • Go on Monday nights when many pubs offer 50% off their selected ales or ciders,

  • Bring your own food if you don’t want to pay for pub grub (if they let you).

  • Find a Weatherspoon's pub, they are usually the cheapest by far.


Additional Expenses to Consider

Besides rent, there are other expenses you'll need to factor into your cost-of-living calculations when deciding where to move. And remember, cost of living is relative; it's all about your priorities.


If you're single and have few responsibilities, Berlin might be a much cheaper city than London, New York or San Francisco. You just need to figure out what matters most to you before you start calculating.


What is the Cost of Living in London? - The Bottom Line

The cost of living in London varies wildly depending on where you want to live, but overall it’s slightly cheaper than other major cities like New York and Tokyo.


In fact, if you’re coming from Australia or South Africa, it’s one of the more affordable places to live.


If you’re considering a move to London, there are some things you should be aware of before you leave home: The city has some great public transportation options that make getting around simple—but they can also make housing costs vary widely across different areas; for example a three-bedroom apartment can cost as much as $4,000 per month closer to city center.


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