Living in London as a European

Living in London as a European

Guys, I did it. I finally settled down! Does that mean no more travels? 
Living in London as a European
Pride tunnel in Covent Garden

Of course not. I am in the process of building up to being able to travel and see the entire world without being drained by the busy London lifestyle. 

If you are wondering why did I come here of all places, well the answer is quite simple:

London is one of the busiest, most artistic and full of opportunities cities in the world. Since I’m actually European, it is also really easy to move here.
Well “really easy” is one way to describe it, but how easy is it? 

When comes to Visa and immigration it’s extremely easy. Just hop on a plane and get here. No further steps are necessary.

However, renting an apartment, starting a job, opening a bank account is extremely difficult and complicated.

-You cannot open a bank account unless you have a proof of address, which can be a utility bill (which you can’t have without a bank account) or a tenancy agreement (need a bank account) 

Living in London as a European
Tight your shoelaces as it’s a long road to settling in London.

-You can’t rent an apartment on your name unless you have a job and a bank account.

-You can’t start a job unless you have a National Insurance number, for which you need a current address. 

Yeah, I know, it’s like a magical circle, but there are a few loopholes. 

Follow these little steps, so your relocation journey is smoother than mine: 

National Insurance number: 
Living in London as a European
A beautiful wall in Walthamstow


This is important as you will need it for any job you want to start. To get this, you need to call and set up an appointment. 
They will give you a reference number.

Check the number and other things you need to know HERE.

Make sure you have a friend call for you from within the UK a month before your arrival date as the appointments are quite hard to get. Remember that it takes 6-8 weeks after the interview to get the actual NI number. 

Getting an UK phone number:
Living in London as a European

Urgent as you will need to have a number for many of the important apps you’ll need to download.

When I first moved here, I went straight to Three and got a Pay As You Go SIM, however I quickly realised how the connection is horrible and changed to EE. 

They offer the best coverage in the UK and soon they will be the first network with 5G. 

I got a Pay Monthly deal for 22 pounds and 25GB data + unlimited call and text. The best part is that it works in all of EU as well at no extra costs.


Opening a bank account:


This should be your number one priority.

Day 1 of you coming to London you need to go straight to HSBC and say that you don’t live in London and you need a bank account on your name. 

Living in London as a European
London’s Tower Bridge

They only would need your passport and your home address. Remember that you can always change the address when you have your proof of address later on (utility bill, tenancy agreement).

Other option would be to open a Monzo account, which is online banking. That would ensure you being able to get paid and receive a Debit card within two days. Sign up with this link and you’ll receive 5 GBP for free! 

It’s reliable and you can add it to your Google Pay or Apple Pay. I’ve been using it since my second day in London and I absolutely love it. It also gives you 5% off the public transport as cash back for the first 30 days of use and has no fees whatsoever. 
Finding a place to live: 

Living in London as a European
Beautiful West Hampstead area


I’m sure for you to move to London, you’ve researched and found somewhere to stay till you find your own place or if you have rented already something, then even better. That wasn’t my case. 


The first thing you need to do is go to the area, that you want to live in and go around every single real estate agent, give them your budget (which should be around 100£ lower than what your real budget is) and wait. 
Living in London as a European
Carnaby street

They will do everything for you, plus they will make an official tenancy agreement so you can use it as a proof of address for banks, etc. 
London is an extremely expensive place to live, so be mindful and careful with your savings till you start getting paid. I did a big mistake tapping my card everywhere when I got here.
If you want to search online, these are the best places to look for a flat – RightMove, Zoopla, SpareRoom. Good luck!! 
Finding a job: 
This would be easy if you know what you are looking for and you are not afraid to go get it. Be confident as employers need confident employees.
Living in London as a European
Even if you get to a dead end, just turn back and try another way.

Two of the most popular job sites are Indeed and JobToday

Make sure you have a killer CV and apply, apply, apply. 

LinkedIn is another great place to look for a job, if you are looking something specific or on a higher level. Make sure your profile is on point and check what the companies you wish to work for are looking.

I am inlove with London and the things it can offer. I will be creating a post on how you can make extra cash by mystery shopping and cashbacks.You can always find a better deal in London! Trust me!!

Check my post on where to find London’s best coffee HERE

Living in London as a European

Lastly, please leave a comment with a question I haven’t answered in the post or if you’d like to add something extra! I’d love to hear from you! 

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