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The Cost of Living in London for Travelers and Expats

London is a major influencer in the Western world, and it’s a city rich with history that’s been around for thousands of years. But how much does it actually cost to live in London?

The Greater London area has a population of about 9 million people, which puts it right up there with New York City in the US. And in terms of the cost of living, it’s right on par with American metros such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

If you’re thinking about making a move to London, keep reading. From healthcare to entertainment to housing, here’s what you need to know about the cost of living in London.

Housing Costs in London

Housing in London isn’t cheap. If you rent a one-bedroom apartment near the center of the city you can expect to pay more than 1,300 pounds (approximately $1,700 USD). And that’s about the cheapest rent you’ll find anywhere in the area. Most Londoners pay over $2,000 USD per month to rent a one-bedroom apartment.

The London Assembly has a great tool that you can use to help you find an apartment and compare housing costs. Just use the drop-down menu to select the size of the apartment and you’ll see what different options in different neighborhoods will cost you.

Compared to New York City, these rates might not seem so bad. They’re less expensive than in NYC and more comparable to a city like Chicago. But if you’re moving from a smaller city with cheaper rent, the prices may be higher than you’re used to.

Transportation Costs in London

Public transportation in London is known as the Tube. The Tube is the equivalent of the New York City subway system, and it costs a bit more than a standard ride in NYC. In London, a one-way ticket on the Tube will cost you a little more than $3. It may not seem like much, but it can add up quickly.

Entertainment Costs in London

Entertainment costs in London are also comparable to those in New York. In posh areas and trendy neighborhoods, a decent meal for two people will cost you about $70. If you like to drink, you can expect to pay about $6 for a beer.

Lunch in the business district will cost you about $15 per day. Grocery prices are also similar to prices in New York, although imports, such as milk and cheese, are significantly more expensive.

The city of London is rich with culture and full of incredible museums. One of the best parts about visiting museums is that many of them are free. You can enjoy the Natural History Museum, the Museum of London, the Tate Modern museum, and dozens of others for no charge.

Healthcare Costs in London

London has the National Healthcare Service, which means that most basic healthcare is free. In order to enjoy the benefits of free healthcare, you have to be a permanent residence. Serious medical treatments will cost you extra, as will eye care, dental care, and prescriptions.

If you are not a permanent resident, we recommend traveling with international insurance. That’s the best way to ensure that you’re covered and eligible to receive the best treatment.

In comparison to major cities in the US, France, and Germany, the cost of living in London is very similar. But if you move to London from a smaller city or a more rural area, you may experience sticker shock. Housing, food, and transportation are expensive, but you can save some money by not having to pay for healthcare. Despite the prices, London is still one of the greatest cities in the world to visit and live.

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