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Things to know when living in London

By UALHalls 21 Apr 2023

Like any other big metropolitan cities, there are different 'hacks' you need to learn to make your life easier in London.

These hacks will save you time while you are out and about in London, making your travel or day better and easier.

1. Get a card holder to attach to the back of your phone 📱

The biggest life saver is having a small plastic attachment on the back of your phone to hold all your essential cards, including your UAL halls key card, Oyster, and debit cards.

There is absolutely NOTHING worse than fumbling in your purse or wallet trying to find your card when you’re in a queue full of London commuters at the tube station, so this is an absolute essential for living in London!

It seems like such an insignificant change but it makes a HUGE difference, and you will be glad you made it. Check Amazon for cheap options!

2. We are FAST walkers 🏃🏽‍♀️

Everyone in London is hustling. Everyone has places to be and their footpace reflects it.

Follow the pace of the sidewalk and know where you’re going, because the foot traffic won’t slow down for you!

3. Download the Citymapper app ASAP 🗺

Citymapper will be your new best friend while living in London.

It gives you step by step travel instructions for taking the bus, trains, tubes, and walking to make sure you get to your destination in time. It also gives you a live traffic update so you always know your ETA.

It is an absolute essential and most Londoners prefer it to Google Maps.

4. Take screenshots of your travel instructions BEFORE you get on the tube 🚇

A beginner mistake for people who’ve just moved to London is to map your route and then, as soon as you’ve gone underground, you have no cell service and your phone can’t load your next travel instruction.

So, make sure that if you’re going somewhere you haven’t been before that you screenshot all your platform transfer instructions in advance.

5. You NEED a portable charger 🪫

This is a tip for everyone, not just newcomers.

A powerblock, or portable charger, is essential because your phone battery will drain faster in the city. Your phone will always be searching for networks in the background and using maps drains your battery super-fast.

You don’t want to go for a night out with your friends, have the best time ever, then not be able to find your way home or call an Uber, so always make sure you have a fully charged power block!

6. Carry an umbrella with you at all times 🌂

London is rainiest in the Winter and Spring, so if you see a dark cloud looming overhead the odds are it is going to pour.

Wind and rain come hand in hand here, so investing in a high-quality umbrella is a good idea so that when the wind blows your umbrella doesn’t turn inside out! 🙃

7. Save on lunch with a Meal Deal 🤑

Most grocery shops have meal deals that include a main, a side and a drink for only £3.50!

This is every student’s go-to lunch, and with so many options you can switch it up every day so it doesn’t get boring.

8. Book your free museum/gallery entry online the day before your visit 🖼

One of the best parts about living in London is that you have access to some of the most amazing art and history for free!

If you show up at the Natural History Museum or the National Gallery on the spot you might have to stand in a queue but if you book your free entry in advance you are guaranteed to skip the waiting time and get into the museum faster!

If you are thinking about applying for any of our halls and would like more information about the local areas, please contact our team.

You can call us on +44 (0) 20 7 514 6240 or email us at