London is an amazing and busy multicultural city and a hot spot for OE's/Gap Years due to the ease of traveling Europe.
If your visiting London for the first time or moving to London then be sure to check the following websites, they'll help with accommodation, setting up bank accounts, finding jobs, keeping up with local news and events etc.
The New Zealand Times website is more for the Kiwi's in the UK but it offers loads of helpful content even if your not a Kiwi. Another helpful site is the TNT Magazine website, a magazine issue comes out every week with an online version available via the website. It's popular with Antipodeans living in London offering a good range of information to help those fresh of the boat! The TNT magazine will help you with things to do, accommodation, setting up bank accounts, finding jobs and much more.
Another helpful site is the Gumtree, it's handy for those looking to live in the UK. You can find flats, house shares, jobs and travel companions, plus it's free to post adverts. Click here to view the Gumtree website. ***Note, do not pay money or fall victim to scams, always be aware and if you find a post that sounds to good to be true/or asking for a deposit before viewing then do not proceed and report the advert***
If your looking for a hotel in London I'd recommend checking out booking.com and wotif.com. As always cross check hotel reviews with a couple of websites to make sure it's recommended. Popular locations to stay would be Paddington, South Kensington, Regents Park, Victoria and Convent Garden to name a few.
London Slang/ Abbreviations
Understanding the Slang words used in London.
Quid = £1 pound/sterling
Pound = Sterling
Bruv = Close friend, Mate, brother
Dogs bollocks= Awesome or the bees knees.
Get me= Do you understand me
In-it= Short for isn't it
Gaff= House or Place
Geezer= Used respectfully and for a person of unknown name
Choosing the right mobile phone network, London
The OE TRAVEL BLOG team would recommend the O2 mobile phone network. O2 offer great rates and you'll receive free international calls just for topping up, perfect for keeping in touch with family and friends back home! The pre pay plan is called your country, if you top up at least £10 monthly you get an additional credit of 50 free international minutes, a £15 monthly top up will get you 100 free international minutes and uses who top up £30 monthly secure 200 free international minutes. Your free minutes can be used to call international land lines and mobiles. **Note, you'll need to call O2 customer services to have your country plan added** Purchase a London travel pack from our Travel Shop which includes an O2 sim pack.
Getting to and from London airports
Heathrow airport is quite easy to get to via the Piccadilly tube (dark blue line) and you can get to Gatwick airport via an express train from London Victoria station (light blue line) or Clapham Junction station (overground train). Stanstead airport takes around 40mins by train from Liverpool street (red, pink & yellow lines) and costs roughly £20 one way.
When you arrive, be sure to buy an Oyster card, this will enable you to travel on the London Tube, Bus and Train networks. It's a pay as you go card that you swipe when catching the public transport. New Oyster cards cost £5 pounds and this is a refundable deposit. Another important item is the London tube map, you can obtain one from all Tube stations or via the link below.
Each underground line has its own name and colour and each station is marked in order on its line. Stations that are marked with a black circle indicate that you can change lines at that station. IE: if you were travelling from Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, and wanted to get to your Hostel located in West Hampstead. You would take the Piccadilly Line (dark blue) until you got to Green Park, and then change onto the Jubilee Line (grey) to West Hampstead station. Visit TFL London via the following link for more information, the journey planner is quite handy also. Purchase a London travel pack from our Travel Shop which includes a London Tube map.