Living in a city where farms sit by your CBD office, Disclosure plays a surprise gig at your local bar, and you can visit most museums and galleries for free definitely puts the tough times into perspective.

So take that naysayers, while London is grey and you may have to work half an hour to afford a pint, there’s a reason why the British capital is known as one the greatest cities in the world – simply because it is.

Here’s why you shouldn’t believe everything you hear about living in cultural melting pot that is London.


What you’ve been told: It’s bloody expensive to do anything cultural

What they never tell you: Experiences such as the ballet, plays and musicals that were once special treats have now become bi-monthly activities. Time Out London has fantastic discounts for theatre and musicals so the English Ballet’s Nutcracker, The Book of Mormon and Matilda for under £40 and they’re even cheaper if you’re up for matinee session. Oh the perks of being unemployed!


What you’ve been told: Watch out for the ‘Heathrow Injection’

What they never tell you: For those who haven’t heard of the Heathrow Injection, you probably haven’t had the joy having the butt the size of a Kardashian sister or Rob’s gut transplanted to your stomach.

But hey, we’re all human and our weight can fluctuate – especially in winter when it’s cold (read: sub-zero degrees). In fact, splash out on a 10-pound bottle of red as a pat on the back if you’re still managing to have a damn good time. If you’re not too hungover the next day, go on a canal run along the Thames to burn it all off or just hit up Regent Street on a Saturday because dodging shoppers in London is exercise in itself.

What you’ve been told: You’ll never eat affordable good food

What they never tell you: For those after a true foodie experience, there are stalls to suit craving of every cuisine at Borough Market. Want to dine in? Foxtrot and Ginger does the best poached eggs in the city, Shoryu hits the ramen spot and Bombay-style Dishoom will be the only Indian you’ll ever want to eat at.

Inside Foxtcroft & Ginger

What you’ve been told: Good luck travelling with zero money

What they never tell you: That’s a joke, right? If you’re not fussy with times you can get the train to just about anywhere in England for £6. Got another £20, that’s a one-way flight to Copenhagen– and you only have to book a month in advance. Domestic airlines like Easyjet and Ryanair have sales every couple of months so if you’re clever you could be jetting to Morocco for under £120 return, bargain!

What you’ve been told: You won’t see sun and be depressed

What they never tell you: For most of the year you’ll take your Vitamin D supplements religiously but once it climbs up to 20 degrees and you’ll be sweltering! Then it’s barbeques in the dedicated BBQ area of London Fields everyday or if you’re a poshy, as the rich are called, head to Primrose Hill with something more sophisticated than a tinnie of Pimms.

And when the sun’s out it’s also the best time for day trip out of the city.

Inside the Skygarden

What you’ve been told: Everything is old and rundown

What they never tell you: It can be but London can also be old and magical – just like Hogwarts. Spend a day walking around and you’ll see plenty of film locations from the Harry Potter films, from Diagon Alley (Leadenhall Market) to Gringotts bank (Australia House).

But if you’re not into history, lovers of modern architecture should book in a free visit to the glass dome building Sky Garden, also known as the Walkie-Talkie, for views of the whole city and to check out London’s highest public gardens.  

Tiffany Loh is a London-based writer and artist. View some of her hand-drawn handiwork on Instagram at @_petitestreet_ and at Petite Street. To read more of her travel tips check out her guide to Copenhagen: How To Get The Most Out Of The Danish Capital In Minimum Time and Lyon, France: 5 Reasons It Might Just Be Better Than Paris

Follow us on Instagram @citizensoftheworld

Meg & Dom

Tags: Insider Tips, London, United Kingdom

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