London, the capital of the United Kingdom and England, is one of the largest cities in the world. It covers over 600 square miles and has a population of approximately eight million people. Once an ancient Roman settlement, it is now considered one of the most significant cities in the world concerning politics, fashion, culture, and finance. It is also one of the largest hubs for global business. Therefore, it is not unlikely that you could find yourself relocating to this massive city on your way up the corporate ladder. The following is some important info you should familiarize yourself with if you should find yourself in this situation.
Modes of Transportation
You can explore the city via at least nine modes of transportation. The obvious methods are walking, bicycling and driving by car or taxi. London also offers a subway system called the Tube, which runs 12 lines, seven days a week. Try the driverless train called the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) that serves parts of East and South East London. Trams and local trains run above ground along with over 8,500 of London’s famous double-decker buses. You can also board the River Bus to take any of the five routes they offer via the world famous Thames.
Food in London
English food doesn’t have quite the reputation gained by the French, but culinary delights definitely exist in this multi-cultural city. The “full English breakfast,” which is usually served as a hearty weekend brunch, can include eggs and bacon, sausages, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, baked beans, and a slice of blood sausage called black pudding. It also comes with buttered toast hash browns. “Chips,” or French fries, might also be included. Light, quick lunches usually consist of a sandwich or salad and dinner can range from Indian curry to sushi to spaghetti Bolognese.
Finances and Banking
The currency in the United Kingdom is the pound sterling. Numerous foreign exchange options exist throughout London, but the Bureaux de Change, usually situated inside a Post Office, travel agency or bank, is the most common. Credit cards, especially MasterCard and Visa, are perfectly acceptable in most of London’s retail establishments and eateries. Many Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), also called “cashpoints,” are located throughout the city. For those without a UK account, you could incur a surcharge to withdraw funds. You can also find a wealth management bank in London; they provide services such as portfolio maintenance and trading.
Things to See
The 150-year-old Big Ben Clock Tower refers not to the actual tower itself, but to the 13-ton bell housed therein. It was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the man who ordered the bell. Other fantastic landmarks dot the city, including the British Museum, Tower Bridge, and Trafalgar Square. St. Paul’s Cathedral, built in the 17th century, was bombed during World War II but saved by firefighters at the time. It has one of the highest domes on any building in the world, which peaks at 365 feet. Of course, Buckingham Palace is a staple tourist attraction for most visitors.
Many printed maps and guides, mobile apps, and websites are dedicated to helping you navigate this amazing city. Explore the old as well as the new, as this ancient landing place for humans all over the globe has much to offer its inhabitants, permanent or temporary.