Many people who move to the UK without knowing any locals opt to stay in a hostel when they first arrive. This will give you a chance to meet people and will be cheaper than a hotel if you share a room with others. If you want your own room it may be cheaper to find a hotel instead, although you’ll need to factor in the cost of not being able to cook, unless you have a kitchenette. provides reviews of hostels (so you can check the standard before you arrive) and you only pay a small deposit, which is all you will lose if you decide to stay elsewhere. You can waive the cancellation fee by paying a bit extra up front – worth doing if you’re unsure of your plans. If you are planning to do a lot of travelling around Europe (and hey that’s what most of us are here for!) then you might consider buying Gold membership which waives the site’s booking fees for 12 months.

If there’s more than one of you,it is often cheaper to book hotels through a website like or, since these charge by room, rather than by person as many hostels do.

Choosing a hostel with free Internet is a good idea, so you can keep in touch with family and friends and if you don’t already have work lined up, you will need to be able to send CVs and job search online as well. It’s useful to have some idea of what part of London you would like to live or work and base yourself in this area if possible. Otherwise staying somewhere central will allow you to easily get from place to place. 

If you are moving to London, it can take over 2 hours to get from one side to another. Basing yourself near a tube station means you can quickly get around to other parts of London. Remember though that tubes and trains often undergo maintenance on weekends and rail replacement buses will add time to your journey. Check planned London transport maintenance work here.


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