london vs new york

Living in London vs. New York as an expat …

Hi guys if this is your first time reading this travel blog, you can read a bit more about it here, in my personal description. Ive only had the blog now for less than 10 days but have been a full-time traveler for about 30 months, more specifically I left JFK Airport at 12:10 AM, December 11, 2019 to Taiwan via EVA Air. Its now 2022 so that puts me gone quite awhile. That’s 76,204,800 seconds gone on vacation or 882 days.

So I have a lot of subjects to blog about … I just recently arrived in London from Morocco, here’s a partial intro. As mentioned I came from JFK airport and had previously resided in Manhattan and Brooklyn for many years. I’ll be describing some key similarities between New York and London. Let me tell you we get a lot of Londoners coming over there. I used to be associated with a transportation company in NYC, and it was like every other person who came to visit NYC was a Londoner. Technically its not that far for an intercontinental flight, about 7 to 9 hours depending on the winds and which direction that you are flying.

A neighborhood in North London

London is pretty straightforward as a city, its got a few central neighborhoods like Kensington and the city of London, I used Buckingham Palace as my central point of orientation, whereas in NYC you may want to use midtown Manhattan. One key difference is that London is WAY more green. It seems there are trees and parks all over the place especially as you get a bit further away from places near Buckingham Palace. For NYC the main feature is the skyline, I would say. Manhattan being an island filled with huge skyscrapers.

While they are both considered large, NYC is actually about twice the size of London. Technically the city limits house about the same 9 million or so, but if we count the metro areas, London is at 12 million, while NYC is now over 20 million (data courtesy of Wikipedia). One thing that I can recognize is that along with the high-rises, NYC is actually a bit bigger in the financial world, you just have a lot of companies that are over there, in both Midtown and Wall Street, while London does have finance and its own stock exchange, I can just tell its a bit smaller.

Both cities get a lot of tourists from god knows where, and they both house a lot of immigrants. London has a lot of residents of descents from India Pakistan, Africa, and the middle east, whereas NYC has a lot of Mexican, Chinese, Russian, and many other places. People from both cities are in a rush, haha, and there’s traffic in both, but NYC takes the cake again. Traffic there is really on the horrific side, whereas Londons is just moderate to bad.

Here’s a key difference you may be interested in. Londoners are a bit more laid back, conservative and polite, while still being in a rush. Now there’s a saying that one Londoner told me who I met in NYC. The food in London is more bland than in NYC because Londoners are more polite while New Yorkers are more direct… interesting point. The food in London is not that bad, there’s a quite a mix, but ill get to that in another post. I find Londoners to be pleasant, whereas once you get to know NYers they can be vicious, if you work with them or just a bit on the short tempered side, but it really just depends on the person.

New York is WAY more expensive. Some people think that London is more expensive, but i think the reason that they claim this is because perhaps they dont have experience living in both cities, or perhaps it is because of some level of ethnocentrism. Generally London is cheaper than most major cities in the USA. How do i know? i spent some time searching for the cost of housing both on major housing sites, and for hotel rooms and Airbnbs. In Manhattan you may find that its hard to find something below $1600 USD, there’s just no bottom end for housing. Around here in London you can probably get something a little further away from places like Kensington for around $700 to $900. I know because i found a few listings on Airbnb for monthly rentals. Secondly, a lot of the tourist attractions in London are free. I seriously had some trouble finding sites that i needed to pay for, museums, galleries monuments, and so on. Finally, for shopping for food at a grocery store I saw some items, quite a few that were for below 1 GBP. In the USA its hard to see anything for this price level, for example a can of sardines, package of cookies, carton of milk etc. If we go to restaurants, both London and NYC are expensive, but over in NYC they just like to charge tourists a lot more, and there’s nothing for free! Happy Travels!

Cost of Living London vs. New York budget

Greetings guys and gals! I just moved to London 7 days ago. I am an American from New York city. I spent a lot of time living on the Upper East Side on 91st Street, in Brooklyn in Park Slope and Bay Ridge so i really know my way around the city. over here in London, I have to say i am quite pleased that the price of life compares favorably to the cost of living in New York City and other places in the United States. Here is my analysis of the Cost of living London vs. New York….

Wilessden, London, UK

I am a budget traveler. So just to tell you a bit more about my goals, I am actually just doing a 3 week layover in London. I want to see a few sites here and there my first time, with a plan to come back later to live in the country awhile as a tourist. Additionally I am going to tell you a few secrets for saving a few bucks in London if you don’t mind roughing it a bit on basic living expenses. Of course, London has a lot of high end expensive places to spend money and it has its share of billionaires and mansions that we see on TV.

Cost of Food London vs. New York … In London you will find that grocery stores tend to be much cheaper than restaurants with the starting prices for 1 meal about 5 GBP ($6.27), in the USA its probably $7 to $10 even for fast food, and just to compare with my previous experience in southeast Asia living in the countries of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, over there you may find 1 meal for sale for $1 to $1.40, meaning a plate of food, with rice, meat and vegetables. The quality is hit or miss but I have to get the nod to Thai food as being the tastiest, most affordable and easiest to obtain in the world I’ve seen so far.

London vs New York, discount food stores

Now here is the good news on London if you are on a seriously tight budget you can use this as your baseline. I did see meals in food stores for less than 1 GBP, or about $1.28 at todays exchange rates. A few examples, a carton of prepared noodles, packet of hot dogs, or 1 can of beans for even as low as 50 pence or 1/1 of a GBP. Sometimes you will find that the local grocery stores at the end of the day will mark down sandwiches and other prepared meals to much below there original prices. Now just to compare with NYC, prices can be much steeper for individual items, such as $3.99 or even $5.99 and its hard to find items for less than $1 or 1 GBP in the States.

Grocery stores in London.. Here are a few of the major chains and they all seem to be of the discount variety… Sainsburys, Tesco Express. Another one is Morrisons, this one is cheaper. A few others are Iceland and Pound Stretcher, as well as B & M home store. The last two are of the serious discount variety with some canned items like sardines, and beans costing as little as 30 pence. Tesco and Sainsburys, of which there are many do have discounted items below 1 GBP. Over in NYC we have places like Whole Foods (aka whole paycheck) and D’agostino, which are definitely not of the budget variety.

London discount store

Rent, hotels & hostels… I personally am not doing a long term stay at present in London, but I did take a look at rooms that were available for rental on Airbnb and Facebook. Of course, the further from the city that you go, the lower the price, and most of all London is safe. One neighborhood I took a look at is Willesden in north London, its more of a working class hood, that is not too far away from Notting Hill, about 2 miles, its also pretty rustic and cool looking with some nice bars. Around here you may be able to find a room for rent for about 400 to 600 GBP and a full studio for perhaps 600 GBP to 800 GBP, which is comparable to cities in the USA, granted this is not a full apartment.

In NYC, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, you can probably find a room for $700 to $900 or a small studio for $1000 to $1500. I was living in Brooklyn for around this price of $1500 a month, which is present exchange rates is 1200 GBP. Hostels and hotel rooms in London are noticeably cheaper with the lowest I saw advertised as $13 a night, whereas in NYC I saw something for $50. NYC definitely has the more expensive real estate.

Cost of transportation London vs. New York .. Here its just more about an equal cost when comparing London to New York. In the NYC the classic subway ride is $2.75 no matter how far you go. The buses in NYC are the same price when you swipe the yellow metro card. You are also allowed one transfer between and subway for free and bus to bus.

Over here in London, in order to save money, I use the Oyster card which is cashless card that i bought that can be used to swipe on double decker London buses and the Tube. The tube is actually a bit more expensive than the subway in NYC because here we go by zones. So for example my airport ride on the tube was zone 6 to zone 1. Zone 1 is the central zone in London.

When im in London i always take the city buses because its only 1.3 GBP per ride one way no matter how far you go. The bus lines are straightforward and i use my GPS on my cell to see where exactly we are on the map. in order to get from central London to Willesden through Notting Hill its about 45 minutes to 1 hours time, but this is also comparable to a NYC subway ride to central Brooklyn.! enjoy London, questions welcome!