I’m moving to London for a year and would like to know where I’ll have the best “access” to other digital nomads as well as facilities such as coworking spaces. If possible (I know it’s asking a lot for London), I’d prefer to live somewhere cheap (a relative term I know, but I’m looking to spend no more than £1,000), but still have the aforementioned items. Any help, guidance, or just simple insider advice would be much appreciated! Thank you =)
Not to be facetious here, but I think for any digital nomad the goal would be to leave London rather than go there.
Not sure if you’re British or not, but if you’re from outside Europe, I’d strongly suggest any other place in Europe than UK right now. Unless you make great money, it’s pretty much scraping by with the cost of living being so high.
Since you mentioned “cheap”, I’d recommend to reconsider moving to London.
P.S. I love London for its culture, music scene (dnb head here ).
That budget sounds like very entry level for London. Student level budget. Or you’re sharing with a partner and s/he is footing a similar or higher budget.
You won’t be finding great places to live for much less than 900£ within any of the creative neighbourhoods.
Yes, it is possible to pay low levels of rent in London. Check out Camelot Guardians and other property guardian arrangements - I got by on around £300 a month, and I had an enormous room, etc. Otherwise look at Spare Room - you can get a room in a shared flat/house for around £500 - £600 a month. If you need your own flat, it will cost much more.
I’m in London currently and yes its expensive, but if you can afford go for it. Its the greatest city in europe where you can do and find whatever you could think of.
I’m from South America so i will only stay no more than a couple of months because of UK rules.Remember the saying “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life”
Just to push back a bit, if one is a digital nomad and making a decent amount of money (or actively aiming to get to that level) why not live in London if one enjoys it?
One of the key moments in my DN journey was traveling through Germany and realizing that although my business supported me comfortably in Brazil (cost of living $1500/mo for two people), I was going to have to step it up in order to spend time in more expensive countries. And I did step it up, and more than tripled my income. Result: husband and I were able to spend six months in London without breaking the bank.
I definitely would NOT recommend London as a first destination when you’re still getting your work off the ground, but part of the perk of being a location independent entrepreneur is being able to live anywhere, not only in cheap places.
OK, back to original post! I lived in Elephant & Castle, you can find cheap and it’s quite close to the center, though not the “prettiest” neighborhood. Everyone talks about Shoreditch as an alternative/creative area; prices there might be rising though. At under £1,000 you might have to share a flat but ideally try to share with only 1-2 other people (I lived in a house of 6, it was too much).
Check out this thread for the coworking spaces. Even if you don’t live right near them, you can try to find a place on the same tube line so that it’s a quick ride.
Another tip - some tube stations are on the border between zones, so if you can find a neighborhood that’s borderline Zone 2/Zone 3, you might benefit from lower rent prices yet still only have to pay the Zone 1-2 fare for the tube to get into central London.
Alternatively - you’ll save money if you manage to get a place that enables you to take buses to where you want to go (bus is quite a bit cheaper than the tube).
Yeah, I can absolutely buy this argument. For the past 2 years I lived in Chiang Mai and I took it easy. For 20 years of my life I wrote software for other people and I decided it was time to work of things I enjoyed - my own projects, blogging and open source contributions.
Because the cost of living is so low here I never really pushed myself. Whenever I needed money I would pick up a paying project for a few months, saved up a bit of money again and then went right back to working on my own stuff.
So basically I earned according to my what I needed for expenses. Now that I am thinking of moving on to more expensive places, I am starting to take things more seriously. I can absolutely sense a change in attitude as I am focused more on maximising earning potential.
Thank you all for the sincere and thorough responses.
@levelsio - To give a bit of background info. I spent the last 3.5 years in SE Asia and just need a change in the direction of 'living where things work" for a change. Call it burnout or whatever… it’s just what I need at the moment.
I’m a dual national (German/US), so visas aren’t a problem and I do have a partner, so expenses will be shared for the most part.
@Ani - Thank you very much for the suggestions. I will look into these.
@Shayna , @jerriep & @Oskar - London is great! Perhaps a reason why it’s so expensive =) I agree that having a bit a of pressure is a good thing. "Necessity is the mother of innovation!"
Also, I feel like I’m stagnating a bit and want to be in a place where I can renew/expand my current skill set. Again, @Shayna thank you for the detailed information. I’ve been looking around Shoreditch, but it is indeed a bit expensive. I’ll start scouring the the borderlines. Hopefully, something will turn up! Totally agreed about your point on the number of flatmates. Funny, 10 years ago it wouldn’t have made a difference!
I guess for those who have made the transition to more expensive places. What strategies have you employed to increase business? Anyone outsourcing/referring in order to handle more business?
I’d suggest East and Southeast London. East London is getting gentrified though and has become ‘hip’. BUT it also has lots of warehouses-turned-co-working/startup spaces. It’s also lots of fun and creative, with markets, amazing cafes and street food.
SE is very cheap, but with lots of problematic and ‘poor’ areas. It’s not very well connected either (no tube, but there is overground and railway). Because of lots of immigrants, it’s culturally diverse, with small shops and food places.
If you don’t want in those areas, try NW or N, but mostly zone 3 <, if you want a whole place to yourself. SW and W is posh.
Btw, £1000 for a whole place or in a shared space?
@FootprintsImprints Thanks for the suggestions =)
Where in East London are you thinking? Any specific areas you’d recommend?
From the look of it, £1000 will not be enough for anything! I’m looking for a 2 bdrm (I plan to find a flatmate) flat and would “prefer” to pay no more than £1200, but so far ppl I’ve told that to have a essentially laughed at me! Lol.
Look at Shoreditch, Hackney, Hoxton, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green
£1000 with a flatmate/housemate is good! (if it’s all for the rent, not your total monthly budget including food and transport!)
Check out this website
http://www.moveflat.com/ or Gumtree (beware of scams there, though)
As a newcomer, it might be easier to move in within existing flat, as new flatmate/housemate than renting a whole place and then looking for flatmates.
I agree completely with you, the concept of DN is about traveling the world to anywhere, regardless of budget. However, OP wrote
I think it’s natural that happens. But if you’re able to override that natural behavior, there’s a lot to be won.
Living in a low-cost place, and still being ambitious and making lots of money (and making cool stuff) puts you in a very special position. E.g. make $10,000, spend $1,000, save $9,000. That’s $100,000+ saved per year (pre-tax). That’s more than most people are able to save in a lifetime (except for retirement)
Hi ! I think London is great for Digital Nomads. Expensive but very interesting for all that is around new tech, startups and digital platforms.
East London is the best place to be if you are a tech savvy (Shoreditch, Hackney, Haggerston, Stoke Newington)
If you need to look around the first days: cohome.space
have a remarkable stay!
@FootprintsImprints - Thanks again for the info and advice. I’ll check those places out and you’re prob right about the flat sharing situation.
@levelsio - I totally get it
I’ve spent some time doing just that… now I’m in a special position
@NenaDodi - Thank you. It looks like East London is it. I’ll be sure to check out those areas and I really appreciate the links. Cheers!
I lived in Haggerston/Hoxton for a couple of years (left 2 years ago). Definitely a fun and interesting area.
Agree with @NenaDodi , If I was to go back I would be looking at areas near London Field and Victoria Park. The connections aren’t the best but its such a good area. Followed by Stoke Newington!
Work in progress Nicholas! Got the diving and climbing in Southern Thailand now. Surf is on the backburner for a bit…
I strongly suggest you to try websites like Spareroom, and to stay away from Gumtree where a big percentage of the ads are scams. Every room I found in London was through Spareroom, you can pay a small fee to have early access to the newest ads and it seems to be worth it.
East London, like everyone else said, is a great place to be, but it’s getting harder and harder to find a decently priced room in the area. You can get away with paying 500 ~ 600£, but you’ll have to be willing to share a house with 3 or 4 other people… it can go very well, but it also can go very wrong.
If you stay around Hackney/Brick Lane, I can recommend the co-working space my company uses, called East One Studios. Not expensive and quite cheerful the benefit of this area is also having places like Google Campus relatively near. Free wifi and working areas, although they can get quite busy (it’s London after all).
It’s definitely a challenge to save money in London, but after a while you learn the tricks. I’d strongly recommend to be in cycling distance from whatever working space you choose to be in. This is the best way to save money on transportation, which is a good chunk of money per month.
I agree about avoiding Gumtree. It used to be a better resource, but the many (would-be?) scam artists make it a pain to use. When I was living in London and I knew I was going to move, I would go ahead and pay for Spare Room’s short-term premium membership (or whatever it’s called) and get myself sorted. There is more of a screening process on Spare Room; Gumtree is a free for all.