What You Must Know About Moving From Singapore To London: 7 Exciting Facts

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Maybe you have been looking for more opportunities to improve your career, or you have wanted to live in the Uk for years, and an opportunity arose. The fact is that the more information you have, the better when moving from Singapore to London. London is known as the capital of the UK, and it is full of history and culture.

You should know some exciting things before making an international move moving from Singapore to London. Once you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to get started with one of our dedicated relocation experts to start planning your own move!

1. Some English Words Have Different Meanings In London

Luckily, Singapore has almost half of its residents speaking in English. This makes transitioning from Singapore to The UK easier. If you stay at least six months in London, you’ll notice that other words have different meanings in the country. These slang words are different, especially if you’re used to the US form of English, but Europe uses different words, and knowing this before getting to London will help you around the place.

The top four words that you should know are the words for money or paper bills, french fries, the drug store, and the transit or underground station, as these are the most common places you would visit in your first week or few months in the city. They call their banknotes as bills rather than money or anything else, and this one is relatively easy to figure out. You might get used to hearing french fries as the word for deep-fried, evenly cut potato strips. However, you will see stores sell “chips”, which are french fries. You’d then ask yourself, what do they call their potato chips then if french fries are chips, and that’s a good question. Potato chips are potato crisps in London.

Before you get any form of health care, you might want to go to the local pharmacy or drug store for essential over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. When asking for directions, you should say, “May I please know where the chemist is located?” or even type “chemist near me” when using Google Maps. If you start out without a car, you will commute to the job using public transport. In the United Kingdom, “tube” is their term for the London underground service.

If you want to walk around London city on foot, you will hear “cheers” from more friendly Londoners, or maybe at a school, or from friends once you do something pleasant like helping them with some errands, or perhaps you have given them a gift. The word cheers isn’t a greeting but rather a casual way to say thank you. But note that this is for more casual settings. You can’t say “cheers” to your boss after he has given you a promotion.

One small tidbit when visiting Big Ben, the bell is Big Ben, and the whole tower is Elizabeth Tower. Though almost everybody refers to the entire tower as Big Ben, the fact is that only the bell found inside the tower is called Big Ben.

2. The UK’s Coffee Culture Is A World Of Its Own

Espresso, americano, doppio, cappuccino, cortado, affogato, flat white, latte, and all the other names for a coffee mix that you basically need a coffee guide. If all these are familiar to you, you’re probably laughing at me mentioning a guide to knowing all these, and you probably consider coffee as your lifeblood.

Also, you’re probably among the Singaporeans who contribute to Singapore’s annual consumption of 15,000 metric tonnes of coffee. Singapore has had a notable increase for the past decade, and the growth is due to some expats returning with a newfound love for coffee.

But before going to London, you should make a list of possible coffee shops you can go to. London, or Europe in general, does not have much of a to-go culture regarding coffee consumption except for a shot of espresso. They believe that coffee should be consumed as a sit-down experience.

Drip coffee is not that common, and decaffeinated coffee is almost unheard of. You will find numerous coffee shops, but you will see many people enjoying it at the cafe. If you don’t want to travel from place to place, incurring other costs, then you should plan out coffee shops that cater to your needs, or maybe you just want coffee for take-out to enjoy at a green space like a park. You could also just stock up on coffee and list it as one of your necessary household goods to ensure you won’t run around the city for a cup of coffee.

Tower Bridge, London

Image Credit: Unsplash

3. Choose The Warmer Months When Moving From Singapore To London

Depending on your visa category, you might have some flexibility on when you would move to London. If you can choose the exact date or month for your move, you should choose the months of April to May. Singapore has beautiful temperatures which are fairly consistent year-round. Singapore averages around 30.5 degrees Celsius, and you probably haven’t had to plan around weather conditions in Singapore.

London or the UK comes alive when it’s warmer, particularly during the months of June to September. London usually starts the year with a cold average of 7.3 degrees Celsius and rises up to around 15 degrees Celsius around June to September. It’s better to travel around London when it’s warmer as you won’t have any issues with visibility and wet roads when looking around for world-class universities, checking out state schools, or visiting their green space such as parks. Air freight is also safer during these times, ensuring no damage to your cargo; the same goes for sea freight.

As London comes alive during the warmer months, you also enjoy everything it offers, making you feel like you’re part of it all. Temperatures dwindle around September, and during this time, you already have ample time to prepare for winter.

4. London Is Technically A Forest

Singapore has around 350 parks, gardens, and nature reserves, even though Singapore has a smaller land mass compared to other countries. Furthermore, Singapore’s Botanic Gardens is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not to mention Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, boasts a collection of 1.5 million plants from every continent except Antarctica. You might come to miss these attractions, but there is some good news if you’re moving from Singapore to London.

Compared to other countries, London city itself is so lush that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) considers it a forest.

The UN’s FAO defines a forest as an area with at least 10% of trees that cover overhead. London has 21% of trees, double what the UN defines as a forest. There are 8.4 million trees around London’s 600 square miles, almost one for every resident in London.

There even is an app called Tree Talk for the trees in London, which details the type of tree and how many trees are around your location. There is also a government website dedicated to trees. This is perfect for walking, and you want to identify the trees around you. You will find yourself missing less of Singapore’s gardens as you will see vegetation around the city.

white and red train beside building at daytime

Image Credit: Unsplash

5. Public Transportation Is Amazing

Getting around London is the same as getting around Singapore; most people take the bus and go on trains. As previously mentioned, your first few weeks in the country will probably be without access to your own car. Going from your house to your job will be through public transportation.

Around 6.5 million people take the London bus every day. London’s passengers alone take up half the daily bus journeys in the UK, so you will probably see others taking the bus. One interesting fact is that due to the demand for transportation, London’s bus systems cover 12 times the circumference of the Earth per year or about 300 million miles. Their bus system covers every part of the capital.

Aside from buses, you can also take the tube or the train. Singapore’s train experience is great, but the UK is known for its scenic rides. The British Pullman is an experience that starts from Victoria station in London, which offers Dom Perignon dinners and luminary afternoon teas while you enjoy the UK’s countryside.

The Jacobite is another train experience that goes from Fort William to Mallaig, showing scenic views alongside Lock Eil and other countryside views. The company that runs the Jacobite also provided the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter Films.

One fun tidbit about Londoners is that they love pubs so much that five underground stations are named after pubs. These pubs are The Angel, Royal Oak, Manor House, Elephant & Castle, and Swiss Cottage. You’d think it’s the other way around where the pubs are named after the train station, but it is not the case!

St. Paul's Cathedral

Image Credit: Unsplash

6. They Are Very Open To Immigration

Coming from Singapore’s diverse population, it should be good news that London is also as diverse. Large-scale immigration started during the 17th century with the Huguenots and was followed by Irish, African, Chinese, and people from around the world.

London’s schoolchildren speak around 300 languages between them, while religious diversity is as rich. London has around 40% of the immigrants in the whole United Kingdom. More than half of Londoners welcome foreigners as they acknowledge it is great for the UK’s economy.

Diversity increases innovation in firms as people with different perspectives due to having different backgrounds help create a bigger pool of ideas.

These facts show that even though the UK accepts immigrants, London is the hub for most immigrants, and they even consider more benefits to the city the more immigrants there are. This also means that policies support immigrants to claim benefits like national insurance or the national health service if they have lived in London for six months to a year.

7. Pair Up With A Mover

The distance between Singapore and London is around 6760 miles, and this is just the aerial distance for air freight; the sea freight is further than this.

Sanelo has years of experience helping people change their lives by relocating to new places moving locally or moving internationally. No matter where you start, moving with Sanelo includes a comprehensive set of moving services to cover everything from packing for your move to ocean & air freight to storage for your belongings.

You won’t have to worry about your belongings as they will be well taken care of by Sanelo’s shipment protection services. You’ll just sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight to a new life that awaits you!

Conclusions About Moving From Singapore To London

Learning some local slang will help you communicate better with Londoners, but generally, it’s easy for you as a Singaporean who speaks some English to communicate with the locals. London is a much colder country than Singapore, so timing your move is crucial and establishing a relationship with a mover will help you immensely with this.

We hope you will find everything you’re looking for on your move to London, whether it be good health care, amazing job opportunities, or enjoying its arts and culture. We also have a guide for moving from the UK to Singapore and vice versa.

Frequently Asked Questions About Moving From Singapore To London

How Easy Is It To Move From Singapore To London?

There are various visa options with certain eligibility requirements that you might qualify for. The easiest one to enter is through a Skilled Worker Visa.

Is Moving To London A Good Idea?

It is normal to be on the fence when moving from one place to another. London has great culture and arts, diverse neighbourhoods that cater to migrants, and great job opportunities.

Can I Work in The UK With A Singapore Passport?

Other eligibility requirements depend on what you apply for, but you need a Biometric Residence Permit if you wish to extend your visa past six months. Staying for at least six months also has different things you are allowed to do.

How Can I Contact A Mover?

Movers like Sanelo have their contact page where you can ask for a quote. Get information ready, like where you want to move and what items you want to move.


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