Cost of Living in London

Average Prices and Cost of Living in London

How much does it cost to live in London as a student? Is living in London expensive?

Night panorama of London


When planning your English study in London as an international student, you might want to check the cost of living in London. Apart from your English language course fee, you will have other expenses such as accommodation, transport, food etc. The cost of living in London is high, especially considering accommodation prices and transport fares. However, there are things which make up for this, at least to some extend, for instance most of London museums are free!

Let’s take a look at average London prices to plan your budget, below are some items you may need while studying English in London.


How much is food in London?

How much you spend on food in London will depend greatly on whether you eat out in restaurants or do your grocery shopping at supermarkets and cook at home. Your weekly grocery shopping in a supermarket will cost around £40 – £50 per week. Below are some examples of food prices:

  • Bread: £1.07
  • Milk (1 l): £0.96
  • Water (1.5 l): £0.65
  • White Rice (1 kg): £1.36
  • Dozen of eggs: £1.85
  • Multipack ice cream in a shop: £1.50
  • Sandwich in a shop: £1.50 – £3.50
  • Can of coke: £1.25
  • Inexpensive bottle of wine in a shop: £3.50 – £6


How much money do I need for accommodation in London?

This is going to be one of your biggest expenses while studying English in London. The cost of accommodation varies depending on the areas of town and really depends on your budget. Living with roommates is going to be cheaper than renting an apartment on your own or a hotel stay. Here are some typical prices of renting in London:

  • Accommodation in a shared flat, single room: £350 – £500 monthly
  • Accommodation in a shared flat, double room: £500 – £900 monthly
  • Host family stay: £179 – £315 weekly
  • Studio flat: £900 – £1500
  • One bedroom flat: £1000 – £2000


Is transport in London expensive?

Yes, transport in London is quite expensive. You can save some money buying monthly or annual tickets; also buses and the Overground are cheaper than the Underground. Have a look at the examples of London transport fares:

  • Bus ticket: £1.50
  • Bus Travelcard: £81.50
  • Tube single ticket (zone 1-3): £2.80 – £3.60
  • Week Travelcard (zone 1-3): £41.20
  • Month Travelcard (zone 1 -3): £158.30
  • 1-mile taxi ride (6 – 13 minutes): £6 – £9.60
  • 6-mile taxi ride (28 – 40 minutes): £24 – £34

Another way of saving on London transport fares is getting a student Oyster card which allows discounts. Read more about student travel cards here:

How to get a student London travel card?


How much money do I need for going out in London?

Again, your expenses will depend on how often you go out and what places you visit, whether you stick to budget options or go for the high end ones. Here are some examples prices of food and drinks at pubs and restaurants, leisure costs of other services in London:

  • Pint of beer: £4 – £6
  • Cinema: £10 – £15
  • Cocktail: £10 – £12
  • Inexpensive bottle of wine in a pub/restaurant: £15 – £25
  • Water (75CL) in a restaurant: £3.50
  • Big Mac Meal McDonalds (medium size): £4.69
  • Chicken Mc Nuggets (6 pieces): £3.19
  • Meal in an inexpensive restaurant: £15 – £25
  • Leaf tea at Starbucks (tall): £1.70
  • Espresso at Starbucks (single/double): £1.50/£1.90
  • Latte/Cappuccino at Starbucks (size: tall): £2.25
  • London attractions: £25
  • Pay as you go SIM cards, minimum top ups: £5 – £10
  • Women’s haircut: £50
  • Men’s haircut: £12


Other costs of living in London to consider for a longer stay

There are other expenses which you need to budget for, if you are planning a longer study stay in London. These include: Council Tax, energy bills, TV licence, insurance, healthcare, mobile phone plans, home internet and general emergencies. They may vary depending on your lifestyle and budget. Your main bills will include:

  • Council Tax: £25 per week
  • Utilities (electricity, gas, water): £50 / week
  • Monthly mobile phone plans: £10 – £50


To summarise, London is an expensive town to stay in, but at the same time it is one of the most interesting and exciting places to be!

All London prices are as of July 2019.

You may be also interested in:
– Living in London


Check prices of English language courses in London:
– Summer English Courses for Adults
– All-year-round intensive and part-time English courses
– Special offers on English courses in London

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