How to survive as a German in London

TransferWise content team
3 minute read

The UK is a popular place - and why wouldn't it be? It has tea, a cool startup scene, the best Indian restaurants and the Premier League (the world's second best league after the Bundesliga, obviously). But, moving to the UK isn't always easy.

Here's our ultimate survival guide for Germans moving to the UK:

Talking about the weather is a (big) thing

No other nation enjoys talking about the weather more. It's a conversation starter, or filler, depending on who you're talking to. Not a day will go by when you don't have to talk about the weather. For your daily briefing we recommend watching the weather in the morning which helps drag the pointless conversation out (obviously it will be raining).

Learn to love tea

Milk goes in coffee, right? Not in the UK - here it goes in tea. You'd better be prepared to drink a lot of tea. It's one of the most treasured British traditions, and if someone offers you a cuppa that means they want to have chat - so have that weather knowledge ready.

There WILL be German beer

You don't have to say goodbye to good beer - London does nothing better than assembling foreign cuisines in one place. Luckily we've got some insider tips from our German friends to share with you. The best places for German beer are:

  • The Bavarian beerhouse located near Old Street Station is perfect for a post-work drink with your German buddies.
  • If you live south of the river you don't want to miss Stein's in Kingston - it offers a bar, restaurant and biergarten, all in one place.
  • Katzenjammers is a hidden gem in London Bridge, the Bavarian 'Bierkeller' always has 9 different brews on offer, as well as 23 types of bottled beer.


Where you can get your (real) bread

Another thing you'll probably miss is bread - and we're talking real bread here not what the British like to call 'bread'. Toast simply doesn't cut it. There are a couple of things you can do:

  • Make use of your freezer. Bring bread back to the UK from Germany and put it in the freezer. Just make sure you have an explanation ready when customs ask why you've got suitcase full of loaves.
  • There are also a couple of cool German bakeries which have all the bread you can think of.

Bäkehaus is a german bakery near Hammersmith - good news for everyone living in west London. Another bakery known for its authenticity is Kamps bakery on Tottenham Court Road. You can look over the bakers shoulders when they prepare your food - which is pretty cool. It offers a large selection of hot and cold carbolicious delights.

They even have Currywurst!

A German staple is the Currywurst, this meaty snack is one of the things you probably take for granted when you live in Germany. Once gone, you will become obsessed with finding a place that sells proper German sausages - never fear, London is a culinary wonderland. Herman Ze German has all the Currywurst you can eat and more. Your tastebuds are going to experience some serious nostalgia.

Pay when you take the underground - Nie wieder schwarz fahren!

Forget freebie train journeys - the Brits take their public transport seriously, meaning everyone has to have a ticket. If you travel without having purchased a ticket, or topped up your Oystercard, you will have to pay a fine. Find out all you need to know about travel fares here.


If you need to send money back home to your parents in oder for them to send you a bread based care package, use TransferWise to avoid getting ripped off by your bank.

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