From famous films to best-selling books and iconic music releases, much of our culture today has an intrinsic connection to big city life. Making the transition to a metropolis such as London, Paris or New York is something many of us will do or dream of at some stage in our lives — but it can also bring significant changes that take a little time to get used to.
The population of many UK cities has doubled in size since the start of the 21st century. If you’re considering making a move yourself, weigh up five pros and cons of city life below.
Things to do
The key benefit of cities for most people is the wealth of opportunities for entertainment. Whether you’re trying food and drink from every corner of the globe, enjoying music, theatre or sport at world-famous venues, or hitting the shops until you drop, you’re unlikely to get bored.
Major cities are densely populated — and more people usually means more cars on the road. Rush hour traffic can pollute the air and make it take hours to travel a mile or so, while public transport can quickly become over-crowded. There are simple ways to beat the queues though.
Many cities have well-established networks of cycle lanes, while the proximity of amenities can often make walking the quickest (and healthiest) option.
Having so many facilities and services so nearby can save you a lot of time and effort. This added convenience ranges from the simple ease of being able to pick up ingredients close to home or make it to a gym class on time, to fast access to medical care in emergencies.
Increased work opportunities could also allow you to find a job with a shorter commute than you’re used to.
There’s a cost attached to all those activities and resources at your disposal. High demand means rent and property prices can be astronomically high, while food and drink can also cost significantly more than in rural areas.
You’ll need to keep a careful eye on your budget whether you’re used to city prices or not. You may find that your destination of choice offers higher salaries than where you live now, however.
Cosmopolitan cities attract people from all places and walks of life, creating a melting pot of cultures, foods and languages that simply doesn’t exist out in the sticks. Living around this kind of diversity can broaden your understanding of the world, open you up to new experiences and even give you an added sense of sophistication.
Are you feeling ready to take on life in the city? With a clearer idea of what to expect, you’re better placed to decide if a move is right for you.