London or Paris? Which is the better city to visit as a tourist?

The eternal question and rivalry on the European continent: which is better: London or Paris? France or England UK? I know you are tired of Covid, but let’s hope that 2021 will be better and we will be able to travel again.

Although Europe has many wonderful cities, few have the power, prestige, size or wealth of these two rival capitals. There is of course also Madrid, but it’s just not quite in the same league. Vienna and Amsterdam are very beautiful but quite small, Istanbul is huge but leaves much to be desired, and Berlin is …just Berlin I guess.

I had the pleasure of visiting both capitals over time. Paris in 2009 long before we moved to France, thanks to my sister, to whom I wish to thank once again, and London in 2018 before moving to England.

But let’s start with the beginning: after we landed we made our way to the hotels, both in somewhat peripheral areas and this was the first impression we had of the cities:

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UK Immigration: How much does it cost to relocate to England?

So you are thinking of coming to England and UK Immigration? Well if Brexit didn’t scare you off, here is a guide and a detailed list of expenses from my experience coming here. By the way, from the looks of it, as far as EU citizens are concerned there is nothing to worry about after Brexit. Things will pretty much carry on as usual for those who are already here before the end of 2020.

It’s now my second time moving to another country. My first experience was relocating to Marseille France. That time I had a lot of support from my employer with aspects and costs of relocation. In comparison now in England, I basically made it all on my own. Here is a chronological list of the expenses needed for immigration to England, UK. All costs are calculated for two persons as I emigrated with my girlfriend:

Airplane Tickets: in my case: Bucharest – Manchester 286 EUR / 255 GBP (Great Britain Pounds) through Brussels Airlines, the price included 2 large hold luggage and one transfer in Brussels. Although we had the intention to take WizzAir’s low-cost company, we were surprised to find that the fares were more expensive on their website. It seems that all the Romanians are turning to this company lately and considering the fact that the fare price is calculated according to demand, you may find lower fares at the big airlines instead.

Attention: If using a Low-cost company, the price does not include hold luggage and must be payed separately. Be also very considerate of your final destination! The train in UK is very expensive if you buy the tickets on short notice, and the train ride from one of the airports near London to the city where you need to go, could turn out to be more expensive than the plane tickets;

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FIRST 30 DAYS AS EXPAT IN ENGLAND UK

A month ago we were packing again our luggage to move to another country. After the very useful experience in France, we were now ready to move to England, UK. After living for a year in France, we left with mixed impressions. I knew we had to move somewhere where we speak the language and where we can really integrate into society, and I believe we could not truly achieve this there.

When the expiry date of my fixed-term work contract in France was approaching, I started looking for work options in England. After some promising interviews, I still had nothing secured, but I did had an invitation to come for a follow up face-to-face interview that seemed 80% sure. I took a risk and quickly bought a one way plane ticket. I was aware that if I came only for a few days visit just for the interview and somehow it failed, I would return to Romania with the tail between my legs and depressed and it would have been very difficult to ever come back. Fortunately, the interview here went well.

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Expat Beginner’s guide to Relocation to France

[Ghidul Imigrantului de mutare in Franta]

Are you considering a Relocation to France? Well you’re not alone. Relocation to France is among the top European destinations for expats, alongside England and Germany. They either leave to go looking for better paid work, to take recognized studies or simply to retire and enjoy the lovely Mediterranean weather. I’m sure in every country the accommodation process is different, I’m going to tell you how it was for us here. France is not exactly a country that makes your life easy when you are new comer: the bureaucratic system is remarkably similar to the one in my home country Romania,  and not in a good way. It is lengthy, slow and requires lots of running around and patience to get the essentials papers you require. But let’s start with the beginning:

1.Cash and initial accommodation. I am starting from the premise that you are leaving your country with a secured job and your visa status is OK.  If you go to any country without a clear source of income you have a good chance that you will just wander a little around and return to your home country  as soon as the money runs out.  First of all , make sure you take enough cash to survive a month or two until you find decent accommodation. Without  2000 EUR in your pocket,  do not even consider a relocation to France. Secondly, be sure to take your Identity Card, Passport, Birth Certificate in Original and be sure to make a translation and a legalized copy of it before you arrive. Here it costs around 50-60 euros to make a legal translation of this document; Marriage certificate, divorce certificates if you have , all translated, a few ID size pictures of you, and if the company will not provide accommodation (permanent or temporary) you should start to look for cheap hotels in the city. A hotel or guest room if it’s booked in advance and for long term (one month or two) can be relatively inexpensive, costing anywhere between 15 to 40 EUR per night.

2. A local phone number: This is the easiest step to accomplish and you will need it to complete all the next steps. We have chosen the operator  Lycamobile, which offers for 15 Euro per month unlimited calls in France and 3 GB of internet traffic. In order to buy the SIM card, you will usually be required to present an ID for the number registration. Once you have the card, you can recharge it directly from the internet for 10 Euros, getting the same phone and data packet. Take great care not to lose the number and card, because on this number you will be registered with the bank and other institutions. In France there are also famous mobile operators like Orange, but they have incredibly expensive pricing on subscriptions (€ 20-40 per month).

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