Published on September 29, 2015

15 reasons to live in London according to the world’s greatest minds

1. The people - "Oh, I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be." Oscar Wilde


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2. The history - “London has the trick of making its past, its long indelible past, always a part of its present. And for that reason it will always have meaning for the future, because of all it can teach about disaster, survival, and redemption. It is all there in the streets. It is all there in the books.” Anna Quindlen


3. It's vibrant - "You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford." Samuel Johnson


4. It's a living paradox - "The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane." Stephen Fry


5. Diversity - "The best bribe which London offers to-day to the imagination, is, that, in such a vast variety of people and conditions, one can believe there is room for persons of romantic character to exist, and that the poet, the mystic, and the hero may hope to confront their counterparts." Ralph Waldo Emerson


6. It's full of hidden treasures - "You are now / In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow / At once is deaf and loud, and on the shore / Vomits its wrecks, and still howls on for more / Yet in its depth what treasures!" P.B. Shelley


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7. It's beloved - "Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner / That I love London so / Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner / That I think of her wherever I go / I get a funny feeling inside of me / Just walking up and down / Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner / That I love London town." Hubert Gregg


8. It appreciates a good story - "In London, love and scandal are considered the best sweeteners of tea." John Osborne


9. It reveres its past - "This melancholy London – I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air." William Butler Yeats


10. It maintains tradition - "Tea at the Ritz is the last delicious morsel of Edwardian London. The light is kind, the cakes are frivolous and the tempo is calm, confident and leisurely.” Helen Simpson


11. It's all-encompassing - “One thing about London is that when you step out into the night, it swallows you.” Sebastian Faulks


12. It's inspirational - “London and Fog! When these two come together, it is time to be a writer!” Mehmet Murat ildan


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13. It's got so much to offer - “From the top of the bus she could see the vast bowl of London spreading out to the horizon: splendid shops with mannequins in the window, interesting people and already a much bigger world.” Julia Gregson


14. It's hiding great secrets - “London - beautiful, immortal London - has never been a 'city' in the simplest sense of the word. It was, and is, a living, breathing thing, a stone leviathan that harbours secrets underneath its scales. It guards them covetously, hiding them deep within its body; only the mad or the worthy can find them.” Samantha Shannon


15. It's not just for the English - “My Dad says that being a Londoner has nothing to do with where you're born. He says that there are people who get off a jumbo jet at Heathrow, go through immigration waving any kind of passport, hop on the tube and by the time the train's pulled into Piccadilly Circus they've become a Londoner.” Ben Aaronovitch



Click here to read more about our internships in London.



Sources: Ecosalon, Thecultureur, GoodReads


Photo 1. based on London clouds, by Stefano Montagner, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on London, by hans-jürgen2013, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 3. based on London bus, by EO1, CC-by-SA 2.0

The author
Elizabeth Trovall
After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her third year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.

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