09 Dec Currency in London, United Kingdom
Despite being part of the European Union, the UK hasn’t adopted the euro. Instead, Londoners use pounds. Currency in London is fairly simple – 100 pence per pound (or pound sterling). However, if you want to sound like a local, instead of pence, you could say “pee,” and instead of pounds, you could say “quid.” Also, a five-pound note is called a “fiver” while a ten-pound note is called a “tenner.” Congratulations – you’re now well versed in London’s currency talk.
One difference between pounds and other currencies is that it’s based more on coins. For example, there are 1-, 2-, and 5- pound coins, which means your wallet could get pretty heavy at times while in London.
For exchange rates between pounds and your home currency, you can check it out here: http://www.visitlondon.com/currency/rates
As a general tip, while you’re interning in London, you may want to take the opportunity to use your credit card as often as possible since most establishments will accept your Visa or MasterCard (American Express and Diners Club are usually not accepted). This way, you can avoid the extra charges on withdrawing cash from ATMs or banks. However, if you find yourself needing cash, which you inevitably will, there are ATMs scattered around the city for you to use. It might be smart to quickly check with your bank back home before you go to London to find out details.
In terms of tipping, it’s always appreciated, but not always mandatory. Usually, at restaurants, you can plan to tip from 10-15%, and keep in mind restaurants will usually charge a service fee as well.