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Alexandria, Egypt

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 01, 2023

Summary: The approximate population of Alexandria, Egypt is 5.2 million people. People describe Alexandria as a vibrant and bustling city with a rich cultural heritage. Expats love the city's Mediterranean climate, its beautiful beaches, and its vibrant nightlife. The weather in Alexandria is generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from an average low of 55°F (13°C) in the winter to an average high of 86°F (30°C) in the summer. The average cost of living in Alexandria for an expat is around $1,000 per month. The cost of a one bedroom apartment is around $400 per month, while a two bedroom apartment is around $600 per month.

What do I need to know about living in Alexandria?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Alexandria, they said:

"Before retiring in Alexandria, you should research the cost of living and types of housing available. You might consider the city's climate, the safety of the area, and the amenities and recreational activities available. It is also important to understand the healthcare and senior services in the area and the tax implications of retiring in Alexandria. Additionally, you should understand how public transportation works in the city and the proximity of key services such as banks, supermarkets, and restaurants. Lastly, you should research how to get involved in community activities and how to navigate and access local government services," replied an expat in Alexandria.

"Be very prepared not let the backward ways and slowness and unorganized ways get to you. Relax and take it for what this country is great for which is cultural, beauty, great food and fun in the sun," remarked another in Alexandria.

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What do I need to know before moving to Alexandria?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Alexandria, they said:

"Before moving to Alexandria, it is important to consider the cost of living, the types of jobs available in the area, the housing availability and prices, the climate, the public transportation system and commute options, the proximity to other amenities and attractions, the crime rate, and the school systems available. Additionally, being aware of local ordinances, such as those concerning smoking, noise, and pet ownership, can also be valuable," explained one expat.

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How do I find a place to live in Alexandria?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"There are a variety of housing options in Alexandria, Virginia. Depending on your needs, budget, and preferences, you can explore rentals, condos, townhomes, and single-family homes in the area. Alexandria is located just southwest of Washington DC, and is full of culture, vibrant neighborhoods, entertainment, and outdoor activities. Craigslist, Zillow, Apartments.com, and the local newspaper are great resources to explore available housing in the area. Additionally, you can use the services of a real estate agent to assist in your search for the perfect home. Once you’ve identified a few options, contact the landlord or rental agency for a tour or to fill out an application. Good luck," remarked another in Alexandria.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Alexandria?

"Expat homes and apartments in Alexandria are typically comfortable and affordable, with typically two or three bedrooms, and plenty of outdoor space. Many of the homes and apartments come with basic amenities such as WiFi, hot water, cooking facilities and air conditioning. Many of the expat complexes are centrally located and feature superb communal facilities, such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, playgrounds and 24-hour security," said another person in Alexandria.

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What is the average cost of housing in Alexandria?

If you are thinking about moving to Alexandria, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Alexandria varies depending on the type, size, and location of the property. Generally, the median sale price of residential properties in the city is between $320,000 and $400,000 depending on the type of housing and the location," said another person in Alexandria.

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How do I meet people in Alexandria?

When we asked people living in Alexandria about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"There are many ways to meet people in Alexandria. One way is to join local groups or activities that match your interests, such as social clubs, volunteer organizations, meetups, sports teams, or attending local events or gatherings. You can also get involved in your neighborhood, such as talking to your neighbors and getting to know them better. Additionally, you can take classes at a local learning center or join a gym or fitness center to meet new people with similar interests," remarked another in Alexandria.

"The British Club and read the free newspapers for groups that meet once a week or so," explained one expat.

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What should I bring when moving to Alexandria?

People living in Alexandria were asked what three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They wrote:

"Clothes, shoes, toiletries, bedding, kitchenware and utensils, cleaning supplies, electronics and accessories, document storage, furniture, decorations, any necessary medications, items specific to your hobbies or interests, maps or navigation tools, phone charger, and a good attitude," explained one expat living in Alexandria.

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Where should I setup a bank account in Alexandria?

We asked expats in Alexandria what banks they use and there advice about banking. They advised:

"There are a number of banks throughout Alexandria that offer a wide range of banking options. Some of the larger banks in the area include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Capital One, SunTrust, and PNC Bank, while smaller, local institutions include Burke and Herbert Bank and Trust, United Bank, and Northern Virginia Bank. Before deciding which bank to open an account with, it is important to consider the features and benefits each bank provides and make sure its services fit your needs," replied an expat in Alexandria.

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Will I be able to find a job in Alexandria?

When we asked people about industries and career opportunities in Alexandria, they reponded:

"Yes, you should be able to find a job in Alexandria. Alexandria is a historic city located in Northern Virginia, just six miles from Washington DC. It is home to many large businesses and organizations, as well as many small businesses, so there should be a range of job opportunities available. It's also known for having many high-wage jobs, so you should be able to find a job that suits your skills," added another person living in Alexandria.

"Jobs are not easy to find but companies like to hire people from other countries. The travel/tourist business is good. If you can teach English or even tutor kids is a great job to get," explained one expat living in Alexandria.

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What is life like in Alexandria?

When we asked people living in Alexandria what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"Living as an expat in this area can be an exciting and rewarding experience. The welcoming attitude of locals makes fitting in and making friends a breeze, and the local customs, language and culture ensure that every day is an adventure. The cost of living is typically low, so expats can often lead a comfortable lifestyle with a moderate budget. The transport system is reliable, with plenty of options to choose from to get around. Public transport, such as bus and subway, are easily accessible, while taxis, motorbikes and cars provide alternative options. Thanks to the inexpensiveness of petrol, owning a vehicle is a viable option for many expats. Foreigners are known to be drawn to this area for the year-round warm, sunny climate. The average temperatures are quite pleasant and days tend to remain pleasant even when the temperature does rise a little. It's ideal for outdoor activities and venture seekers, with plenty to do and explore both in and outside of the city. This area also has plenty of amenities and services to offer expats. There are various sports centers, fitness centers, spas and plenty of leisurely activities. There is a great selection of restaurants and cafes, including traditional dishes and international cuisine, as well as cultural sites such as museums and galleries. Shopping is also easy and convenient with a wide variety of both local and international stores to choose from," replied an expat in Alexandria.

"In Egypt, Family is number one but going for coffee is right up there as well. Going to the mall (Carfor) seems to be a big deal here," remarked another in Alexandria.

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What do expats in Alexandria appreciate most about the local culture?

"Expatriates in Alexandria are able to experience the city's long and fascinating history firsthand. The city, founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, was once the second largest city in the ancient world and boasts a culture that is both cosmopolitan and eclectic. Expats enjoy the city's tolerant culture, where locals are warm, friendly and welcoming. They appreciate the vibrant music and culture with bars, clubs and live concerts, as well as the excellent museums, ancient sites, beautiful beaches and the lively café and restaurant scene. The exciting local cuisine featuring many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes offers variety. In addition, Alexandria's excellent transportation system and relatively low cost of living compared to other large cities in the region make it an attractive city for expats," explained one expat living in Alexandria.

"The people are very friendly and try and help wherever they can. The sense of safety is also a surprise. The delight in finding things that I am looking for is wonderful," said another expat in Alexandria.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Expatriates often find it difficult to find a sense of belonging in a new country, particularly if they do not speak the local language. It is also common for expats to experience culture shock due to their exposure to new values and customs. Furthermore, expats sometimes feel isolated from their family and friends from their home countries, or feel the barriers of distance. Managing finances can also be difficult when dealing with foreign currencies, banking fees, and money transfers. Finding adequate housing, job opportunities, and quality healthcare can also challenge many expatriates. All of these challenges can make the transition to living abroad quite overwhelming," remarked another in Alexandria.

"Very dirty, smelly, busy, noisy place. Nothing is the way you would expect it to be, and it's difficult to get many things done," explained one expat.

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Is there a lot of crime in Alexandria?

We asked people if there is a lot of crime. They answered:

"No, Alexandria is generally considered to be a safe city with low crime rates compared to other cities. The city also has a strong police presence and actively works to reduce crime through community policing, special crime prevention initiatives and gang suppression efforts," remarked another expat in Alexandria.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Alexandria accepting of differences?

"Alexandria is highly diverse. The city is home to a variety of cultural and racial backgrounds and the population is nearly equally split between the majority African American population and all the other demographics. The city is also accepting of differences with all residents feeling welcome and respected in the tight-knit community. Alexandria has made great efforts to promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion, and this is apparent in its many cultural events, diverse array of restaurants, and thriving business districts that are a testament to the city's forward-thinking culture," added another person living in Alexandria.

"Very friendly people and excepting of most but don't ever forget that being Muslim is very important to people here. They like people from all over to visit because this means having a good tourist business," explained one expat living in Alexandria.

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What are the schools in Alexandria like?

"Alexandria has a range of schools providing quality educational opportunities to its students. The Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) system consists of 22 elementary schools, five middle schools, four high schools, and an accelerated school. ACPS also offers a variety of specialty programs and services, including magnet, International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, and advanced academic programs. Additionally, there are several private schools in the area, such as the Academy of the Sacred Heart and Bishop Ireton High School. Alexandria also hosts several colleges and universities, including Virginia Commonwealth University and George Washington University, providing higher education to the local population," remarked another parent with kids at in Alexandria.

"It's a good school. The principal knows each child by name and somehow knows each family and its situation. She is very caring and demands that her staff educate the whole child. She defends the children as if they were her own and makes sure they get what they need in the way of growth and development. I really like her alot," explained one expat living in Alexandria, Egypt.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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