Retire in Alexandria Guide

If Alexandria is on your retirement radar, our detailed Retire in Alexandria Guide is your go-to resource. Delve into the crucial aspects of life here, including living costs, climate, housing options, healthcare services, and residency procedures. We also explore the city's social dynamics, volunteering scenes, transportation, and how walkable its neighborhoods are.

Retiring in Alexandria is an enticing prospect for many international retirees. The city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning Mediterranean views make it a unique and exciting place to spend one’s golden years. However, like any foreign country, it comes with its own set of challenges and considerations. From the cost of living to the climate, healthcare, and social opportunities, there’s a lot to think about when planning a retirement in Alexandria.

Living Expenses in Alexandria

One of the biggest draws for retirees in Alexandria is the relatively low cost of living. Housing, groceries, and utilities are all significantly cheaper than in many Western countries. However, it’s important to note that imported goods and luxury items can be quite expensive. Overall, a comfortable lifestyle can be achieved on a modest retirement income.

Climate and Weather

Alexandria boasts a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The city enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year, making it an ideal location for retirees who enjoy outdoor activities. However, the summer heat can be intense, so it’s important to take precautions to stay cool and hydrated.

Healthcare Facilities

Alexandria is home to several high-quality private hospitals and clinics, where English-speaking doctors and modern medical facilities are available. However, it’s worth noting that healthcare costs can be high for those without insurance. Many retirees opt for private health insurance to cover these costs.

Public Healthcare System

While Egypt does have a public healthcare system, it is often under-resourced and overcrowded. As a result, most international retirees choose to use private healthcare services. It’s also worth noting that while some medications are readily available over the counter, others may require a prescription.

Residency Options

Egypt offers several options for residency permits, including a retirement visa for those over 60 who can prove a steady income. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s recommended to seek legal advice.

Recreational Activities and Dining

Alexandria offers a wealth of recreational activities, from exploring historical sites like the Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa and the Citadel of Qaitbay, to relaxing on the city’s beautiful beaches. The city is also known for its vibrant food scene, with popular restaurants like Fish Market and Greek Club offering a range of local and international cuisines.

Language Learning Opportunities

While Arabic is the official language of Egypt, English is widely spoken in Alexandria, particularly in tourist areas and among younger generations. However, learning some Arabic can greatly enhance your experience. The Alexandria Centre for Languages offers courses in Arabic for foreigners.

Local Culture and Markets

Alexandrians are known for their warmth and hospitality. The city has a bustling market culture, with the Souq district offering everything from fresh produce to traditional crafts. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in local culture and practice your Arabic.

Socializing and Volunteering

Meeting people in Alexandria can be as simple as striking up a conversation at a local café or joining a club or organization. There are also plenty of volunteer opportunities, such as the Alexandria Animal Rescue, which welcomes international volunteers.

Housing and Neighborhoods

Most retirees in Alexandria choose to live in apartments in the city center, where amenities are easily accessible. Neighborhoods like Gleem and Roushdy are particularly popular for their proximity to the beach and vibrant local culture.


Alexandria is a walkable city with a good public transportation system, including trams and buses. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also readily available. While having a car can be convenient for exploring further afield, it’s not necessary for day-to-day life in the city.

In conclusion, retiring in Alexandria, Egypt offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. While there are challenges to consider, the rewards of this vibrant Mediterranean city can make it a fulfilling choice for international retirees.

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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