What You Should Absolutely Know Before Even Considering Moving to Egypt

Jacquelyn Vadnais
Last Edited Feb 13, 2023

Pyramids, deserts, mummies, pharaohs, and sphinxes are all things that people typically associate with Egypt. The names Cleopatra, Ramses, Tutankhamun, the River Nile, the Valley of the Kings, and the River Nile all go back to this one country, the Black Land, whose history and culture are unique.

Egypt played a key role in introducing agriculture, architecture, engineering, and medicine back then. Today, Egypt continues to prove that its strong foundation can withstand the pressures and demands of changing times.

Have you ever considered visiting—much less moving—to Egypt? Is relocating to Egypt part of your plans for the future? Whether you are planning to move to Egypt sooner or later, arming yourself with bits of information about this country can help you make better decisions in the future.

Is Egypt A Good Place To Live In?

Egypt is one of the best options if you are considering a new country to relocate to. The history and culture are reasons you’ll want to get to know the country better. It’s home to a diverse culture, kind people, and destinations that will take your breath away.

But like any country, it comes with its share of disadvantages. The country is a work in progress and a living museum you can learn from.

Overall, if you have a deep appreciation for history and culture, love to be surrounded by kind locals, and want to experience a different lifestyle, come to Egypt. Your experience will tell you if Egypt is the place for you.

What’s It Like To Live In Egypt?

An eye-opening country to live in, Egypt has become home to many foreigners. Like any country, there are advantages and disadvantages, so you have to come prepared before relocating to Egypt.

Foreigners come from different backgrounds, so weigh some of the pros and cons of living in Egypt and identify if you are willing to compromise. Living in Egypt and making the most of what the country offers is your choice.

Living In Egypt: Pros And Cons


1. Low Cost Of Living.

The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (E£), which is not a strong currency compared to other exchanges.

If you live in Egypt but work remotely and maintain an income in American dollars or British pounds, you’ll be living in luxury in Egypt. Because locals dispute the notion that the cost of living in their nation is low, note that the cost of living is lower if you are earning in a stronger currency.

Just imagine paying ~E£1,000 (~$33) for a month’s worth of utilities, including air conditioning, airtime, electricity, internet, and water. This is indeed low compared to your usual costs back in the US. Additionally, eating out in budget-friendly restaurants here is economical, as you can already get a decent meal for ~E£85 (~$3).

2. A Space For All Cultures.

Some countries are called the “melting pot of different cultures,” but Egypt is one of the oldest spaces for all the world’s cultures. Many foreigners come to Egypt because of its lower cost of living. It’s not just professionals and families who visit and relocate to the country. Students and others, regardless of culture or age, also move here.

For instance, Cairo is where the majority of international residents reside. Just imagine being part of a community of people from different backgrounds who share their culture, food, and way of life.

3. Hospitable And Welcoming Locals

The locals have already gotten used to seeing foreigners in their cities and have warmed up to the prospect of them permanently joining their communities. Egyptians are some of the friendliest people in the world, and they share a burning passion for their country.

You’ll be amazed at how all Egyptians can say something incredible about their country, regardless of their background. You’ll also feel very welcome because Egyptians go out of their way to make you feel at home.


1. Quality Education Is Expensive

Let’s be real. Local schools in Egypt may rate lower in terms of educational standards, curriculum, and facilities. Since lessons are delivered in Arabic, there is also a communication gap.

As an expat, you’d prefer to send your children to an international school, which can prove very costly. Sure, many international school options are spread throughout Egypt, especially in Cairo and Giza, but they entail exceptionally high fees and additional costs.

2. Driving Is A Matter Of Life And Death

Egypt is not the best country in terms of road safety. In 2021, there were 51,511 traffic injuries, so the country isn’t the safest, whether you are driving or just passing through the roads.

In Egypt, expect plenty of locals to make sudden turns and moves without even signaling. This causes plenty of hits and bumps, as you have very little time to react appropriately.

You may be going slow and cautiously on the road, but other challenges include road signs and other road alerts being in Arabic.

3. Prevalent Patriarchal Culture

Egypt predominantly still adheres to a patriarchal culture, and if you are a woman, this may shock you. Adjusting to and conforming to the country’s culture can be challenging.

Because men enjoy openly staring and catcalling, Western women, in particular, can find themselves in awkward and uncomfortable situations. The imposition of gender roles and societal expectations is still prevalent throughout Egypt, even in its major cities.

Living In Egypt As An Expat

As an expat, you may be overwhelmed by the adjustments you must make and get used to when you first move to Egypt. But even if you move to another country, you are expected to transition and familiarize yourself with everything before settling down.

The good news is that some things in Egypt are similar to those available in the US. For example, plenty of options for accommodations are available, like apartments and villas. You also have plenty of time to learn about Egypt’s culture by visiting the many historical sites and Egyptian wonders.

One common worry for expats moving to Egypt is the language barrier. But you can rest easy knowing that Egyptian Arabic is the number one language used. Still, a good percentage of the population can read, write, and understand English, primarily because they understand the need to learn the language with the influx of foreigners.

As far as safety is concerned, women, especially, are encouraged to be alert at all times and, if possible, stay in the safer areas of the country, like Alexandria and Cairo. Note that rural areas of Egypt, like the Sinai Peninsula, are best avoided because of the detected terrorist activities here and the fact that it is a highly militarized sector.

If you are an expat living in Egypt with a steady income from a stronger currency, you can expect to live like royalty in Egypt.

The Best Places To Live In Egypt

For expats, especially women and those with families, it is best to stay in the city first when you come to Egypt, primarily for safety reasons and a lifestyle closer to what you are used to in the US.

Of course, you may decide to explore what Egypt offers, but here are some of the best places to live in Egypt.

1. Cairo


You can stay in the country’s capital; you’d have access to healthcare and international schools here. Cairo also has the best public transport system in Egypt, so you can conveniently visit all the city’s must-see destinations.

Given that it is the most developed city in Egypt, there are plenty of opportunities here. Although there are still instances of petty theft, Cairo is generally safer. However, expect crowds and noise in this city due to its daily influx of people.

2. Alexandria

Alexandria egypt

Most foreigners with families settle here in Alexandria. It is 2.5 hours away from the capital, and it boasts Instagram-worthy Mediterranean Coast backgrounds and access to modern facilities. Instead of Egyptian architecture, Alexandria takes after Greek designs, which is refreshing.

Additionally, English is the predominant language in Alexandria, and it has several global institutions and consulates providing foreigners with suitable opportunities.

3. Ismailia


Ismailia is a newer city compared to Cairo and Alexandria that is strategically and conveniently located half an hour away from Cairo. It offers a different ambiance compared to the bustle of the capital.

It is a greener and cleaner area that expats with children prefer. You won’t experience pollution or traffic here because it’s a city surrounded by picturesque green spaces. The Suez Canal University and Heliopolis Academy are located here, so if you are an expat from the education industry, job opportunities abound.


Moving to Egypt has its drawbacks, so make sure that you are prepared for all the shifts and adjustments before considering moving there.

The culture of Egypt, despite being rich and beautiful, can take some time to get used to. Moving to Egypt can be challenging at first, like all global relocations. Still, with the right mindset and resilience, you can eventually call Egypt home, make memories, and achieve your dreams,

“Egypt is full of dreams, mysteries, and memories.” – Janet Erskine Stuart


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