Wondering what the best places to live in Egypt are? You’re in the right place!
As one of the oldest countries in the world with a rich history dating back to 3500 BC, tourists flock to Egypt every year.
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The famous landmarks like the pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza are what the country is most known for. However, this ancient country offers so much more than old ruins.
Egypt is an excellent place to consider staying longer term, with sizable expat communities in various cities. In addition, it boasts a low cost of living with many luxurious housing options available for a low price compared to Europe and the USA.
So if you’re wondering whether living in this African country is for you, read on to discover the best places to live in Egypt.
Cairo is easily one of the best places to live in Egypt for expats for multiple reasons. The capital city has world-class healthcare, an extensive public transport system, and a thriving yet diverse nightlife.
The sprawling capital has many great places to visit during your free time. These include the famous 26th century BC Giza Pyramids and the 614-foot-tall (187 meters) Cairo Tower that gives impressive city views.
Cairo offers the widest selection of job and business opportunities. Plus, as one of the most developed cities in Egypt, it is one of the safest, although pickpocketing and petty theft are still common.
Therefore, Cairo is particularly popular with solo expats. However, there is a downside to living in Cairo.
It is a highly polluted area that can get crowded with lots of traffic. Thus, Cairo might feel a little overwhelming if you prefer more peace and quiet.
Like everywhere in Egypt, the cost of living is low, but rental prices vary depending on the neighborhood. Expect to pay between $150 and $230 a month living in a one-bedroom apartment.
Zamalek is a cosmopolitan district in western Cairo that is especially popular with tourists and expats but is one of the most expensive parts of the city.
Alexandria is a port city in northern Egypt, about 2.5 hours north of Cairo. It boasts beautiful Mediterranean coast landscapes, high-quality modern amenities, and a diverse range of residents.
Aside from the foreign worker community residing here, many people speak English, making it one of the best cities in Egypt for expats.
The city has a rich history and a strong Greek influence, which you will notice in the architecture. This makes Alexandria stand out from the other best Egyptian cities despite not having significant monuments like the Pyramids.
Another reason many expats choose Alexandria as their home is the demand for foreign jobs. The city has many consulates, multinational companies, and major institutions, so jobs for foreigners are plentiful here.
The cost of living is slightly lower than in Cairo; however, rental prices vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live in the city center, expect to pay around $200.
But if you live further away from downtown, you could find a place for half the price.
Smouha is one of the most desirable neighborhoods for expats here. It is close to the Sidi Gaber’s Train Station Nozha International Airport and home to Alexandria International Hospital and Pharos University.
Hurghada is a small resort town on the east coast and one of the best places to live in Egypt for digital nomads looking to work from the beach and enjoy a laid-back lifestyle. There is a significant expat community here, although it is particularly popular with Russians.
Hurghada was historically a fishing village, but today it is a bustling tourist hotspot. Along with a lively nightlife and pristine beaches lined with resorts, there are many water activities, such as scuba diving, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.
Furthermore, the old town, El Dahar, has some traditional Egyptian coffee shops and souks, maintaining the town’s culture. Another huge pro of choosing Hurghada over one of the big, northern cities is that it is much cleaner with no pollution or traffic problems.
Hurghada has many major multinational companies, resulting in sufficient job opportunities for foreigners. Other jobs expats can find here are in education and tourism.
The cost of living is in line with the other best cities in Egypt. For a one-bedroom apartment, monthly rent ranges from $100 to $200, often rising during peak season and falling afterward.
However, as Hurghada has mainly resorts, finding long-term accommodation can be tricky.
Ismailia is one of the newer cities in northeastern Egypt, situated on the bank of the Suez Canal and on the outskirts and Lake Timsa. Its location, along with the city’s architecture and vibrant green spaces, make Ismailia a genuinely picturesque and clean city.
As a result, it is one of the best cities to live in Egypt for expats, especially those with children.
Ismailia is just half an hour from Cairo, yet it feels like a different world. You won’t have to deal with traffic or pollution here.
Yet, you can get to Cairo in no time, making it a fab alternative for business owners and entrepreneurs.
The education sector offers the most jobs for expats here as the city is home to Suez Canal University and Heliopolis Academy. However, outside this industry, there are not a ton of opportunities.
Another possible con is that as a new town, Ismailia lacks the history and character of the older cities.
On the contrary, the cost of living is lower than in Cairo and many other more established cities. Thus, it is a good option for remote workers who want to build their savings.
Sharm El Sheikh
The coastal city of Sharm El Sheikh is undoubtedly the most popular tourist destination in Egypt. It is also a fab choice for young expats and digital nomads who want to base themselves in a lively spot or enjoy the many outdoor adventures like hiking or diving.
There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars. You’ll find plenty of international cuisines or tasty local food in small taverns free from tourists.
There are also huge shopping malls, amusement parks, casinos, and museums, so you’ll never be lost for something to do in Sharm El Sheikh.
However, this thriving tourist destination does have some negatives. Aside from getting crowded in the summer months, petty crime is common, and there is a strong bargaining culture that you’ll have to get used to.
There are plenty of tourism jobs in Sharm El Sheikh, but outside of this industry, few opportunities for expats exist. Because of this, this coastal town is best suited to remote workers and digital nomads.
Living in Sharm El Sheikh is cheaper than Cairo, though. The monthly rental on a one-bedroom apartment fluctuates depending on the season.
On average, you’ll pay between $130 and $160 monthly.
The historic city of Luxor on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt is another excellent option, especially for history-loving expats.
It is one of Egypt’s most popular tourist spots as there are countless famous temples, tombs, and monuments. As a result, many people speak at least basic English.
Like Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor best suits remote workers looking for somewhere to live short-term. Unfortunately, there are few job opportunities for expats and a lack of modern entertainment.
However, Luxor gives a throwback to pre-modern living, so it is a must for digital nomads looking for a unique stay. Rental prices are lower than in Cairo, and fresh produce is particularly cheap here.
It is also relatively safe, and as a small town, it is easy to get around. You can typically go from one place to another in less than half an hour.
Final Thoughts On Best Places To Live In Egypt
The culture in Egypt can indeed be a little challenging to adjust to. However, the incredible monuments, beautiful landscapes, and low cost of living make it an excellent country for open-minded and adventurous expats.
Whether you base yourself in a big city like Cairo or one of the beautiful coastal resort towns, you’ll enjoy a unique experience living and working in Egypt.
Not sure if Egypt is the right place for you? Read one of the following guides: