Expats looking for a bit of southern hospitality are sure to find it in Atlanta. With a diverse population of local and foreign residents, the city tends to receive newcomers warmly.
While it is a sprawling metropolis, Atlanta has many pockets of distinct close-knit communities and maintains somewhat of a small-town feel – it certainly operates at a slower pace than one might expect of such a major commercial hub.
Atlanta is a vibrant and pleasant city that offers expats a good quality of life and a relatively low cost of living. From suburban family life in the outer suburbs to the city chic lifestyle of Midtown, each neighbourhood of Atlanta has something unique to offer. It is also one of the greenest cities in the US with lush parks and even forests, which, along with a moderate climate, allow residents to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle. There are also abundant shopping and nightlife opportunities throughout Atlanta.
Shopping in Atlanta
From large shopping malls to trendy boutiques and outdoor markets, Atlanta has something to suit every shopper. Shopping in the upmarket Buckhead neighbourhood offers luxury boutiques, antique stores and high-end retailers lining the streets, while Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square, located just across from each other, house hundreds of mainstream shopping outlets.
Expats will also find plenty of independent shops and boutiques, especially in Virginia-Highland, Midtown and Decatur. Those looking for something a little more offbeat can head to Little Five Points. Known as Atlanta’s bohemian neighbourhood, this district offers an eclectic and laid-back shopping experience.
Eating out in Atlanta
Atlantans love to eat out and expats will find dining options for every taste and budget. The city is home to a number of top restaurants, many of which are owned by international celebrities. There are plenty of establishments serving local southern fare, while the city also boasts plenty of exotic flavours, including Korean, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Mexican and Indian eateries. A number of popular annual festivals celebrating food and beverages also take place in Atlanta, such as Taste of Atlanta and the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest.
Nightlife and entertainment in Atlanta
Atlanta is bustling with nightlife and entertainment options, and expats are sure to find something to suit their particular lifestyle. Buckhead, Midtown, Downtown and Little Five Points are popular areas for singles and young professionals, and have a vibrant nightlife scene with scores of bars, clubs and restaurants.
Sporting and outdoor activities in Atlanta
With the city's many open spaces of forests and parks, walking and cycling are two popular activities in Atlanta. Active outdoorsy types most often head to one of Piedmont Park, Chastain Park or the Centennial Olympic Park.
Just a short drive from Atlanta, expats will find some great state parks, particularly in and around the Appalachian Mountains, that offer hiking trails, fishing and camping.
Home to a number of major league professional sporting teams, including the Atlanta Falcons (American football), Atlanta Hawks (basketball) and the Atlanta Braves (baseball), sports fans will be spoilt for choice when it comes to live action at one of the city’s impressive stadiums.
►For tips on finding a home in the city, see Accommodation in Atlanta
Are you an expat living in Atlanta?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Atlanta. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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