Expats and those who relocate to Baltimore from elsewhere in the US tend to find it quite easy to fit in and settle in Maryland’s largest city. Just a short drive from the US capital of Washington DC, and home to around 2.3 million people, the Charm City – as Baltimore is so lovingly referred to by locals – is a surprisingly massive metro and rather diverse too. Foreigners and out-of-towners looking to relocate will adjust to life in this ethnic and cultural melting pot with minimal effort.
Living in Baltimore as an expat
Those moving to the city in search of a job will be pleased to know that Baltimore has a buzzing economy, filled with opportunity. Historically-speaking, shipping, transportation, manufacturing and steel have been prominent industries in Baltimore, but more recently the city has seen an exciting rise of other key industries such as finance, healthcare and higher education, all of which have become major sources of income-generation for the city. Not only that, but those keen to have a crack at a tech start-up might do well in Baltimore, as the city has seen a wave of these spring up in the last few years.
There is an extensive range of accommodation options available in Baltimore, with a broad price bracket, so just about anyone will be able to find a home that suits their lifestyle and pocket. Like any big city, prices in Baltimore will vary quite a bit depending on the area and suburb, with some being significantly more expensive than others.
New arrivals and expats concerned with how they might get around once in the city can rest easy. Although most Baltimore residents do drive, there are a variety of public transport alternatives that make getting about town uncomplicated and quite painless. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) oversees the city’s extensive public transport network, which includes various rail and bus services.
In terms of medical care, new arrivals will be in good hands – provided they have adequate health insurance, of course. The city is home to John Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Centre, both of which are among the leading healthcare facilities in the USA and provide an excellent standard of care.
Cost of living in Baltimore
Something expats and prospective residents of a new city should always consider is, of course, its cost of living. Although Baltimore is so close to DC, and increasingly favoured as a base from which to commute for those working in the capital, the city's cost of living is incredibly reasonable when compared to the other big East Coast cities. That said, it's not exactly cheap, so it's best for newcomers to factor in expenses such as rent, utilities and lifestyle costs when negotiating a salary.
Expat families and children
Those moving to the city with little ones will be happy to know that the city’s has a wide range of schools. But the number and varying standards of schools also means that parents will need to conduct a fair bit of research before settling on the right school for their children, including the choice between public or private school.
When it comes to having fun in the city, Baltimorean families have little to complain about, and new arrivals will have a ball exploring their new city. It boasts a massive range of thrilling attractions, including a number of museums, art galleries, eateries, an aquarium and leafy parks. Another reason why so many people are choosing the Charm City is its central location, which makes it a great base from which to explore other prominent US destinations such as family-friendly Philadelphia and Washington DC.
Climate in Baltimore
Baltimore has a humid subtropical climate and new arrivals should expect long, hot summers and cool winters. Summer are humid and temperatures average 81°F (27°C), with thunderstorms occasionally occurring in the late afternoon. Winter is generally mild but snowfalls do occur occasionally, and temperatures can drop to -7°C (19°F). Spring and autumn in Baltimore are probably the most pleasant seasons, although rainfall is at its highest in the spring.
Moving to Baltimore won’t require too many cultural adjustments for those relocating from cities in developed countries, and those moving from elsewhere in the US will acclimatise to their new city in no time. It’s well equipped in terms of infrastructure, it’s home to a culturally diverse population that is welcoming of newcomers, and job opportunities are in abundance. This, combined with the fact that the city boasts so much to see and do, plus its central location, make Baltimore a choice destination for anyone looking to start an exciting new chapter.
►For more on what to expect when arriving in the city, see Pros and Cons of Moving to Baltimore
Are you an expat living in Baltimore?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Baltimore. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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