The capital of Virginia, Richmond, is the fourth-largest city in the state. Straddling the scenic James River, Richmond's location is picturesque and conveniently close to major East Coast metros, including the nation's capital, Washington, DC.
Both out-of-state Americans and expats are increasingly choosing to dwell in Richmond. The city enjoys a stable, growing economy, a low cost of living and unmatched quality of life. Not to mention the stunning views and outdoor adventures its river location provides.
Living in Richmond as an expat
Richmond has several large employers, including eight Fortune 500 companies. Newcomers with qualifications and experience in law, finance, advertising and government should have no trouble securing lucrative employment in the city.
The metropolis has a diverse range of charming areas and suburbs. Young professionals will love trendy downtown close to the action, while families will have their pick of quiet leafy neighbourhoods. Although Richmond is close to numerous interstate highways and various railway lines, public transport in the city itself is nothing to write home about. Richmond's bus service serves Downtown Richmond residents well, but by and large, Richmonders own vehicles.
Cost of living in Richmond
Accommodation in Richmond is quite affordable and compares favourably to other state capitals, and is much cheaper than in larger East Coast cities. Eating out is also a treat in Richmond, and newcomers can expect to only make a small dent in their pockets. There are also so many restaurants, breweries and distilleries to choose from. One could walk out of a down-to-earth brewery and into a highbrow wine bar next door. The city truly caters to every taste and budget.
Expat families and children in Richmond
Parents moving to Richmond will also have access to a range of good public, private and international schools. Though, if planning to enrol their children in a public school, they'd be wise to pick their neighbourhood carefully, as catchment areas determine admission. Expats and new arrivals should secure comprehensive medical insurance to avoid hefty healthcare costs.
There is a surprising abundance of things to see and do during new arrivals' leisure time, while the general lifestyle in Richmond is quite active. The city boasts an exciting variety of museums, art galleries and festivals for parents and their children to enjoy. Outdoor pursuits include running, cycling or strolling along the river, hiking through lush forested areas, river rafting or kayaking on the James River, or just kicking back on a picnic blanket in one of Richmond's many green spaces.
Climate in Richmond
Characterised by hot and humid summers, the climate in Richmond is subtropical. Thanks to the barrier effect of the mountains to the west, the winters in Richmond are mild. The city sees the bulk of its rainfall in July, and light snowfall occurs between November and January.
Those who move to Richmond tend to stay far longer than planned, and it's no wonder why. The city's residents are welcoming and warm, the quality of life is excellent, and costs, in pretty much all categories, are wonderfully low.
►Read the Banking, Money and Taxes in the USA page to get an overview of expat money matters
►Learn more about the different Areas and Suburbs of Richmond
Are you an expat living in Richmond?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Richmond. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.