Alexandria as a location for a remote living

Fortress of Kite Bay in the center of Alexandria, the main attraction of the city
Fortress of Kite Bay in the center of Alexandria, the main attraction of the city

Together with my family, I lived in Egypt for about two and a half years, from the beginning of 2018 to the second half of 2020. I worked at one of the enterprises near the city of Alexandria and lived nearby in a small village outside the city. I would like to share my experience of life in Alexandria, which is not very well-known to tourists, and tell you what life there might look like for a remote worker.

• Climate
• Safety
• Education for children
• The cost of living
• Visa
• Location: style / quality of life

Climate

It looks like the Mediterranean coast around Alexandria, endless cottage villages, white sand and turquoise water

Alexandria is not a very popular tourist destination compared to the resorts on the Red Sea. When it comes to life in Egypt, they usually talk about Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh, where there are Russian restaurants and signs in Russian on the streets. In my opinion, Alexandia has a much more comfortable climate for many Europeans. Here the temperature stays from +25 to +30 from April to November, and the remaining four months the temperature is from +15 to +20 and it often rains.

You can swim in the pool from the beginning of April to the beginning of November, approximately, and a little less in the sea. In general, Alexandria has a Mediterranean climate, only slightly warmer than Greece or Italy. The average annual daily temperature in Alexandria is 24.9 degrees, versus 23.3 in Athens and 21.4 in Rome.

To the west of Alexandria begins the North Shore resort, popular among the Egyptians. It is very beautiful here and, unlike the Red Sea, there are no crowds of foreign tourists. There are many great free beaches, we always went to the free beach right outside the house.

This is what the weather was like in mid-May
My son, kids love it when the summer lasts 8 months and the beach season is almost half a year

Safety

Perceptions of crime rates, from green in the safest cities to red in the most dangerous

In our two and a half years in Alexandria, we had no security problems. No dangerous situations, robberies, pickpockets or broken glass in a car – nothing at all.

Above is a map of the perception of crime by expats in different cities of the world, it shows that the situation in Alexandria is better than in many large European cities. This is a map of the Numbeo service.

On the other hand, in Alexandria they are less accustomed to foreign tourists than in the resorts of the Red Sea, absolutely no one speaks Russian. In Alexandria, English is well spoken and in most of the popular shops and cafes you will have no problems without knowing Arabic.

Overall, Alexandria is considered the most liberal city in Egypt, at least I’ve heard this many times from the locals. Alexandria is also home to quite a few Christian Copts and there are a number of churches in the city. I think this mixture of religions also contributes to a more open atmosphere in the city.

Education for children

My son Ivan with classmate Muhammad, better friends

Our children attended a British school in Alexandria, which is located in the same complex with the British Consulate. Teaching is entirely in English, the main teachers are British, and the assistants are Egyptians. In general, a very good school, we were very satisfied. High school cost around 7,000 British pounds per year, kindergarten 5,500 pounds per year.

Our youngest son came to this school almost without English, and after 2.5 years he spoke English fluently. There are similar schools in the city with English and French language of instruction, which are much cheaper. It seems to me that the opportunity to send children to an inexpensive school in English is one of the significant advantages of Alexandria.

British School, Alexandria

The school had compulsory Arabic lessons several times a week. After one and a half or two years, our son could speak to the driver in Arabic better than we did and knew a little the Arabic alphabet and numbers. Now he has almost forgotten everything, unfortunately, except for a few children’s songs.

In general, it seems to me that it was a wonderful experience for him – getting to know a different culture and language at an early age, understanding that people of a different faith or nationality can be best friends and are essentially no different from himself.

Once there was a funny moment when his best friend Muhammad asked his parents to buy him a cross after school. It turned out that he noticed that Ivan went to school with a cross and he wanted the same “toy” as his friend’s 🙂 We laughed a lot about this together with Muhammad’s parents.

It then reminded me that we are all, first of all, people, of something that unites us much more than that that separates us. Religion, language, nationality, all this is secondary and there are no obstacles for the boy Ivan and the boy Mohammed to be best friends.

the cost of living

Stanley Bridge, Alexandria

I think this is an interesting and important point for everyone – how much does life in Alexandria cost?

Let’s start with the biggest expense for most remote workers – real estate. We rented a fairly large house – three floors, four bedrooms, a swimming pool. A house like this cost about € 1,250 a month.

Such a house still costs about € 1,250 per month

In fact, it was even a house that was too big for us, and we could live comfortably in a housing of a smaller area. After a couple of years, I was already tired of supervising a gardener or pool cleaner all the time, and I would gladly just live in a large apartment in a condominium where someone else is doing all this.

For example, a three-room apartment with an area of ​​100 square meters in such a condominium can now be rented for € 500 per month. Most likely in the summer season, the price will rise, but if you conclude an annual contract, the price will not be much higher than this.

To be precise, 9,000 Egyptian pounds is € 505

Here is a simpler apartment in a condominium that can be rented for € 280 during off-season and a little more expensive with a one-year contract:

Here is one of the most popular real estate websites in Egypt.

Except for rent, we spent less than € 1,000 a month for all expenses, along with all bills, purchases, frequent visits to the restaurant and so on. Alexandria is a very cheap place to live. This is probably the cheapest city where we have ever lived. You can go to a local restaurant for just a few euros per person. Fruits and vegetables are very cheap – I remember how we literally bought oranges in boxes for less than 50 eurocents per kilogram.

At the same time, the advantageous difference between Alexandria and the same Hurghada is that you do not feel like in a small village on the edge of the desert. Alexandria has good shopping centers, full-fledged cinemas, a promenade, historical monuments, a large selection of cafes and restaurants. It’s a big city.

Photos of the largest and most popular shopping center in Alexandria – City Center Mall

In general, with a budget of € 1,500 in Alexandria, you can live very comfortably in a good condominium with a swimming pool and a gym, and there is nothing to be indifferent to. This does not include the budget for the school, it all depends on the chosen educational institution.

Pro tip: in many places in Alexandia there is no menu in English, knowing Arabic numerals will open up a world of really cheap cafes and restaurants for you!

Local food in an inexpensive cafe

Visa

Promenade and beach in the city center

Upon arrival in Egypt, you can get a visa for 30 days, which costs $ 25, right at the airport. After a month, it can be extended for another 30 days for free. After that, you need to apply for a visa extension by attaching a rental contract and, depending on the mood of the immigration officials, you will extend your visa for a few more months. In the end, you can get the following card, indicating that you are a resident of Egypt and will no longer have to pay $ 25 each time you arrive in Egypt:

In the event that for some reason you have expired your visa, you just need to pay a small fine at the airport during your next departure from Egypt. This penalty has no consequences, you can pay it many times. Sometimes it is simply easier to pay the fine than to renew the visa.

Over the course of two and a half years, I had a visa oversight three times, once for almost six months, and then I paid something about 60 euros in a fine for one adult, they do not take a fine from children. This is the most liberal attitude towards a foreigner, if you are too lazy to make a visa, which is already given on the basis of only one rental contract, then just pay a little and do not worry.

Location: style / quality of life

Roman ruins in Alexandria – a big plus of the city precisely in that it is at the same time a resort, a historical city and a commercial center

I liked Alexandria because it combines a fairly large city with many amenities (delivery, uber, restaurants of different cuisines), a large selection of entertainment and a wonderful climate that allows you to lead a beach lifestyle most of the year. Another plus of Alexandria is that from here you can fly to Istanbul in less than 2.5 hours, and from there it is already anywhere in Europe and the world.

The Mediterranean coast of Egypt is actively developing, this is a photo of the new tourist center El Alamein near Alexandria.

In general, the unconditional advantages of this place for a remote worker are the low cost of living, warm, but not as hot as on the Red Sea, climate and a very open visa policy. The downside, probably, is that you will need to get used to the local pace of life and mentality. For example, drivers simply do not follow any rules on the road, this is such a constant Brownian movement around you!

To be honest, after two and a half years in Alexandria, my wife got a little bored, and she was already ready to move. On the other hand, it was a great time for the kids, spent in an almost constant summer and safe environment. It seems to me that Alexandria can be an interesting place to travel for a season or for a year or two if you want to stay for a longer period.

***

If you were interested in this article, then you may be interested in my telegram channel about financial independence and life in different countries, and also my tweeter

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply Cancel reply