- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Boston Guide (PDF)
Moving to a new city is a daunting task and expats are sure to have many questions about what to expect. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about living in Boston.
What is public transportation like in Boston?
Boston likes to call itself 'the walking city' as it's well situated for walking. A large portion of the residents use public transport for their commutes to work, which is rare for an American city.
One of the most famous aspects of the city is the subway, commonly referred to as 'the T'. It has four easily navigable lines that provide access to most sections of the city. A bus service and commuter train are also widely used, and a ferry connects city districts across the bay.
What is the weather like in Boston?
The weather in Boston varies dramatically in changing seasons. Winters are cold with frequent snowfall. About 42 inches (107cm) of snow falls annually. Summers are hot, reaching 82°F (28°C) in July. Many homes have both air conditioning and heaters.
What's the cost of living in Boston like?
The cost of living in Boston is one of the highest in the US. Although Boston's public transport is affordable, accommodation is a huge expense. Thankfully salaries in Boston are generally high, but expats should ensure that their employers offer packages that meet the cost of living in Boston.
Is Boston safe?
Overall Boston is safe, but, like any large city, there are places to avoid. Public transportation is well policed, as is the city centre. A few upper-end neighbourhoods hire their own security companies, but in general, this is not needed.
Will I need a car when I move to Boston?
This depends where one lives. Many expats choose to live in a suburb, where a car is a necessity – particularly for those with children. Downtown Boston is compact, bike-friendly (flat), easily walkable and residents can manage without having a car, particularly since the advent of Uber and Lyft. Parking in the city centre is difficult, and many residents choose to get around Boston by foot or public transport. It's also nice to have a car when it's cold and snowing hard, but you'll need a snow shovel in the winter if you park on the street.