The name Atlanta, Georgia, conjures up good old fashioned Southern hospitality. The hospitality is still there but is now part of a vibrant, fast paced and growing city, which is constantly attracting corporate relocations.
If you are considering moving to Atlanta, the various costs listed below will help you make an informed decision on what costs are involved when moving and living in this city.
Quick Atlanta Facts:
- Population: City: 463,878, Metro: 5,710,795 (2016 estimate)
- Official Language: English (de facto) with over 70 languages being spoken by residents of Atlanta, including Spanish, French, Gujarati, Mandarin and Vietnamese.
- GDP Per Capita: $53,216 USD
- Giraffes: It is against the law to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole or a street lamp.
- Currency: US Dollar (US$). As of early 2017, £1 = $1.30, €1 = $1.08, $1 CAD = $0.75, $1 AUD = $0.77
1. Moving and Shipping Costs to Atlanta
- New York City – $240+
- Los Angeles – $595+
- Canada (Vancouver) – $1,467+
- UK (London) – $1,351+
- Australia (Sydney) – $2,660+
- Ireland (Dublin) – $1,500+
- New Zealand (Auckland) – $3,131+
- Hong Kong – $1,538+
- Dubai – $2,611+
- Singapore – $2,817+
2. Atlanta Housing Costs
The centre of Atlanta has many new apartment blocks, townhouses, lofts and condos. If you move further out, you will find houses ranging from small detached houses on small plots to rambling mansions, with lots of land. Housing in Atlanta is affordable, especially if you are moving from somewhere like New York, London or Sydney.
Monthly Rental Prices in Atlanta
- 1 bedroom apartment in City Centre: $900+
- 1 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $700+
- 3 bedroom apartment in City Centre: $1,500+
- 3 bedroom apartment outside the City Centre: $1,200+
Atlanta Home Purchase Prices
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy in City Centre: $2,800+
- Price per square metre (10.7 square feet) to buy outside City: $1,200+
Atlanta Housing Cost Comparison
This is how rents in Atlanta compare with other cities around the globe.
London is 59.45% more expensive
New York is 125.08% more expensive
Los Angeles is 51.90% more expensive
Toronto is 9.43% cheaper
Sydney is 48.54% more expensive
Paris is 3.72% cheaper
Dubai is 65.58% more expensive
How to Save on Housing Costs
- Share an apartment or house. Have a look at the following sites to find your perfect roommate: Easyroommate, Craigslist, Kangaroom and Metroroommates
- Different areas – different prices. One of the great things about Atlanta is that it doesn’t matter which neighbourhood you live in, there will be good shops, restaurants and entertainment. Buckhead is one the most expensive area and has stars such as Janet Jackson owning property there. Chastain Park is also an area for the affluent. If you prefer a more Bohemian feel, then move to Little Five Points. Midtown is for those who enjoy the arts and history scene. East Atlanta Village is the most affordable up and coming area in the city.
3. Atlanta Food, Grocery and Restaurant Costs
Fine dining, Italian, Japanese, good Southern food, steak houses, burger joints, Parisian style bistros – you name it and Atlanta probably has it. There are new restaurants opening up regularly to join this exciting culinary scene.
The grocers and supermarkets are well stocked with fresh produce, particularly those popular in Southern cooking.
- Inexpensive Restaurant: $10 – $18
- Takeout Coffee: $3.00 – $5.00
- Bottle of Coke: $1.25 – $2
- 1L of milk: $0.66 – $1.06
- Loaf of Bread: $1.65 – $3.31
- 12 Eggs: $1.89 – $3.00
- 1kg Chicken: $4.41 – $13.23
- 1kg Beef: $8.82 – $19.84
- 1kg Apples: $3.86 – $8.82
- 1kg White Rice: $2.20 – $4.41
This is how restaurants and food prices compare with other major cities in the world.
- London restaurants are 24.55% more expensive and groceries are 21.05% cheaper than Atlanta.
- New York restaurants are 37.15% more expensive and groceries are 29.92% more expensive than Atlanta.
- Los Angeles restaurants are 12.25% more expensive and groceries are 0.75% cheaper than Atlanta.
- Toronto restaurants are 9.13% cheaper and groceries are 17.08% cheaper than Atlanta.
- Sydney restaurants are 1.50% more expensive and groceries are 4.5% more expensive than Atlanta.
- Paris restaurants are 11.65% more expensive and groceries are 0.52% cheaper than Atlanta.
- Dubai restaurants are 11.00% cheaper and groceries are 23.93% cheaper than Atlanta.
Bonus Tips for Cheaper Food, Restaurants and Groceries
- Know your supermarkets: Atlanta has independently owned grocery stores as well as the usual supermarket chains. It also has some good farmer’s markets and organic produce stores. Popular supermarkets are Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Publix, Kroger and The Fresh Market.
- Find Cheap Eats: There are plenty of places to find cheap eats in Atlanta. There are always specials around. Have a look at the following sites to find something that take your fancy – TripAdvisor, Southern Living, Gafollowers and Clatl.
4. Atlanta Alcohol Costs
As soon as the sun starts setting (if not before) the bars, clubs and music venues of Atlanta come alive. Whether you are looking for a laid-back venue, a sophisticated one or one where you can dance the night away, you’ll find it in Atlanta.
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub: $3.00 – $5.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub: $5.00 – $7.00
- Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket: $1.50 – $3.00
- Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket: $1.99 – $6.00
- Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket: $10.00 – $15.00
How to drink for less in Atlanta
- Keep an eye on the local papers and websites for specials over weekends and public holidays.
- Try Burkhart’s Pub in Piedmont, Five Paces Inn in Buckhead, The Highlander in Midtown or 529 in East Atlanta Village. To get some more ideas on where to find cheap drinks and happy hours, have a look at the following sites – Eater Atlanta, Drink Owl, Thrillist and Four Square.
5. Atlanta Transportation Fares
The public transportation system in Atlanta is run by MARTA. It runs an extensive system of buses and trains which cover the majority of the city and its attractions.
Here are some example ticket costs.
- Adult Single – $2.50
- One day ticket – $9
- Monthly season ticket, unlimited – $95
How to save money on public transport
- Buy a Breeze card and get 20 trips for $42.50
- Buy a Breeze card and get 7 days unlimited travel for $23.75
- Buy a bike. Depending on where you live and work, cycling around the city may be an option.
- If you live relatively close to where you work, try walking.
6. Cost of Internet in Atlanta
Internet prices in the States are expensive compared with many other countries in the world. Here are some sample broadband internet prices from early 2017 for unlimited downloads, based on a 12-month contract:
7. Cost of Clothing, Personal Items, Gym and Leisure
Summers in Atlanta are hot and humid with an average high of 90°F (32°C). January is the coldest month with an average low of 34°F (1°C). The wettest month is July, with an average of 5.2 inches (134mm) of rain falling.
Here are some clothing prices, together with other useful prices.
- Pair of Jeans: $25 – $55
- Summer Dress: $20 – $60
- Running Shoes (Trainers): $55 – $100
- Business Shoes: $60 – $120
- Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): $101
- Deodorant: $3.36
- Shampoo: $4.83
- Toilet Paper (4 rolls): $3.34
- Gym membership: $20-$60 per month
- Movie (cinema) ticket: $10-$15
8. Cost of Owning a Car and Driving a Car in Atlanta
Driving in Atlanta in the rush hour is to be avoided at all costs. Rumor has that Atlantans get rather aggressive at this time and seem to ignore the speed limit.
If you’re moving to Atlanta from within the US, you’ll be able to keep your license but need to update your address to your new one.
You can drive on a foreign license for up to 12 months as a tourist but after that you will need to get an American license. If you are working or studying in the US, you can drive on your foreign license for 30 days. If you want to exchange your foreign driver’s license you have to follow the process here.
Here are some other sample costs of owning and operating a car in Atlanta:
- Volkswagen Golf: $20,000
- 1 litre (¼ gallon) of gas (petrol): $0.59
- Other fees (if any): The average cost of state and local taxes, license, title and registration fees is $665 per annum
Ways to save money driving in Atlanta
- Car sharing or pooling is one way to save money. Try Car Pool World, Enterprise Carshare, and Zipcar,
- Taxis can sometimes be a cheaper option, especially if you are going to have to park all day. Try Uber and
Need your car/vehicle moved to Atlanta? Then read our guide to: Car Transport & Vehicle Shipping
9. Taxes in Atlanta
Sales Tax in Atlanta is 8.5% and is added to most goods and services. Generally, the price you see on an item does not include sales tax.
If you own your home, you will be subject to property tax based on the area in which you live and the size of the property you live in. Learn more about property tax in Atlanta at Smart Asset Property Tax.
Finally, if you decide to buy a flat or house in Atlanta you’ll have to pay real estate transfer tax.
10.Flight Costs from Atlanta
Atlanta’s Hartsfield–Jackson Airport is the world’s busiest airport by passenger numbers.
So if you do make the move to Atlanta, here’s approximately how much it will cost to fly to other major world cities based on lowest, one-way fares from Skyscanner as of early 2017:
- London: $259
- New York: $73
- Los Angeles: $96
- Toronto: $157
- Vancouver: $136
- Dubai: $592
- Sydney: $564
- Melbourne: $575
- Cape Town: $760
- Hong Kong: $562
Other Atlanta Relocation Tips
The costs and pricing above should give you a good idea of the cost of living in Atlanta but perhaps the following extra tips will make your move go smoothly.
11. Relocating to Atlanta Alone
Moving anywhere can be a lonely experience, but moving to a new city can be rather daunting. Here are a few tips about settling in Atlanta.
- Meetups: Atlanta has many Meetup groups covering a wide range of activities from running to veganism.
- Attend local events: There is always something going on in Atlanta and many of the activities are free. Have a look at these sites to get inspiration on what to do during your free time – TripAdvisor, Atlanta.net and US News.
12. Moving to Atlanta with a Family
Atlanta has a lot going on for families. There are museums, art galleries, shows, the aquarium, Legoland and lots more.
- New parents (or parents to be): Check out Confident Childbirth and Support Groups for advice, courses and ways to meet other parents or parents to be.
- Live in a family friendly area: Buckhead, Garden Hills and Decatur are all excellent areas for families, with good schools, shops and amenities close by.
- Find things to do with the kids: There’s plenty to keep the kids occupied and interested in Atlanta. Have a look at 10 Best, Family Days Out, 365 Atlanta Family and Parents.
13. Moving to Atlanta for Work
Moving to Atlanta for work is one of the most common reasons people choose to move. While it is possible to move without a job, it makes sense to ensure there are jobs in your field before you make the move.
Some of the biggest companies in the States have their headquarters in Atlanta: Coca-Cola, CNN, Delta Airlines and UPS to name but a few. Education, healthcare, transportation, hospitality and finance, all offer job hunters opportunities in Atlanta.
Here are a few things to consider when moving for work:
- Salary: The costs we outlined above should give you a rough idea, how much more you’ll want to be making to make the move worthwhile. You can also check salary ranges on sites such as Glassdoor and Payscale.
- How to find work: If you want to have a job lined up before you move to Atlanta, but aren’t sure where to begin, the following sites are good places to start: Monster, Indeed, Snagajob, Craigslist and Career Builder. You may also want to google recruiters in your industry, as they can often help land you some initial interviews as well.
14. Moving to Atlanta from Australia
There’s a small group of Australians living in Atlanta, if you are thinking of joining them, here are a few things to consider.
- Size comparison: If you compare the size of the population of Atlanta with an Australian city, it would be closest in size to Newcastle.
- Join expat groups: Internations, Australians within Atlanta and Expat.com offer ways of meeting up with other Australians in Atlanta.
15. Moving to Atlanta from Canada
There are a large group of Canadians living in Atlanta, so if you’re thinking of making the move from Canada here are a few things to consider.
- Size: If you compare the population size of Atlanta with the population size of a Canadian city, the closest would be London, Ontario.
- Expat groups: Meeting up with fellow Canadians helps the moving process. Link up through sites such as Internations, Meetup and ATLCanadians.
16. Moving to Atlanta from the United Kingdom
Atlanta attracts a fair number of people from the UK, so if you’re considering joining them, here are a few bonus tips:
- Size: If you compare the population size of Atlanta with a UK city, the closest in size would be Liverpool.
- Expat groups: If you want to get together with others from the UK who are enjoying Southern hospitality in Atlanta, then go to Internations and Meetup.
Hopefully, the tips and costs above are helpful. If want to get started pricing out how much it will cost you to move to Atlanta you can start by comparing moving quotes here.
Guides to moving and living in other American cities