Expats moving to Los Angeles will likely have many concerns and queries about what life in the City of Angels is really like. Read on for some frequently asked questions about living in Los Angeles.
Do I need a car in Los Angeles?
Yes, probably more than in any other US city. Having a car makes getting around in LA much easier. Distances between districts of the city are long and an underdeveloped public transport system means that longer commutes can take hours. People in LA are infamous for driving even short distances.
How bad is the commute?
The length of one's commute really depends on the time of day and where one is going, although LA does have a reputation of having some of the worst traffic in all of the US. Rush-hour traffic can be absurd and most Los Angeles residents have a commute of nearly an hour each way.
Is Los Angeles expensive?
LA is one of the most expensive cities in the US, outdone only by New York City. Salaries do tend to be high in LA to compensate for the cost of living, but it's all too easy to overspend if not keeping an eye on the budget. A person's lifestyle can have a big impact on their spending in LA. The city is replete with expensive entertainment options, but there are also a number of great free options, like public parks and beaches. Meanwhile, parents can save money by sending their children to a public school, which is free of charge, rather than a pricey private or international school.
Do I need to know Spanish?
Hispanic and non-Hispanic populations are almost equally represented in LA's population. There are many neighbourhoods that are primarily Spanish speaking, but overall it is not necessary to speak Spanish. That said, it can still be a big help in forging connections and is a great way for expats to meet new people.