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Moving to Dallas

The city motto of Dallas is 'Big things happen here' – and as the city often finds itself in the top ten most populated cities in the USA, Dallas truly lives up to the Texan stereotype of bigger being better. While the topography of Dallas is fairly flat throughout, the atmosphere is alive and vibrant. Though Dallas is firmly inland, its plentiful lakes and creeks make up for the lack of a coastline.

Living in Dallas as an expat

There has been a cultural renaissance of sorts in Dallas lately, resulting in the development of the Arts District. Newcomers to Dallas will be able to enjoy a fantastic lifestyle, with numerous museums throughout the city, as well as great restaurants and a vibrant nightlife.

That said, Dallas isn't a typical Texan city. It's less laid-back than other cities in the state and takes a more serious approach to work. That isn't to say the city is unfriendly, but new arrivals will experience something in between warm Southern hospitality and a steely business mentality.

Cost of living in Dallas

One of the major benefits of living in Dallas is its overall lower cost of living compared to other major US cities. In most aspects, big-city life can be enjoyed in Dallas without the big-city price to go along with it. That said, costs have been rising recently, including the cost of housing. In 2023, Mercer's Cost of Living Survey ranked the city as the 53rd most expensive out of 227 expat destinations worldwide.

Despite these rising costs, Dallas remains reasonably priced. Transplants from pricier cities like San Francisco often marvel at how much more space they can afford in Dallas compared to the tiny and expensive accommodation back home.

Expat families and children

Another drawcard for people relocating to Dallas is its abundance of beautiful, family-friendly neighbourhoods with good schools and historic houses. Those who move to the city's suburbs can expect leafy green avenues, spacious parks and interesting architecture.

Most people living in Dallas use a car as their primary means of transport, but public transport is available, and there are buses, light rail and trams to help commuters get around. Dallas also has a network of bike paths and wide sidewalks for outdoorsy people who enjoy daily exercise.

Climate in Dallas

Dallas is a great place for those who like warm, dry weather and lots of sunshine. The good weather in the city allows for outdoor sports to be played year-round, and new arrivals will soon notice the locals' enthusiastic support of their city's football team, the Dallas Cowboys. Green spaces abound, so there's no shortage of places to picnic, cycle or go for a run.

Weather in Dallas

Dallas is in the Southern Plains of the United States, with its climate being influenced by its inland position, away from the moderating effects of large bodies of water. This results in a humid subtropical climate, characterised by hot summers and mild winters, with temperatures ranging from 37°F to 96°F (3–36°C) throughout the year. It's rare for temperatures to drop below 24°F (-4°C) or rise above 102°F (39°C).

The warmest months in Dallas are typically between June and September, during which residents and visitors can expect temperatures to hover between 73°F and 96°F (23–36°C). Rainfall is sporadic during this period, but when it does occur, it can be intense due to the city's susceptibility to thunderstorms. Winter, spanning from December to February, is relatively mild, with temperatures ranging from 37°F to 61°F (3–16°C). This season witnesses more consistent rainfall, and on rare occasions, the city might even see a dusting of snow.

Unique to Dallas's climate is its vulnerability to extreme weather events, including tornadoes, especially in spring and fall. The city's position in Tornado Alley means that it's not uncommon for severe weather warnings to be issued during these transitional seasons.


Working in Dallas

Dallas has a diverse economy with job opportunities in a variety of sectors. Due to the city's strategic location, pro-business attitude and favourable economic climate, Dallas has become a place where business has thrived. As such, increasing numbers of global companies have chosen to start operations here.

Job market in Dallas

high-rise buildings under clear sky

Dominant industries in Dallas include banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy and healthcare. The city is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Energy Transport Equity and Tenet Healthcare.

Dallas has become known as the 'Silicon Prairie', as it's among America's largest employment centres for high technology industries. In addition, Dallas is a hub for telecommunications manufacturing in the USA.

Finding a job in Dallas

Expats moving to Dallas are advised to do so with a secure job offer, as finding employment in the city isn't always easy. Competition for jobs in Dallas is high, and companies are looking to hire those with considerable experience within their field rather than recent graduates or those who require more training.

Online job portals advertise positions available, while there is also the option of recruitment agencies to help with the process. Those lucky enough to land a job in Dallas will find that many of the big employers in the city offer a pleasant working environment with good training opportunities and incentives. 

All expats seeking employment in Dallas will need to be in possession of the necessary US work permit or green card.

Useful links

Work culture in Dallas

In general, the work culture in Dallas has a less frenetic pace than the other major business cities around the US, though this can vary widely by industry. Different workplaces inevitably have differing policies and prevailing attitudes when it comes to dress codes, office atmosphere and co-worker relations. A job at a major bank will likely be more formal than working at a tech start-up, for example.

The all-American value of hard work can be seen in Dallas. Once an employee has their foot in the door, hard work becomes the primary determinant of success.

Cost of living in Dallas

With a population of approximately 1.3 million, Dallas might initially seem intimidating for newcomers. However, the Mercer 2023 Cost of Living survey ranking paints a more welcoming picture, placing Dallas 12th in the United States – 53rd out of 227 expat destinations worldwide – suggesting a more moderate cost of living than some of its metropolitan counterparts.

For newcomers on a tight budget, Dallas's vastness can be advantageous. By doing comparative research and tapping into local communities, one can discover neighbourhoods, markets and services that suit their financial constraints. Many Dallas residents use mobile apps or online platforms that offer deals or discounts on various aspects of daily life, from shopping to dining.

Cost of accommodation in Dallas

Dallas offers diverse living options, from contemporary apartments in the bustling downtown to historical homes, offering a peek into the city's past. Townhouses and single-family homes are familiar sights, but loft apartments and preserved historical homes could be ideal for those looking to blend modernity with a touch of history.

Like in most major cities, the price of paradise varies. Upscale neighbourhoods like Highland Park, University Park and Preston Hollow are the go-to for luxury, but for those looking for affordability without compromising quality, Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove and West Dallas beckon.

The old real estate adage, "Location, location, location," rings true in Dallas. Other significant contributors to property pricing are the size of the dwelling and the amenities it offers. Those looking to save on accommodation should consider co-living spaces or renting a room rather than an entire apartment and keep an eye out for sublets or short-term lease options. Some areas outside the city centre offer more affordable rents and are still conveniently connected by public transport.

Cost of transport in Dallas

Moving around Dallas is facilitated by an efficient transportation matrix. The city boasts a robust public transportation system comprising buses, light rail, and commuter rail. Residents can save substantially by using public transportation with monthly or yearly transit passes, often at discounted rates. For those who prefer a more environmentally friendly or health-conscious commute, Dallas offers bike-sharing and car-sharing programs.

Public transit is relatively affordable, and while many opt for personal vehicles, it's worth noting the associated costs. Factors like fuel and variable car insurance and parking fees (particularly in high-demand areas) can add up. For those who must drive, consider carpooling or using car-sharing services for occasional needs rather than maintaining a personal vehicle.

Cost of groceries in Dallas

Eating well in Dallas doesn't necessarily mean eating into one's savings. The city presents a mix of popular grocery chains like Kroger, Tom Thumb and Walmart. While prices vary slightly by location, on average, Dallas stays slightly below the national average for grocery costs.

Newcomers will find that while local markets offer occasional bargains, chain stores tend to be more consistent in offering value, and buying in bulk and using loyalty programs at large grocery chains can lead to significant savings. Furthermore, choosing store-brand products instead of name brands can provide similar quality at a fraction of the cost.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Dallas

The Dallas lifestyle is nothing short of a treasure trove for the culture vultures and foodies among new arrivals. Cultural landmarks like the Dallas Museum of Art offer a dose of refinement, while the Dallas Zoo promises wholesome family fun. For sports enthusiasts, venues such as the AT&T Stadium are the epicentre of excitement.

The culinary scene in Dallas ranges from modest, wallet-friendly eateries to gourmet paradises. Beyond dining, recreational pursuits like fitness centres or spas have a wide price range, often based on location and amenities.

Those on a tight budget could look for free or donation-based events, often listed on community boards or local websites. Many museums and attractions have discounted days or hours. Diners can try lunch specials, usually cheaper than dinner prices, or explore the myriad of food trucks serving delicious and affordable meals.

Cost of education in Dallas

For those relocating with families, Dallas's diverse educational offerings are a boon. From public schools to private institutions, charters and magnets, choices are abundant. For families looking to save, public schools are a cost-effective choice. Public libraries in Dallas also provide free educational resources, workshops and events for children and adults.

While public education is typically considered the cost-effective route, Dallas's private institutions, with their varied curricula and facilities, come at a premium. That said, many of these schools offer scholarships or financial aid, ensuring that bright young minds are never denied opportunities based on finances. Parents can also explore institutions that offer sliding scale fees or sibling discounts.

Cost of healthcare in Dallas

Ensuring good health in Dallas is underpinned by its comprehensive healthcare system. Public and private hospitals and clinics dot the city, with prestigious names like Baylor University Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center at the helm.

Insurance is a crucial consideration, and costs fluctuate based on factors like the plan type and an individual's profile. For those without the cushion of employer-sponsored insurance, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a lifeline, offering a myriad of health insurance options.

Community health fairs often offer free screenings and essential services. Generic drugs, available at pharmacies, are usually much cheaper than branded alternatives. Some local clinics also operate on a sliding fee scale based on income.

Cost of living in Dallas chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Dallas for September 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

USD 3,900

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

USD 2,700

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

USD 1,910

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

USD 1,470

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

USD 3.47

Milk (1 litre)

USD 0.90

Rice (1kg)

USD 4.32

Loaf of white bread

USD 3.30

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 5.61

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 10

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

USD 75

Big Mac meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.50



Bottle of beer (local)

USD 3.67


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

USD 0.20

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

USD 66

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

USD 220


Taxi rate/km

USD 1.22

City-centre public transport fare


Gasoline (per litre)

USD 0.88

Accommodation in Dallas

Finding accommodation in Dallas will be one of the most enduring challenges facing those moving to the city. Whether one is looking to rent or buy, housing in Dallas is in short supply.

That said, the quality of apartments and houses in Dallas is high, and property prices reflect this. In fact, Dallas is home to some of the most luxurious and expensive properties in the world. In terms of more affordable living options in Dallas, choices are limited.

Due to the shortage of property, especially in popular neighbourhoods, it's advisable to start the search as soon as possible. Luckily, there are plenty of estate agents available in Dallas to advise newcomers on the city's property market.

Areas and suburbs in Dallas

When moving to Dallas, choosing a neighbourhood that aligns with one's lifestyle is essential. The Uptown and Downtown areas are bustling with activity, offering a variety of dining, entertainment and shopping options. For those seeking a more suburban feel, areas such as Highland Park and Preston Hollow provide quieter environments with larger plots of land and green spaces.

Lakewood and the M Streets are trendy spots, combining the old-world charm of Dallas and modern amenities. Meanwhile, the Bishop Arts District showcases a bohemian vibe, brimming with independent shops and artisanal eateries.

For families, areas like Plano and Richardson, slightly north of the main city, have excellent schools and more expansive properties, making them attractive options.

See Areas and Suburbs in Dallas for more on the best neighbourhoods in the city.

Types of accommodation in Dallas

The type of housing available varies, ranging from modern apartments and urban loft spaces in the downtown area to luxury condos and huge family homes further out in the suburbs.

As property is a big business in Dallas, the standard is generally excellent, and properties are always well maintained. This high standard of accommodation comes with a hefty price tag though. Standard property prices should be carefully researched ahead of moving to Dallas.

Finding accommodation in Dallas

Demand for accommodation in Dallas exceeds supply, so finding somewhere to stay isn't always easy. New arrivals will benefit from the services of a real estate agent who will be familiar with the local property market. There are plenty of agents working in the city, and it's worth speaking to other newcomers to get recommendations too.

The internet is another good place to begin a search for a property. Online portals can be used to get an idea of the property prices in particular neighbourhoods. It's important to note that property in sought-after areas is snapped up quickly in Dallas, often even before agents can advertise online. It's wise to get a head start by ensuring the agent knows one's ideal areas, budget and preferred type of housing.

Useful links

  • Zillow: A popular site for property listings in Dallas
  • Realtor: Search for both buying and renting options in Dallas
  • Specifically tailored for those seeking apartment rentals
  • Trulia: Another useful portal for property searches in Dallas

Renting accommodation in Dallas

Most people who move to Dallas will opt to rent rather than buy property, at least initially. This allows greater flexibility and gives new arrivals time to get to know the city's various neighbourhoods before making a long-term commitment.

Making an application

Once a property is chosen, prospective tenants will need to make an application. This usually involves filling out a form detailing personal information, employment history and references. Most landlords or agencies will also conduct a credit check.

It's recommended to gather previous landlord references, pay stubs and possibly even a letter of employment. This preparation can speed up the approval process and make one stand out in a competitive market.

Additionally, some properties may require a background check. If a resident has a pet, they should check the property's pet policy and be prepared to pay an additional deposit or monthly fee.

Leases, costs and fees

As the availability of property is limited, landlords will typically look for tenants who can commit to a lease for at least one year. It's essential to read a lease carefully before signing to become familiar with any limitations it might specify and to check whether there are additional costs on top of rent.

Generally, tenants are expected to put down a deposit of at least one month's rent. If the property is returned in good condition, tenants should receive the deposit back in full.

Besides the deposit, renters should be aware of possible application fees, administrative fees and sometimes even pet fees. While some costs are one-time fees, others like pet rent might be added to the monthly rent. It's always wise to clarify all costs upfront to avoid unexpected expenses.

See Accommodation in the USA for more on rental processes in the country.

Utilities in Dallas

Utilities are typically not included in the cost of renting a property, so these costs need to be considered on top of the rental price.

Setting up utilities is a priority once accommodation is secured. While some rental agreements might include certain utilities, others will require tenants to set up their own accounts and manage payments directly.

Many utility companies in Dallas offer online account management, which makes it easier to track usage and payments. It's worth shopping around and checking reviews to ensure one gets reliable service and competitive rates.

Electricity and gas

There are numerous energy providers in Dallas due to Texas's deregulated energy market. This means residents can choose a provider that best suits their needs and budget. It's advised to compare rates and contract lengths. Some popular providers include TXU Energy, Reliant and Direct Energy.

For gas, Atmos Energy is the primary provider in the Dallas area. They offer both residential and commercial services.


Water and sewerage services are typically handled by the City of Dallas. Upon moving, residents need to set up an account with the city's water utility service. Bills are usually sent monthly, and payments can be made online, by mail or in person.

It's also wise to be aware of water conservation guidelines, especially during the drier months when restrictions might be in place.

Waste management and recycling

The City of Dallas provides waste collection and recycling services. Households are usually supplied with bins for regular waste, recyclables and yard waste. Collection schedules vary depending on the neighbourhood.

Residents should be familiar with recycling guidelines, ensuring items like paper, plastic and glass are sorted correctly to promote efficient recycling processes.


High-speed internet is crucial for many, and Dallas offers a variety of providers. Depending on the area, options might include AT&T, Spectrum and Frontier. It's beneficial to check the availability in one's specific location and compare packages to get the best deal.

Useful links

Areas and suburbs in Dallas

The best places to live in Dallas

The question of which area or suburb of Dallas to live in is a big one for most new arrivals. Choosing the right neighbourhood to match one's priorities will have a significant impact on the experience of living in the city.

Property is big business in Dallas, and it would be beneficial to seek the advice of a real estate agent. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of the city's property market and have access to a larger pool of potential properties to suit the different requirements of each person.

City living in Dallas

Ryan Duffy

Living in downtown Dallas is perfect for those who want easy access to the newest restaurants, clubs, bars and shopping experiences. While city-living options tend to be a little less spacious and pricier than those in the suburbs, these areas are very convenient for limiting the commute time to work.

Bryan Place

Bryan Place is an east Dallas neighbourhood near the Arts District in the city centre. Being so close to the commercial centre of Dallas, it's popular among young professionals and executives.

Accommodation in Bryan Place is varied, and although there are some older standalone homes available, most of the housing consists of townhouses, low-rise condos and modern apartment complexes. For outdoorsy types, Exall Park is close by and is a great place to enjoy the city's favourable climate.  

Highland Park

Highland Park provides all the best elements of city living. Located just outside the city centre, it's within easy reach of all major facilities. Those settling in this neighbourhood will have access to some of the city's best shopping and entertainment facilities. 

There are a number of good schools in the area, which accounts for its growing popularity among families. There are many local parks in the area which provide open spaces for recreational activities.

Family-friendly neighbourhoods in Dallas

Alec Mason

Dallas is a great city for expats moving to the USA with children. To a large extent, schooling choices will ultimately determine where families live. However, there are plenty of safe, family-friendly communities to choose from.


Parker is popular among families because of its excellent quality of life. Most of the accommodation in Parker comes in the form of freestanding family homes with spacious gardens and swimming pools. The area is some distance from the city centre, but Parker has good road links that allow easy access for commuting to work. There are lots of modern malls nearby.

In addition to the green open spaces and fresh country air in Parker, the schools are exceptional, and the crime rate is low, making it a great place to raise children. 


Southlake is another popular choice for families with children and pets. The schools are really what draw people to the area, and there are lots of great options.

Accommodation in Southlake mainly consists of large family homes. The area has plenty of shopping and dining options, most of which are located at Southlake Town Square. It's also very safe and known for having a strong sense of community.

Healthcare in Dallas

The standard of healthcare in Dallas is good, and there are many excellent hospitals to choose from. That said, the USA does not have universal healthcare, meaning that access to quality medical care in Dallas is directly related to having a comprehensive health insurance policy.

For this reason, those moving to Texas will either need to invest in health insurance or ensure that they have a policy provided as part of their employment package. Medical care may be denied without insurance or the ability to pay upfront. In the case of an emergency, hospitals are obligated to give life-saving treatment, but the patient will nevertheless be presented with a bill once they have been stabilised.

Pharmacies can easily be found in Dallas, with many operating 24/7.

Hospitals in Dallas

Baylor University Medical Center

Address: 3500 Gaston Avenue

Medical City Dallas

Address: 7777 Forest Lane

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Address: 8200 Walnut Hill Lane

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Address: 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard 

Education and Schools in Dallas

Education plays a central role in Dallas. The city is a major centre of education for much of the South Central region of the USA. Thousands of Americans and people from abroad head to Dallas each year to attend one of the city's universities, colleges or trade schools.

The Dallas Independent School District oversees the provision of education in the city and is one of the largest school districts in the USA. The standard of schooling in Dallas is good, and there are plenty of options for students moving to the city from abroad.

When picking schools, those moving to Dallas will need to carefully evaluate their priorities for their children's education. It's necessary to consider cost, the proximity of the school to home and the workplace and the curriculum and teaching style followed by the school.

Public schools in Dallas

The standard of public schools in Dallas is varied. On one end of the spectrum, Dallas boasts many excellent charter and magnet schools that cater for gifted students and produce outstanding results; on the other hand, the city is also home to some schools that don't perform as well. 

For this reason, parents choosing to send their children to a public school in Dallas will need extensive research into its standards and facilities. The Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) aggregates a broad spectrum of data regarding students' performance in each school and district in Texas annually. The reports furnish comprehensive details on school and district staff, programmes and student demographics, available for the state and every public school, district or region of Texas.

One major advantage of picking a public school in Dallas is the cost, as no fees are charged. Since public school attendance is based on zoning, it also allows children to mix with local kids from the neighbourhood, which is especially helpful for expat families new to the US.

Charter and magnet schools

Both charter and magnet schools are associated with high achievement and a broader cultural outlook. They're great options for parents looking for a higher standard of education for their children. 

Charter schools schools have more scope to be flexible in their teaching methods than traditional public schools. Magnet schools follow an alternative, more specialised curriculum focusing on particular subjects such as languages, science or the performing arts. Dallas ISD offers students more than 30 magnet schools, some among the country's top performers.

With long waiting lists, competition for places at these schools can be fierce. Lottery systems are used to confirm enrolment for both charter and magnet schools in Dallas. Charter schools requiring a skill, such as those with music programmes, may also require an audition.

See Education and Schools in the USA for more on the national education system.

Useful links

Private schools in Dallas

New arrivals in Dallas can also send their children to one of the city's private schools. Private schools generally follow the state's curriculum but tend to have some degree of flexibility regarding teaching styles. These schools often teach through a religious lens, such as Christian schools, or an alternative education philosophy, such as Montessori schools.

Private schools in Dallas provide a high standard of teaching and lots of scope for gifted students to flourish academically. They also tend to offer a more varied range of extracurricular activities. The downside of sending children to private schools is the high fees.

International schools in Dallas

Unlike in other major US cities, there aren't many international schools in Dallas. Most expats from English-speaking countries find that sending their child to a public or private school is a viable option, and there therefore isn't a massive demand for international schools in the city.

Francophones and parents who want to afford their children a bilingual education will be pleased to know that they can send their children to Dallas International School, Mission Laïque Française (DIS). It offers an integration of the French national curriculum, the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the American curriculum.

For German pre-school to lower primary education (for children from 12 months to 10 years old), the German International School of Dallas is another option. They teach a marriage of the Bavarian curriculum and the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, emphasising an immersion approach to German language and culture during the school day.

There are also many private and magnet schools in Dallas that offer the option of studying for the International Baccalaureate.

Demand for places in international schools is high, and there are long waiting lists, so it's best to start the application process early. Fees at international schools can be costly. Expats considering this option should factor this into their negotiations about their employment package.

Useful links

Homeschooling in Dallas

Homeschooling is legal in the state of Texas. Children taught at home are exempt from the compulsory attendance requirement, like students enrolled in a private school.

Parents who homeschool their children in Dallas need to follow specific rules with which they should familiarise themselves. Parents also need to remember that the public school district may ask them to provide assurances in writing that they intend to homeschool their child.

Useful links

Special-needs education in Dallas

The city of Dallas welcomes children and adults with special needs with open arms. The city has many inclusion initiatives, with adaptive programmes in many areas. The city has accessible playgrounds, sensory-friendly museums and many other options to keep individuals with special needs in Dallas entertained.

Texas is one of the few states with solid Early Childhood Intervention programmes. Some professionals can analyse a child's circumstances and determine the appropriate course of action, such as setting up a personalised learning plan, getting access to early intervention therapists and getting assistance with transitioning into public schooling. Dallas also has several schools explicitly catering to those with special needs.

New parents can contact the Texan Department of Education for more assistance. There are also groups like The Down Syndrome Guild where parents can connect with those who have children enrolled in a range of special-needs programmes in the city.

Useful links

Tutoring in Dallas

Tutoring services are commonly used in Dallas. There are a vast number of options available to students who require extra help with specific school subjects. For expat children, tutoring can be invaluable for catching up with a new curriculum and covering possible knowledge gaps. Non-English-speaking families may find hiring a tutor valuable in helping their children learn English or maintaining their mother tongue if their full-time schooling is in English.

Several reputable tutoring services can be found in Dallas. There are also numerous private tutors in the city, ranging from retired teachers to university students.

Useful links

Lifestyle in Dallas

Dallas is a bustling city full of life. While it might not be near a beach or the mountains, there's always an event to attend, a new restaurant to try, or a not-to-be-missed party happening around town. As one of the largest cities in America, Dallas is known for its shopping, hot temperatures and friendly Southern hospitality.

Shopping in Dallas

A hotspot for shopping, Dallas has plenty of high-end stores and quirky boutiques.

Malls such as NorthPark Center and the Galleria Dallas are extremely popular. Here, shoppers will find exclusive designer stores. Outlet malls are located nearby in Allen and Grand Prairie, where shoppers can pick up big brand names at discounted prices.

Eating out in Dallas

Dallas isn't known for its restaurant scene, but there are signs that things are changing as new and exciting restaurants continuously pop up. From elegance to kitsch, one can find any type of cuisine or ambience to suit their mood.

Furthermore, Dallas loves to brunch. On weekends, many restaurants offer a delicious brunch menu with specials on mimosas or Bloody Marys.

Nightlife in Dallas

Uptown Dallas is the place to see and be seen. Brimming with bars, restaurants and beautiful people, partygoers can find drink specials during the week and an eclectic club scene on the weekends. Those looking for a relaxed atmosphere will find a few dive bars in the city where people play pool and watch live sports over a beer.

Arts and culture in Dallas

Lobby of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

Dallas offers residents a range of arts and cultural activities. Museums focusing on both art and science can be found throughout the city. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a favourite among locals and expats alike because of its unique design and hands-on approach.

Be sure to check out the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Arboretum, where art and music are combined. In summer, wonderful outdoor concerts are held at these spectacular venues.

Outdoor activities in Dallas

White Rock Lake is one of Dallas' most popular spots. With running paths, biking trails, and water activities like kayaking and canoeing, it is the perfect place to spend time with friends and family over a weekend.

Dallas is full of lush parks. Klyde Warren Park, Main Street Garden Park and Lakeside Park are a few of the city's most popular green spaces.

New arrivals looking to get a taste of the Dallas sporting spirit should take the chance to watch one of the city's two favourite sports teams – the Dallas Cowboys in football and the Texas Rangers in baseball – play a home match at one of the local stadiums.

See and do in Dallas

boy in red shirt standing in front of wall with American Art

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

Located on the shores of White Rock Lake, this 66-acre display garden features a breathtaking range of floral exhibits throughout the year. The unique Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, designed to help the little ones connect with nature, is a highlight.

Dallas Museum of Art

Since 1903, this has been a prominent arts venue in Dallas and is home to more than 24,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of history. Many of the 19th and 20th century's most renowned artists have works in the museum, including Degas, Gaugin and Monet.

Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture

Housed in a beautiful old red courthouse, this museum provides interesting insights into the cultural, economic, political and social history of Dallas County. It's a must for all visitors and new arrivals in Dallas.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

This museum is located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building, where Lee Harvey Oswald fired on the presidential motorcade. The exhibit chronicles the life, times, assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy.

What's on in Dallas

Newcomers to Dallas will find they have plenty of exciting events to look forward to throughout the year. Regardless of whether one is interested in food and wine, arts and culture or sports, there's sure to be an event that appeals to every type of resident.

Here's a list of must-see festivals, events and celebrations in Dallas.

Martin Luther King Birthday Parade (January)

Each year, more than 250,000 spectators head to downtown Dallas to view this colourful march through the streets celebrating the life and achievements of the famous civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr. This federal holiday takes place on the third Monday of January each year, which generally sits around King's actual birthday, January 15th.

Cinco de Mayo Parade and Festival (May)

The streets of downtown Dallas become a hive of activity every year in May as thousands of visitors come to view the annual parade and cultural festival. The festival includes a parade of floats, marching bands, food stalls, and festive mariachi bands.

Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games (June)

This festival celebrates Scottish culture with highland dance, athletics and rugby. Attendees can also taste whisky and enjoy classic Scottish fare like haggis. Culinary expats can even enter a shortbread-baking contest.

Dallas Turkey Trot (November)

The largest of its kind in the US, the annual Turkey Trot is a Thanksgiving run of 8 miles (13km) through the streets of Dallas. There's also a fun run or walk of three miles (5km) for less serious runners.

Getting Around in Dallas

Public transport in Dallas is primarily managed by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system. DART offers a comprehensive range of services including buses, light rail, commuter rail and paratransit services. In 2022, the system had a ridership of over 42 million trips. Despite the bus and rail services available to the city's population, most residents opt to own and drive a car for their daily commutes. Even weekday public transport commuters are likely to invest in their own car, as it comes in handy for exploring the surrounding areas at weekends or travelling during vacations.

Public transport in Dallas

white and brown tram on road during daytime

The DART system is designed to facilitate easy movement within the city and its surrounding suburbs. With its extensive network, DART ensures that residents and visitors have a reliable mode of transportation, reducing the need for private vehicles and contributing to a more sustainable urban environment.

Explore DART Fares and Passes.

Light rail

Dallas' light rail network serves most of the city's suburbs and comprises 93 miles (5km) between four colour-coded lines. Trains operate from 5am to 12am daily, with trains arriving every 7 to 15 minutes during rush hours and every 20 to 30 minutes at off-peak and late-night hours.


There is a single commuter train line, known as the Trinity Railway Express or TRE. The TRE has connections with all four light rail lines and covers areas west of the coverage provided by the light rail system.

Discover the Trinity Railway Express.


The bus network in Dallas is extensive and accounts for most of DART's trips. Its 73 routes operate daily from 5.30am to midnight. One can get almost anywhere using the city's buses, although most bus journeys will require multiple transfers that lengthen travelling times.


DART operates a free modern streetcar service which runs from the Bishop Arts District to Union Station, the central transport hub downtown. Streetcars run from 5.30am to midnight and arrive every 20 minutes.

There's also a historic tram service known as the M-Line Trolley, which is also free. There are a number of attractions along the single route it travels daily, including restaurants, shopping districts and hotels.

Experience the M-Line Trolley.

Taxis in Dallas

Various taxi firms operate in the city. While taxis are readily available in downtown Dallas, locals don't generally use them on a regular basis.

It's possible to hail a taxi from the side of the road in the downtown area of Dallas, but it's best to pre-book a vehicle if travelling from the suburbs. Taxis use a metered system and are quite expensive. A silver lining to the metered system is that they don't use surge pricing.

Ride-hailing applications such as Uber and Lyft are also operational in Dallas.

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Driving in Dallas

time lapse photography of city during night time

The easiest way to get around Dallas is by car. The road networks are sophisticated, making it possible to get across town relatively quickly. Petrol in Texas is quite cheap due to its proximity to oil production, and gas stations are plentiful, making life convenient for drivers. Road conditions in Dallas are also excellent, and signage is clear.

Expats with residency in Dallas and newcomers from other states can drive on their foreign licence for up to 90 days before they have to get a local one. After this, they're required to obtain a Texan driving licence. Certain countries have a reciprocal agreement with the state of Texas, allowing a foreign licence to be exchanged without taking a local driver's test.

Those from nations without such agreements will need to complete both knowledge and skills tests before being granted a Texan licence. As with other states, if one's foreign driving licence isn't in English, it's advisable to also have an International Driving Permit (IDP) alongside the original while driving in Dallas.

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Cycling in Dallas

Dallas is not known for being a particularly cycling-friendly city. As the population becomes increasingly health-conscious, there have been demands for improved cycling infrastructure, with the city adding both dedicated and shared bike lanes in selected areas. Cyclists will still likely find themselves having to ride on the road or sidewalk though. All in all, residents will probably want to opt for another form of commute, though there are numerous parks and trails that are great for recreational cycling.

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