A Way Abroad Logo
The ultimate resource for women dreaming of a life abroad

An Expat's Guide to Living in Houston

write for us!

Bonjour! I am Chloé, a French expat living in Houston, Texas. I moved to Houston in August 2019 as an accompanying spouse under an E2 visa. The visa part has been easy for me, as my husband’s company took care of everything. Lucky me!

I’ve been loving the city of Houston since day one - it’s definitely my home away from home! Houston is the city that allowed me to be my true self, change my career, and become an entrepreneur.

Let’s talk about Houston!

Houston, Texas, is often overshadowed by its larger counterparts like New York City or Los Angeles, but this vibrant city has a charm of its own that captivates those who dare to explore its hidden gems. 

As a French expat who has called Houston home for four years now, I've experienced the unique energy and underrated beauty of this city firsthand. In this small guide, I'll share my authentic perspective on what it's like living in Houston, providing you with tips and insights that will help you embrace the true essence of this captivating Texan metropolis.

5 Tips to Fully Enjoy Living in Houston

Tip 1. Embrace the City's Diversity

Houston is a multicultural city with a thriving international community supported by the third largest concentration of consular offices in the United States, representing 86 nations. Houston is known as one of the most diverse cities in the United States, boasting a rich tapestry of cultures and backgrounds.

This is one of the things that I love about Houston; you can meet people from all over the world. It is so enriching. This alone has helped me find Ikigai while living in Houston.

Embrace this diversity and take the opportunity to explore the various neighborhoods that showcase the city's international flair. From the vibrant Asian community in Chinatown to the bustling Hispanic enclave in the East End, each neighborhood offers a unique cultural experience that will broaden your horizons.

Tip 2. Savor the Culinary Delights

As a foodie, I have to talk to you about Houston food. Houston is one of the cities with the highest number of restaurants per capita. You will find over 12,000 restaurants in Houston. Crazy, right?!

Houston's food scene is a true reflection of its diverse population. Prepare your taste buds for a culinary adventure as you explore the city's myriad of international cuisines.

Indulge in authentic Vietnamese pho, enjoy mouthwatering Tex-Mex dishes, or dive into a plate of finger-licking BBQ. Don't miss the chance to savor the fresh seafood at one of Houston's many seafood markets or enjoy a memorable meal at one of its acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants.

Tip 3. Embrace the Outdoors

Contrary to popular belief, Houston offers a plethora of outdoor activities that will delight nature enthusiasts. Explore the lush city parks and expansive green spaces that are scattered throughout the city. Houston has so many green spaces and trees on almost every street, it makes it so quiet and agreeable. You don’t feel like you are in such a big city, which is amazing.

Take a leisurely stroll through Hermann Park, visit the iconic Buffalo Bayou Park, or go for a jog along the scenic trails of Memorial Park. 

Additionally, if you're a fan of water activities, head to Galveston Island, located just an hour away, where you can bask in the southern sun. We often go to the coast to enjoy the ocean and the beach vibe on the weekends any time of the year.

Serious about
browse all articles

Tip 4. Celebrate the Arts

Houston boasts a vibrant arts and culture scene that often goes unnoticed. Take advantage of the city's numerous museums, galleries, and theaters. As the fourth largest city in Texas, Houston is a large and diverse city that offers a lot to it's residents.

I hadn’t expected so many museums and artistic spaces before I moved to Houston, it was one of the best surprises about the city.

Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which houses an impressive collection of international art or explore the contemporary exhibits at the Menil Collection. Catch a show at the renowned Houston Theater District, which is home to the Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony, and various theater companies.

Tip 5. Embrace the Sports Culture

Sports play a significant role in the lives of Houstonians, and immersing yourself in the city's sports culture can be a thrilling experience. Shockingly enough, Houston has 6 professional sports teams and plenty more collegiate teams to cheer on.

Whether it's cheering for the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, supporting the Rockets at the Toyota Center, or joining the passionate fan base of the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium, attending a live sporting event is a must for any expat looking to fully embrace the Houston spirit.

Downsides to Living in Houston

Before we wrap up, let’s talk about something I am not a big fan of about Houston.

As a French expat in Houston, I've come to realize that this vibrant city is undeniably centered around cars. Public transportation options are limited, and owning a car is almost a necessity for independence. Coming from a country where walking and public transit are the norm, I miss the convenience and freedom they offer.

Unfortunately this is the norm in most US cities, where having a car will most likely be a necessity to navigate daily life.

Having to rely on a car for almost everything can be a challenge. However, I learned to adapt to it and I chose to live in a neighborhood where I can walk or bike to get to some close by cafes or shops. 

Best Areas of Houston to Live in

When it comes to finding the ideal place to live in inner loop Houston, there are several neighborhoods that cater to those who enjoy both walking and driving while minimizing lengthy commutes. 


One such neighborhood is Montrose, where I live, known for its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. With tree-lined streets and a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere, Montrose offers a vibrant urban lifestyle where you can easily explore on foot.

The Heights

The Heights is another sought-after neighborhood, offering a charming blend of historic homes, local boutiques, and cozy cafes. Its walkability and proximity to downtown make it a popular choice for those who prefer a shorter commute.

Rice Village

Additionally, the Rice Village area, nestled near Rice University, provides a mix of residential and commercial spaces, allowing residents to enjoy a walkable community with easy access to amenities. 

Whether you're strolling through Montrose, exploring The Heights, or discovering Rice Village, these inner loop neighborhoods offer the perfect balance for individuals who appreciate both walking and driving without spending excessive time behind the wheel.

Moving to Houston, Too?

Photo by depositphotos.com

Living in Houston as an expat offers a unique and authentic experience that is often overlooked. This hidden gem of a city surprises visitors with its vibrant energy, rich cultural tapestry, and a range of diverse experiences. 

From its culinary delights to its outdoor wonders, from its thriving arts scene to its passionate sports culture, living in Houston has something for everyone. 

So, if you're looking for a city that offers an authentic American experience with a touch of international flair, consider making Houston your new home. You won't be disappointed by the hidden treasures this city has to offer! Make your move stress free by hiring the best movers in Houston to get your belongings from Point A to Point B.

If you would like to go a little deeper, and are a French speaker, listen to La Radio de Francais Dans le Monde, where in my interview I discuss my move to Houston, my career change, and how it led me to create a business to help expat women thrive in their expat lives. 

And of course, if you visit or move to Houston, too, give me a heads-up!

Hero photo by depositphotos.com.

keep a way abroad fueled!
Consider making a donation

A lot of effort went into making this amazing piece of journalistic genius. If it helped you out, send us a quick thanks by buying us a coffee. All the money donated through Ko-Fi goes towards keeping A Way Abroad awesome. Big thanks!

Pick an image to pin it!
Go back up arrow