Hyderabad, often called the 'City of Pearls', is a vibrant metropolis that uniquely blends its rich historical past with a dynamic and burgeoning tech industry. It sprawls across the hilly terrain of the Deccan Plateau, with the iconic Hussain Sagar Lake bisecting the city and adding to its scenic beauty.

Accessibility to major cities and amenities from Hyderabad is remarkably convenient, thanks to an extensive and efficient transport network. The city boasts a robust public transport system, including buses and a metro rail system, ensuring seamless connectivity within and to other major urban centres.

Hyderabad is a haven for entertainment, and the city is dotted with malls, parks, museums and cultural sites. It offers a plethora of options ranging from traditional theatres showcasing local art forms like Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam to modern multiplexes screening global blockbusters.

Areas like Charminar, the Qutb Shahi Tombs and the markets of Laad Bazaar are rich in history and character, offering unique shopping experiences with a plethora of traditional handicrafts, jewellery and textiles.

Cost of living in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, known for its rich history, vibrant culture and booming tech industry, offers a compelling proposition for expats considering relocation. The city stands out for its affordability, particularly compared to other major Indian cities and destinations worldwide.

The 2024 Mercer Cost of Living Survey ranks Hyderabad 202nd out of 226 global destinations, testifying to its low relative cost as an international expat destination. The cost of living in Hyderabad is similar to Kolkata (207th) and Pune (205th) locally, as well as South Africa's Johannesburg (206th) or Nicaragua's Managua (197th).

One of the primary considerations for expats moving to Hyderabad is the cost of housing. Despite recent increases in property prices in certain areas, Hyderabad remains more affordable than many of its national counterparts. Expats are encouraged to explore housing allowances or company-provided accommodations to ease their transition further.

The quality of life in Hyderabad is another highlight, with the city offering a mix of traditional charm and modern convenience. Expats can enjoy various entertainment options, international and local dining and access to quality healthcare and education. The city's moderate traffic – relative to other Indian metropolises – and its favourable climate make it appealing as a place to live and work. Hyderabad's status as a UNESCO-recognised city for gastronomy reflects its rich culinary scene, which expats can explore and enjoy.

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Getting around in Hyderabad

Hyderabad offers myriad transport options that cater for the diverse needs of its residents and visitors. The city's geographical layout, marked by its hilly terrain and the iconic Hussain Sagar Lake, divides Hyderabad and its twin city, Secunderabad, with each area boasting its own unique vibe and infrastructure.

The efficient transport network in Hyderabad ensures that all the major cities and amenities are easily accessible, making commuting within and outside the city hassle-free for everyone.

  • Buses: Operated by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation, the city's bus service is extensive, connecting all parts of Hyderabad and its suburbs. It offers various classes of service, from ordinary buses to air-conditioned Volvo coaches, providing options for every budget.
  • Metro: The Hyderabad Metro Rail is a rapid transit system serving the city, with three lines covering key districts. It's a preferred mode of transport for daily commuters looking to avoid road traffic.
  • Autorickshaws and taxis: Autorickshaws are ubiquitous throughout Hyderabad and are ideal for short distances and navigating through narrow lanes. App-based taxis such as Ola and Uber offer convenient options for comfortable and secure rides.

The connectivity afforded by the Hyderabad Metro, MMTS (Multi-Modal Transport System) and extensive road network ensures that commute times remain reasonable even during peak hours. The city's layout facilitates relatively easy access to major IT hubs like HITEC City, financial districts and industrial areas, well-served by public transport.

Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, located about 20 kilometres from the city centre, is well-connected by a direct metro line and offers flights to major cities worldwide. The city's railway stations, such as Secunderabad, Nampally and Kachiguda, are critical hubs for trains to all major destinations in India. Historical landmarks like Charminar and Golconda Fort and modern attractions such as shopping malls and parks are easily accessible by public transport.

For more information on getting around in Hyderabad, including the latest updates on public transport services and fare details, please visit the official Hyderabad Metro Rail website and the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation website.

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Healthcare in Hyderabad

Hyderabad's healthcare system is renowned for its comprehensive structure, from advanced quaternary care to grassroots preventive and promotive health services. The city's status as a medical research hub, its state-of-the-art facilities and skilled healthcare professionals have led to its popularity for medical tourism, attracting patients from across the globe. 

Hyderabad's private sector plays a significant role in the city's healthcare landscape, offering expats a comforting assurance of quality healthcare. Private healthcare facilities often have shorter waiting times and offer a broader range of services, including specialised treatments and elective procedures.

The cost of healthcare in Hyderabad, while varying across different hospitals and treatments, generally offers value compared to Western countries, making it an attractive option for those seeking high-quality medical care. The presence of international health insurance providers offering plans that cover treatment in private hospitals further facilitates access to these services for expats and visitors.

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Schools in Hyderabad

When selecting a school in Hyderabad, it is crucial to consider factors such as the curriculum offered, quality of faculty, facilities available, extracurricular activities and the school's location. Hyderabad presents a diverse array of school options for children. The city's educational landscape includes public, private and international schools, each offering distinct curricula and learning environments.

The state government manages public schools in Hyderabad, and they typically follow the State Board curriculum. Private schools, on the other hand, may follow the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) or even international curricula, offering a more diverse educational approach with a focus on holistic development.

International schools in Hyderabad appeal to expat families and those seeking a global educational perspective for their children. These schools usually follow International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) or other international curricula, providing a broad-based education with a focus on international mindedness. Top international schools such as Indus International School and Oakridge International School offer state-of-the-art facilities, a wide range of extracurricular activities and a multicultural environment conducive to learning and personal growth.

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Weather in Hyderabad

Hyderabad has a tropical wet and dry climate bordering a hot semi-arid climate. It enjoys warm weather most of the year, with minimal rainfall outside the monsoon season. Hyderabad's geographical position on the Deccan Plateau, with its ancient rock formations, granite ridges, and hillocks, contributes significantly to its climate. This unique topography, combined with its elevation of 1760 feet (540m) above sea level, results in Hyderabad experiencing the most extreme temperatures within Telangana, both in summer and winter.

The summers in Hyderabad are notably hot, with temperatures frequently exceeding 104°F (40°C), creating conditions less than ideal for outdoor activities during peak daytime hours. However, the city compensates with a variety of indoor attractions that remain comfortable and accessible year-round, including museums, shopping centres and cultural sites.

The mild winters offer a pleasant reprieve, with temperatures dropping as low as 54°F (12°C), making it an ideal time for exploring the city's outdoor attractions and green spaces. The monsoon season from June to November brings rains that cool the city and transform it into a lush, verdant landscape, offering a different kind of beauty and charm.

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Working in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, renowned for its vibrant economy, offers a plethora of employment opportunities across diverse industries. The city's economic landscape is characterised by a strong presence in the IT sector, and numerous global and local IT companies have established their bases here, including giants like Google, Microsoft and Tata Consultancy Services.

The biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sectors, located in Hyderabad's 'Genome Valley', constitute another vital part of Hyderabad's economy. This cluster of industries has propelled the city to a leading position in research and development, manufacturing and innovation within these fields.

The finance sector also plays a significant role in the city's economy, with various national and regional banks and financial institutions offering a range of employment opportunities.

The hospitality and healthcare industries add to the city's diverse economic fabric, providing jobs in hotels, restaurants, tourism services, hospitals, clinics and medical research facilities. The hospitality sector, in particular, benefits from Hyderabad's growing status as a tourist and business travel destination, while the healthcare sector is renowned for its quality services and facilities.

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Accommodation in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, known for its rich cultural heritage and rapid technological growth, offers various accommodation options catering for different preferences and budgets. From modern apartments to spacious independent houses and villas, the city accommodates individuals and families looking for temporary or long-term residences.

  • Apartments are the most common form of accommodation in Hyderabad. These units are typically semi-furnished, providing essential electrical fittings and sometimes amenities such as a gym, swimming pool and security services. Popular areas for apartment living include Madhapur, Kondapur, Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills, known for their proximity to business hubs, shopping centres and entertainment options.
  • For those seeking more space and privacy, independent houses and bungalows are available, particularly in prime locations like Madhapur near HITEC City. These residences offer the tranquillity of a suburban lifestyle with the convenience of city living, making them ideal for families.
  • Villas, or grouped row houses, offer a luxurious living experience with added benefits such as community spaces, enhanced security and sometimes private gardens. These are found in upscale neighbourhoods like Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills, catering for the affluent.

The cost of accommodation in Hyderabad varies significantly by type and location. Apartments in high-demand areas like Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills command higher rents due to their desirable location and amenities. Conversely, options in emerging areas or the city's outskirts may offer more affordable living without compromising on lifestyle.

Expats often favour neighbourhoods that combine quality living with accessibility to international schools, healthcare facilities and entertainment options. Madhapur, Kondapur, Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills are among the top choices for expats, offering a mix of luxury and convenience, along with a vibrant expatriate community.

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Lifestyle in Hyderabad

With bustling local markets and expansive shopping malls, Hyderabad is a haven for shoppers. Key malls include Aleem Plaza, GVK One, City Center Mall, Downtown Mall, South Dreams, Next Galleria, Inorbit and Sarath City Capital Mall. Traditional markets like Laad Bazaar, Begum Bazaar and Jummerat Bazaar are known for their bangles, Bidriwork, metalware, antique items and traditional Indian sarees. Shopping districts like Shilparamam provide a village-like ambience that showcases handicrafts, natural fabrics and other artisanal goods.

Hyderabad is proud to host the Indian Premier League team, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and it has a range of sporting venues like the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, which regularly hosts international cricket matches. Hyderabad is also becoming a hotspot for esports, exemplified by the Battlegrounds Mobile India Tournament that was held at GITAM University. For adventure sports enthusiasts, Hyderabad offers activities such as go-karting, rock climbing, bungee jumping and kayaking, and it's home to serene parks and lakes such as Lumbini Park, NTR Garden and Osman Sagar Lake.

Hyderabad's nightlife scene is a vibrant mix of traditional and contemporary experiences, from high-energy dance floors to cosy bars and venues that feature live music. These places cater for various musical tastes and social atmospheres, providing unique experiences like the London-like clubbing experience at Air Live, the largest island bar and cosy ambience at Carpe Diem, and speakeasy-style bars with live music events at venues like Amnesia Lounge Bar and Giggle Water.

In terms of things to see and do, Hyderabad's rich cultural, historical and entertainment offerings include the Charminar, built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, and the Mecca Masjid, one of the oldest mosques in the city. The Salar Jung Museum has a vast collection of antiques, and the Nizam Museum showcases the opulent lifestyle of the Nizams. The Birla Science Museum and the historic Golconda Fort further add to the city's rich tapestry of educational and historic sites.

Hyderabad vibrantly celebrates its cultural heritage and culinary traditions through various festivals and events, including the Hyderabad Literary Festival in January, the Deccan Festival in February, and Ugadi, the New Year festival celebrated in March–April. These festivals attract renowned authors, poets and artists, and they highlight the music, dance and culinary delights of the Deccan region.

Expat Health Insurance

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