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3 Reasons why Beijing is the best choice for expats with children

Packing up your life to move to a new country can be both daunting and rewarding. Moving to the megacity of Beijing means embracing this adventurous and historic land and becoming part of a great cosmopolitan community. The myriad of cuisines, ancient attractions, and modern-day conveniences make Beijing one of the best cities for expats with children to settle down. 

The impact of Covid-19 is still prominent in the city, given China’s zero Covid-19 policy, but developments are being made towards re-opening. Beijing remains the land of opportunities for expats to raise their kids. 

Many reasons make the city of Beijing a home away from home for expat families worldwide. We highlight the key reasons that make Beijing the best city for expats to raise their children.

1. Beijing is the best city for expats for its lifestyle

The capital of China is a great place to raise a child for the quality lifestyle it offers expat families. Although the city is known to experience the usual heavy traffic during busy times,  various forms of public transportation are available at reasonable prices, including an extensive subway network, bicycles, and taxis.

icon-wechatThe WeChat app is now the most popular one-stop solution for all your needs related to social media and product purchases, and you can have anything and everything delivered to your doorstep. 

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You will find several international as well as local supermarket chains that carry global and local produce. In fact, the countless food options available across the city cater to any budget.

2. Beijing is the best city for expats for its entertainment

Beijing is packed with facilities and entertainment for children. Whether it's high seats in restaurants, play areas in malls, or playgrounds and parks around housing complexes, Beijing is known to be child-friendly, making it one of the best cities for expats with growing families.

Housing compounds come with playground areas, restaurants, cafes, and more, encouraging residents to step out and get to know one another. A common activity among residents is getting together over weekends for food, drinks, and a few rounds of Mahjong. 

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Joining WeChat groups is another great way to connect with other expats, local families, or parents in the city, which can also result in playdates and more. 

The city is also known for various historical and natural attractions providing adult and family activities. Some of these activities include cycling in nature, exploring attractions like the Great Wall of China, immersing yourself in this beautiful city's ancient history and culture, or going on delicious food tours.

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3. Beijing is the best city for expats for its community support

Settling in Beijing provides expat families with the benefit of community support. Parents can look to hire ayis, which translates to aunties, who can help you with the cooking, cleaning, and looking after the children while you and your partner focus on work or your own interests and hobbies.

Some families also employ ayis to babysit their kids, take them to school, cook for them, and such. Hiring an ayi is common and quite affordable and can be of great help when raising children in Beijing. Ayis can also help with your child’s learning of Mandarin which will be a great benefit in their future. 

If you live in a popular expat residential complex, you can build bonds with like-minded families to become part of a strong community that can depend on each other for support when needed.

Are you looking for more information about how other families have settled into Beijing? Click here to read more about ISB faculty who have made Beijing their home.

While many adjustments come with moving to this fast-paced city, its many perks, conveniences, and support systems make it the best city to raise children as an expat.

ISB is Yours to Call Home

Download the Beijing Lifestyle Guide here.


ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.

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Community Transition