Updated 9 months ago

Xiamen, located in Fujian Province in China, is one of southern China’s most picturesque coastal cities and has been a popular summer getaway for Chinese nationals as well as expats. Recently, the city has also gained popularity as full-time expat residence due to its proximity to Taiwan, friendly international atmosphere, unique cultural heritage and stunning beaches. The city currently counts over 3.9 million people, including a high concentration of foreigners.

If you want to settle in Xiamen, finding a place to live should not be a problem — it all depends on you your requirements and budget. Before starting to look for a place, take a few minutes to get acquainted with the city’s districts and neighbourhoods.

Xiamen's neighbourhoods

Xiamen is divided into ten districts, including Siming, Huli, Haicang, Jimei, Tong'an, Xiang'an, among others. These districts each have commercial, industrial and residential neighbourhoods. Huli and Siming are the city's most active neighbourhoods, as these host not only industries and businesses, but also numerous banks, fast food restaurants and shopping malls, etc.. Siming is also home to some of the city’s most popular urban beaches: Guanyin Mountain Beach and Huangcuo Beach.

Jimei and Huli are also popular among expatriates. These are known to be tourist areas as many places of interest are found there, providing an abundance of leisure activities.

Types of accommodation

If you intend to make a short stay in Xiamen, you can opt for a hotel or an "apart hotel" in the first instance. But if you wish to stay longer, you will need to look for something more stable: a studio, bigger apartment or even a house or villa — depending on your family situation. Rent in Xiamen is relatively cheaper than in first-tier cities, so you may have quite a nice selection of options to choose from.

Rent prices in Xiamen

Rent prices in Xiamen, like in the rest of the country, generally vary according to the neighbourhood, type of accommodation and comfort level. A sea-view two-bedroom apartment can be yours from about 5,500 yuan a month while rent in central commercial areas for the size of apartment will be higher. If you want to go all out and splash on a villa, the rent is likely to put you back from 15,000 yuan to 40,000 yuan a month. Budget options are getting a studio or sharing an apartment.

Searching for accommodation

Just like in most cities in China, there are several ways to look for accommodation in Xiamen. First, you can consult a real estate company and have an agent look for an apartment for you — this may save you quite a bit of time but will incur an expense in the form of the finder’s fee that will need to be paid to the agent.

If you want to go about the apartment hunt yourself, check out local English websites, like WhatsOnXiamen, and classifieds in local newspapers. If you prefer to share an apartment with others, scan through Xiamen expat forums and look for apartment-mates or those wishing to rent out a room.

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