What it's like to live in Fort Lauderdale, FL! (2023)

Yes, Fort Lauderdale is a great place to live. If you hate the harsh northern winters, love the sun, a world-class beach with ocean waters for swimming, and lush tropical landscapes, then Fort Lauderdale is a great place to consider.

Is Fort Lauderdale safe?

I lived in Fort Lauderdale for 4 years and rarely felt unsafe. True, I lived in a nice neighborhood called Victoria Park.

If you are moving to Fort Lauderdale and want to know which neighborhoods are safe, I recommend using this tool calledneighborhood scout. I found it extremely helpful when I was looking for a place to live. Also, download the Ring app called"neighbors"so you can see what the latest crimes have been in the area you are looking for.

The most common crimes in my neighborhood included stealing packages from the front porch, breaking into backyards, and stealing cars. I have never come across any crime, but I have seen some of it happen on the Neighbors app.

If you are lucky enough to live in an exclusive area, you will be absolutely fine. However, since Fort Lauderdale is a small city, the boundaries of these “safe” areas are not as wide as might be expected. Emerging neighborhoods like Flagler Village and Middle River are experiencing gentrification right now, so you will have a mix of safe areas and unsafe areas.

One thing I realized is that Fort Lauderdale is very dangerous for cyclists. Unfortunately, I witnessed a serious bicycle accident on the 4th of July. It is very serious and must be taken into account if you intend to use the bicycle as the main means of transport.

¿Es caro Fort Lauderdale?

Fort Lauderdale can be quite expensive, but for the lifestyle you adopt, I think it's a great deal. You would be hard pressed to find an equivalent quality of life in America for less.

For housing, you can find rentals of all different prices that are decent. Just take your time when searching to make sure you can jump on the gemstones when they hit the market. In 2021 I was paying $1300 for a modest 1 bed 1 bath in Victoria Park. It was a simple life, but I really enjoyed my time there and had a great landlord and neighbors. Not to mention that it was in an exclusive neighborhood. So it was a big problem for me.

The biggest challenge in terms of cost actually seems to be the low supply of housing in safe areas. As I mentioned, the nice areas of Fort Lauderdale are great, but the other areas…not so much.

If you are a first time homebuyer, you may need to live on the edges of nice areas. Not bad as Fort Lauderdale is exploding with new development and will likely get better in the future. However, you may have to deal with increased crime and strange neighbors for a while until the neighborhood reaches its commercial improvements. Fortunately, these "edges" are usually still very close to the Center and the Beach. You can easily find affordable housing within a 15 minute radius if you are willing to live in this environment.

Should you move to Fort Lauderdale or Miami?

Both Fort Lauderdale and Miami are fantastic cities, some of the best vacation destinations in the country. But which one would be better to switch to?

To answer that, you need to determine what kind of lifestyle you're looking for.

If you are the type of person who needs to party, is not afraid of crime, and loves cultural diversity, then you need to move to Miami. One disadvantage of Miami is that it is more difficult to have a car there. While Fort Lauderdale is a very car friendly city. The advantage of this is that Miami is very pedestrian friendly. Especially in South Beach, where you can easily walk to many restaurants, grocery stores, and even the beach from your apartment.

If you like city life but are a bit overwhelmed by the skyscrapers and riffraff that come with big cities, Fort Lauderdale would be more your style.

One of the best things about Fort Lauderdale is that it combines city life with suburban comfort. If you live in the right place, you can walk to work, restaurants and bars, but you can easily get to big box stores like Target and Best Buy within a 5 minute drive. (Read on to find out where the best neighborhoods to live are.)

Where to live in Fort Lauderdale

As a starting point for your housing search, I highly recommend the 33301 zip code. Especially north of the river, as it's easier to walk to Las Olas and downtown.

Victoria Park is a very desirable neighborhood to live. It has the most beautiful trees, a walking path along the water, easy access to Las Olas (popular shopping and dining area) and Holiday Park. It's also a short walk to downtown Fort Lauderdale, Flagler Village (FAT Village) and only a 10 minute bike ride to the beach!

Downtown Fort Lauderdale is a little further from the beach, but for a quiet life, it's fine. You can live downtown, be close to the Riverwalk, and close to the endless nightlife on both Las Olas (fanciest) and 2nd Street (loudest).

What you need to know before moving to Fort Lauderdale

  • Fort Lauderdale has all the modern conveniences you could need. You are 25 minutes from Target, Best Buy, Ikea and Costco. Moving and getting everything you need for your home is easy.
  • It is important to have a car in Fort Lauderdale. While living in the right area can make things quite walkable, the often hot and humid climate can make things a bit difficult at times!
  • It's a great place to have a dog or cat. There are several great dog parks in the area, not to mention you can take your dog to the beach certain days of the week. Cats roam all the neighborhoods and love to chase lizards and get pets and treats from the neighbors 🙂

Living in Fort Lauderdale: pros and cons


  • Big city energy with suburban comfort.
  • Fantastic weather, especially in winter.
  • Incredible energy and vibes, no matter how old you are!
  • Great place to lead an active lifestyle year round.
  • Fun bars, cafes and new restaurants opening every day.
  • Excellent restaurants and gastronomy.
  • Flavor of Latin culture.
  • Fantastic for boaters and living on the water.
  • One of the best beaches in the world at your fingertips!
  • Crowds can be easily avoided.
  • Easy 45 minute drive to Miami, one of the most fun cities in the world!


  • Car friendly, but not as bike friendly as it should be.
  • The most affordable housing was built in the 1970s and is in need of renovations and repairs.
  • Humidity is not for everyone!

So what do you think? Would you consider moving to Fort Lauderdale? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, if you have any questions or want to get in touch, just DM me on Instagram @themonthlymigrant

Thanks for reading to the end! 🙂

Catch up on some of my other moving related articles!

Should we all move to Asheville, NC? Read here to know my thoughts 🙂

What about Austin, Texas? Seems like everyone is moving there! Read my thoughts, here!

moving? Find out how I sold all my belongings in this post 🙂

Do you move only with your car and yourself? Find out how I packed my whole life into my sedan here!


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