Top 5 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Iowa City

Top 5 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Iowa City

City skyline in Iowa City

Living in Iowa City, Iowa comes with many perks and fun adventures. If you are considering moving to Iowa City, we’re here to help you discover what makes the city so special. From cost-friendly living to all the activities everyone can enjoy, the city has it all.

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Cost of Living

One thing that makes the city a good place to live is its low cost of living. The cost of living in Iowa City is 6% lower than the national average.

In Iowa City, you can typically buy a house for around $265,800 which is more than 20% lower than the national average house price. Monthly apartment rent is also significantly lower in Iowa City. Having such low housing costs makes the town a great place for people to move to when starting a family.

Education in the City

If you are thinking about living in Iowa City, you can be certain there are plenty of education opportunities. Whether you’re trying to find a school for your child or a place to further your education, Iowa City has what you’re looking for.

Iowa City Community School District

The Iowa City Community School District is made up of twenty-nine different schools. They are the 4th largest school district in the state of Iowa. Serving students from pre-K to their senior year of high school, the district serves over 14,000 students.

The school district has a 14 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio, making it possible for kids to get a lot of 1 on 1 help if needed. With a graduation rate of over 90%, over half of high school seniors graduate with college credits to help them further their education.

University of Iowa

University of Iowa Hawkeyes football field

The University of Iowa is the oldest university in the state and home to over 20,000 students. This big college still offers a small university feel with a 15 to 1 student-to-teacher ratio, allowing students to have smaller class sizes. The University also has a 97% job or graduate school placement rate, meaning its graduates are set up to take the next steps in life after they graduate.

If you are looking to try something new and make new friends, the University of Iowa is the college for you. They have over 600 different student organizations you can join. They are also part of the Big 10 and have 20 NACC athletic teams you can be a part of or support from the bleachers.

History in the City

Another pro of living in Iowa City is being part of a town full of history. With multiple museums, this city is perfect for any history buff.

Old Capital Museum

Iowa City was the original capital of Iowa, and the old capital building still stands. This building is the centerpiece of the University of Iowa campus and it serves as a museum that holds a multitude of exhibits. While some of the exhibits are there year-round, others are rotated throughout the year.

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Museum of Natural History

Giant sloth at the natural history museum

The Museum of Natural History is a part of the University of Iowa campus. Established in 1858, the museum is the second oldest museum west of the Mississippi River. The museum is free and open to the public and has a huge range of different exhibits. On average the museum takes 3 to 4 hours to fully walk through.

Most people are attracted to the Iowa Hall of the Museum. Home to Rusty the Giant Sloth, who is a fan favorite and is often seen in pictures of the museum.

An Atmosphere for Everyone

Whether you are a city dweller or a nature lover, moving to Iowa City will give you the best of both worlds.

Life in the City

Living in Iowa City will offer you many aspects of city life without the hustle and bustle of living in a big city. The city is full of different restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Additionally, there are many different shopping areas and malls where you can spend your time browsing both local shops and popular storefronts.

Nature in the City

Hiking trail near the water in Iowa City.

If you want more than just city life, Iowa City also offers plenty of places where people can be out in nature. The town has over 43 different hiking and biking trails that are open to the public. These trails offer a variety of different scenery and allow people to take a step out into nature.

Food from Around the World

Iowa City is well known for its variety of restaurants that serve foods from all around the world. Moving to Iowa City will allow you to branch out and enjoy some unique culinary experiences.

Oasis Falafel

Oasis Falafel is the perfect place to go if you want a quick and easy meal. They are a counter-serve restaurant that offers a variety of Middle Eastern style street food. Some of their biggest sellers include a variety of different pita sandwiches and rice bowls. They also offer vegan dishes, making them a great option for everyone.

Basta Pizzeria Ristorante

Basta Pizzeria Ristorante is an Italian restaurant that is open for both lunch and dinner. They serve a variety of different pizzas, pasta, soup, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. The restaurant also has a gluten-free menu and prides itself in avoiding cross-contamination.

If you are looking for a sit-down restaurant to have your next party or event, Basta Pizzeria Ristorante has two private rooms you can rent out. These rooms can seat 8 to 20 people, making them perfect for larger events.

Hamburg Inn No. 2

Hamburg Inn No. 2 in Iowa City

Hamburg Inn No. 2 is the perfect place to get your favorite American dishes from morning to night. This diner-style restaurant offers a nice homey feel and is decorated with memorabilia from the past. For breakfast, they have classic American breakfast dishes. For lunch and dinner, their menu includes a variety of sandwiches, wraps, burgers, soups, and salads.

If you are looking for a special treat, they also offer special pie shakes. This combination of a milkshake and pie comes in multiple different flavors such as apple, blueberry, French silk, and maple pecan.


If you are considering moving to Iowa City, there are so many positive things to look forward to within the city. From low living costs and education opportunities to all the activities and food you can partake in, Iowa City is the perfect city for everyone.

Jessica is a students at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in English Education with a creative writing minor. In her free time she loves to read books of every genre, write short stories, and spend time with friends. In the future she hopes to share her love for reading and writing with her future students.