The World’s Best Cities To Live
Category: Places

1. Taipei: For the second year in a row, Taiwan’s capital claims the top position as the best city to live. Expats are particularly happy with Taipei’s high quality of life, ranking the city third worldwide. “The cost of living in Taiwan is cheaper compared to Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, for example,” says an expat from India. “And Taiwan's health insurance and safety are what make it attractive to me.”

2. Kuala Lumpur: “It is easy to blend in with the culture, the food and the people,” explains an expat from India, “and the language is not a problem if one can speak English.” A British expat states that Kuala Lumpur is “easy on the wallet, easy to travel to/from” and names the “availability of nice places to live at reasonable cost” as a bonus as well. 

3. Ho Chi Minh City: Coming in third worldwide, Ho Chi Minh City ranks well in all areas of the Expat City Ranking besides the Quality of Urban Living Index (63rd). “It is easy to deal and work with the people here, and the cost of living is good.” In addition, 88% of expats find the locals friendly towards foreign residents. The only blind spot seems to be the quality of life in the city. “I do not like the dirty streets, the bad environment management, the missing awareness about plastic, but also the very bad garbage management. Everyone throws their waste on the streets,” a German expat complains.

4. Singapore: Singapore stands out in terms of safety with every respondent (100%) rating their personal safety positively. However, the local cost of living seems to be a disadvantage. A South African expat explains: “The high costs of basic needs such as healthcare makes it difficult, as well as the high transport costs when traveling by car or taxi.” And work-life balance is Singapore’s weakest area. “I feel strong pressure at work, and everything is planned and pre-shaped,” a Swiss expat complains.

5. Montréal: When asked about their favorite aspect of living in Montréal, one Dutch expat mentions the “living accommodation,” while another from the US states “affordability.” A Mexican expat shares that there are “lots of activities all year long.” In spite of this, Montréal only ranks 41st in the Quality of Urban Living Index. “The weather is a hassle,” says an expat from Brazil, and “winter is too long and cold,” according to a Venezuelan expat. 

6. Lisbon: Lisbon has been voted among the top 10 cities worldwide for getting settled (6th) and the quality of life (10th). Expats are not only happy with Lisbon’s local leisure options (10th) but also with the local climate and weather (3rd)—only Miami (2nd) and Barcelona (1st) do better in this regard. Lastly, more than nine in ten expats rate the quality of the environment positively, and one Canadian respondent emphasizes “the geographical beauty” of Lisbon. On the downside, Lisbon ranks low in the Urban Work Life Index (50th). An expat from Ukraine states that “career prospects are slow, and the level of income is lower in comparison to other EU countries,” while another expat from Russia dislikes the local “job opportunities and salary.”

7. Barcelona: Nearly every expat is happy with the local climate and the local leisure options in the city. There are “lots of social activities, cultural activities and art,” sums up a US expat. Barcelona also ranks among the top 10 in the Health & Environment subcategory. However, expats in Barcelona are less happy with their work life (42nd) and with finance and housing (42nd).

8. Zug, Switzerland: Zug is not only the highest-rated city in Switzerland, it also offers the world’s best quality of life. In fact, not one respondent in Zug is dissatisfied with the local transportation, the quality of the environment or their personal safety. What is more, Zug is the only Swiss city that places among the top 10 in the Urban Work Life Index (5th).

9. The Hague: The Hague performs particularly well in the Urban Work Life Index (13th), and expats vote The Hague among the top 10 worldwide in the Job Security subcategory (5th). When asked to share what they dislike most about life in The Hague, a British expat mentions “limited career opportunities in my specialized career,” and a Bulgarian expat shares: “I cannot find a better and higher paid job.” One Turkish expat lists the “weather conditions” as one of the worst features of living in The Hague.

10. Basel: Expats rate Basel’s quality of life very highly (6th) and are particularly happy with their personal safety, the local transportation system and the quality of the environment. A Belgian expat particularly enjoys the city’s “central location, the good transportation systems and the mountains.” However, “the locals are not really open to making friends,” states an expat from Venezuela. “This makes integration more difficult.”

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05 Dec, 2019 1 3631
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