This article will look at some of the best places to live as an expat, according to InterNations.
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Table of Contents
The year 2020 is almost about to end and most people (expats) would be looking for a good destination in order to lead a better life. This actually means they are willing to find a new location, in which they can reside.
InterNations, which is known to be a massive Expat network that publishes the rankings and details regarding the best and worst countries.
It has conducted a survey among 20,000 Expats to find the best cities to relocate, find work, or make friends.
Given below is a list of 30 cities across the world, which have been listed to be the best for expats. The following details have been provided based on the reviews given by those 20,000 expats who have been approached by InterNations.
Located in Belgium, Brussels is known to be the home of the European Parliament, the NATO headquarters and many agencies as well as law firms.
It is also quite famous for Art Deco taverns, Exquisite Flemish Art, Gothic Cathedrals, and no need to mention the ‘Belgian Fries and Belgian Waffles’.
It is also home to some of the best tourist attractions in Belgium. The standard of living in Brussels is high, however, the cost of living is relatively low when compared to most other European cities.
Melbourne is one of the best cities to live when people choose to live in Australia. Melbourne is mostly famous for its unique laneways, diversity of culture, excellent food options and incredible street art.
Melbourne is said to be one of the world’s best cities to live, but people should look out for the costs of living there. Melbourne is ranked by The Economic Intelligence Unit as the sixth expensive city in the world.
However, all good things come at a price, and people would feel that the cost of living in Melbourne is definitely worth it after having a visit there.
Muscat, which is located in Oman, is famous among the people of the world for the beaches, sea air and especially the seafood (Not only the seafood, other delicacies are also noteworthy).
Muscat is a port city that is backed by the Hajar mountains, which makes it a spot for the people who enjoy both deserts as well as beaches.
Along with that, Muscat is said to be the best destination for expats, and it has been named by HSBC to be the best city for expats, especially the ones who like to maintain a balance between work and enjoyment.
Foreigners in Muscat are reported to earn somewhere around $100,000 on average.
Miami, which is located in Florida, is quite popularly known for being home to CEOs, Attorneys, Real Estate Developers, etc. It is nicknamed as the ‘Capital of Latin America’ and is known to have the largest population of Cuban Americans.
Greater Downtown Miami is a source for many national and multi-national companies, and also has a large number of international banks. It also gains a reputation for its nightlife, Cuban culture, Atlantic Beaches and many more.
However, people who want to settle there permanently should have a second thought. This is because of scientists’ analysis, which states that most of the city will be wiped off due to the increasing sea levels.
There is even a chance of around 3.3 million people having to face catastrophic flooding by the year 2100.
Tokyo, which is the capital city of Japan is also famous for world-class electronics, mouth-watering food and the unique Japanese lifestyle. Not only the Sushi, but there is also an availability of a wide range of food that attracts foreigners located in Tokyo.
Tokyo is also famous for the Temples & Shrines, Art Museums, Architecture, Parks and many more things. Anyhow, Tokyo is also listed to be one of the top ten expensive cities in the world which makes the cost of living higher.
Moreover, the 2020 Olympics are known to take place in Tokyo, which is making a lot of people want to visit Tokyo.
25. ‘Panama City’:
Panama City, located in Panama, is said to contain more than 40% of the country’s population. It has derived its name on the basis of the Panama Canal and it is famous for birding, rafting and snorkeling.
The biodiversity of Panama is considered to be 3 times more than the combined biodiversity of the USA, Canada and Europe.
The general cost of living in Panama City is not as high as most other cities listed here.
Tallinn is the capital city of Estonia and is considered to be one of the extremely affordable cities in this list. Expats can maintain a balance in their work-life and the country’s economy is also considered to be good.
However, it is known to take quite some time to understand the customs or learn the language there.
Tallinn is known for its lively nightlife and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Located in Austria, Vienna is known to have a lot of tourist attractions such as the Old Danube river, Coffee Houses, Wine Taverns and Imperial Sights.
Being the capital city of one of the world’s richest countries, Vienna has a moderate-to-high cost of living.
22. ‘Luxembourg City’:
Luxembourg City is located in Luxembourg and this country is said to be one of the safest countries in the world. Since March 2020, all modes of public transport in Luxembourg city such as Trains, Trams, Buses have been made free.
This city is locked in between Belgium, France and Germany and is known to be a major financial center. However, the cost of living in Luxembourg is considered to be high.
Manama is the capital city of Bahrain and is known for having rich deposits of oil and rich culture. Both Arabic and Persian cultures can be observed over here.
However, it is not considered to be a choice for solo women travelers and this city is considered to be dangerous for women, especially during the night times. There are other restrictions (for women) on things such as dressing, meeting the resident women, etc.
The cost of living in Bahrain is affordable and is known to be 16.9% lower than the cost of living in the United States.
Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is one of the famous tourist destinations in the world. It is full of Thai culture, and the cost of living in Thailand is considered to be cheap.
People who enjoy party culture can find Bangkok to be quite amusing. It is famous for nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and many other aspects.
The cost of living in Bangkok is very cheap that the average cost of living per month (for a single person) is expected to be around $455. People who have more money to spend can have a luxurious lifestyle.
There are, however, some rumors going around about Bangkok that the capital will be moved elsewhere because of the crowded population.
Calgary is a city located in Canada and is famous for many things such as Calgary Stampede, Canadian Pacific Railway Headquarters, its NHL Hockey Team, and many more things.
Calgary also opened a village consisting of small houses, specially designed for veterans. These small houses include a full kitchen, bathroom, workplace, and a living area.
Calgary has higher costs of living and the rent alone can be somewhere around $800 to $2,000 per month (on average). However, it can be worth the cost of living as Calgary has been listed as the World’s fifth most livable city seven times in a row by the Economist.
Budapest is the capital city of Hungary and is also known as the ‘City of Spas’ due to the availability of a wide range of thermal baths. It consists of many 19th-century architectural wonders, Shopping, and many more.
The cost of living in Budapest is moderate and a single person can cover all the costs (including accommodation) for just an amount of $1,000.
Budapest is also known to be the best destination to buy alcohol at the cheapest prices. The quality of food and water is very good out there and even the tap water can be drunk by the people without hesitation.
Madrid is the capital of Spain and is among the best countries for expats to make new friends or settle there permanently. Madrid is a city that highly tries to avoid pollution and in order to do this, they are even trying to ban cars.
Madrid is famous for having the best collections of Spanish and Latin American art, which can be observed among any of the museums or art galleries.
Not only the Art and Museums, but Madrid is also home for the finest pubs, nightclubs, etc. The cost of living in Madrid is high and it is considered to be one of the safest cities in Europe.
Sydney is among the famous tourist destinations located in Australia, especially due to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
There are some other tourist attractions as well such as Sydney Mardi Gras, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney Tower, the beaches and many more.
Sydney is also listed among the top ten expensive cities in the world, which makes the costs of living high. Even though it does not offer a 0% crime rate, Sydney is said to be one of the safest places to live.
On the other hand, people should watch out for natural threats, especially the people who like wandering in nature. Sydney has some of the dangerous animals, poisonous snakes and insects, and many other types of threats.
15. ‘Abu Dhabi’:
Some of the most famous things in Abu Dhabi are Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World, Emirates Palace, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Corniche Road and many more.
It is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and many sources claim that Abu Dhabi is the wealthiest city in the world. It has been known as a center for finance, banking and culture among all the regions in the Middle East.
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi is known to be extremely high and Expats should take this aspect into consideration before moving there.
Adding to that, a family of four persons living in Abu Dhabi might require somewhere around $2,900 per month, without accommodation.
14. ‘Mexico City’:
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and is known to have friendly locals, good food, high-quality education, and many other features.
The cost of living in Mexico City is considered to be moderate and a four-person family would require around $1,700 without including the rent.
The major aspect that people should consider before moving to Mexico City is safety. When it comes to being the safest place to live, Mexico City has a very bad reputation.
However, there are no reports stating that it is dangerous for tourists or expats, it is better to think twice than to regret later.
Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic and is known to be the best country for women workers. There are quite amusing things to see in Prague, such as Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Prague Astronomical Clock, St. Vitus Cathedral, Old Town Square and many more.
People can also find some high-quality cafes, cocktail bars, restaurants and many other things.
The cost of living in Prague is very high when compared to other cities in the country. However, it is still considered to have lower costs in contrast to other cities in Europe.
Doha is a city located in Qatar, which has the reputation for being an oil-rich country and earning most of the profits through Oil and Gas exports.
However, Qatar and Saudi Arabia haven’t had the best of friendships and this rivalry made Saudi Arabia convince other Gulf countries to turn against Qatar.
Doha gained a lot of popularity for the Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif Market, Banana Island, The Torch Tower, and many more.
Doha is considered to be very safe and welcoming for the tourists and is known to have a relatively lower crime rate. The cost of living is expensive in Doha, where the costs (without rent) for a single person would be around $900.
Aachen is a city located in Germany, which is famous for the historic sites, the University of Aachen, Aachen Cathedral, bars, and many more.
Moreover, it is well known among other countries for having the best curative hot springs and spas. The crime rate in Aachen is low and it is considered to be safe, regardless of being night or day.
The cost of living, on the other hand, is moderate to high and for a single person, it would cost $830 without accommodation.
Basel, located in Switzerland, is known to provide safety, good local transportation, best environmental conditions, etc., especially for the expats and tourists.
Anyhow, most expats claim that the residents of this city are not welcoming/friendly and it took quite some time for them to get adjusted to the lifestyle and culture.
Basel is famous for Museums, Temperate Climate, Art Scene, Zoo and many more. The cost of living in Basel is considered to be the best among the other cities in the country.
However, we should consider that Switzerland is one of the world’s expensive countries and the cost of living in Basel might not be as low as the cities in other countries.
9. ‘The Hague’:
The Hague, located in the Netherlands, is considered to be among the best cites in the world for job security. However, the availability of careers is limited in the case of expats, as said by expats.
The Hague is well-known for the seaside atmosphere, museums, foreign embassies, etc. Moreover, The Hague is the home for the International Law and Arbitration.
The Hague is among the safest cities with a relatively lower crime rate. The weather in The Hague is not liked by most expats.
The cost of living in The Hague is high, however, it can be slightly lower when compared to Amsterdam.
Zug is another city located in Switzerland and is known widely for its local transportation, clean environment and personal safety of an individual.
Just as in the case of Basel, the locals might not be welcoming or friendly and it takes a considerable amount of time to feel adjusted here. Anyhow, the crime rate is low and it is safe for expats, whether during the day or night.
There are a lot of things to see in Zug such as Zugerberg, Lake Zug, Zug Castle, Clocktower Zug, Kunsthaus Zug, Lorze and others.
The cost of living in Zug is very high and for a family of 4 people, the average monthly costs (Without including the rent) would be around $6,800.
Barcelona is the second-largest city in Spain and is known to be the best city according to expats. Most expats state that they were happy with the climatic conditions, leisure activities, local culture, friendly natives, etc.
There are many places to visit in Barcelona such as Las Ramblas, Gothic Quarter, Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona City History Museum and a lot more.
The average cost of living for a family of 4 people costs around $2,800, which makes the cost of living in Barcelona moderate.
Crime Rate is low, there are low chances of violent crimes, but the people should be aware of pickpockets or thefts.
Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal and based on the information given by InterNations, expats could easily get settle and make friends with the local people here.
Lisbon is famous for having an exquisite range of beaches, castles, nightclubs, etc., making it to be one of the hottest travel destinations for the millennials in the year 2019.
People can easily get around here, even if they only speak English. The cost of living in Lisbon is moderate and most of the areas are safe along with police presence.
Montréal is a city located in Quebec, Canada, which is famous for its great music, restaurants, museums, universities, and many more.
It ranks to be the topmost city when it comes to the work-life, affordable cost of living, affordable housing, etc.
InterNations states that Montréal outperforms some of the other cities in Canada such as Vancouver, Toronto, etc. The climate is appreciated and enjoyed by most expats, but some say the weather is too cold.
The cost of living in Montreal is said to be moderate to high depending on certain conditions.
Singapore is a famous city-nation, which is famous for its food and drinks, along with excellent economic conditions.
Singapore is very clean, green, has a ban on chewing gum, has a wide range of shopping malls, and is known for a lot of other things.
Expats state that being in Singapore makes them feel secure and they also say that they are quite happy with political stability.
The city is not so efficient in terms of transport costs or work-life balance and the average cost of living is also considered to be high.
3. ‘Ho Chi Minh City’:
Ho Chi Minh City is a city located in Vietnam, which is famous for places such as Independence Palace, War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon, etc.
Expats state that finding a place to stay is very easy in this city and the cost of living is also considerably low when compared to many other cities.
However, environmental cleanliness can become an issue for the people who like to live in a clean and green environment as people throw wastage everywhere.
Another important thing to be taken into consideration is that Vietnam is considered to be the best country for expats to live and work.
2. ‘Kuala Lumpur’:
Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia, which is famous for the diversified culture, excellent food, landmarks, markets, and many more things.
There are numerous landmarks in Kuala Lumpur such as Petronas Twin Towers, Batu Caves, Menara Kuala Lumpur, Central Market, Merdeka Square and others.
The cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is also cheap and the travel to other Asian countries can be done hassle-free from Malaysia.
InterNations reported that expats have some difficulties regarding the employment possibilities because the Malaysian government imposes a strict set of rules on foreign employees in order to take care of the local employees.
Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan and is famous for the different varieties of food and relatively lower costs of living.
Taipei ranks as the best city in terms of local friendliness, lower cost of living, good quality healthcare, personal safety of an individual and career possibilities, according to the InterNations.
The language becomes a problem to most expats, however, which Chinese.