From Asia to the U.S. and Europe, there are hundreds of cities that constantly attract new residents, thanks to low crime rates, quality of life and many other factors. Spending the past few years moving from one city to another, I’ve had my fair share of scouting for new nesting ground. Having picked up a trick or two on where’s best and where’s not, here’s my own list of 10 best cities to live based on my own likings and experiences.
1. Melbourne, Australia
This vibrant city at the Southern end of Australia is a treasure trove of beaches, seaside esplanades and quirky antique shops. Edgy urbanites co-exist with aboriginal culture in a city that grooves with urban culture. Melbourne is just an hour away from the Great Ocean Road, a stretch of coastal cliffs bursting with wildlife and hiking trails. The Grampians mountain range are also just several hours’ drive away. It’s definitely my favorite city in Australia, just be careful, you might never want to leave.
2. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona: progressive, new-age, explosive and colorful. The hip crowd can hang around the beach at Barceloneta, while the artistic ones can mingle around works of Gaudi. Barcelona, best experienced on a hop on hop off Barcelona bus tour, is a sprawling city with the conveniences that every cosmopolitan city has, yet it has completely come to its own.
Spain might not be ranking tops in the European ranking of infrastructure or GDP, but everyone who’s been there knows about the immeasurable quality of life. The three most important things in life for the Spaniards – cerveza (beer), siesta and fiesta.
Coming in at number 1 in Mercer’s 2009 Worldwide Infrastructure Ranking, Singapore is definitely one of the best places to live in Asia. There’s not just low crime rate, but also excellent connection with the world, good career opportunities, high standard of living and a cosmopolitan lifestyle. Urbanites who like living in a metropolis will definitely appreciate the vibrant nightlife and entertainment establishments available. Being a bilingual nation also helps a foreigner get by easily.
4. Prague, Czech Republic
One of my favorite cities in Europe- Prague is cheaper than most west European countries, but has equally stunning architecture, historical monuments and rich culture. In terms of security and stability, it is also on par with its neighbors. The weak currency makes cost of living here much lower as well- an important point to consider when relocating. The proximity to neighboring Germany and Austria also make it a good base to explore the area.
5. Dubai, UAE
Ranking as the top Middle Eastern city in the quality of life index, Dubai has been an expatriate-hub in the recent years. Plenty of friends looking to work abroad are seeking out opportunities in Dubai and it looks like they’re doing better than before. Quoted as ‘the fastest growing city in the world’, Dubai is now home to the tallest building, largest man-made marina and the most luxurious hotel in the world. Adventure seekers can also head out to nearby sand dunes to surf in the sand.
6. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires is the most influential city in the whole of South America, despite its economic debacle in 2002. Stretching from old neighborhood like San Telmo to the swanky riverside zone of Puerto Madero. the city holds on to its history and culture like no other. Littered with gorgeous architecture, melancholic tango bars and antique shops, Buenos Aires is reminiscent of Europe, yet completely its own. A unique place to live and smell culture, this is the perfect place to live for art lovers who seek a bohemian lifestyle.
7. Seattle, U.S.
Surrounded by magnificent mountain range, Seattle is said to be one of the best residential cities in the U.S. Being the 13th largest metropolitan area in the States, it’s neither too big nor too small. Temperatures are also milder here, which means comfortable winters and summers. There’s a vibrant music scene and plenty of outdoors options from boating to hiking.
If you’re considering moving abroad, don’t forget to check out our post on how to take baby steps to making the big move. For those who are still hesitant, you can always find budget friendly holiday deals online to scout out these locations first before making your decision!
- Moving on: A New Life
- 7 Steps to Sustaining Long-Term Travel
- How to Take Baby Steps to Making the Big Move
- The Ups and Downs of a Nomadic Lifestyle
- Food Galore in Singapore