Top 10 Cities for Expats Living Abroad
Living abroad as an expat is an experience you will remember for a lifetime. The sights, the smells, and the people are what make it so special, and will undoubtedly shape your personality and perception of the world. However, not all cities are welcoming to expats taking part in their rich culture. Perfectly understandable when cities like Barcelona are in the midst of an identity crisis because of the influx of non-Catalans, which has led to the gentrification of a city that simply wants to remain its unique self. Of course, this is not the norm in many popular destinations like Toronto, Singapore, and Melbourne where diversity and sharing of cultures are part of their social fabric. Whether you are tired of vitriolic politics or simply want to start a new life overseas, here are the top 10 destinations for expats living abroad:
10. Wellington, New Zealand
Acclaimed as one of the world’s most relaxed cities, the capital of New Zealand is one of the best places you could hope to call home. Here you will always be close to the ocean on one side and nature on the other. Wellington also has several chic cafes and a bustling nightlife so it’s a great city to be young, wild and free!
Quick fact: Wellington has 363 km of mountain bike and walking trails around the city.
9. Singapore, Singapore
Singapore is regarded as one of the safest cities in the world, however, there are strict drug laws and a ban on chewing gum, except in the case of nicotine gum which must be prescribed by a doctor. This is because Singapore is an extremely clean city and if you are caught spitting out gum on the streets, you will be fined $700.
Quick fact: The city-state of Singapore has four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.
8. Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s public transit system is incredibly convenient because not only is it affordable, but also runs all night on weekends. Another major plus about Germany’s capital is that it’s surprisingly affordable place to live. In fact, beer is cheaper than water.
Quick fact: Berlin has more bridges than Venice (1,700 > 400).
7. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is a cosmopolitan city with a high quality of life and a thriving arts and culture scene with plenty of galleries and museums to explore. There’s also great beaches and national parks nearby.
Quick fact: The Sydney Opera House was built $95 million (AUD) over budget. It was planned to cost $7 million but ended up costing $102 million.
6. Vienna, Austria
Vienna is one of the most beautiful and culturally vibrant cities in all of Europe. Although Austrians are a reserved bunch (even if you do speak German), the expat community in Vienna is close knit and look out for each other. For those with children, Vienna has great international schools and the public transportation system is extremely punctual.
Quick fact: Vienna is known as the “World’s Capital of Music” with several famous composers such as Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, and Mozart once calling the city home.
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is famous for its canal around which the city was built in concentric rings. Although apartments will be smaller than most would find comfortable, it will most likely be in a 400-year-old building or on a houseboat. Amsterdam is also one of the world’s top tourist destinations with many “coffee” shops and its famed Red Light District. Beware: It can be difficult for expats to find a job and a place to live if you were not transferred by your company.
Quick fact: Over 85% of Amsterdam residents can speak more than two languages.
4. Los Angeles, U.S.A
Golden beaches and beautiful people will have expats falling in love with the “City of Angels.” LA is essentially a city of neighborhoods with many having their own ethnic and cultural identity, that’s why it’s no surprise that it’s one of the world’s top foodie destinations.
Quick fact: LA’s original name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora Reina de Los Angeles Sobre el Rio Porciuncula.”
3. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world and despite being in Canada, it has very little to no snow in the winter. It’s a great city if you love the outdoors because it’s surrounded by mountains you can hike as well as plenty of urban parks to kick back and relax.
Quick fact: Stanley Park is 10 per cent bigger than New York’s Central Park (1001 acres > 842.88 acres).
2. Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city after Sydney and is extremely multicultural with over 140 nationalities represented within the city limits. The city consistently ranks in the top three for the highest quality of living and over half of Melbourne’s population is under the age of 35. It’s also Australia’s fashion capital with many high-end boutiques across the city.
Quick fact: The world’s first feature film, The Story of the Ned Kelly Gang was filmed in Melbourne in 1906.
1. Toronto, Canada
Toronto is the most multicultural city on earth with over half of its population claiming to be born outside of Canada. It’s considered the safest city in North America! Toronto is rapidly growing, which can make rent expensive, however, the city is great if you have a roommate to split the cost and who can double as a fellow urban explorer.
Quick fact: It is projected that by 2020, Toronto will have the highest number of high-rise condominiums in the world.
Wherever you choose to make your next home, you will need a quite a bit of money to start off. Knightsbridge FX offers great rates on currency exchange that are better than the big banks, especially when it comes to converting large amounts. Give us a call today at 1.877.355.5239 or fill out a form here for a free no-obligation quote.
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