18+ Best Cities In The World To Live: Top Livable Cities In The World

Having a chance to visit all the best cities in the world to live in is every traveller's dream. Does it matter which cities we live in? To many people, living in one of the safest countries in the world where healthcare is easily accessible, personal safety is guaranteed, and quality of life is ensured is a life's goal. To others, having an inspiring city culture and access to educational opportunities matter greatly.

Whether you are thinking about moving or visiting a new city on your next trip, one of these wonderful cities should be your top spot. Try out new experiences at exotic restaurants, famous museums and inspirational art shows. Spend time learning new things in diversified communities with welcoming locals. Here is the list of the best liveable cities in the world.

Top 20 Most Liveable Cities In The World

  1. Vienna, Austria
  2. Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Singapore
  5. Vancouver, Canada
  6. Geneva, Switzerland
  7. Frankfurt, Germany
  8. Sydney, Australia
  9. Toronto, Canada
  10. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  11. Osaka, Japan
  12. Wellington, New Zealand
  13. New York. United States
  14. London, United Kingdom
  15. Tokyo, Japan
  16. Auckland, New Zealand
  17. Paris, France
  18. Barcelona, Spain
  19. Madrid, Spain
  20. Melbourne, Australia

Common Traits Of The Best Cities In The World

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Green space is an ideal place to reconnect with nature and spend more time outdoors. Photo by Cavan for Adobe on stock.adobe.com

Living in a big city certainly has its unique sides and interesting features. For example, everything is more diverse, from the dining options to the forms of entertainment. However, not all cities are created equal. There are certain traits and factors that make some cities more livable than others. Here are what the most livable cities in the world have in common.

Green Space And Public Space

Lively outdoor spaces and vibrant public parks can make a city more livable. Cities such as San Francisco have gorgeous city parks, breathtaking views of the Bay Area and green hiking trails. Studies have shown that visiting urban green spaces can have positive effects on residents' emotions and stress levels.

Public spaces can enhance community spirit, helping residents make new friends and establish connections between locals and their surroundings.

Reliable Healthcare System

Even the best cities in the world to live in are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, a strong healthcare system in the top livable cities can minimise the negative health effects, resulting in lower COVID-19 deaths as compared to big numbers of life losses across cities around the world.

Healthy population growth is a great indicator of a good-quality healthcare system. Specifically, the costs of healthcare and the effects of ageing are important factors of a livable city.

Thriving Economy And Career Opportunities

When choosing cities for relocation, the country's economy and the city's job market are two important factors to consider. A booming economy often presents promising career opportunities to young professionals. 

Accessibility Within The Best Liveable Cities

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Having access to a variety of transportation systems can make a city more accessible to both local residents and visitors. Photo by Samson Katt on Pexels

Regional and local transit systems in the best cities to live in should be able to support the growing demand of their citizens. From being the fastest way to commute to be the most reliable and cost-effective, public transportation systems in cities should be comprehensive and convenient.

As one of the biggest cities with a large population, New York City has an extensive network of transportation, and New Yorkers have many different ways to get around. Residents and visitors can choose the iconic yellow cabs, buses from the New York Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA), the New York Subway, the railway lines, city bikes or even the city ferries. 

Environmental Sustainability

Promoting a sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle should be one of the main initiatives of the most livable cities. Ensuring the environment is safe for local residents and controlling pollution levels are among the top health concerns for most European cities.

Another example of an eco-friendly city is Wellington from the beautiful country of New Zealand. As one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world, Wellington has the lowest emissions per capita, with low-carbon transportation systems and sustainable local homes.

An Inspirational Local Community

A livable city is one where there is a great sense of community among its citizens. Being included, having a sense of belonging and feeling inspired are qualities people often look for in a new city.

Top 20 Best Cities In The World To Live In

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Job opportunities and the availability of good education are important factors used to determine a city’s quality of life. Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels

Every year, there are various rankings of the best cities in the world to live in such as the Global Liveability Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Expat City Ranking by InterNations and Quality Of Life Survey by Monocle. City rankings allow us to have a general view of how living conditions vary around the world, giving insights into individuals' lifestyles and quality of life.

Different factors are used to determine countries' rankings, such as accessibility to green space, availability of education and reliability of healthcare systems, quality of life and job opportunities. Here are our picks of the top 20 best cities in the world to live in.

Top 1: Vienna In Austria 

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Vienna tops the list thanks to its outstanding medical care. Photo by Ekaterina Pokrovsky on stock.adobe.com

According to the Global Liveability Index 2022 and Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking 2019, Vienna is the best city to live in. The city's infrastructure and public transportation system are among the best in the world.

  • Why Vienna Is Great For Travellers: Having a vibrant cultural scene, Vienna is a must-visit destination for travellers for many reasons. This beautiful urban charm is made of rich history, stunning architecture and diversified culture.

Top 2: Copenhagen In Denmark

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The colourful and distinctive harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark. Credit: @globetrottingsu

Ranked in first place in Monocle's Quality of Life Survey, the city has world-class museums, great initiatives toward eco-living and high living standards. Embrace the Danish concept of “hygge” and happiness, and you’ll be happier.

  • Why Copenhagen Is Great For Travellers: The city attracts foreign travellers across the globe with its excellent cuisine, easily accessible transportation system and a wide variety of entertainment options.

Top 3: Zurich In Switzerland 

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Zurich is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Photo by rh2010 on stock.adobe.com

Zurich is one of the best cities in the world to live in for both Swiss citizens and expats, with state-of-the-art infrastructure and high living standards. Zurich also has a number of recreation areas in beautiful locations, such as Lake Zurich and the Alps.

  • Why Zurich Is Great For Travellers: The city's greenery is the highlight for nature lovers. Travellers can hike in the Schauenberg Nordic Trail or admire the many scenic parts of the great outdoors around Zurich. 

Top 4: Singapore

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Singapore is filled with green spaces and parks. Photo by wirojsid on stock.adobe.com

Ranked at 4th place in Global Finance's World's Best Cities to Live 2022, Singapore is a modern and comfortable city to live in. Good infrastructure and quality health care are two of the city’s highlights.

  • Why Singapore Is Great For Travellers: Multi-cultural city with many sightseeing spots and modern green urban areas are the top impressions for visitors in Singapore.

Top 5: Vancouver In Canada 

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Skiing in Canada is among the most popular activities for people who love winter sports. Photo by ronniechua on stock.adobe.com

Residents in Vancouver enjoy good stability, a top-class healthcare system and quality education. Living in Vancouver opens up many summer and winter sports options for sports lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

  • Why Vancouver Is Great For Travellers: The city is ideal for year-round discovery. With its scenic location, Vancouver offers visitors a lot, from stunning snow-capped mountains to vibrant cosmopolitan life.

Top 6: Geneva In Switzerland 

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An idyllic view of Geneva’s beautiful landscapes. Photo by Robert Stokoe on Pexels

Geneva is among the best cities in the world to live in for various reasons. Being an international city with many international organisations and financial institutions available, Geneva's residents have many job opportunities. 

  • Why Geneva Is Great For Travellers: The city is famously known for its stunningly beautiful scenery. From the Alps and Jura mountains to Lac Leman's shores, visitors will be charmed by this beautiful European city.

Top 7: Frankfurt In Germany 

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There are various entertaining options for visitors to choose from in Frankfurt. Photo by william87 on stock.adobe.com

Ranked at 7th place in both Mercer's Quality of Living Ranking 2019 and EIU’s Global Liveability Index 2022, Frankfurt is a cultural hub with a rich history and diverse culture. With over 180 nationalities in the city, the cultural blends and hospitable atmosphere are hearty and welcoming.

  • Why Frankfurt Is Great For Travellers: The city's world-class museums and delicious local food scene will charm any visitors.

Top 8: Sydney in Australia 

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The Sydney Harbour offers stunning views and fresh ocean air to its citizens. Photo by Peter Kolejak on stock.adobe.com

Listed in the top 10 liveable cities in 2018 by the EIU, Sydney is blessed with lovely beaches all over the city and plenty of options for outdoor activities. There is so much to see and stunning ocean air to enjoy.

  • Why Sydney Is Great For Travellers: Its year-round sunny weather and the world’s famous landmarks attract visitors from all corners of the Earth.

Top 9: Toronto In Canada 

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An impressive view of Toronto’s skyline on a beautiful day. Photo by TOimages on stock.adobe.com

Toronto is a vibrant city with access to almost everything. Toronto residents' quality of life is high, with many green spaces and a universal healthcare system.

  • Why Toronto Is Great For Travellers: As Canada's biggest city, Toronto offers travellers around the world fun travel experiences. From festivals around the city to an exciting scene of nightlife entertaining options.

Top 10: Amsterdam In the Netherlands

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Amsterdam’s charming canals are one of the most loveable things about the city. Photo by Adrien Olichon on Pexels

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Amsterdam is an exciting hub of cultural activities and entertainment. Scoring perfectly on the healthcare category, the city indeed belongs to the top most livable cities in the world.

  • Why Amsterdam Is Great For Travellers: Charming canals, excellent museums, and friendly locals are just a few of the top reasons why travellers love Amsterdam.

Top 11: Osaka In Japan 

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Japan is an interesting destination for both travellers and expats around the world. Photo by PR Image Factory on stock.adobe.com

Osaka is among the safest and top cities to live in the world. For expats, Osaka is your go-to country if you love the unique Japanese culture. The 3rd largest city in Japan offers an entire feeling to its more famous sibling, Tokyo.

  • Why Osaka Is Great For Travellers: Osaka has family-friendly activities and attractions. Popular activities for travellers are visiting Osaka's famous aquarium, spending time in Universal Studios and trying out favourite Japanese dishes.

Top 12: Wellington In New Zealand 

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Wellington is easy to get around, a small city with a big heart. Photo by Milosz Maslanka on stock.adobe.com

Ranked by Deutsche Bank as the most liveable city twice in a row, Wellington is known for its high quality of life and low pollution level. The Kiwis are friendly, you’ll feel safe walking to any part of the place.

  • Why Wellington Is Great For Travellers: The world's famous cafe culture attracts travellers for its renowned culinary scene, thriving cultural hubs and stunning natural beauty.

Top 13: New York In the United States

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New York’s skyline and its skyscrapers. Photo by Roberto Vivancos on Pexels.com

Recognised as Global Finance's 9th best city to live in 2022, New York is the land of opportunity loved for its cultural diversity and artistic scene. The financial capital of the world does offer many job opportunities as well.

  • Why New York Is Great For Travellers: There are many reasons to visit New York, from popular attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge to the famous Broadway Shows.

Top 14: London In the United Kingdom 

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London is one of the world’s oldest cities with a rich history. Photo by Tomas Marek on stock.adobe.com

Voted as the best city to live in 2022 by Global Finance, London is the most culturally diverse city in the UK, with good quality of life and many job prospects.

  • Why London Is Great For Travellers: London has so much to see and do. Everyone should visit London to discover the city's rich history and visit world-famous sights such as Buckingham Palace and Big Ben.

Top 15: Tokyo In Japa

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Fascinating cuisine attracts visitors worldwide to Japan every year. Photo by THANANIT on stock.adobe.com

Ranked among the top 10 best cities in the world to live in by Monocle and Global Finance, Tokyo is famous for its world-renowned transportation infrastructure, excellent nightlife scene and convenient modern life.

  • Why Tokyo Is Great For Travellers: Tokyo is an attractive destination for visitors around the world for its unique Japanese culture, fascinating cuisine and full-of-surprise entertaining options.

Top 16: Auckland In New Zealand 

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Auckland is a city of natural beauty and stunning beaches. Photo by Rodrigo on stock.adobe.com

It was rated as Monocle's 16th best city to live in 2022 and Mercer's 5th city with the highest quality of living in 2019. Auckland is a stable and culturally diverse city with great living standards.

  • Why Auckland Is Great For Travellers: Beautiful beaches and plenty of natural landscapes are just two of the many reasons that make travellers love the city.

Top 17: Paris In France 

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Paris is a city famously known for many things, including art, culture and architecture. Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels

Paris is ranked second in Resonance's annual ranking of the world's best cities in 2023. The famous landmarks and the rich cultural and art scene are among the perks of living in Paris.

  • Why Paris Is Great For Travellers: There are plenty of reasons to visit Paris, not just once. From the famous cafe culture to the sophisticated cuisine and stunning architecture, there is something for every traveller.

Top 18: Barcelona In Spain 

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Barcelona is an artistic city of vibrant colours. Photo by Pawel Pajor on stock.adobe.com

Being an ideal European city with great weather all year-round, Barcelona is one of the most liveable cities in the world. With stunning beaches, expansive greenery and great quality of life, residents of Barcelona are happy to call this city home.

  • Why Barcelona Is Great For Travellers: Home to a thriving art community, wonderful food scene and Gaudi's well-known architecture, there is so much to love about Barcelona.

Top 19: Madrid in Spain 

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The Plaza Mayor de Madrid is one of the top visited places for visitors. Photo by Alliance on stock.adobe.com

The Spanish capital offers a vibrant social life, rich cultural heritage and a comfortable climate. There is also an interesting blend of art and culture in the city.

  • Why Madrid Is Great For Travellers: Travellers love to explore Madrid by strolling on its trendy boulevards, joining in the fun-filled fame shows and having a great time with the nightlife scene.

Top 20: Melbourne In Australia 

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Hidden gems and interesting dining options are scattered between laneways across the city. Photo by FiledIMAGE on stock.adobe.com

In previous years, Melbourne was crowned as the top livable cities in the world  by the EIU in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Melburnians benefit from the city's world-class healthcare system, diverse public transportation system and low crime rates. 

  • Why Melbourne Is Great For Travellers: The sun-filled streets with iconic urban laneways, unique vibes and pleasant climate all year-round are top reasons that attract travellers to visit Melbourne.


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There are various factors to consider before deciding to move or take your next international trip to a foreign country. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

1. Which City Is The Best To Live In?

Vienna is the top livable city in the world in the 2022 annual rankings by the Economist Intelligence Unit and in the 2019 city rankings by Mercer.  The Hague in the Netherlands is voted first place in the top city rankings based on the quality of life in 2023 by Numbeo.com.

Great healthcare, great stability and great quality of life are generally factors that top cities the most livable. In previous years, Auckland in New Zealand was the most livable city in the world in 2021, while Vienna held the first place in 2019 and 2018. 

2. Which City Is The Most Expensive To Live In?

According to the Worldwide Cost Of Living Index released by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2022, the top 5 most expensive countries to live in are Singapore, New York, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

The cost of living in these cities are determined by average income and prices within the area. The lifestyle of local residents and costs such as healthcare, education and transportation are factors to affect the cost of living index.

3. Which City Is The Cheapest To Live In?

Whether it is for a retirement plan, a new job or a new life direction, relocating to a cheaper city can clearly stretch one's savings. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the cheapest cities to live in the world in 2022 are:

  • Damascus in Syria
  • Tripoli in Libya
  • Tehran in Iran
  • Tunis in Tunisia
  • and Tashkent in Uzbekistan. 

4. Is It Expensive To Live In The Top Livable Cities?

The cost of living can influence the quality of life for local residents and destination picking for international travellers. Even though the cheapest city in the world to live in fails in comparison to the best livable one by many standards, the overall costs certainly have the power over relocation and travel planning.

To better prepare for your next international trip or moving plan, looking at economic factors such as average rent rates, average costs of households' necessities, and utilities is a way to determine how pricey a city is. 

Best Cities In The World To Live In

Here are the best cities in the world to live in, based on different rankings and indexes. Despite the negative effects of COVID-19 on the liveability index for two consecutive years, there are positive improvements in healthcare, education, culture and environment in cities across the world.

Whether you are a world traveller, a digital nomad or a soon-to-be expat with plans to relocate, these cities are definitely great destinations to start looking at. 

Chau Dao

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