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Explore what the world’s cities have to offer expats

The world’s top cities, according to expats

In our latest Expat Explorer survey we asked expats to tell us what they think is the best thing about the city they live in. With responses from 52 cities across the world, we’ve compiled the top expat cities for everything from culture, food and leisure to job opportunities, affordable living and education.

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Culture

1st

Berlin

2nd

Buenos Aires

3rd

London

Home to a world-famous music scene and hundreds of galleries and museums, Berlin is the top cultural hotspot for expats. Coming in 2nd, Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital is the only South American city in the top 10. And with its outstanding line-up of exhibitions, events and entertainment, London is 3rd in the rankings.

of expats living in Berlin say it has a vibrant cultural scene

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Restaurants and Food

1st

Bangkok

2nd

Tokyo

3rd

Sao Paolo

From street food to fine dining, Bangkok’s gastronomic delights get rave reviews from expats living in the Thai capital, putting it top of the global rankings for great restaurants and high quality food. Michelin star hotspot Tokyo and the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo are in 2nd and 3rd place. The only European city to make the top 10 is Lisbon, which takes 8th spot.

of expats single out Bangkok’s great restaurants as one of the best things about the city

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Travel

1st

Nairobi

2nd

Geneva

3rd

Bangkok

Compared to the global average of 36%, more than three-quarters (77%) of expats in Nairobi feel it’s an excellent base to explore and travel, making Kenya’s capital the only African city to achieve top 3 status in our rankings. Geneva’s European connections secure it in 2nd place, with 3rd spot going to Bangkok – an ideal launch pad for travel across Asia and Australasia.

of expats take advantage of Geneva’s location to see more of the world

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Public Transport

1st

Seoul

2nd

Taipei

3rd

Zurich

For 83% of expats living in Seoul, the city’s public transport system is a real plus point. Subway trains are kitted out with TVs, Wifi and heated seats, so it’s no wonder the South Korean capital takes 1st place. Taipei’s efficient Mass Rapid Transit system puts it in 2nd spot, while Zurich comes 3rd with its extensive network of trams, buses, trains, cable cars and boats.

of expats in Taipei are impressed by its reliable and convenient public transport system

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Sightseeing

1st

Istanbul

1st

Paris

3rd

Edinburgh

Sharing the top spot for sightseeing, Istanbul and Paris have all kinds of striking landmarks to admire, from the towering minarets of the Turkish city to the iconic Eiffel Tower of the French capital. Ranked 3rd is Edinburgh, beating the pyramids of Cairo and the Gaudi architecture of Barcelona.

of expats in Istanbul and Paris say the cities offer rich and diverse sightseeing opportunities

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Public Spaces

1st

Singapore

2nd

Tokyo

3rd

Oslo

Singapore’s 300+ parks and 4 nature reserves have earned the Garden City top spot in the rankings for public spaces. Expats living in Tokyo also appreciate their city’s green and tranquil areas, with the promise of more improvements in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic Games. And if you stroll along Oslo’s 9km waterfront, it’s easy to see why the Norwegian capital is in 3rd place.

of expats in Singapore praise its clean and safe public spaces

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Job Opportunities

1st

San Fransisco

2nd

London

3rd

New York

San Francisco’s booming economy and pioneering tech industry make it the best city in the world for career-driven expats. Hot on its heels are London and New York, both magnets for international talent. Dublin and Birmingham make up the top 5, giving Europe the edge over the USA.

of expats in San Francisco believe the city offers fantastic job opportunities

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Affordable Living

1st

Bangkok

2nd

Berlin

3rd

Prague

For expats looking to increase their spending power, Bangkok is an ideal destination. More than two-thirds of expats who have moved to the Thai capital say its affordable cost of living is one of the best things about the city. In 2nd and 3rd spot are Berlin and Prague, with Kuala Lumpur and Warsaw also making the top 5.

of expats living in Bangkok say they have more disposable income than they did at home

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Leisure

1st

Sydney

2nd

Vancouver

3rd

Los Angeles

A top destination for sun, sea and surf, Sydney is a hit with expats who love an active lifestyle. In 2nd spot is Vancouver, home to the beautiful Stanley Park and only 2 hours from the Olympic ski resort Whistler Blackcomb. The spectacular beaches and hiking trails of Los Angeles secure it in 3rd place, while Oslo and Zurich are the only two European cities to make the top 10.

of expats say they’ve become more physically active since they moved to Sydney

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Education

1st

Singapore

2nd

Toronto

3rd

Glasgow

More than a quarter of expats in Singapore say it has an excellent education system, which reflects the city-state’s consistently high PISA test scores. In 2nd place is Toronto where schools are able to accommodate expat children who don’t speak English or French. The Scottish education system is also valued by expats with Glasgow taking 3rd spot, closely followed by Edinburgh in 4th.

of expats appreciate the high standards achieved by schools in Toronto

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The 2017 Expat Explorer survey is a global survey completed by 27,587 expats across the world. The research was conducted online by YouGov in March and April 2017. There is a minimum sample of 90 expat respondents required for a city to be included in the rankings.