Expats rank the best and worst European cities in 2022 for careers, social life and safety

If you’re thinking about moving abroad, you’re in luck.

Remote working is on the rise around the globe – and dozens of countries have developed targeted ‘digital nomad’ visas.

But it’s important to choose a country that provides the necessary services for teleworking and suits your lifestyle.

Luckily, help is at hand. InterNations – a global community for people who live and work abroad – has carried out its annual Expat Insider survey.

By quizzing 11,970 expats, the organisation has generated a ranking of 50 cities across the world.

What are the best European countries to live in right now?

The Expat Insider 2022 report analysed 50 expat destinations around the world and ranked them according to the quality of life for expats.

The survey asked expats to evaluate the ease of settling in, working abroad and personal finances in the city where they lived.

The ranking also includes an Expat Essentials index, which looks at digital life, admin topics, housing, and language.

This year, four European cities made it into the top ten.

Valencia is the best city for expats in Europe

Valencia comes in as the best city in the world for expats in 2022.

Expats described public transport as affordable and 92 per cent said they enjoy the opportunities for playing sport.

Nine out of ten expats said they feel safe in the city.

Valencia ranked third in the ease of settling in index and three quarters of expats said they feel at home and happy with their social life.

The city also comes in third in the personal finance category where 83 per cent of expats rate the cost of living positively compared to 45 per cent globally.

However, those surveyed said they were unhappy with the job market and work opportunities. The city came in last place for career prospects.

Lisbon offers expats the best weather and climate

Lisbon came in fourth in the overall rankings, but was one of the highest rated for the weather.

Expats also said they like the culture and nightlife options.

The city ranked highly for safety, too, with 94 per cent of expats saying they felt safe compared to 81 per cent globally.

However, Lisbon drops down the rankings when it comes to working opportunities with 27 per cent saying they do not feel they are paid fairly.

Madrid has good leisure activities and a welcoming culture

Madrid comes in just ahead of Lisbon in the rankings for quality of life, and is similarly loved for its sunny climate.

The Spanish city is one of the best rated for nightlife and culture and is considered the most welcoming expat destination.

Three out of four of those surveyed said they found it easy to get used to the local culture.

Like Valencia, however, the city drops when it comes to working abroad. Nearly a third of expats say they are worried about job security.

Basel’s expats enjoy fair pay but struggle to make friends

Although coming in 7th in the overall rankings, Basel was voted second best city globally for personal finances.

Expats said they feel that their disposable household income is enough to lead a comfortable life. Four out of five felt they are paid fairly for their work.

Almost all those surveyed said they enjoyed the natural environment and felt safe in the Swiss city.

However, the city ranked low in the ease of settling in index, with 30 per cent of expats describing local residents as unfriendly and 58 per cent saying they struggle to make friends.

Which European cities are worst for expats?

Paris comes in second last in the rankings of best cities for expats, criticised for expensive housing and high cost of living.

Those surveyed also said they found local residents unfriendly and struggled to make friends.

The French capital is ranked highly for its dining options and nightlife, however.

Two Italian cities also come in the bottom ten. Milanexpats said they were unhappy with working hours and work-life balance.

Italy’s capital Rome was criticised for its job market and career prospects.

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