What are The Five Best International Cities For American Expats?
If you’ve ever considered making a permanent home in another country, you no doubt have some inkling of the immense amount of information there is take in. Not only is there the stress of making such a drastic move, but there’s often lingering questions of whether you’ve chosen the right place for you. In this article, we take a look at five of the best countries to set up permanent residence as an American expat.
Prague, Czech Republic - Prague is a desirable destinations for expats for a number of reasons, one of them being its proximity to other countries in Europe. Germany, Austria and Poland all border the Czech Republic, as does Slovakia.
Prague is an excellent choice for expats since it’s steeped in culture and history, much of apparent at every turn. The city itself presents tremendous natural beauty, from the parks and gardens that adorn the various parts of town to stunning architecture. If that weren’t enough the Vlatava River flows through the middle of Prague.
As far other common expat concerns, Prague has a healthy economy and a relatively affordable cost of living, in addition to decent public transportation and wide variety of things to do.
Vienna, Austria - Vienna is a city that has ranked well for quality of living across all segments, which is a great indicator for expats that it’s an excellent place to live. Part of what makes Vienna one of the better cities in the world in which to live is that it’s safe, especially for a big city, and has good transportation systems and plenty to do for entertainment.
Since it’s the capital and largest city in Austria, Vienna has many of the international goods that you may not find in some other location. Its central location in Europe is part of this as well, so it’s relatively easy to find a diverse selection of food and consumer products.
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Madrid, Spain - Madrid is a popular destination for expats since it’s a large city with friendly locals and moderate weather. It’s also a European city in which expats feel very comfortable, both in terms of finding other expats and communities, as well as making acquaintances with locals.
Living in Madrid is cheaper than it is in other large European cities, but still has the entertainment options and public transport you’d expect in a city of its size. There is a strong international community, not to mention excellent health care and a cornucopia of events around arts, culture, music, and recreation.
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Buenos Aires, Argentina - Buenos Aires has recently become a hot spot for expats and long-term vacationers. A busy city with a lot of people, Buenos Aires has plenty to do, including a night life that often runs into the early mornings. Public transportation is readily available and affordable, but the same cannot be said for the real estate market. Housing is expensive and it’s not always easy to find, especially for expats, who often end up paying more than local prices due to the difficulty of finding a place to live.
The economy is not as steady or strong as some other place so that’s something to keep in mind if you plan to settle in Argentina. There is a healthy expat community in Buenos Aires, making adjustment easier if you don’t speak the language (the dialect of Argentinian Spanish is a little different from what you might be used to).
Berlin, Germany - Berlin has a lot to offer expats, chief among them being a vibrant nightlife and a bustling city full of culture. It’s an especially good city for art lovers since it has countless museums and a popular film scene, which includes events like the Berlinale International Film Festival.
Being one of the large major European cities, Berlin has many different neighborhoods from which to choose that include everything from quiet family homes off the beaten path to busy areas that constantly offer something to do. Though prices have gone up recently, Berlin is still affordable when compared to other major European cities, especially for the lifestyle it offers.
Resources For American Expats
- Happy Planet Index - The Happy Planet Index is website that presents measurements and statistics about the general happiness or well-being of different countries around the world. There’s an interactive map that’s easy to use and each country is given an overall score, as well as information about how it rates in specific areas.
- Country Comparison - A resource that’s similar to that Happy Planet Index, this survey allows to you to include or exclude specific factors that may be not be important to you. There are several subcategories included among the three primary criteria of economics, experience, and family.