Get us in your inbox

Valencia skyline
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best (and worst) cities for expats, revealed

Cities around the world have been ranked based on safety, affordability, work-life balance, job opportunities and more

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Maybe it was the fact that most of us were so shut away during the last few years, but it feels like moving abroad is having a bit of a moment – whether that’s becoming a globetrotting digital nomad for a bit, or picking a new country and emigrating for good.

If you’re planning on starting a new life abroad anytime soon, InterNations’ Expat Insider Report 2022 will surely be of interest. By looking at everything from administration hurdles and the job market to affordability, work-life balance and safety, InterNations has revealed the best – and worst – cities in the world for expats.

Top of the Expat Insider Report this year came the Spanish city of Valencia. Thanks to a load of factors, from cheap public transport and high safety levels to its social buzz, Valencia was named the best city in the world for expats.

Second in the list came Dubai, largely thanks to its good government services and infrastructure, followed by Mexico City, which got praise for its friendliness and affordability.

Down the other end of the expat league table, Johannesburg comes dead last. Apparently the South African city doesn’t rank well in terms of safety, affordability, job opportunities and a whole load of other factors. Also low-ranking are Frankfurt and Paris.

Here are the top ten cities in 2022, according to InterNations’ Expat Insider Report.

  1. Valencia, Spain
  2. Dubai, UAE
  3. Mexico City, Mexico
  4. Lisbon, Portugal
  5. Madrid, Spain
  6. Bangkok, Thailand
  7. Basel, Switzerland
  8. Melbourne, Australia
  9. Abu Dhabi, UAE
  10. Singapore, Singapore

And here are the bottom ten.

  1. Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. Frankfurt, Germany
  3. Paris, France
  4. Istanbul, Turkey
  5. Hong Kong, China
  6. Hamburg, Germany
  7. Milan, Italy
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Tokyo, Japan
  10. Rome, Italy

You can read the entirety of the Expat Insider Report 2022 for yourself here – and figure out where to go (and where not to go) for your next big move!

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for the latest travel news and the best stuff happening across the world.

You may also like
You may also like