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Plaka District of Athens
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These are officially the best cities to start a new life in 2022

Bags packed? Head to one of these buzzy cities, loved by locals for their quality of life – and the price of a pint

Sophie Dickinson
Ellie Walker-Arnott
Written by
Sophie Dickinson
Ellie Walker-Arnott

You don’t need us to tell you that the past couple of years have been tough. But if they’ve left you with a strong and persistent urge to make a massive life change, we can help you out with some ideas. Like, which of the world’s vibrant and exciting cities you should move to next, for example.

With things looking up for 2022 but a flexible WFH approach likely to stay put, you might be in the ideal position to up sticks and move somewhere totally new. If that’s you, these are the cities you should consider starting a new life in next year. 

The Greek capital, Athens, takes the top spot in a new poll by packaging retailer RAJA. To come up with the ranking, a group of experts analysed data across ten factors including employment rate, cost of living, safety and healthcare. Athens clinched first place thanks to its high employment rate, affordable rent and – most importantly – the incredibly cheap beer. Sounds like the ideal place to relocate to.

Next up is Austin in Texas, where experts say the quality of life is great. The city is packed with green spaces – so if you’re outdoorsy, this is the one for you. Then, in third, there’s Barcelona, which has cheap booze, good healthcare, great weather and some pretty exquisite national dishes. We’re packing our bags already. 

Here is the top ten in full:

1. Athens
2. Austin
3. Barcelona
4. Berlin
5. Cape Town
6. Chiang Mai
7. Christchurch
8. Copenhagen
9. Delhi
10. Dubai

And when it comes to where not to start a new life in 2022? Last year, a list of more than 15,000 expats were polled by InterNations to create this year’s Expat City Ranking. They said you should swerve places like Rome, Paris and Dublin, mainly because of the cities’ high living costs. Point taken. They sure are nice places to go on holiday, though.

Either way, a change of scenery, here we come! 

Want to know exactly where you should move to? Here are the coolest neighbourhoods in the world right now.  

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