Where In The World Are The Top Cities For Expats?


The world’s top cities for expats, ranging from culture to where the most jobs are, have been revealed in new research.

Expats from more than 50 cities took part in the survey to tell the HSBC Expat Explorer what they liked the best in the city where they lived.

The results might not match what was expected in many of the categories:


Berlin is the cultural hotspot for expats, with hundreds of museums, music venues and theatres, followed by Argentina’s Buenos Aires and London. The survey reports 70% of expats in Berlin confirm a vibrant cultural scene.

Restaurants and foods

Foodies love Bangkok for street food to fine dining, with Tokyo second – with a huge number of Michelin starred eateries –  followed by Sao Paulo, Brazil. Lisbon, Portugal, is the only European city to make the top 10.


Istanbul, Turkey, is loved by 62% of expats living there, while Paris and Edinburgh, Scotland, come a close second and third.

Job opportunities

Work-orientated expats looking for a career in the tech industry should head for San Francisco, where 57% of expats living there say it’s the best city in the world for job opportunities. London is runner-up, followed by New York.

Affordable living

Not only is Bangkok tops for foodies, but three out of four resident expats voted the city as the most affordable to live in worldwide. Berlin, top for culture, came second and Prague in the Czech Republic took third place.


Expats with families like Singapore, which reportedly has an excellent education system. Toronto, Canada, is second – with the Scottish cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh taking the third and fourth places.


Whatever you want, Sydney has probably got when it comes to indoor or outdoor lifestyle.  Almost two thirds of expats said they had a more active lifestyle after moving to Sydney due to the sunshine. Vancouver, Canada, is second, while the beaches of Los Angeles propel the city to third.


Nairobi is the global travel hub – three-quarters of expats praise the city’s location as an excellent base to explore the rest of Africa. Geneva was second and Bangkok third.

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