Travel | February 25, 2021 12:38 pm

This European Metropolis Topped the List of Best Cities for Expats

Five of the top 10 cities on the InterNations list are on the Iberian Peninsula

Valencia, Spain
If you're an expat, you may want to head to cities on the Iberian Peninsula.
Alexander Spatari / Getty Images

If you’re going to move to another country but you want to maintain a city lifestyle, lead to Valencia.

The port city in Spain just landed atop The Best (and Worst) Cities for Expats, an annual list put together by InterNations, an online expat community.

The site utilized 15,000 respondents, representing 173 nationalities and 181 countries or territories. The survey focused on sustainability and the environment, as well as local life and amenities in cities.

As for the cities, the survey used quality of urban living, work life, getting settled and finance/housing as the four criteria. At least 50 respondents had to rank a city for it to qualify for the list.

InterNation's Best & Worst Cities for Expats in 2020
InterNation’s Best & Worst Cities for Expats in 2020

Some findings:

  • Expats in Valencia were happy with the local healthcare and “plentiful leisure options and great weather.” It’s also the easiest city for expats to settle in. The only weaknesses? If you’re not retired, the job and career rankings are lower than several other cities.
  • Five of the top 10 cities are found on the Iberian Peninsula.
  • On a budget? Consider Kuala Lumpur and Alicante, but avoid Munich and Dublin.
  • Overall, expats where unhappiest in Salmiya (66th), Rome (65th) and Seoul (64th). The last-place Kuwaiti city finished last in quality of life and the ease of getting settled.
  • Four cities in North America had enough responses to get rankings: Panama City (4th), New York City (34th), Mexico City (38th) and Toronto (40th).

As Forbes points out, the North American list represents an improvement from the previous year, as New York finished 74th out of 82 cities in 2019. However, the data for the 2020 survey was collected last March, just before COVID-19 altered city landscapes.