Europe contains some of the greatest cities in the world. It’s a fact. And that means, of course, that Europe also contains some of the most liveable cities in the world, too.
The cities here are home to some of the best culture, food, and nightlife you could find anywhere. From Gaudi architecture in Barcelona to Hygge living in Copenhagen, Europe has it all.
But what are the best cities in Europe to live in? Here’s our list of the 15 most liveable cities in Europe. They have each been rated on the culture, local food, the overall atmosphere, things to do, and – for those digital nomads out there – internet availability.
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The 15 Best Cities in Europe to Live (2023)
Oslo, Dublin, Madrid, Munich, and Vienna. Here are the 15 most liveable cities in Europe:
15. Oslo, Norway
Oslo is one of the most beautiful and welcoming cities in Europe.
The transport and infrastructure are amazing for a city of its size and the streets are generally very safe to walk.
The people are friendly too, which makes it even more enjoyable to explore all the excellent restaurants, bars, and cafes that Oslo has to offer.
The climate, however, isn’t the greatest, or else it may have ranked higher on our list. it’s also one of the most expensive cities in Europe to live in – especially if you’re not a Norweigan salary!
But despite that, Oslo is a great place to live if you’re looking for a safe, clean, and convenient city with plenty to see and do.
Top 3 Things to Do in Oslo
Why is Oslo a great place to live?
- The transport and infrastructure are amazing for a city of its size.
- The streets are very safe to walk and the people are very friendly too.
- There are plenty of excellent restaurants, bars and cafes, gallery spaces, and interesting neighborhoods to explore.
14. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is the perfect city to live in and explore Ireland from.
The Irish are of the most fun and friendly people you will ever meet while traveling, so it’s reasonable to expect that Dublin would be one of the friendliest cities to live in!
The old architecture that you can find throughout the city, as well as learning the history from all around this small Irish capital are just some aspects that will make living here an unforgettable experience.
Dublin is also the home of Guinness – so you need to try the Guinness tour while you’re there.
Dublin is as much a party city as a sightseeing venue, so make sure to keep the evenings free to enjoy a glass or two of the local brew and listen to some awesome live music!
Top 3 Things to Do in Dublin
Why is Dublin a great place to live?
- The location makes it easy to explore Ireland and the rest of Europe.
- Generally great internet connectivity.
- The great nightlife.
- It’s the home of Guinness!
13. Madrid, Spain
Madrid’s quality of life is undeniably incredible, with a fantastic culture and Spanish traditions making it one of the greatest cities in Europe to live in.
When visiting Madrid, the first impression you get is the amazing architecture, grand boulevards, and wide avenues. There are countless historic monuments, tapas bars, and cafes to keep you busy.
The climate is also fantastic throughout the year. Although, the main downside for this Spanish city is that it doesn’t have a beach. For that, you should check out Barcelona (number 9 on this list).
Top 3 Things to Do in Madrid
Why is Madrid a great place to live?
- The incredible quality of life, and the tapas.
- There are countless tapas bars and cafes to keep you busy.
- Plenty of interesting architecture, boulevards, and avenues to explore.
- The fantastic climate throughout the year
12. Munich, Germany
Whether you just want to relax with some locally brewed beer or hear up-and-coming musicians at a festival, Munich has something for everyone.
Munich is actually Germany’s second most visited city, after Berlin. For example, the annual Oktoberfest alone draws more than seven million visitors to its beer tents.
Munich is much more than just beer and pretzels, however. Even though you can see how those aspects could improve the livability. There are many beautiful sites and museums dotted around the city, including the Deutsches Museum and the Bavarian National Museum.
It also makes the perfect base for exploring southern Germany and its many Alpine lakes and fairytale castles.
Top 3 Things to Do in Munich
Why is Munich a great place to live?
- Munich is Germany’s second most visited city for a reason – it has something to offer everyone!
- There are many beautiful sites and museums in Munich that are worth exploring.
- If you want to relax and take in some culture, Munich is the perfect place to do it.
- Not only is Munich a great place to visit, but it’s also the perfect base for exploring southern Germany.
11. Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki is one of the best cities in Europe to live for a number of reasons. For starters, this city is consistently ranked as one of the happiest places in the world!
This is due in part to the fact that Helsinki has a low crime rate and a high quality of life. The city also has a thriving food scene, with a wide variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from.
Helsinki is located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by nature, and is also home to a number of world-class museums and universities, including the National Museum of Finland and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
With its stunning architecture and a plethora of things to do, it’s no wonder Helsinki is one of the best cities in Europe to live.
Top 3 Things to Do in Helsinki
Why is Helsinki a great place to live?
- The city is consistently ranked as one of the happiest places in the world.
- Low crime rate and high quality of life.
- Thriving food scene with a variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from.
- Located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by nature.
- World-class museums and universities.
10. Amsterdam, Netherlands
The city of canals, barges, flowers, and free-thinking is a fantastic place to live.
It is of course home to many incredible cafes with very relaxed marijuana laws (if that’s your type of thing).
There are also plenty of museums to explore, from Anne Frank to Van Gough, or from the Heineken Experience to the Museum of Bags and Purses!
There is also a fantastic level of English, from both the Dutch citizens as well as the thriving international digital nomad scene.
Top 3 Things to Do in Amsterdam
Why is Amsterdam a great place to live?
- Vibrant city life with plenty to do.
- Plenty of coffee shops with relaxed marijuana laws.
- Wide range of museums and attractions.
- English is spoken by both Dutch citizens and international digital nomads.
9. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona’s fantastic climate makes it one of the European cities with the best quality of life.
Barcelona also has a fantastic stretch of coastline, with the main beach at the epicenter of its carnival-like atmosphere. Sunset Mojitos on the beach after a long day of work? Never a problem in Barcelona.
The city also has good health care, schools, and medical services – just watch out for the pickpockets on Las Ramblas!
The Top 3 Things to Do in Barcelona
Why is Barcelona a great place to live?
- Voted one of the best cities in the world for quality of life.
- Fantastic climate – perfect for year-round living.
- Amazing coastline with great beaches.
- Good healthcare, schools, and medical services.
8. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm is a dream place to live and visit, with so many wonderful attractions, rich history, and a special kind of Scandinavian charm.
Stockholm is also impeccably clean and incredibly safe.
Many people have recently moved to the Swedish capital to embrace Scandinavian life in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Stockholm
Why is Stockholm a great place to live?
- Safe and clean city.
- A vibrant and fun city with plenty of attractions.
- Great place to live and work.
- Ideal for those who want to experience Scandinavian life.
7. Berlin, Germany
Germany’s once-divided capital is now one of the trendiest in Europe, if not the world.
Berliners are embracing life and living it to the absolute fullest.
Cafes, restaurants, bars beer gardens, techno parties, music, and art venues are found around every corner – making this an easy spot in which to have lots of fun.
For a city in one of the most powerful well-developed countries in the world, it is also surprisingly affordable. For example, you can find a beer in a bar for as little as 1 euro.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Berlin
Why is Berlin a great place to live?
- Trendy and diverse nightlife scene.
- Affordable prices.
- Vibrant art and music scenes.
- The proven quality of life.
6. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is a small, but friendly city with so many amazing attractions.
There are historic sites and welcoming citizens, which makes it perfect for visiting tourists or newcomers.
Not only is Edinburgh a great place to live, but Scotland as a whole is a fantastic country to explore.
If you live in Edinburgh, you can be in the Scottish highlands within a matter of hours.
You can visit some of its most charming towns or visit the islands off the northwest coast, such as the Isle of Skye, which make for some of the most amazing road trip journeys you can do on this planet.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Edinburgh
Why is Edinburgh a great place to live?
- Edinburgh is a small, friendly city with so many amazing attractions.
- There are historic sites and welcoming citizens, which makes it perfect for visiting tourists or newcomers.
- Not only is Edinburgh a great place to live, but Scotland as a whole is a fantastic country to explore.
- If you live in Edinburgh, you can be in the Scottish highlands within a matter of hours.
5. Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal’s capital has everything you could want if you were looking to move to another city.
With its beautiful seaside setting, super seafood dining, lots of history, and dynamic digital nomad scene, Lisbon is an incredibly welcoming city to live in.
It’s also among Europe’s most affordable cities to live in.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Lisbon
Why is Lisbon a great place to live?
- Affordable: Lisbon is one of the most affordable cities in all of Europe.
- Dynamic digital nomad scene: There are always new people and experiences to be had in Lisbon.
- Beautiful seaside setting: Portugal’s capital is home to stunning coastlines and picturesque neighborhoods.
- Super seafood dining: From grilled sardines to octopus dishes, Lisbon’s cuisine is on point.
READ MORE: 7 Best Countries to Work Online in 2023
4. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen is consistently ranked as one of the top cities to live in for its quality of life.
Copenhagen is a safe, clean, and beautiful place to live. It has also become widely known as one of the happiest cities in the world.
According to different city rankings, Copenhagen has based its resilience on a dynamic economy and a green, inclusive urban environment for its inhabitants.
It is not, however, one of the most affordable cities to live in Europe.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Copenhagen
Why is Copenhagen a great place to live?
- Copenhagen is safe – In 2016, Copenhagen was ranked the world’s safest city by The Economist.
- Copenhagen is clean – The Danish capital also ranks high when it comes to being clean. In 2017, it was named the European Green Capital thanks to its green initiatives and policies.
- Copenhagen is beautiful – From its picturesque waterfront to its winding streets, Copenhagen is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
- Copenhagen is happy – According to a study by Lancet, Copenhagen is one of the happiest cities in the world with a population that enjoys a high quality of life.
3. Zurich, Switzerland
With its location right in the heart of Switzerland, Zurich is a modern cosmopolitan hub that is regularly ranked as one of the top cities for quality of life in the world.
Zurich is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife, stunning natural scenery, or a wealth of cultural attractions, Zurich has it all.
The city is also incredibly clean and well-organized, with a high quality of life. In addition, Zurich is home to a number of world-class universities, making it an ideal place to study.
It’s also considered Switzerland’s trendsetting city, thanks to its highly innovative arts and creative scene.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Zurich
Why is Zurich a great place to live?
- Ranked as one of the top cities in the world for quality of life.
- Highly innovative arts and creative scene.
- A trendsetting city with a modern cosmopolitan feel.
- Convenient location right in the heart of Switzerland.
2. Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva is full of green spaces and entering any park in summer is like stepping into paradise.
There are many reasons why Geneva is such a great city to live in. For starters, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with its stunning lakefront setting and views of the snow-capped Alps.
It’s also a very cosmopolitan city, with a diverse population and a huge range of cultural activities on offer.
Then there’s the quality of life: Geneva consistently ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world, thanks to its low crime rates, excellent infrastructure, and high standards of education and healthcare. The salaries are also extremely high here.
Although it’s a relatively small city, there is plenty to do. Such as free concerts, lake cruises, exhibitions, music, and film festivals.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Geneva
Why is Geneva a great place to live?
- A safe and secure city with a low crime rate.
- High salaries for those looking to work in the city.
- Plenty of activities and events to keep you busy.
- Great place to raise a family.
And finally, we’ve reached number one!
Can you guess which city we’re about to reveal? *drumroll please*
It is in fact…
1. Vienna, Austria
Every year – from 2009 to 2019 – Mercer’s quality of living survey has named Vienna as the best place to live in the entire world.
It has tons of green spaces, cheap and efficient public transport, a very low crime rate and geographically is in a great location as it’s in central Europe!
Vienna is also very safe, with a low crime rate. And, in case you didn’t know, the city is renowned for its food and wine.
There are so many reasons to consider making Vienna your home.
Whether you’re looking for an exciting metropolis or a more relaxed lifestyle, you’ll find it in Vienna.
As an added bonus, due to Vienna’s central location, you can also easily access some of the greatest cities in Europe within a couple of hours.
The Top 3 Things to Do in Geneva
Why is Vienna a great place to live?
- Ranked #1 city to live in by Mercer’s quality of living survey for 9 years in a row.
- Cheap and efficient public transport.
- Low crime rate.
- Geographically advantageous – in Central Europe.
- Access to other great European cities within a few hours.
The Best Cities in Europe To Live
So there you have it, that completes our list of the most liveable cities in Europe.
Of course, there are also plenty of other amazing cities around Europe to call your home, some of which we’ve covered in our alternative places to live in Europe guide.
Or if you are looking for an affordable place in Europe to call your home, check out our guide to the cheapest places in Europe to live (and still have a high quality of life).
Just as a quick recap, here’s the full list:
- 15. Oslo, Norway
- 14. Dublin, Ireland
- 13. Madrid, Spain
- 12. Munich, Germany
- 11. Helsinki, Finland
- 10. Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 9. Barcelona, Spain
- 8. Stockholm, Sweden
- 7. Berlin, Germany
- 6. Edinburgh, Scotland
- 5. Lisbon, Portugal
- 4. Copenhagen, Denmark
- 3. Zurich, Switzerland
- 2. Geneva, Switzerland
- 1. Vienna, Austria
Did we miss any out? Let us know in the comments below.