Strategy 27 cities around the world where expats are happy, rents are affordable, and jobs are plentiful

  • Published:

InterNations recently released its 2017 list of best cities for living and working abroad.

Madrid, Spain, took the third spot on the list of best cities for expats. play

Madrid, Spain, took the third spot on the list of best cities for expats.

(Flickr/ajgelado)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

  • InterNations recently released its 2017 list of the best cities for living and working abroad.
  • City rankings are based on survey responses from nearly 8,000 people in 40 countries.
  • For each city, we also compiled cost-of-living estimates from Numbeo's database.


If you're thinking about living abroad, the best people to ask for tips might be the people who have already done it: expats.

InterNations, an expatriate network and global guide, put together a list of the best cities for living and working abroad, according to expats they surveyed.

To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 7,985 expats living in 40 countries. A city had to be mentioned at least 45 times to be included. City rankings were determined based on the quality and cost of urban living, quality of work life and finances, and ease of settling into the city.

We also noted the cost of necessities (and beer) there, based on figures from Numbeo. All amounts are in US dollars and are current as of November.

Here are the best overall cities for expats in 2017.

27. Stockholm, Sweden

27. Stockholm, Sweden play

27. Stockholm, Sweden

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 12.8% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $1,406.43 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $74.58

Commuter pass: $98.96

Cappuccino: $4.33

Domestic beer: $7.15



26. Cape Town, South Africa

26. Cape Town, South Africa play

26. Cape Town, South Africa

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 59.1% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $716.30 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $58.33

Commuter pass: $24.20

Cappuccino: $1.62

Domestic beer: $2.07



25. Kampala, Uganda

25. Kampala, Uganda play

25. Kampala, Uganda

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 65.4%

Monthly:

Rent: $234.87 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $51.57

Commuter pass: $29.90

Cappuccino: $2.10

Domestic beer: $1.10



24. Munich, Germany

24. Munich, Germany play

24. Munich, Germany

(Luisa Fumi/Shutterstock)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 21.8% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $1,057.55 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $257.57

Commuter pass: $75.83

Cappuccino: $3.36

Domestic beer: $4.43



23. Zurich, Switzerland

23. Zurich, Switzerland play

23. Zurich, Switzerland

(Bumble Dee/Shutterstock)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 36.4% higher

Monthly:

Rent: $1,842.98 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $167.61

Commuter pass: $84.36

Cappuccino: $4.93

Domestic beer: $7.03



22. Vienna, Austria

22. Vienna, Austria play

22. Vienna, Austria

(REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 25.8% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $922.85 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $195.74

Commuter pass: $52.51

Cappuccino: $3.64

Domestic beer: $4.20



21. Seoul, South Korea

21. Seoul, South Korea play

21. Seoul, South Korea

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 17% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $824.89 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $149.51

Commuter pass: $49.11

Cappuccino: $4.10

Domestic beer: $3.13



20. Hamburg, Germany

20. Hamburg, Germany play

20. Hamburg, Germany

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 23% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $854.88 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $259.92

Commuter pass: $102.92

Cappuccino: $3.34

Domestic beer: $4.43



19. The Hague, Netherlands

19. The Hague, Netherlands play

19. The Hague, Netherlands

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared to New York City: 18.7% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $987.94 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $149.17

Commuter pass: $81.67

Cappuccino: $3.10

Domestic beer: $4.67



18. Berlin, Germany

18. Berlin, Germany play

18. Berlin, Germany

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 29.7% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $874.85 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $270.39

Commuter pass: $94.49

Cappuccino: $3.06

Domestic beer: $3.62



17. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

17. Dubai, United Arab Emirates play

17. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

(Kamran Jebreili/AP)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 28% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $1,882.28 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $172.85

Commuter pass: $66.66

Cappuccino: $4.45

Domestic beer: $10.67



16. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

16. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg play

16. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 8.8% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $1,610.99 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $268.13

Commuter pass: $46.67

Cappuccino: $3.71

Domestic beer: $5.83



15. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

15. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates play

15. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

(Kamran Jebreili/AP)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 34.5% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $1,816.94 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $103.92

Commuter pass: $21.78

Cappuccino: $4.90

Domestic beer: $9.53



14. Auckland, New Zealand

14. Auckland, New Zealand play

14. Auckland, New Zealand

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 17% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $1,208.88 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $131.34

Commuter pass: $138.01

Cappuccino: $3.11

Domestic beer: $6.04



13. Budapest, Hungary

13. Budapest, Hungary play

13. Budapest, Hungary

(Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 52.2% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $499.23 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $180.43

Commuter pass: $35.56

Cappuccino: $1.51

Domestic beer: $1.68



12. Muscat, Oman

12. Muscat, Oman play

12. Muscat, Oman

(Jose Alonso/Flickr)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 48.5% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $755.79 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $59.87

Commuter pass: $25.97

Cappuccino: $4.39

Domestic beer: $7.79



11. Mexico City, Mexico

11. Mexico City, Mexico play

11. Mexico City, Mexico

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 62.8%

Monthly:

Rent: $482.29 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $39.07

Commuter pass: $15.70

Cappuccino: $2.02

Domestic beer: $1.57



10. Frankfurt, Germany

10. Frankfurt, Germany play

10. Frankfurt, Germany

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 21.2%

Monthly:

Rent: $1,059.52 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $242.30

Commuter pass: $101.23

Cappuccino: $3.28

Domestic beer: $4.67



9. Basel, Switzerland

9. Basel, Switzerland play

9. Basel, Switzerland

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 29.9% higher

Monthly:

Rent: $1,351.15 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $208.64

Commuter pass: $80.30

Cappuccino: $5.29

Domestic beer: $8.03



8. Bangkok, Thailand

8. Bangkok, Thailand play

8. Bangkok, Thailand

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 45.8% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $636.70 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $83.45

Commuter pass: $30.25

Cappuccino: $2.18

Domestic beer: $2.01



7. Johannesburg, South Africa

7. Johannesburg, South Africa play

7. Johannesburg, South Africa

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 56.9% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $480.83 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $68.83

Commuter pass: $34.50

Cappuccino: $1.67

Domestic beer: $2.07



6. Barcelona, Spain

6. Barcelona, Spain play

6. Barcelona, Spain

(REUTERS/Albert Gea)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 34%

Monthly:

Rent: $990.58 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $153.77

Commuter pass: $58.35

Cappuccino: $2.00

Domestic beer: $3.27



5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands play

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 16.1% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $1,646.41 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $179.19

Commuter pass: $104.92

Cappuccino: $3.18

Domestic beer: $5.25



4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia play

4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 55.6% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $540.08 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $52.45

Commuter pass: $29.85

Cappuccino: $2.53

Domestic beer: $3.58



3. Madrid, Spain

3. Madrid, Spain play

3. Madrid, Spain

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 35.2%

Monthly:

Rent: $919.92 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $138.04

Commuter pass: $63.65

Cappuccino: $1.97

Domestic beer: $3.26



2. Prague, Czech Republic

2. Prague, Czech Republic play

2. Prague, Czech Republic

(Rostislav Glinsky/Shutterstock)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 49.5% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $703.08 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $184.45

Commuter pass: $25.09

Cappuccino: $2.12

Domestic beer: $1.60



1. Manama, Bahrain

1. Manama, Bahrain play

1. Manama, Bahrain

(Wikimedia)

Cost of living compared with New York City: 42.1% lower

Monthly:

Rent: $940.43 for a one-bedroom in the city center

Utilities: $84.00

Commuter pass: $39.74

Cappuccino: $4.59

Domestic beer: $9.27