Which are the UK’s best cities for expats?

by | Mar 6, 2024 | Moving, Moving Guides, Relocation

ECA International has published its annual report on the best cities for expats in Europe. The report considers factors like the local environment, housing availability, facilities and personal safety when providing their rankings of more than 500 locations.

For the third year in a row, the top-scoring city was Bern, Switzerland. Neil Ashman, Senior Location Ratings Analyst at ECA, said “With top facilities, minimal air pollution and low crime rates, Bern is a very attractive city for expatriates and their families.”


Which are the best UK cities for expats?

Four UK locations appeared in the top 50 most livable cities for expats in 2024, three of them cities in Scotland. The highest-ranked UK city was Edinburgh, in 17th place. Unique cultural events like the Edinburgh Arts Festival and its World Famous Fringe are among the draws of the Scottish capital.

Aberdeen placed 24th on the list and Glasgow was 47th, the lower score in part due to high crime levels. The other UK city in the top 50 was England’s capital London in position 37.


The mixed story of expat life in London

London’s position has remained consistent throughout the last decade of ECA reports. In 2019 the city was ranked 39th and in 2014 was placed 38th out of 500 locations. “London remains a very attractive city for expats, with excellent facilities, a comprehensive public transport network and recreational options”, said Ashman.

However, London hasn’t done so well in other studies. In Internation’s Expat City Ranking 2023, London was placed 42 out of 50 as one of the ten worst cities for expat life in the world.

Despite this, London remains a popular choice for International expats and professional relocations as a hub for finance, technology and more.


A chart showing the top ten ranked best cities for Expats in the 2024 study. They are, in order: Bern, Switzerland. Eindhoven, Netherlands. Stavanger, Norway. Geneva, Switzerland. Copenhagen, Denmark. Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Hague, Netherlands. Gothenburg, Sweden. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Basel, Switzerland. Dublin, Republic of Ireland. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.

Photo credit: eca-international.com, 2024.


Europe’s best cities for expats

The list of highest-scoring cities in the report is dominated by Switzerland and the Netherlands. Beyond Bern in first place, Swiss cities Geneva and Basel placed joint third and eighth respectively. Eindhoven is the highest-placing Dutch city in the number two position. Just slightly lower ranked are Rotterdam and the Hague in joint fifth and Amsterdam in joint eighth.

Are you an Expat in Europe? Do you think that London is a city worth moving to or better avoided? Let us know on our LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.


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