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Moving abroad is always appealing, whether you want to live somewhere with a better quality of living or have an insatiable appetite for travel. But where to start? It may help to look at some secure data.
So what exactly are the most livable cities in 2023? Looking at the top 10, metropolises in Western Europe and Canada reign supreme – but those in Australia and Japan rank high as well. The cities that came in first and second place have held firm from 2023, but Australian cities have shot up the rankings.
10 Osaka, Japan
Japan's third-largest city (after Tokyo and Yokohama), Osaka, is often seen as a hidden gem with the tourism pull of the nation's capital, but there are plenty of reasons it's become a destination in its own right. For starters, Osaka is one of the best food cities in Japan – must-eat regional specialities include takoyaki (battered, fried octopus balls) and okonomiyaki (grilled savoury pancakes with various additions). We also love the city for its baseball culture, neon-lit neighbourhoods, and beautiful Osaka Castle.
09 Toronto, Canada
It may have slipped one place from last year, but Toronto is still oozing charm. It has the appeal of a big city without many common downsides – it's clean, safe, easy to get around, and extremely friendly. Best of all, it benefits from Canada's famously excellent healthcare and education systems. Downtown Toronto has a vibrant arts and theatre district, great restaurants, and waterfront views that will make you forget about anywhere else you've lived.
08 Geneva, Switzerland
Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Geneva proves its livability with a perfect healthcare score (it is the home of the Red Cross, after all) and high numbers for stability and infrastructure. There's no denying the city's natural beauty, either – it boasts expansive views of the Alps and Jura Mountains and is home to Lake Geneva. With a gorgeous daily commute, we can see why people are eager to move here.
07 Calgary, Canada
The city is another place where nature and urban living go hand in hand. You can see mountains from nearly anywhere in the town, and outdoor wonderlands like Lake Louise and Banff National Park are just a few hours away. Meanwhile, culinary and cultural events thrive in town – check out the world-famous Calgary Stampede for proof.
06 Zurich, Switzerland
Switzerland's largest city and economic hub may seem one-dimensional at first glance, with a reputation for being hyper-efficient and severe. The fact that you'll find spotless streets and trains that constantly run on time is actual – but the city is full of surprises. Come summertime, and you'll find citizens swimming in the Limmat River, playing volleyball in the parks, and riding their bikes to grab scoops of gelato. Zurich is also a haven for young creatives, so that you can find plenty of art galleries and fantastic restaurants. It's dropped from tied third place to sixth, but it's still just as great a place to base yourself.
05 Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver. It's a perfect mix of natural beauty and sophistication. The city feels cosmopolitan, but it's still easy to get outdoors within the city limits and embrace that active Northwest lifestyle. The Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver is always a popular attraction, as is Stanley Park (for locals and visitors alike). Most importantly, the people here are so friendly, you'll feel at home almost immediately.
4 & 3 Melbourne, & Sidney Australia
This city nabbed the number one spot for seven years before dropping four years ago, and now it is slowly climbing back up the ranks. Last year it came in 10th place, so it's a big jump to slide back in at number three. Melbourne remains one of the most livable cities in Australia – and the entire world. The city shines with all of Australia's best traits – sophisticated, stylish, free-spirited – and continues to attract travellers with its world-class art and famed coffee and cuisine.
2 Copenhagen, Denmark
Unsurprisingly, this city has come in second place for the second year in a row. Despite its reputation for churning out cutting-edge restaurants and hotels, Copenhagen has an ageless charm that makes you want to keep returning. The whimsical, 1800s-era Tivoli Gardens puts all other amusement parks to shame, while the bohemian community of Christiania is a hazy, verdant dreamland. The city is expensive, but you don't necessarily need a fat wallet to enjoy it. Public parks and free galleries abound, and the infrastructure makes it one of the most bike-friendly places in the world.
1 Vienna, Austria
The city benefits from a thriving arts and culture scene and incredible healthcare and education – between visiting the opera, touring the gardens at Schönbrunn Palace, and sampling Sachertorte (chocolate torte), you'll never get bored here. Plus, the local government puts a lot of resources behind infrastructure and housing, so the cost of living is far lower than in comparable European cities. The scores for culture and environment dropped slightly due to its relative lack of major sporting events.
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.