Top 5 Places To Live Around The World

Whenever I visit a place there is always that little list in the back of my mind ranking the place on a scale from 1 to 10 on how good I think it is, for example: food, fun things to do, friendly people, vibe, nature, nightlife, shopping etc. After ranking all of these, the final question comes – which I’m sure you all have in the back of your minds as well: Could I imagine living here? Few places have made it all the way to this final question, but those which have truly are amazing. During the Europe Train Challenge we also had a small “secret” mission: trying to find a place where we could settle down for a few months after the challenge. We found many places in Europe we would like to return to and see more of, but we’ll leave those for the future when we know more about them.

Top 5 cities to live around the world

1. Innsbruck, Austria

We absolutely loved living in Switzerland for 5 months a few years back, but it was just so expensive. Austria, the neighboring country, has the beauty of Switzerland, access to budget airports, fast trains connecting with the whole Europe, it’s cheaper than Switzerland and they speak German – a language we both want to learn fluently. You can also ski all year round in a few places, enjoy the beautiful nature all year round, and Innsbruck still has good night life and is quite buzzling, but far from a big-city atmosphere.

2. Queenstown, New Zealand

The adventure capital of the world, if you want a crazy and fun experience – this is the place to be! Bungee jumping, river rafting, sky diving, water rock climbing etc. There are few adventurous things you can’t do here, and the rest can be found in other parts of New Zealand. As Queenstown is Nathan’s hometown, it’s always a favorite place of his, as he knows many of the hidden gems around there.

3. London, England

While I don’t think I could live there for too long, as I’m more a nature-person than a city-person, settling for a while in London is something I would love to try out. I love the action in big cities, the fact that there is always something to see and do, and there are always new things going on. In London I believe it’s hard to get bored with the many concerts, events, clubs and cafes, shops etc. Plus, London is the best place to live in Europe if you want great flight deals, it’s like the gate to visiting the rest of the world, when it comes to flying.

4. Chiang Mai, Thailand 

There is a reason why so many travel bloggers settle in Chiang Mai; It has a great climate (not too hot not too cold), it has cheap accommodation, some of the best food in Thailand (and so cheap!), adventure sports which we love, and friendly people. The one thing it doesn’t have is a beach and some surfing, but you can easily take a budget airline to our second favorite Thailand place, Koh Lanta, or to some surf spots in Bali and Phillippines via Bangkok – piece of cake 😉

5. Sydney, Australia

Sydney is close to the dream life for sun and fun. Although many think Melbourne is a good rival and has better coffee, food and cultural things, I would prefer Sydney because of the relaxed atomsphere and closeness to beaches. You can also just take a weekend trip to Melbourne, stay in one of the Melbourne hotels and enjoy the cultural life for a few days before heading back to Sydney again. When we where there we stayed in one of the Sydney hotels close to the water, I truly fell in love with the laid back lifestyle. Surfing in the morning before work, taking each day as it came, the people acted far from the typical “cosmopolitan-stressed-suit-people” but the city still had shopping, fun things to do and great nightlife.


(photo credits: cheetah100 –  Berto Garcia – avlxyz – Fred Hsu)

23 Responses to Top 5 Places To Live Around The World

  1. Lakytravel July 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Fully agree about London and Innsbruck! Should try those three more 🙂 Thanks for suggestions!

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 16, 2011 at 6:04 am #

      Great to hear, yeah you should visit the rest, they’re wonderful places 🙂

  2. Lori - The Unframed World July 15, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    Excellent list! I’d love to try living in any of those places =)

  3. Adventurous Kate July 15, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    Are you coming to Innsbruck for TBU?

    • Nathan - As We Travel July 17, 2011 at 11:17 am #

      Hey Kate – we are thinking of moving down to Innsbruck in a few weeks to chill for 1 month or so – but still not confirmed. When are you planning on coming to Europe? and for how long?

  4. Audrey July 15, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    We go through the same process when we travel – “would we want to live here?” Sometimes the answer surprises us. There are some places that we thought we would love, but once we got there we only kind of liked it. Then, there were other places we had heard bad things about that we actually really enjoyed. Just goes to show you never know!

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 16, 2011 at 6:01 am #

      I agree, the “kind of liked it” is quite a common feeling I have. I absolutely loved Lisbon, but I would definitely not live there.

      I like when you’re proven wrong about presumptions, it always proves to me how you should always give a place a chance rather than listening to what other people think about it.

  5. Sanjay July 15, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    I have been fortunate to have lived in 2 of these 5 places (Sydney and London), and visited a third (Queenstown). Sydney is just a fabulous place to live in. I am now in London, and agree with your views. It lacks the natural beauty of Sydney, but has the buzz of a fast moving, cosmopolitan city.

    • Sofia - As We Travel July 16, 2011 at 6:02 am #

      Wow, lucky you! 😉 I can imagine them being fun to live in. Which place did you enjoy the most, Sydney or London?

  6. The Hunger July 16, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Could I imagine living there? That’s the question. I liked your list, but it needs a Spanish city. 😉

    • Sofia - As We Travel August 16, 2011 at 4:13 am #

      Hey Hunger,
      which Spanish city do you think it needs?

  7. Anonymous July 18, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Great article guys!! 

  8. B. August 15, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Re Sydeny and Melbourne. Melbourne has far more beaches than Sydney, and unlike Sydney, Melbourne they are not all over crowded with tourists and thugs.

    • Max October 31, 2011 at 5:59 am #

      I think she meant good beaches B. ;p

      Max (a Sydneysider)

  9. B. August 15, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Re Sydeny and Melbourne. Melbourne has far more beaches than Sydney, and unlike Sydney, Melbourne they are not all over crowded with tourists and thugs.

  10. Cam December 26, 2011 at 1:44 am #

    Gotta add Vancouver, Canada (but we are biased!)

  11. theblondegypsy January 2, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    SWEDEN! Specifically Malmö 🙂

  12. Drina Murphy (Room For 5) January 2, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    I would add Spain to that list and take London off, then I would quite happily agree with you:)

  13. Kelly January 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    La Jolla, California (San Diego) … New York City … and Los Angeles have all been fantastic places to live! I also enjoyed living in Barcelona & Malaga, Spain.



  14. Georgina Young January 8, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    London is hideous and well over polluted I can’t STAND it every time I have to go to London I hate it and you can reach airports with relative ease from a lovely city like Cardiff say? but in all seriousness I love Helsinki, Finland, Brescia, Italy Trier, Germany and Perth, Australia in that order xx

  15. Lillie Marshall February 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Fascinating question to ponder as we all travel, and one I’ve considered a lot myself! I hear the rationale behind your list, but my ranking of best places around the world to live looks very different

  16. Lauren Kostoff June 8, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    wow’ guess no one has been to Wyoming yet?