Top 10 best European cities to live and work in

Each year, the international consultancy company Mercer conducts a study to assess the quality of life in 230 cities all over the world. Various criteria as the socio-political and economic climate, health services, training opportunities, public transportation quality, environmental conditions and water and electricity services, are taken into account.

Entertainment, as restaurants, theatre, cinemas and sports are also taken into account, such as the availability of consumer goods.

Among the 230 world’s cities selected, here is the list of the 10 first European cities the most pleasant to live in.

1. Vienna, Austria

For the 7th consecutive year, Vienna is the first European city (first place also in the world ranking) where it feels good to live.

With a pleasant climate and a very amazing cultural life, the capital of Austria is also the city who has the housing and public transports’ lower rates.

The average wage in Vienna is 1974€ per month.

2. Zurich, Switzerland

For many years, Zurich came at the second place for the cities with the better quality of life (same place in the world ranking).

Zurich is the economic and artistic hub in Switzerland. It’s the largest city of the country with 405 000 inhabitants. Population is particularly cosmopolitan with nearly 30% of foreigners.

According to an annual survey by UBS (a Swiss bank), the inhabitants of Zurich have the best purchasing power in the world, with an average wage of 5878€.

3. Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki is the largest city of Finland, with the highest proportion of immigrant population in the whole country. There are about 130 different nationalities residing in the city.

The average salary of the residents of Helsinki is 2800€ per month.

4. Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva is the second largest city of Switzerland in terms of population, after Zurich. It’s the city which hosts the larger number of international organizations and non-government organizations in the world, with for example, the United Nations headquarters, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organization.

Geneva and New-York are the two most important focal points of international cooperation in the world.

As in Zurich, the purchasing power of people in Geneva is particularly high. Average salary is 5539€.

5. Hamburg, Germany


Hamburg is the second largest city of Germany after Berlin, with 1,77 billions of inhabitants. Tourism is very developed in this city, thanks to its architecture, its canal system and to the luxuriant outskirts of the Alster, a river forming a man-made lake in the heart of the city.

The cultural wealth of Hamburg puts it in the 5th place of the European ranking.

The average wage of Hamburg’s inhabitants is 4250€ (gross).

6. Frankfurt, Germany


The city of Frankfurt is well known for its good living and its high cosmopolitan dimension (25% of inhabitants have a foreign passport).

Frankfurt is the biggest financial hub, and the richest city of Germany. It is also the 4th financial place and 3rd biggest business city in Europe.

With Munich and Stuttgart, Frankfort earns the award of the highest quality of life in the country.

7. Berlin, Germany


Berlin is a real jump into time, each neighbourhood, each wall, each street corner being impregnated with a piece of history. The capital has an impressive cultural and artistic life, making it one of the most interesting European city.

The average salary of Berlin’s inhabitants is 2980€ (gross) per month.

8. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is one of the prettiest city of Scandinavia, well known for its cultural events and its dynamism. The city includes no less than 2000 coffee shops and restaurants

The Danish capital is also an example of sustainable development, by giving priority to bike and public transport, by developing neighbourhood store and green spaces and also by adopting a common policy based on social exchanges. Furthermore, the city plans to reduce its carbon emission to 0% by 2025.

Copenhagen is part of the world’s most expensive cities, with a tax and social contribution higher than in the rest of the world. The average wage is 4264€ per month (gross).

9. Oslo, Norway

Oslo is the oldest capital of Scandinavia, built on a “fjord” surrounded by high hills. It is the largest city of Norway, with 635 000 inhabitants.

As the cradle of Scandinavian history, the city combines natural beauty, urban architecture and great history. Just as Copenhagen, the city has an exemplary sustainable development policy. Oslo wants to ban all individual car transportation by 2019.

As well as the whole Norway, the cost of life is incredibly expensive in Oslo. The average salary of inhabitants is 6532€ (gross) per month.

10. Stockholm, Sweden


The Swedish capital, often renamed “The North Venice”, is well known for its canals. With a lot of natural green spaces and museums, it is a very dynamic city.

The average wage of people living in Stockholm is 4170€ (gross).