Next Up

The 20 Best Cities to Live in the World

By: Joe Sills
July 06, 2021

Looking for a new place to plant your roots? The best cities to live in the world offer culture, cuisine and comfort when you're ready to take the plunge.

1 / 21
Photo: MIKKEL SCHEBYE JOHNSEN/Copenhagen Media Center

The Right City for You

What's on your checklist for a liveable city? We scoured the World Happiness Report — a joint project from Oxford University and the London School of Economics — to spotlight world cities with the best blends of employment, education and entertainment opportunities. We then weighted those cities heavily for safety and density before sprinkling in firsthand travel experiences from around the globe to find the 20 best cities to live in the world.

More photos after this Ad

2 / 21
Photo: Shutterstock

Osaka, Japan

Osaka Castle has loomed over Japan’s second city for more than 400 years. Beneath its striking eves, a creative hive of artists, writers and musicians indulge in the city’s famous cuisine and nightlife. Osaka’s central location within Japan makes it one of the best jumping off points for adventures around the country, while its blend of storied cultural history and modern amenities mean you’ll never be short of sights to see in your own backyard.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 21
Photo: Shutterstock

Helsinki, Finland

This mid-sized, modern city on the Baltic Sea is packed with art galleries, coffee shops and stunning, neoclassical architecture perfect for long walks and wandering. Thanks to a robust public transit system, you’re only ever a short train ride back home. Free higher education and virtually free healthcare help to offset a high cost of living.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 21
Photo: Shutterstock

San Diego, California

Explore rocky coves and pristine Pacific beaches in San Diego. California's southermost major city is home to upscale, Spanish Colonial housing, one of America's best LGBTQ communities and some of the best schools in the country. Those amenities, combined with an energetic economy and plethora of family-friendly theme parks make San Diego a perfect destination for a home in the warm California sun.

also see

More photos after this Ad