Again we are thinking about the nicer places to live in the world. I was shocked and appalled to hear this morning of a bombing in Hua Hin in Thailand where I was only a few months ago. It’s such a lovely place and the beaches are fantastic. It’s a real shame but bad things can happen in good places. So continuing with a little bit of help from the research done by Mercer this year I thought I’d give you a list of places where you definitely should think about visiting.
When can I move
This includes knowledge picked up along the way from articles, various friends, colleagues and family members. A large proportion of the data is based on a liveability list conducted by Mercer this year. It uses a number of different criteria to enable companies and organisations to better understand how they should compensate their international staff in terms of pay and allowances.
The capital and largest city of Austria. Perhaps a surprise winner this year ahead of the more established cities of Vancouver, San Francisco and Melbourne. A cultural, economic and historical hotspot Vienna surely is a must on your bucket list. It looks like you can enjoy Vienna for anything upwards of around 80 euros a night. Looks like the best times to go are either before or after July and August which are typically busy and hot.
So in second place we come to a city located on the north-western tip of Lake Zurich. It is the largest city in Switzerland and one of the places I’ve been too where the locals speak more languages than anywhere I’ve ever been. When I went there I mostly saw a lot of greyish brown financial type buildings and a lot of snow. Certainly as one of the wealthiest places in Europe it is not cheap but there are bargains to be had. The best time to go seems to be between April and October.
Auckland, New Zealand
Located in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest and most populated urban area in the country. It has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world. According to its Maori name it is “The city of many lovers”. Of course you will have to factor in that return flight to your budget. For a daily budget for Auckland you’re probably looking at £32 for a budget stay and upwards of course if you want to stay in some nicer accommodation. The best times to go seem to be around September to November where you can expect temperatures of around 10-25 degrees. Also expect to see less tourists than in the Summer months around December to February. Visa wise the rules differ if you plan to work there but normally as a tourist a British passport holder can get 6 months in the country without a visa providing you meet the immigration requirements.
The third largest city in Germany sits on the banks of the river Isar not too far from the Alps. People don’t just visit Munich for the Oktoberfest. It is a multicultural home, industrial and technological haven for many and a major cultural attraction too. If you’re going on a budget, you’ll be looking at least 100 euros a day depending on the activities you’ve planned to do whilst there your costs may increase. If you’re going for the beer, then go in February or March for the strong beer season. Otherwise try September and October for a nice autumnal feeling or indeed December as the city gets ready for Christmas.
Even though not the largest city in Canada it is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country. The coastal sea port city has become something of a property hotspot of late with investors rushing to get a good deal in a property market with increasing prices rivalling London and New York and good investment opportunities. On one side you have snowy mountains and the other classical beaches all in one setting. Obviously for us Europeans Vancouver isn’t exactly close. So the cost of your air fare needs to be factored into your budget. From a budget perspective you’ll need at least 100 Canadian dollars a day but if you’re looking at staying in your own room make it more like 200 Canadian dollars a day. If you’re looking to go skiing December to March is the best time of year. But if you’re looking to miss the Summer influx try before or after June to September. Fortunately, visitors from the US, commonwealth and most of western Europe don’t need a Visa for stays up to 180 days.
The second city from Germany in the list. Dusseldorf is seen by many as mainly a centre for business and finance but it also has a great reputation in the fashion world. On the river Rhine it is seen more and more as a young up and coming vibrant city. It looks like the best times of year to go are around May to October.
The third city from Germany. Frankfurt is the fifth largest city in Germany. It has been said that as a financial centre it is unrivalled in Europe as it homes the head offices of the European Central bank for example. It is also home to many of the largest trade fairs in the world. A glittering array of steel and glass combine too great to effect in this multicultural city. Again the best time to go looks to be around May to October.
The second most populous city in Switzerland. Sitting where the Rhone leaves Lake Geneva. It is primarily known as a centre for diplomacy around the world. But as one of the most expensive cities on this list to visit you may want to keep your trip a little shorter. April to August are the moths to go if you want to fully appreciate the lake and many of the activities around this open up around this time of year. If you’re going for skiing look around December time.
The capital of Denmark is seen as the coolest city of its Nordic neighbours. Situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand. It has been described as the financial centre of northern Europe. With good links to Sweden thanks to the Oresund bridge and a fantastic array of cultural and modern development make it a great place to visit. If you’re interested in festivals and events May to August looks like the best time of year. But if you’d prefer to get away from the party for a while Autumn and December maybe a better time for you.
The most populous city in Australia and Oceania. The site of the world’s largest natural harbour Sydney has been an iconic destination now for some time. A vast multicultural city that is seen as the gateway to Australia by many, due to internationally recognised features such as Sydney Harbour. However, all this comes at a cost. Obviously it’s a long way to travel in the first place and secondly if you’re looking to stay as a budget traveller you’ll need at least 190 Australian dollars a day. But if you’re like me and prefer a decent bed to sleep on then you’re looking up to 320 Australian dollars a day. You’ll probably be going for a while so check the visa rules again. Most travellers seem to go around Christmas time as it’s summer over there at that time of year. But if you want to avoid the crowds you may want to consider September to November as well.
I hope this has been informative, interesting and you liked reading it.
That’s all folks this week but I’ll be back again next week. Please subscribe to my Virtual Demon blog and I look forward to your comments and feedback.