Top 10 cities for expat families

  • Moving abroad with your family
Published last year

Moving abroad with your family is a daring project that requires proper planning. Quality of life, education, safety, health, leisure, work-life balance, etc., are some of the criteria that have to be taken into account. To help you choose your next destination, presents the top 10 cities for expat families according to Homeday's Family Index 2017.

Copenhagen – Denmark


Copenhagen is one of the most cosmopolitan Scandinavian cities with a magnificent blend of history, culture, and modernity. Besides a range of career opportunities, Copenhagen also provides the perfect work-life balance. By moving to Copenhagen, you're likely to enjoy no less than six weeks of paid leave with your family. Also, did you know that Danes are the world's second happiest nation? Families can definitely have a good time in Danemark with all the huge green spaces and lots of leisure activities. The safety and security level is also very high.

Oslo – Norway


Norway's capital city, Oslo is continuously developing and attracting expatriates from all around the world. Family life is great in Oslo thanks to its excellent work-life balance. Taking into account that the time spent at work has a significant impact on individual health, safety, and stress, Norway has introduced the six-hour working day which gives you plenty of time to pick up your kids from school, do some grocery shopping, and make dinner. Oslo also hosts many major cultural institutions and offers a range of leisure activities for everyone. Air and housing quality is also very good, which makes it an ideal place to be for expat families.

Zurich – Switzerland


Quality of life and safety are probably the first two things that will come to your mind when you think of Zurich. Being the biggest city in Switzerland, Zurich can boast about both its career prospects and natural and cultural heritage. Living standards in Zurich are also quite high. Children, on the other hand, enjoy quality education. Surrounded by a hill and forest, Zurich is the ideal place for weekend getaways with your family, especially if you like hiking and barbecues. For the parents who wish to introduce their children to culture, there are many museums and historical sites to visit.

Stockholm – Sweden


Having a generous parental leave policy, Stockholm is a great place to start a family in. While expecting mums in Sweden are entitled to 18 weeks of paid maternity leave, dads are eligible for a maximum of 90 days of paternity leave. It goes without saying that Stockholm is a great place to live in thanks to its cultural diversity, rich history, pleasant neighbourhoods, high-quality education and housing. Nature lovers will be delighted by the variety of outdoor activities for families – brunch, shopping, barbecue or picnic in a park. Have you ever heard about the Allemansrätten? According to this law, people can freely roam the countryside as long as they act responsibly and show respect towards the natural environment and others.

Hamburg – Germany


Hamburg is a calm and green city located in Northern Germany. Living in Hamburg seems like living in the countryside in spite of its modern look. Most neighbourhoods provide quality housing along with a serene atmosphere. You will also find many schools and restaurants everywhere. For families, there are parks, playgrounds, zoos, museums, gardens, swimming pools, ice rinks and many other leisure activities. After an exhausting day at work, wouldn't you be tempted to take a stroll with your family near the port to enjoy the splendid view?

Vancouver – Canada


Canada's third biggest city, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city offering a good quality of life and a healthy environment. The cost of living in Vancouver is quite high but its pleasant oceanic climate, quiet neighbourhoods, and friendly and relaxed people will compensate for it. You can find out more about its cultural diversity during your stay. The education system in Vancouver is more flexible than that of many countries, including many extra-curricular and sports activities. On weekends, you can enjoy a range of family activities such as hiking, festivals, theatres, aquariums, etc..

Basel – Switzerland


Being the third biggest city in Switzerland, Basel stands out for its economic growth, career prospects and family-friendly working conditions. This could be one of the reasons why the city has been attracting expat families for so long. Basel's family policy gives a significant importance to children's welfare. In 2013, Basel was designated by UNICEF as the world's most welcoming city for children. Besides parks and playgrounds in all neighbourhoods, Basel also offers quality childcare services such as nurseries and kindergartens. Basel is also known to be a safe city for families. Swimming pools, ice rinks, cinemas, zoos, museums, theatres, etc., await your family on weekends.

Toronto – Canada


Over the years, Toronto has been ranking among the best cities for quality of life in many prestigious reports. As a dynamic and cosmopolitan city, Toronto offers a healthy environment and attractive salaries in spite of long working schedules and only two weeks of annual paid leave. Toronto is also a safe city, and being one of Canada's cultural hubs, Toronto offers a wide range of leisure activities for all: festivals, cinema, museums, exhibitions, theatres, opera, etc.. Children and students are often eligible for discounts for some activities. On the weekend, families are likely to spend some time at the park, in the countryside or at the beach following a short boat trip.

Stuttgart – Germany


Stuttgart is another great place to be for families in spite of its high cost of living. The city provides both career opportunities and a quality healthcare system to expatriates. Surrounded by valleys and hills, Stuttgart is a green city where you will feel like escaping the urban turmoil of major European cities. If you're looking for ideas for a weekend getaway, you don't have to go too far. Large green spaces, botanical parks, ruins of ancient castles, museums, and zoos are awaiting you and your family.

Munich – Germany


Bavaria's capital city, Munich, needs no introduction. Munich is a young and dynamic city that attracts not only international students and professionals but also expat families thanks to its pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. It's also known to be a safe city most of the time with every single neighbourhood catering to family needs. While Munich is mostly famous for its career prospects, leisure activities are also quite abundant. Did you know that the world's biggest urban park is found in Munich? Also, those who don't like cycling can just take a stroll or enjoy a trip in a horse-drawn carriage along its beautiful streets. Swimming in the rivers, outdoor cinemas, theatres, concerts and shows are other popular family activities in Munich.

Filip Pietrek
Filip Pietrek
last year

Great piece, I was looking for something similar. Let me add my 2 cents: As someone living in Warsaw, Poland I have to say that Warsaw's district of Wilanów is particularly popular among expat families - Wilanów has two faces: huge complex of modern 4-storey residential buildings sourrounded by bike paths, kindergartens, childred-friednly restaurants etc and housing complexes, often a choice of diplomats and families with higher income. Feel free to reach me out if you want to learn more of residential market in Poland.

last year

I think no city in Germany is really an aim for an expat who will live an european life stile in freedom and without state limitations. Living costs are huge and you have at all a sticky square atmosphere here. It is a stupid and mentally ill society of do-gooders and left-wing fascists. Unfortunately here is no space for independent ideas and free development.