Resonance, a real estate, tourism and economic development consultancy that AFAR has collaborated for several years, uses a combination of fundamental statistics (such as GDP and murder rates) and qualitative assessments from locals and tourists (from online platforms such as Instagram and TripAdvisor) to paint a more complete picture of the best city in Europe. Chris Fair, president and CEO of Resonance Consultancy, noted that it’s not just about the best city to live, work or visit. “It’s taking a cross-section of all those factors.”
10. Geneva, Switzerland
According to Resonance, Geneva is a city of global importance. Despite its small population of just over 600,000, it is home to the European headquarters of the United Nations, the international headquarters of the Red Cross and more than 200 international organizations. The city is known for its strong emphasis on social responsibility, ranking fifth in Europe in terms of educated citizens, twenty-fourth in the subcategory of foreign-born residents, and fourth in terms of disposable income.
9. Basel, Switzerland
Resonance praised the quality of life in Switzerland’s third largest city, Basel, which locals are proud of for its unique mix. It was ranked 5th in the overall people category, including high scores for foreign-born residents, education levels and labor force participation. This suggests that the city’s residents, who are largely high achievers, actively recommend Basel as a great place to live.
8. Rome, Italy
Few cities offer the chance to walk through Western history as effectively as Rome, according to Resonance. Messages of affection to the city have naturally multiplied on social media platforms, and Rome now trails only London and Paris in our crucial Promotion category, ranking second for TripAdvisor reviews and fifth for Facebook check-ins and Google Trends.
7. Berlin, Germany
It should come as no surprise that Berlin rated among the top five cities for culture, museums, and nightlife. According to Resonance, the city draws both tourists and locals with its raw, unapologetic urbanity and self-expression. The Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art have relocated inside the brand-new Humboldt Forum in the city’s center, which is brand-new this year. A dozen other museums with collections ranging from video games to the samurai era are slated to open.
6. Madrid, Spain
Resonance claims that Madrid, which is occasionally disregarded in favor of Barcelona’s beaches and nightlife, is now speaking its narrative with confidence. The biggest news may be Madrid’s lovely efforts to fight pollution and climate change, which include a 76-kilometer urban forest network with roughly 500,000 young trees. This “green wall” is expected to help absorb 175,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
5. Zürich, Switzerland
According to Resonance “Switzerland’s financial center and largest metropolis is a magnet for foreigners who, along with multilingual Swiss nationals, enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living—the city ranks second on the continent in our Disposable Household Income subcategory (trailing only fellow Swiss city Bern), and no. 3 for Fortune Global 500 headquarters (trailing only Paris and London).”
4. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is described by Resonance as having nearly year-round perfect weather, miles of beaches, iconic parks, Gaudí’s iconic architectural landmarks and colorful neighborhoods that march to their own rhythm – artistic, sophisticated and bohemian. According to Catalonia Startup Hub, Catalonia is also becoming a tech hub of sorts, bringing in €1.6 billion in startup funding in 2022.
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands
According to Resonance, Femke Halsema, the visionary mayor of Amsterdam and the first non-interim female mayor in the city’s history, is leading a small but powerful dynamo to keep an eye on. Anyone who calls the charming Dutch capital home will be held accountable in the future, thanks to responsible stewardship of a place and its residents.
2. Paris, France
Resonance points to Mayor Hidalgo’s decree of a citywide 30 km/h speed limit and the “obsessive expansion of bike lanes,” claiming that new and returning visitors to Paris, no matter how they come, will discover a city that has codified pedestrian traffic and outdoor living.
1. London, England
According to Resonance, London is holding up quite well, relying on the falling pound to attract investment and, of course, tourists previously priced out of the market, despite the deserved hand-wringing over the Brexit-induced exodus of talent and money. The best city in the world has new wealthy citizens who can now afford to cross off a key item on their multimillionaire list: Real estate.