In a surprising twist, a Swiss city has outshone the typical contenders and been named one of the world’s best destinations for British expats in 2024. While Spain often tops the list for Britons seeking expat life, the expert team at ECA has identified a different gem. The city of Geneva in Switzerland claimed the third spot in this ranking, showcasing its appeal for those considering a move abroad.
Geneva’s allure is multifaceted, with the city scoring well on various factors crucial for expat living, including air quality, crime rates, access to health facilities, and robust social networks. Nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva, surrounded by the majestic Alps and in proximity to the French border, Geneva stands out as a clean and beautiful destination.
As a global hub hosting the headquarters of the United Nations and the Red Cross, along with numerous banks, Geneva offers a unique cosmopolitan environment. Expats in Geneva enjoy easy access to nature, with skiing, mountain biking, and hiking just a short drive away. The picturesque lake adds to the city’s charm, providing a tranquil retreat in the summer months.
Geneva’s significance on the global stage is reflected in its excellent transport links. The city boasts a busy international airport just 4km from the center and efficient train connections to central Europe. InterNations describes Geneva’s transport infrastructure as “excellent,” with an extensive public transport network.
However, the expat utopia in Geneva comes with a hefty price tag. Living in the city is often deemed a luxurious experience, as reflected in its status as one of the world’s most expensive cities. The high quality of life enjoyed by residents is coupled with steep costs for daily expenses. According to Numbeo, a domestic beer in Geneva can set you back £7.26, while the average cost of a cappuccino exceeds £4.
Despite the high cost of living, Geneva continues to attract expats, making up 48 percent of the city’s population, according to government statistics from 2022. While the lifestyle may be luxurious, potential residents need to weigh the financial considerations when considering the move to this Swiss jewel.