10 Best Livable Cities in Europe in 2024

Europe is home to some of the world’s most livable cities that score highly for quality of life, infrastructure, healthcare, education, culture and environment. As we move into 2024, these cities will continue to attract expats and visitors with their vibrant atmosphere, rich history, diverse cuisine, green spaces and overall high standards of living.

In this article, we round up the 10 best livable cities in Europe as of 2024 based on factors like stability, infrastructure, education and healthcare, culture and environment, as ranked by reputable indexes like Mercer, Monocle and the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual quality of living surveys.

As of 2024, European metropolises like Vienna, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva and Frankfurt still retain their spots as some of the world’s most livable places. The top European cities provide an outstanding overall quality of life to both locals and expats moving there.

Content Highlights

  • Vienna retains its leading spot as the world’s most livable city in 2024, according to respected annual indexes.
  • Switzerland dominates as home to four cities in the top 10: Zurich, Geneva, Bern and Basel.
  • Copenhagen is considered the most sustainable and environmentally friendly European capital.
  • All 10 top European cities score highly for stability, infrastructure, healthcare, education, environment and culture.
  • Leading lifestyle factors attracting expats and residents include free or affordable education and healthcare, efficient infrastructure, rich cultural offerings and green, sustainable living.

10 Most Livable Cities in Europe (2024)

1. Vienna, Austria

The Austrian capital of Vienna retains its title as the world’s most livable city in 2024, having topped charts by EIU, Mercer and Monocle for years. It scores highly across all factors: stability and infrastructure, education, healthcare, culture and environment.

Key features that make Vienna a top place to live include low crime rates, advanced public transportation, rich music and art heritage, abundant parks and green spaces like the huge Prater Park, as well as excellent international schools like the Vienna International School.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, takes second place among Europe’s most livable cities, impressing with its progressive governments, advanced technologies and infrastructure, including great public transport and urban planning focused on pedestrians and cyclists.

Copenhagen frequently tops lists for environmentally friendly and sustainable cities globally, with a goal to be carbon neutral by 2025. It also scores highly for work-life balance, healthcare and its dining scene. Education is free for EU students at public Danish universities, while international students pay reasonable fees.

3. Zurich, Switzerland


No stranger to global livability indexes, Zurich takes third place as Switzerland’s economic and cultural hub. Known for its efficient public transport, rich cultural attractions like the National Museum and Landesmuseum, as well as its stunning location next to Lake Zurich, framed by the Alps, Zurich offers a world-class quality of living.

Zurich is also consistently ranked as one of the cities with the world’s best universities, including the world-renowned Federal Institutes of Technology Zurich and the University of Zurich. Additionally, you can also read about- Most Popular Travel Destinations in 2024.

4. Geneva, Switzerland

Fellow Swiss city Geneva grabs 4th place, anchored by Switzerland’s stability and prosperity. The city straddles Lake Geneva with views of the iconic Mont Blanc. Its breathtaking natural environment with lakeside promenades, high standard of living, and reputation as an international diplomatic and banking hub contribute to its many accolades.

Geneva hosts Europe’s largest particle physics laboratory, CERN and is home to elite private schools like the International School of Geneva, making it family- and expat-friendly. Healthcare is world-class, while public transport makes getting around easy.

5. Frankfurt, Germany

Germany has several entries on the livable cities index, with Frankfurt being the highest-ranked German and European city at 5th place. One of Europe’s major financial hubs, Frankfurt offers excellent job prospects, universities, infrastructure, green spaces and urban planning that incorporates waterfront promenades along the Main River.

Frankfurt’s diverse resident base enjoys top-notch services and an extensive transport network that’s well connected to other German cities and international destinations. Education, recreation and culture all rate highly as well.

6. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Scoring sixth place for livability is the vibrant capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, famed for its elaborate canal system, abundant greenery, cycling culture and leading Europe in smart city technology adoption. Highly international and multicultural, Amsterdam welcomes expat communities.

The city offers high living standards at lower costs than other western European capitals. Amsterdam is also home to innovative companies, startups, and research centers, as well as universities, including the prestigious University of Amsterdam.

7. Bern, Switzerland

The Swiss capital of Bern grabs the 7th spot as one of Europe’s most livable cities, boasting high quality of life standards reminiscent of top-ranked Zurich and Geneva. As Switzerland’s cultural hub, Old Town Bern is famed for medieval architecture that dates back to its beginnings in the 12th century.

Alongside a rich historical legacy, Bern balances urban planning and infrastructure with green spaces near the River Aare’s dramatic bend. Education and healthcare are world-class, while crime is low.

8. Munich, Germany

Munich ties for 8th as a leading global city with strengths spanning innovation, economy, education and culture, including its legendary annual Oktoberfest. Home to numerous universities like the LMU and TU Munich, the city offers thriving industries from finance to engineering, along with a rich arts and cultural tapestry.

This Bavarian hub balances high technology with tradition; modern buildings now stand alongside historic sites. Compact with efficient public transport, Munich’s high standard of living has a socially progressive government that incorporates quality urban spaces.If you want you can also read- Top 5 Astonishing Honeymoon Destinations.

9. Basel, Switzerland

Basel earns 9th place as one of Switzerland’s most livable cities, hugging the Rhine River along the country’s borders with France and Germany. Globally significant industries like pharmaceuticals thrive in this economic powerhouse and cultural trendsetter (Art Basel was launched here).

Basel balances business with leisure, including museums, concert halls, restaurants and shops concentrated in the pedestrianized old town. Environmentally conscious policies also boost its ranking alongside excellent international schools and proximity to the Jura Mountains.

10. Hamburg, Germany

Rounding out the list is the port city of Hamburg in northern Germany. As Germany’s second-largest metropolis after Berlin, Hamburg enjoys robust infrastructure, from airports to public transport like U-Bahn underground networks that keep this city connected and accessible.

Education and healthcare are up to German excellence standards, while its northern European seaside location lends to temperate summers and winters to benefit the quality of life in Hamburg all year round. Maritime heritage as one of Europe’s largest ports blends with multicultural influences.

Benefits of Living in Europe’s Top Cities

There are many reasons to consider Europe’s top cities attractive places to live. Here are just a few of the benefits of living in one of the continent’s leading urban hotspots:

Political Stability, Advanced Infrastructure:Top European cities score highly for political stability and advanced quality of life infrastructure—fast broadband and technology adoption, extensive public transport, bike friendliness, clean water and green energy advancements.

Healthcare and Education: Europe boasts many countries with free or affordable healthcare for nationals and residents, as well as free or low-cost higher education at leading universities, colleges and technical institutes. Top-ranked global hospitals can also be found in major European hubs.

Green Living Standards and Sustainability: European cities dominate indexes that rank urban areas around the world for sustainability, environmental policies and nature accessibility. Even capital cities balance green spaces with urban planning. Utility costs are lower thanks to green energy adoption.

Work Opportunities: Highly skilled job migrants will find abundant opportunities and attractive salaries in the economic and innovation hubs of Europe’s major cities. Co-working spaces abound alongside innovators and startups.

Culture and Lifestyle: A rich tapestry of culture, from cuisine and arts to history, can be discovered in Europe’s great cities, alongside vibrant social scenes from festivals to cafes, restaurants and nightlife catering to all tastes and ages. Design, fashion and shopping also rate highly.


The latest annual surveys reveal how European cities continue to dominate as the world’s most livable urban centers thanks to progressive quality of life infrastructure investment, technology adoption, environmental policies and government programs that support aspects like healthcare and education.

Even Europe’s capital cities like Vienna and Copenhagen balance high-density populations with green spaces and sustainable policies. For both European natives and expatriate migrants, the high standards across metrics such as education, safety, and working conditions, along with rich histories and cultures, make Europe’s leading metropolises attractive places to live and work in 2024 and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions About Livable European Cities

Which are considered Europe’s most livable cities in 2024?

According to quality of living indexes released in 2024, the most livable European cities are Vienna, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva and Frankfurt, followed by Amsterdam, Bern, Munich, Basel and Hamburg. These cities score highest for political stability, infrastructure, healthcare, education, jobs, culture and environment.

What city is currently rated as the world’s most livable?

For the past few years, including 2024, Vienna has been rated the world’s number one most livable city in respected annual surveys by EIU, Mercer and Monocle magazine. Europe’s best cities dominate all the current top ten lists for quality of life globally.

Which livability factors influence city rankings?

Key factors that boost cities up quality of life rankings include political stability, low crime rates and threats, advanced infrastructure like transport and technology, strong economies with abundant jobs, affordable quality healthcare and education, culture, lifestyle offerings and sustainability (green spaces). The cost of living is also weighed.

Why do European cities often rank so highly for quality of living?

Europe benefits from relative political stability, progressive governments that invest in infrastructure and technology, and high-quality taxpayer-funded healthcare and education systems. High-culture offerings also play a part, as do increasing adoption of green energy and sustainability policies, even for major hubs. Ultimately, a balance of all these factors adds up to make Europe home to many of the world’s most livable cities.

Which European city is the most environmentally friendly?

Copenhagen aims to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025 and is regarded as one of the most environmentally friendly cities thanks to huge investments in wind energy generation and cycling infrastructure, along with urban planning centered around public spaces and waterways. The city is eyeing more ambitious climate change policies as well. Other European cities, like Zurich and Amsterdam, also rank highly as global eco-friendly urban hubs.