HSBC Expat Explorer: Best Cities For Expat Lifestyle And Culture

HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey looks at many aspects of the expat life and has just reported on the best cities for lifestyle and culture. Whether it’s a more active lifestyle you are looking for, cultural experiences or enjoying excellent food experiences, these are the cities that expats love.

HSBC point to these highlights:

 

Culture vulture? Head to Berlin – home to more than 700 art galleries by day and a world-famous techno music scene by night, expat Berliners of all backgrounds can find something to love in the city, an impressive 70% of expats living in Berlin say it has a vibrant cultural scene

Need your fill of food and fashion? Live in London, Paris or New York – across all three cities (62% of expats in London and 61% of expats in Paris and New York), expats appreciate the vibrant culture

Looking for an active city? Sydney, Vancouver and Madrid fits the bill – 90% of expats in Sydney say they are physically healthier since moving, 37% of expats in Vancouver rank the city as having great leisure facilities, and 45% of expats in Madrid are more physically active since moving.

 

Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, commented:

There is a stereotype that expats move purely for their careers and for greater financial opportunities, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact it’s the thirst for a new challenge, whether getting to grips with a new culture or living a healthier lifestyle, that attracts expats abroad.

“The world’s cities are filled with life-changing opportunities. Our survey reveals that expats are integrating with locals, learning the language and exchanging cultures, skills and ideas – making the most of the city they live in and becoming part of their new society.”

The report points to Berlin, Buenos Aires, London, New York and Paris as the world’s top cultural hotspots, but expats looking for a healthier lifestyle or a better quality of life, favour Sydney, Vancouver and Madrid.

 

Berlin

Expat culture hotspots
RankCity
1Berlin
2Buenos Aires
3London
4 =New York
5 =Paris

Berlin is home to more than 700 art galleries by day and a world-famous techno music scene by night, expat Berliners of all backgrounds can find something to love in the city. 70% of expats living in Berlin say it has a vibrant cultural scene. The city is now among the most open with 55% of expats saying Berlin welcomes diversity, the third highest-scoring city in Europe (after Stockholm and Lisbon).

 

Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina with its stately 19th century buildings and rich history came in second. 45% of expats living there rating its rich and diverse sightseeing and 67% appreciate the vibrant cultural scene including the Teatro Colón and the modern MALBA museum. Expats are also positive about its culinary scene, notably the Argentine love of asado barbecues, with 44% citing its great restaurants and quality of food, outscoring Spain’s food capital Barcelona (42%).

 

London, Paris and New York, famous cities for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture, complete the top five expat culture hotspots. 62% of expats in London and 61% of expats in Paris and New York appreciate the vibrant culture. Paris comes top for sightseeing, with 62% of expats there praising the richness and diversity of its sights.

Expats move to a new country primarily to take on a new challenge (38%) and improve their quality of life (34%) rather than for the culture and for expats looking to boost their health and lifestyle, HSBC say that three cities stand out:

 

Sydney – the active Aussie city

Home to more than a hundred Instagram-worthy beaches, Sydney is renowned for the active lifestyle and leisure facilities it offers its citizens. Indeed expats credit the city for improving their physical wellbeing, with 62% being more physically active since making the move. Furthermore, 90% claim their physical health has improved or stayed the same since moving.

 

Vancouver – fun-filled city for hobbies

Expats don’t need warm weather for an active, healthy lifestyle abroad. Home to  beautiful Stanley Park and near to the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, ski resort Whistler Blackcomb, 37% of expats in Vancouver rank the city as having great leisure facilities (second only to Sydney). In fact 49% of expats in Vancouver moved there for a better quality of life and they are not disappointed: a staggering 91% of expats in the city say their physical health is better or the same since moving.

 

Madrid – Spain’s health hotspot

Expats in Madrid are both healthier and happier than before in their new life in the Spanish capital. Although the famous Spanish siesta might be declining in popularity, it still plays a major part in the working day, allowing expats to enjoy a more relaxed lunchtime routine than in their home countries. In fact, 54% of Madrid-based expats feel happier (compared to 40% worldwide) and 50% report a more positive outlook on life since their move (compared to 41% worldwide). Expats in Madrid are also more physically active than before (45%), no doubt helped by the city’s many parks and 97 days of sunshine per year.