Is it time to relocate? With remote jobs and travel becoming increasingly accessible, moving abroad is now an achievable dream for wanderlusters all over the world. Some choose to become nomads, frequently moving from place to place. Others find somewhere to settle down permanently. If you’re considering taking the leap and moving abroad, these are the best expat countries and cities to consider.


New York City, United States

Did you know that New York City has more foreign-born residents than any other city in the world? One in three New Yorkers are expats – that’s over three million people! Needless to say, if the United States is one of the best expat countries, then New York City is a top destination.

view of the empire state building and the rest of the new york city buildings at sunset

Expats arriving in New York City will find that it’s not hard to fit in. With so many cultures represented, locals are very accepting of newcomers and openly welcome just about anyone. If you find yourself growing homesick, don’t fret; nearly every country is represented among the city’s many ethnic neighborhoods. These communities have sprouted as concentrated populations of immigrants put down roots and opened up restaurants and other businesses. From Haiti to Ukraine to Korea, the New York Times has plotted out each of these community areas in a handy map.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Much like New York City, Dubai revolves around its expat population. Some estimates say that more than 80% of Dubai’s population hails from outside the United Arab Emirates. As the largest emirate, Dubai is commonly considered the best expat city in the region. It’s also one of the most livable cities in the world.

lots of tall buildings and skyscrapers making up the Dubai skyline in the desert

Dubai is an extremely wealthy region thanks to an economy supported by the financial and tourism industries. This has created plenty of jobs which attract foreigners from all over the world, often with high salaries and competitive benefits. Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities. Expats in Dubai have plenty of positive things to say about their relocation experience. For one, the standard of living is incredibly high. Sparkling clean city streets and gorgeous beaches create a beautiful backdrop for daily life. Foreigners also feel incredibly safe in Dubai, a result of strict rules enforced by local authorities. Most importantly, it’s easy to feel at home in the expat community among new friends with shared international experiences.


Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is the stepping stone between Europe and Asia and the perfect destination for expats who can’t get enough of culture. The city itself is enormous, with a total size of 1500 square kilometers (600 square miles) and 14 million people who call it home. Although Istanbul might be off the beaten path, this is one of the best expat cities that you won’t want to overlook.

A view of the Blue mosque which is next to the water. Behind the mosque is a bright sunset

One of the main qualities that expats love about Istanbul is the authentic experience that it provides to foreigners. The locals are known for their outstanding friendliness and hospitality. The local cuisine is impeccable, with authentic versions of delicacies like Turkish coffee and doner kebab that are enjoyed all over the world. Cost of living in Istanbul is also quite low, especially if you’re used to paying sky-high prices in other European cities like London and Paris.

To join the expat community in Istanbul, look for groups on Facebook and Meetup that host regular events for newcomers and veterans alike. You’ll also find plenty of English-language publications and websites to help you stay connected.


Chicago, United States

You already know that the United States is one of the best expat countries, and Chicago is an often overlooked but underrated place to settle down. Chicago’s diverse economy and high volume of foreign-owned businesses make it a popular place for foreigners.

A view of many tall buildings in the Chicago skyline. With water on one side and pavement on the other and the buildings straight ahead.

Chicago ranks extremely high on the livability index and was even named the best city in the world for living life to the fullest by Time Out. People in Chicago generally seem to be happier than residents of other major cities. Maybe it’s because they frequently enjoy live music, good cuisine, museums, and even 19 miles of public beachfront.

While Chicago is known as a diverse city in its entirety, there are also certain neighborhoods where expats will find tight-knit foreign communities. These include Ukrainian Village, Little Italy, and Pilsen, just to name a few. Check out the festivals hosted by each neighborhood during warmer months to sample international food and culture, whether it’s from your home country or somewhere new. There are also tons of hidden gems in the city, which will help you veer off the beaten path.


Athens, Greece

Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with 32 million foreigners arriving in 2018. However, it’s also considered one of the best expat countries. While islands like Santorini and Mykonos get plenty of attention from vacationers, Athens is frequently passed over as nothing more than an airport transfer. This has allowed Athens to fly under the radar and remain one of the best-kept secrets for foreigners.

A view of the city of Athens and all it's buildings from above. There are many trees and a mountain straight ahead with a rock formation on the lower right side of the photo.

Athens is frequently called “the new Berlin” due to its developing culture and uncharted possibilities. The low cost of living has brought in a wave of new startups, and the vibrant tech scene presents opportunities for entrepreneurs and workers alike.

Living in Greece is also ideal for those who long for warm weather and nature, but don’t want to give up the convenience of a city. Athens provides easy access to mountains, beaches, and of course, countless islands to explore. It’s a modern city with an ancient backdrop. It’s truly got it all!

There are countless cities and countries all over the world where expats can enjoy a fulfilling life as a digital nomad, but these destinations are at the top of the list. They all offer first-class amenities for expats, including plenty of apartments to choose from. For example, the international property management company Blueground offers high quality, fully-furnished rentals for a minimum of one month stays in the world’s most sought-after cities. Every property comes completely equipped with all the amenities to allow guests to simply show up and start living right away. If you’re looking to relocate, Blueground will make sure your ideal apartment is move-in ready as soon as you arrive.

Rate this article


Share article

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.

I accept