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Best cities to work in Europe in 2024

Let's figure our, what cities in Europe are the best to work and live in.

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In a post-COVID-19 world, where remote and hybrid work arrangements are increasingly prevalent, employee well-being and comfort have never been more critical. Many are seeking places that offer a better work-life balance.

Yet, the importance of a robust job market and competitive compensation should not be overlooked. A location may be ideal for work-life balance, but if job opportunities are limited, or remuneration is meager, it may not be a wise choice.

We aim to shed light on this question by highlighting some of the best cities to work in Europe in 2023. Before looking at the different destinations, we'll examine relevant statistics, identify countries that attract the most labor-related immigrants, and explore potential visa and paperwork requirements.

While cities like London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Stockholm are excellent choices, we have omitted them from this list, as we've covered them in our supplementary article, Where to Live in Europe.

How many people come to Europe to work?

Europe's appeal as a work destination continues to grow, with an increasing influx of people each year. In 2022, Europe saw a significant migration of 1.25 million individuals for employment reasons. Over the past decade, there has been a consistent upward trend in labor-related immigration, excluding 2020, which experienced a decline due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Statistics, Europe, working immigration
Source: Eurostat

Examining statistics on the countries with the highest labor-related immigration over the past five years reveals an intriguing phenomenon. Some cities with substantial labor immigration aren't necessarily those offering the best salaries or working conditions. A particularly noteworthy point is the significant labor immigration to Poland, likely influenced by its geographic location.

Graph, top-20 countries in the EU
Source: Eurostat

What do you need in terms of papers?

If you are a European resident or national, you won't need to fret over paperwork concerns, as you have the right to live and work in any European country. However, if you're not, you'll need to navigate various procedures to secure the necessary documents. Requirements and paperwork will vary significantly depending on the country you intend to immigrate to and the type of work. There are distinct criteria for salaried employees, self-employed individuals, and special permits for highly skilled workers.

Given the broad spectrum of circumstances, compiling documents and requirements for each case would warrant numerous extensive articles. Hence, we recommend directing you to the European Union's immigration page. There, you can easily find all the information you need. Select your destination country and the purpose of your immigration, and the page will provide you with tailored information for your specific situation.

Best cities in Europe to work for English speakers

Language is a vital consideration when choosing your place of residence. While a location might boast excellent job prospects, working conditions, and salaries, the need to spend one or more years learning a new language can present a significant challenge. With this in mind, we've handpicked three of the top cities in Europe for English speakers, ensuring a smoother transition to work and life abroad.


Streets of Dublin
Source: Pexels

Ireland stands out as one of Europe's premier destinations for work, offering a distinctive blend of employment prospects, quality of life, and cultural allure. With a burgeoning economy and a thriving business environment, the country attracts professionals worldwide seeking fresh career perspectives and success.

Dublin, the capital city, serves as Ireland's primary economic and business hub. It houses a multitude of multinational corporations, startups, and globally renowned tech giants.

Tech giants with offices in Dublin

Moreover, the city thrives as a financial services center, hosting numerous international banks and financial institutions. Dublin's bustling startup scene further adds to its appeal, featuring numerous co-working spaces and accelerators for entrepreneurs seeking to innovate and grow.


Sunset in Belfast, river in Belfast
Source: Unsplash

Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, ranks among the best cities to work in Europe for English speakers. While it may not always be the first choice for those considering the United Kingdom, Belfast has a distinct advantage with its lower cost of living and a more favorable housing-to-income ratio compared to other major UK cities. Moreover, businesses in the city offer generous maternity leave policies, enhancing the work-life balance for employees.

The service sector thrives in Belfast, consistently seeking workers in hospitality and customer service, such as call centers. Additionally, the IT industry experiences high demand, as numerous major companies have set up offices in the city.

Another appealing aspect is the housing market. Although demand has risen in recent years, Belfast generally maintains a robust supply of rental properties, making it relatively easy to find affordable accommodation, even in central areas, without breaking the bank. This combination of factors makes Belfast a compelling choice for English speakers seeking opportunities in Europe.


Clock tower in Edinburgh
Source: Unsplash

Edinburgh, the UK's prime city for work-life balance, boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe. On the earnings front, the average monthly income in Edinburgh stands at 2,300 pounds, ranking second only to the UK's capital. This dynamic city also ranks second in the UK for the highest number of new businesses.

Edinburgh extends its appeal with a generous annual leave policy of 28 days and a maternity leave policy that offers a minimum of 39 weeks of pay.

Moreover, affordable housing options abound, making it an attractive destination. The city's rich cultural and leisure offerings provide the perfect backdrop for an enriching and balanced professional and personal life.

Best cities to work in Central and Eastern Europe

If learning a new language isn't a hurdle or you're already proficient in languages like French or German, we introduce four of the best cities to live and work in Europe. Two are positioned in central Europe: Luxembourg and Eindhoven, while the other two are located further to the east: Berlin and Vienna.


Best sities to work, Old city of Luxembourg during the night
Source: Unsplash

Luxembourg, one of the best countries to work in Europe, offers an exceptional destination, particularly for those seeking stability and high earnings. It's renowned for having one of the world's highest and most consistent average salaries, a fact that continually astonishes. 

72,247 euros
Average annual salary in Luxembourg
33,511 euros
Average annual salary in EU
6,020 euros
Average monthly salary in Luxembourg
2,792 euros
Average monthly salary in EU

Yet, high salaries are just one facet of what this small nation has to offer. According to the Expat Insider 2023, an annual report by InterNations, Luxembourg ranks 19th out of 53 countries as a great place to live and even secures a spot among the top 10 countries for quality of life, holding the ninth position.

However, it's worth noting that with high earning potential, there's also a higher cost of living. Accommodation costs in Luxembourg can be substantial, as is the general cost of living.


Best cities to work, streets of Berlin
Source: Unsplash

Berlin, Germany's largest city, is a captivating metropolis immersed in culture, art, music, and literature, drawing countless individuals to its vibrant streets.

In recent years, the German capital has transformed into a thriving tech hub. On average, 500 new businesses emerge each year, according to the consultancy agency Gruenden. Much of the startup buzz centers around Silicon Allee, a co-working campus teeming with innovative enterprises. These companies offer excellent growth opportunities, making them a focal point for job seekers.

Such is the startup boom in Berlin that major corporations are vying for a piece of the action. Microsoft and Google have invested in sizable "accelerator" spaces for startups, while X (Twitter), Uber, and Facebook have followed suit, opening offices in the city.

But Berlin is not just about startups. It's also home to major companies like SoundCloud, Siemens, Deutsche Bank, and Mercedes-Benz. The city boasts an average annual salary of 50,717 euros, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a robust earning potential. However, it's important to note that with this bustling economy comes a relatively higher cost of living, with monthly rents for one-bedroom apartments in the city center averaging around 1,300 euros.


Views of Vienna, best cities to live and work
Source: Unsplash

Vienna, the heart of Austria, is a corporate hub, hosting a wide array of major companies, including Deloitte, Boston Consulting Group, Google, McKinsey, and numerous local enterprises.

The city boasts impressively low unemployment rates, standing at a mere 2.3%. Employees benefit from an average of five weeks of annual leave, reflecting a strong work-life balance.

Vienna offers an unbeatable blend of stability, robust infrastructure, high-quality education and healthcare services, and a rich cultural and entertainment scene. These factors collectively position Vienna as one of the best cities to live and work in Europe, attracting professionals seeking an excellent quality of life and career opportunities.


Eindhoven, best cities to work in Denmark
Source: Unsplash

Eindhoven, a Dutch city in the southern part of the Netherlands, stands out as one of Europe's most intriguing and rapidly expanding technology hubs. If your passion lies in the realm of technology, Eindhoven is the destination of choice.

The city witnesses the emergence of new businesses daily, with the High-Tech Campus Eindhoven at the forefront. This dynamic campus is home to over 160 companies and 11,000 researchers who collaboratively share their expertise, earning it the title of "the smartest square kilometer in the world."

But Eindhoven isn't solely the realm of startups; it's also the base for major corporations like Philips, PwC, Intel, BT, Huawei, and ABB.

Eindhoven's green, spacious landscape is punctuated with striking new buildings and teems with exceptional opportunities. The city offers an average annual salary of 48,728 euros and the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center hovers around 1,163 euros.

Best cities to work in Northern Europe

If you're still pondering which is the best country in Europe for work, our guide concludes with three cities in Northern Europe. These destinations are ideal for those unafraid of the cold, seeking well-developed cities, abundant job opportunities, and a healthy work-life balance.


Copenhagen as one of the best cities in Europe
Source: Unsplash

Copenhagen consistently ranks high in lists of cities with exceptional work-life balance, thanks to its strong emphasis on sustainability and the high quality of life it offers. This makes it one of the best cities to work in Europe.

Many companies in the Danish capital uphold these values in the workplace, providing flexible working hours, a minimum of five weeks of annual leave, and 52 weeks of parental leave for both parents. Furthermore, unemployment rates in Copenhagen are lower than in many other parts of Europe, currently standing at 2.4%.

Copenhagen residents are renowned for their "hygge" lifestyle, which centers around self-care, spending time with loved ones, and savoring life's simpler pleasures. This emphasis on well-being and work-life balance makes Copenhagen an attractive destination for those seeking fulfilling careers and a high quality of life.


Tallinn during the winter
Source: Unsplash

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, frequently appears on lists of the world's best cities for remote work. If you're part of the digital nomad scene, you've likely heard of Estonia as one of Europe's top destinations for digital nomads. Estonia pioneered the issuance of a digital nomad visa, allowing you to legally reside here for a year.

Tallinn also wins favor for its affordability, ranking as one of the continent's most budget-friendly capitals. To sweeten the deal, public transportation in Tallinn is entirely free. You can hop on a bus for leisure, and it won't cost you a cent. The city's backdrop is equally enchanting, with the Baltic Sea on one side and enchanting forests on the other. This combination of factors makes Tallinn an attractive choice for digital nomads seeking both affordability and a picturesque setting for remote work.


Helsinki in the winter, work in EU
Source: Unsplash

Helsinki ranks among the best cities for living and working, emphasizing community and a healthy lifestyle, a combination that has propelled Finland to the top spot in the World Happiness Index.

Companies in Helsinki offer a total of 320 working days of combined parental leave, up to five weeks of annual vacation, and flexible work arrangements, including remote options, aligning with Finland's strong social policies.

Many Helsinki businesses provide flexible work modes like remote work, aiding employees in balancing their professional and personal commitments. In fact, over half of the advertised job positions incorporate remote or hybrid work options.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What criteria were considered when selecting the best cities for work in Europe?

Can I find work in these cities if I don't speak the local language?

Which European cities offer the highest salaries?

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