Lonely Planet Writer

The top cities around the world millennials are choosing to live in have been revealed

A new study released by the German apartment search engine Nestpick has ranked 100 global cities on a variety of criteria such as “Startup Score,” “Internet Speed,” “Nightscene Rank,” and “Gender Equality Ranking.” In short, they’ve attempted to quantify what it is that makes millennials decide to pick a place to live or travel. Here are the highlights.

1. Amsterdam

You can see why pretty Amsterdam is top of the list.
You can see why pretty Amsterdam is top of the list. Image by Getty Images

Scoring high across most of the variables, Amsterdam has a perfect LGBT-friendliness score, along with near perfect scores for startups, tourism, festivals, and other social equality variables. Together, this helped propel it beyond the other European cities near the top of the list. In fact, the only low score for Amsterdam is in affordability of housing, which isn’t surprising given how great it sounds to live there based on these rankings.

2. Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate illuminated with projections. Image by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Though Berlin struggled in a few areas, it makes up for it with consistent performance across almost all others – and a perfect Nightscene score. For anyone who’s been in Berlin in the early hours, it’s no surprise that this city topped the list on this factor.

3. Munich

People enjoy the opening day of the 182nd Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany.
People enjoy the opening day of the 182nd Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, southern Germany. Image by (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Close behind its northern neighbor, Munich is another top performer among most variables. From high employment and startup scores (lots of opportunity for millennials looking to make career moves) to an emphasis on social issues, the only surprise on rankings for Munich is its festival score. Oktoberfest may be one of the biggest festivals in Europe, but it doesn’t balance out against other cities with more consistent music festival offerings.

4. Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal skyline at Sao Jorge Castle in the afternoon.
Lisbon, Portugal skyline at Sao Jorge Castle in the afternoon. Image by ©Sean Pavone/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Portuguese capital of Lisbon has been making waves lately, including on our list of top cities for travel in 2017. It scores highly on factors like food, beer, and transport – the latter of which is important if you indulge too much in the former.

5. Lisbon, Portugal

Rounding out the top five, Antwerp is a consistently high performer on Nestpick’s factors: it ranks well on Nightscene and Internet Speed, as well as music festivals and the Apple Store score (number of Apple Stores per capita – a surprisingly accurate indicator of Millennials moving into a city).

7. Barcelona, Spain 

Barcelona may not score well on its employment factor, but great tourism, food, beer, and even health scores make up the difference. If you’ve ever been to Barcelona, you know that nothing cures your ails like tapas, sangria, and some fresh Mediterranean Sea air.

7. Lyon, France

Lyon.
Lyon. Image by frederic prochasson

Lyon sounds like a great place to live, based on these rankings. A top score for healthy living, combined with good internet speeds, plenty of transportation options, and a thriving ‘nightscene’ make it a rising star on this list.  

8. Cologne, Germany

View from the Triangle Tower in Cologne.
View from the Triangle Tower in Cologne. Image by Uwe Müller

Cologne doesn’t score great for tourism, but that’s actually a good thing if you’re looking for a place to relocate – no hoards of tourists to fight through when you want to take a stroll. Strong social justice rankings combined with good food and drink scores make it sound like an off-beat destination you could learn to call home.

9. Paris, France

Couple running near Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.
Couple running near Eiffel Tower, Paris, France. Image by Dave and Les Jacobs / Getty Images

All of the French cities score well for healthy living, as the factor was based on the UN World Health Report; Paris is no exception. A little moderation balances that out with equally high scores for its ‘Nightscene’ factor, and the tourism score for Paris is also astronomically high. Surprisingly, both food and beer scores for Paris are quite low, which sounds like an opportunity for some budding millennials to try opening a hip craft brewpub in the 11th arrondissement.

10. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia.
Vancouver, British Columbia. Image by Kenny Louie / CC BY 2.0

The top 10 ends with the first North American entry on the list – giving the Canadians yet another thing to be proud about. Vancouver’s booming startup scene helps it rank so well, along with the prevalence of music festivals and – for the first time in the top 10 – a high-scoring immigration policy. The hospitable immigration officers will be helpful if you decide to relocate there.

11. Austin, Texas

A general view of the atmosphere on 6th street in downtown Austin during the South By Southwest Music Festival.
A general view of the atmosphere on 6th street in downtown Austin during the South By Southwest Music Festival. Image by Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Yes, it took 30 more cities to finally get to the first U.S. entry on the list. Nevertheless, Austin should be proud of its place, outscoring San Francisco by just a few spots. Between the city’s renowned music festivals, fast-growing startup scene, and the fastest internet of any city on the list, it sounds like a pretty good place to live and work, if the U.S. is the country you want to call home.

The list offers insights into a variety of variables you may want to consider the next time you’re planning a trip – or even a big expat move. See the full list and score definitions on the Nestpick website.