Prague ranks second in InterNations Expat City Ranking 2017

A great work life and the ease of getting settled make Manama, Prague and Madrid top destinations for expats

Manama takes the first position out of 51 cities in this year’s Expat City Ranking. The small capital of the Arab monarchy Bahrain, as well as top-ranking Madrid (3rd) and Kuala Lumpur (4th), are highly appreciated for the ease of getting settled in these cities. Prague (2nd) rather attracts expats with its excellent work life, while Amsterdam (5th) manages to offer a good mixture of both. Other cities that offer above-average career opportunities are London, Beijing, and Munich.

The ranking is based on data collected in the annual Expat Insider survey, conducted by InterNations, the largest expat community worldwide. With nearly 13,000 respondents living and working abroad, Expat Insider 2017 is one of the most extensive expat studies worldwide. Apart from offering an in-depth analysis of expat life in 51 cities, the survey ranks them by a variety of factors from the area's quality of urban living, getting settled, urban work life, as well as finance and housing. According to all these rating factors, the top 10 cities for expats are Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Johannesburg, Bangkok, Basel, and Frankfurt am Main.

Top 5 Cities Make It Easy for Expats to Get Settled and Enjoy a Great Work Life

Manama, Prague, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, and Amsterdam top the list of the best cities for expats: while Prague lags behind on 35th place for getting settled, the other four cities receive good to excellent ratings in this respect. A South African expat living in Kuala Lumpur likes “the easy-going temperament and friendliness of the local people” while an expat from the Philippines appreciates the “very friendly and helpful locals” in Manama. The majority of expats rates the general friendliness towards foreign residents positively in Manama (84%), Amsterdam (83%), Kuala Lumpur (78%), and Madrid (74%), compared to a global average of 67 percent. Prague, however, performs below average here: only about half of the expats living there (49%) are satisfied with this factor. Nonetheless, the capital of the Czech Republic is one of the top destinations for expats, particularly due to its outstanding ratings in terms of work: nearly seven in ten expats (68%) are satisfied with local career opportunities in Prague — 19 percentage points more than the global average.

Move to Amsterdam, London, Beijing, Prague, or Munich to Boost Your Career

The vast majority of expats in Amsterdam (78%), London (74%), Beijing (70%), Prague (68%), and Munich (66%) rates the local career opportunities positively, compared to a global average of only 49 percent. It seems to be fairly easy to pursue a career in these cities as an above-average share of expats cite finding a job on their own as their most important reason for moving abroad. However, some of them pay a high price for their career: while the European cities manage to combine expat jobs with a satisfying work-life balance, it is all work and no play for expats in Beijing. Only about half the expats in the Chinese capital (54%) are happy with their work-life balance, compared to about seven in ten, or more, in the four European destinations. “The work-life balance and the quality of work are really great”, says a Canadian expat living in Munich, and an Australian in Prague states that their “working conditions are excellent”.

Enjoying Social Life in Johannesburg, Muscat, Cape Town, Amsterdam, and Manama

For those who are looking for a fulfilling social life, Johannesburg, Muscat, Cape Town, Amsterdam, and Manama are the cities to keep in mind: about seven in ten expats living in these cities are happy with this aspect of life abroad. A Mauritian expat especially appreciates “the social events and places to go out to” in Amsterdam, while a British expat mentions “socializing” as one of the benefits of living in Cape Town. In all of these cities, making friends does not seem to be a problem, either. An above-average share of expats finds it easy to make new friends in Muscat (71%), Johannesburg (66%), Manama (65%), Amsterdam (56%), and Cape Town (54%). However, even though the majority of expats also finds the local residents friendly, they seem to prefer sticking together: only very few respondents in Amsterdam (8%), Cape Town (8%), and Muscat (2%) — and not a single respondent in Manama — report being mainly friends with local residents. Only in Johannesburg does this share reach the global average of 19 percent and outnumber the percentage stating that they are mainly friends with other expats (15%).

The Best (and Worst) Cities for Expats in 2017 by InterNations

Ristorante Casa de Carli

Authentic Italian cuisine in Prague

The James Joyce Irish Pub

Best Irish Pub in Prague


Visa, green card, Trade license, Llc company, work permit,...

Short and long term rentals, help with relocation. We speak...

Move To Prague

Relocation experts

Prague’s # 1 source for Czech news in English…

Digital lifestyle magazine platform promoting life in Prague.