best-citiesWhen people talk about the best cities in the world in which to live, they often focus on the basics. Areas such as the crime rate, the house prices and the quality of the schools. They look at transport links such as the roads, rail and where the airports have links to. But there is more to life than just the bare statistics so here we look at the best cities in terms of their culture and the lifestyle they offer.


Vienna makes the top of most lists of the world’s best cities, regardless of the standards used. The city has an amazingly cheap public transport system, low crime rate and high employment. But more than that it is packed with architecturally amazing buildings, palaces and museums as well as hidden gems such as Habsburg-era coffee houses. Living amongst a city as beautiful as this one would be a pleasure and there is also plenty of green spaces to enjoy a break from the urban sprawl.


Italy is crammed with amazing cities such as Rome, Venice and Florence but Parma is one that is definitely on the list to live in, rather than just visit. The city is as historically and architecturally rich as its fellow Italian cities and is also famous for its food – Parma ham really does come from the city. It would make a brilliant place to live and to tour the region – a trip across the Adriatic to Croatia, a short flight down toe Greece or even just to other Italian cities.


Toronto is another to often feature on top cities to live in indexes due to the safeness of the city, the thriving job market and the cost of living. It is also a multi-cultural city known for its food and art festivals and has the second largest public transport system in North America, meaning that getting around the city is easy and a good way to avoid the roads, which often get a bit busy.


There’s no doubting Paris’ qualifications as a great place to live. The ancient city has the Musee de Louvre with its Mona Lisa inside and stunning glass pyramid outside while the Eiffel Tower stands guard over the city. As well as the architecture and museums, the city is equally famous for its cuisine and its shopping. All those big name shops and independent boutiques make it a shopper’s heaven while the French food and wine is without parallel around the world.


The Japanese lifestyle is one that many people admire and the city of Kyoto combines this lifestyle with a wealth of history and culture. There are no tall buildings with neon adverts around the city centre, instead there are ponds and gardens, Buddhist and Shinto temples dating back hundreds of years all of which indicate a reverence for the past. The city has a different speed to it than many western cities and visiting a traditional ryokan inn for homemade noodles is just one of the things that the city’s occupants love to do.

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Written on Jul, 12, 2016 by in , , , | Leave a comment

At one time, moving from one country to another was a huge undertaking, a once in a lifetime event that took years of planning. But in the modern, interconnected world it is much easier to move to another country and there are also a lot of reasons why it is worth doing, even if it only for a period of time.

Why moving is good

Just like moving around the UK used to be, moving around the world takes you out of your comfort zone and gives you the chance to learn about a new culture, a different place and fresh ways of life. You can learn a new language (and put your learning to good use in your chosen new home) or even just learn about a new version of English spoken in countries around the world.

Moving somewhere completely new helps develop your social skills too. Whether you are moving alone, with a partner or with the whole family, you will meet new people. There is often a curiosity about new people that will make it easier to build relationships. And once you have made that first initial step, building new relationships with people from different cultures can be fascinating and very rewarding.

There are also benefits in a professional capacity for a lot of different occupations. Whether you are a doctor wanting to help people who don’t have the kind of health system we have or a tech person wanting to bring the internet to people, you can do your job in a whole new way. Even doing the same job can seem like a new one when you are somewhere completely different.

Practical considerations

Of course, moving to another country takes more planning and preparation than relocating within the UK. While the idea of going to a country for a holiday and staying there to live might seem like a wonderful idea, it is more the stuff of TV shows than practicality.   Moving takes resources which means liquidating assets in this country – selling your house, your car and other belongings. So being organised and having a clear financial plan is crucial to success.

Talk to people about the area you are considering moving to. Other expats are an excellent source of information while there are still plenty of real estate agents out there willing to help.   Check out information on the internet to get a feel for an area as well as looking at housing prices and other important facilities. If you don’t speak the language proficiently yet, find someone reliable who can act as a translator for you when you do go out there.


There is also some learning to do before you move to another country. You need to learn the language but also customs and culture. Start with the basics of how to greet people, how to share a meal and common ways you can offend the locals to know what to avoid! Learning to integrate in a culture will give you some leeway with the locals but by having good background knowledge, you can show you have tried and simply gone a little wrong

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holiday-homeFor many of us, an ambition at some point in our lives is to own a house somewhere around the world that isn’t where we are now. Whether this is a permanent home or a holiday home depends on taste. But the idea of living even part of our lives in a beautiful villa or luxury apartment is something many of us aspire to. And looking at some of these properties, it’s easy to see why!


The idea of living on a tropical island for even a few weeks of the year is a dream of many people and the Seychelles is a perfect example of this kind of place. Villa 11 on the North Island is a resort of 11 villas that have two decks, a bathroom with a bath large enough for two and the most amazing views across the beach to the neighbouring islands of Mahe and Praslin. Just outside the villa are facilities to go scuba diving while there are mini buggies to hire to explore.


A place in the countryside is another idyllic home from home for many people the Hill Over the Woods villa is one property in a tiny village 60km from the city of Zagreb. It is currently owned by a Croatian vacation company (see more Cro Exclusive properties) but is a wonderful example of the luxury villas available in this stunning location. Local activities include horse and pony riding, fishing and biking while there are tennis courts and even a kid’s playground within the village.

New Mexico

Ever fancied owning a ranch in New Mexico? That’s exactly what businessman Jochen Zeitz has done and the house is often said to be one of the classiest houses in America. Part Mexican pueblo, part Spanish hacienda, the place looks like it should feature on a Wild West movie and sits amid dry, rocky scrubland with the Ortiz Mountains in the background. While the property is relatively modern, it contains a lot of authentic elements including replicas of clothing worn by the Plains Indian chiefs.


Greece has been having a few well-publicised problems lately but there’s no doubting its appeal for both tourists and those looking for a holiday home. Most of the islands have a wealth of beautiful villas with Skiathos being a popular choice since it was used in the Mamma Mia film. Sleek, modern interiors and large outdoor spaces are located just a five-minute walk from the beach with their beach bars, water sports and great food.


Tuscany is a blend of beautiful countryside, historic towns and cities and lush farmland. Known for its cuisine and especially its wine, the area is a favourite with foodies. Villa Lena is a haven for those who love the idea of an artist retreat style community amid the beauty of the Tuscan hills. With 14 apartments, two private villas and a hotel, the location is ideal for a summer long break and is often visited by artists, film makers and famous people from around the world.

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Written on Jul, 03, 2016 by in , , , | Leave a comment

For most people, the country they live in is less of a choice and more just a case of where they were born. But in a world where it’s getting easier to emigrate to another country, if you have the choice, you want to make sure the country you choose can fulfill your expectations.

Here’s a quick video to give you some insight into what are deemed to be the top 10 countries to live in at the moment.


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