German-speaking cities like Vienna, joined by Zurich, Munich, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, are among the top seven in the cities of the world, according to the 18th Mercer Quality of Life survey, which examines socioeconomic conditions.
The survey is also used by international corporations to assess how safe it is to send their employees to a given place.
Surprisingly so, this list doesn’t contain famous cities like London, Paris and New York. Here's where you can build the best life worldwide:
1. Vienna, Austria
Vienna, the capital of Austria, takes the crown for the best city in the world by beating 229 other cities in the list. Vienna has a rich history filled with legendary artists, composers, musicians and politicians. There is one simple word to describe Vienna: Beautiful.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
Despite being really expensive, Zurich, Switzerland's biggest city, came out nearly on top, maintaining its position among the best cities to live in.
3. Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland stands third, offering plenty of stable infrastructure and unique housing to residents. It’s New Zealand's largest city and main transport hub. So if you’re passing by, be sure to stop and enjoy the shopping, dining and natural wonders Auckland has to offer.
4. Munich, Germany
The Bavarian capital of Munich has beauty in spades. This German lifestyle capital is a contemporary, multi-ethnic city with a big heritage.
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5. Vancouver, Canada
The city of Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia. It’s surrounded by water and serene north mountains as a backdrop. Vancouver's physical setting is one of the most striking in the world.
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
The city of Dusseldorf has so much more to offer, including romantic valleys and enormous castles. Visitors cannot stop taking pictures because every corner, every window, every street is a postcard; this city attracts thousands of tourists every year.
7. Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, perhaps best describes the essence of vacationing in Germany.
Frankfurt is a center for commerce, culture, education, tourism and Web traffic.
8. Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva is one of the most desirable places to live in Switzerland. It offers excellent museums and galleries, historic buildings and renowned music festivals.
9. Copenhagen, Denmark
The Danish capital of Copenhagen portrays magnificent architectural expressions and offers its people an excellent quality of life.
10. Sydney, Australia
Australia's most famous harbor city, Sydney is the 10th most livable city in the world, with beautiful sun-drenched beaches and unique features, like the Opera House.
U.S. cities perform relatively poorly in the study, largely because of issues surrounding personal safety and crime. The highest ranking city in the U.S. is San Francisco at 28th; Boston is 34th. Canadian cities, led by Toronto, far outrank their U.S. rivals in the survey.