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What is your favourite city?

10:41 UK time, Wednesday, 26 May 2010

European cities dominate the top ten of a global top 50 list for quality of living, while London comes in at a lowly 39th spot. Where would you most like to live?

The Mercer list placed Vienna top, followed by Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver, Auckland, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Bern and Sydney.

The study considered living conditions in 420 cities and based their final list of 221 cities on factors such as crime, political stability, hospitals, transport, food and drink, leisure, climate and personal freedom.

What do you think of the survey's findings? Where are the best and worse places you have lived? How does your city measure up?

What do you love or hate about your city? Send your city pictures to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 if in the UK or +44 7725 100 100 from outside the UK. If you have a large file you can upload here.

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Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Well, London is the most diverse and visibly multicultural of the big European cities I visit regularly. It's also the mankiest, as the survey implies.

    Draw your own conclusions.....like the BBC's 'Escape to the Country' makers and watchers do.

  • Comment number 2.

    I would hate to LIVE in any city, but there are some I can tolerate for a few days and others I'd be happy to never set foot in again.

    Will visit: Hong Kong, London, New York, Edinburgh, Rome, Venice, Singapore, Cairo (but not if I have to drive!), Paris.

    Won't go back to: Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, Berlin, Athens (except I have a friend there so might go just to visit him!).

  • Comment number 3.

    Perth

  • Comment number 4.

    Berlin

  • Comment number 5.

    I’m lucky enough to live in Bristol, a city I came to as a student and never intend to leave (at least not permanently). It has lovely architecture, parks and gardens, the Downs and the Avon Gorge are near enough to the city centre to visit easily, the shopping is great if you like that sort of thing, and the arts and music scene is very diverse. Showing people around is always a pleasure, and I know many people who visited the city once or twice and then up-sticks and moved here from somewhere less interesting because they like d the feel of the place. I feel like I have the best of both worlds here – a big international city with everything associated with that on the one hand, and a feeling of local community in the part I live in as well. Transport both nationally and internationally is pretty easy, we have good road networks, a large railway station and an international airport, and I can get to London in about 21/2 hours, which is useful. It’s a cheerful place too, local people are generally pretty friendly and it’s extremely multicultural, which makes for some great restaurants and take-aways!

  • Comment number 6.

    I would like to live in Barcelona or Sydney because the weather is very convenient in those cities. Also, there should be a histroric core in the city I want to live in.

  • Comment number 7.

    Many cities gain and lose such titles over the years. this ia big cycle that is a fact of life.

    However one place that i would consider to be an up and coming great City is Cardiff. 10/15 years ago this place was a 'dive' but now it is barely recognisable, and all for the good!

    I am not surprised by London not making it because the report probably (and rightly so!) considered all areas within London and simply found that there are too many run down areas that bring the 'bits' most media channels only show on the TV, down.

    I reckon though that the Olympics will have a massive impact on London as a whole in the next few years so i would be very surprised if London isn't in the top 15 by 2012/13.

    Watch this space.

  • Comment number 8.

    Florence or Paris top, London and Manchester would come bottom of the places I would like to live

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm not fussed on any city although the old part of Brussells and Bruge are nice. Where I really like, and it's like heaven to me is the area around Interlaken in Switzerland. Absolutely beautiful, I could live there for evermore even in a one room shack. What lucky people you Swiss are, and those I've met are nice people as well.

  • Comment number 10.

    It was london {After the war] Not any more.?

  • Comment number 11.

    I wouldn't like to live in any city. As an amateur astronomer the light pollution that they give off is impossible to avoid. Looking up at the sky on a clear night and seeing nothing but an orange haze is just really depressing.

  • Comment number 12.

    The best place I have lived is Dubai, the worst London.

    But there will always be a special place in my heart for Glasgow.....

    Would love to know just how these cities were ranked though!

  • Comment number 13.

    Where I live is great.

    It's not in the top 50 either, which is great too because that means the speculators yuppies and construction people will go and wreck somewhere else.

    The longer where I live stays off the list the better it is for the local population...and when all is said and done, it's the locals who really generate that quality of life, not the incomers.

  • Comment number 14.

    Bath. Without a doubt.

    I moved there as a student many years ago and haven't left yet. Sometimes the congestion and touristy nature of the area can be a bit of a nuicance, but then you go for a walk on a crisp cold winter morning and see the sheer beauty and tranquility of the city.

    It's pricey though.

  • Comment number 15.

    New York. Until I visited, I thought it would be everything I hate about a place, but it is so vibrant, with lots to see and do. There are so many wonderful places to visit and yet, there are calm oases in the parks.

    The sight of the skyline when driving from JFK is something spectacular, and it doesn't diappoint on arrival.

  • Comment number 16.

    Favourite UK cities - Birmingham & Plymouth

    Special mention for London, I don't know of another city in Europe can beat it for the sheer variety of entertainments available on a daily basis - but I'd not want to live there.

    Favourite European city - Amsterdam, a brilliant collision of cultural highs and tacky, sleazy tat.

    Fabvourite world city - Sydney, its quite simply beautiful, far beyond what you'd expect from what is, after all, a relatively new foundation.

  • Comment number 17.

    Prague - filled with beauty, character and history

  • Comment number 18.

    I much prefer small town life, but if I had to live in a city I'd pick Vancouver and then Rome. I've spent time in both and they're great places for very different reasons.

    Now that I've emigrated from the UK, I can definitely say that I would never again live in a British city. Too many negatives - safety (or lack of it), horrible UK prices, dirty streets, the list goes on.

  • Comment number 19.

    I have lived in London for 40 years - ironically, in view of the fact that sydney is now 10 and London 30, I came from Sydney. At that time London would have been in the top five: the quality of life has certainly decreased here over the last 15 years or so, especially over the last ten I would say. However, as someone whose main interest is the performing arts, I do notice an absence of mention of live theatre, music, art, on the list of criteria used in the research. Many of us put up with a lot in London because the arts are central to our lives: I've always known that Australians have a higher standard of living if one is a philistine.

  • Comment number 20.

    Surveys like this are a bit of a nonsense for the obvious reason in a city of the size of London will have massive variations in your quality of life. If you were sent on an international assignment would you seriously prefer to be sent to Dusseldorf ahead of London?

  • Comment number 21.

    It's likely that the 221 cities around the world were all larger ones with bigger populations. I imagine that there are lots of smaller/medium sized cities in the UK that were not even included but have a much higher "index" of quality of life than London has. I live in Worcester which has a population of 100,000 people. Although small compared to many other places in England, I consider it to have a very high quality of life with the beautiful river Severn flowing though it, low unemployment, good schools and housing, good access to the rest of the country by road/rail, a cathedral and lots of old medieval/Georgain architechture, a new thriving University and easy access to beautiful countryside. I am originally from London and have lived in a couple of other places as well - out of any of them I would say London has the worst quality of life.

  • Comment number 22.

    Would love to live in Berlin. Or Florence. Or Bruges. Or Venice. Or Copenhagen.

  • Comment number 23.

    I was born and grew up in Swansea. i have worked all over the world and seen many wonderful places. Where do I live? Back in Swansea :)

    Saying that, Indianapolis is a wonderful city. If not Swansea, then I'd love to emigrate there.

  • Comment number 24.

    Copenhagen, the other cities are but pale shadows and concrete palaces

  • Comment number 25.

    No mention in this article that the survey factored in costs of living such as housing. Odd to omit that since it impacts so much. Had it been included, I doubt London would have made the top hundred...

  • Comment number 26.

    Somebody once said.. if there is a heaven on earth..then there is only one place to live.
    AUSTRALIA. and in particular..the GOLD COAST.

  • Comment number 27.

    York
    - so much history
    - traffic free centre
    - great surrounding countryside
    - wonderful local people
    - loads of comfortable places to stay
    - clean and green open spaces
    - 100's of character pubs serving great food and ale
    - accessible public transport
    - a great city in a great county at the heart of a great country
    Makes you proud to be Danish!

  • Comment number 28.

    The best city is actually London. Because we live so close to it people in the UK fail to realise what a wonderful city we have so close to us. I go down to London about 6 times a year, and continually find something different.
    The theatres are world class, with the only other city having anything close to what we have in London being New York. We have world class musuems which are free. In other cities such as Paris and Madrid it would cost a fortune to visit their musuems.
    The River Thames is always breathtaking, particularly the view from the South Bank. There are wonderful parks, including St James, Hyde park and Regents park, and further afield Greenwich, Hampstead, and Richmond, as well as Kew Gardens.
    We also have great sport events. The London Marathon is the best in the world. I should know having run it twice, as well as New York, and a number of other European city marathons. We then have Wimbledon, great football clubs. The list is endless.
    There are some great Cities in Europe. Rome, Paris , Stockholm and Barcelona to name a few. All are worth visiting, and all can be easily visited for a holiday from London.

  • Comment number 29.

    Lived in Lincoln during my uni years and it was OK.

    Personally I prefer the quiet life in the country and visit cities in my spare time - I don't think I would like to live in any City.

    Weekends in cities are a novelty for me coming from the countryside.

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm afraid Manchester is the best city for me. I've visited many around the world but modern Manchester is a must stay place for anyone aged 20 to 40 (I'm even older!). Its vibrant, sometimes brash, cultural and its not a city peopled by judgemental bigots racists or homophobes.

    Its the home of the industrial revolution as well so they know how to get their hands dirty.

    Most recently though, the restaurants and bars have really raised their game. I guess you could call it the second capital, but without having to deal with Londoners

  • Comment number 31.

    I live in London and I love it here but am not suprised that it's not ranked that lowly. The weather's terrible and if you don't have a decent amount of money the area you live in isn't going to be great. Everything is incredibly expensive and people here really aren't very polite or friendly.

    That said that list is a bit of a joke. Munich in the top ten? Are they kidding? Didn't like Vienna when I went there either. Vancouver is a nice city but not sure I'd live there. Preferred the east side of Canada, Montreal and Toronto. Also I detect a heavy bias towards Germanaphone cities on this list, who wrote it. Doesn't seem impartial.

  • Comment number 32.

    A city is only as good as the people that live in it.

    I have travelled to dozens of european cities as well as in Asia, and am not surprised London is so far down the list, which is sad considering this is where I was born and lived for a long time.

    For me, Cologne is the one of the nicest cities I've visited in the world. It's still a big city, and has lots of people. But the people that are there are respectful of eachother and want to keep their city looking good, this is not the case for most cities in England. Most people just want to look after the small space they live in and not worry about the things that don't belong to them.

    Such a shame, London could be the most beautiful city to live in.

  • Comment number 33.

    Funniest list i've seen for a long time. I can only assume that dullness is very high on the list of judging criteria as only that could possibly account for Geneva, Zurich and Dusseldorf's presence in the top 10.

  • Comment number 34.

    Spent a couple of years in Tokyo and that was hard to beat for cleanliness, safety, public transport, cost of eating out (way cheaper than the UK), convenience, 24 hour living, and the odd earthquake to spice things up... Still, that was as an expat. The locals pay the price through excessive working hours to maintain it all. Not a great lot of greenery either.

  • Comment number 35.

    Bath. I moved here from London 10 years ago...it's a beautiful place to live (as long as the planners aren't allowed to ruin it)....

  • Comment number 36.

    It looks like the fun factor has not been taken into account in the list. Some of the top 10 cities are safe, clean and efficient, but rather boring. In my own experience Frankfurt and Geneva are not the most exciting places. Others like Zurich and Sydney tend to be more fun.

    But that being said, I do think that the rankings of the UK cities accurately reflect the state that Britain is in today. It is not an extremely dangerous, unhealthy or otherwise horrible place. Most things more or less function OK most of the time. It is definitely not as bad as Baghdad.

    But certainly nowhere near world-class.

  • Comment number 37.

    Florence and Paris.

  • Comment number 38.

    Slough - Only joking,

    John Betjeman was right. Having worked there for two years the place needs to be levelled.

  • Comment number 39.

    Having lived in London for several years, whilst working there, I think they have been very benevolent ranking it 39th. It is one of the biggest cesspits I have ever had the sorry misfortune of living in (and I have lived in/visited a huge number around the world - in 28 years of service with the Armed Forces).
    I concur with the rankings for German cities. They are amazing, and it is a wonderful country to visit.
    The best city I have lived in - Kiev. Wonderful 4 years.
    My favourite city would be Paris. It has its faults, but it is a stunning city where you can never get bored.

  • Comment number 40.

    I love to visit London. There's so much there to see and do. I never get tired of it. I love staying there for holidays from time to time. But getting through the morning rush hour on those occasions is bad enough. Doing it every day is not something I'd fancy.

    You can always spot me on the tube at the time, by the way. Because I'm the one who is smiling. Makes me stand out.

  • Comment number 41.

    My favorite city is Toronto, Canada because that's where I live; so, I'd best think well of it & make the best of it because I can't afford to go anyplace else.
    The Mercer is an objective way of measuring quality of living based on factors that people consider representative of quality of living.
    Once a year, Mercer conducts a quality of living study in more than 320 cities worldwide based on detailed assessments and evaluations of 10 key categories (and 39 criteria or factors), each having weight according to its relative importance. The categories:
    Political and Social Environment,
    Medical & Health Considerations,
    Public services & Transport,
    Economic EWnviroment,
    Socio-Cultural Environment,
    Recreation,
    Housing,
    Natural Enviromnbment,
    Scools and Education and
    Consumer goods.
    The first thing that I note, and the first fact you report is:
    “European cities dominate the top ten of a global top 50 list for quality of living” - Vienna at the top, followed by Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver, Auckland, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Bern and Sydney, and way down the list: London 39th.
    These results support my contention that quality of life requires political stability. Where this is not happening e.g. Greece, Iraq, Georgia, Latvia – internal problems, shackled to the impact of the global financial crisis, has (is) undercutting the quality of life.
    (Note the absence of any American city.)
    So, when you see instability in any city, ask yourself two questions:
    1) What is causing this instability?
    2) What country benefits from this instability?

  • Comment number 42.

    I live in London (39th) and visit Frankfurt (7th) on a weekly basis so knowing both cities very well I can see why, on a purely objective set of statistics and facts etc Frankfurt would do well: It has good public transport, mostly very good restaurants, the occassional good arts/food festivals etc, very attractive surrounding countryside and a generally safe atmosphere. All-in-all, the epitome of a well-run civic centre. It is also one of the most functional, dull, ugly Cities you could ever hope to find. It's the grey suit of cities compared to London's Tuxedo, or Chalk-stripe and red braces, or top-hat and tails, or pink velour zoot suit or whatever persona you want to attach to London.

    To set up a business and succeed, Frankfurt Am Main might be a better bet (as long as you speak Deutsch) however to LIVE, London is the greatest city in the world - the only competition being New York, Paris and maybe Sydney.

  • Comment number 43.

    London in 1977.

  • Comment number 44.

    I like Barcelona, Rome and Paris but for short breaks only. The worst city I ever visited was Amsterdam, lots of litter, vowed never to go back! London is awful, very busy with too much traffic.

  • Comment number 45.

    If I had to choose, I'd pick either Rome or Seattle. I haven't been to Vancouver but suspect that would be up there too.

  • Comment number 46.

    I have visited all of the top 10 cities and would rather live in London anyday. No other city compares. For all those "escaping to the country" others are moving into the city. I even miss it when I'm away on holiday.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think London is my favorite city. I like the fact that there is so much to do there, and almost everyone speaks English. London is truly an exciting city and reminds me of New York without the crime. The traffic is terrible in London so I took the underground to most places. The only real draw back is parking a car. When I finally got to my hotel after driving around for five hours on the other side of the road which I am not use to I didn't want to see the car until my wife and I went to Bath and Brighton. London, like New York charges heavy parking fees in their parking garages. Parking cost more than the rent-a-car. My second most favorite city is Venice Italy. I really enjoyed visiting there. I was certainly unique, and the canals facinated me. I loved the five course meal on the train going for Rome to Venice. I went to Italy from Cyprus with my family when I was a teenager When you are a 16 year old boy a five couse Italian meal really hits the spot. I truly loved the food in Italy, and no wonder there are so many Italian places to eat in the United States and elsewhere in Europe and around the world.

  • Comment number 48.

    My favourite UK cities are Bristol and Bath, being originally from the South West. However I am also happy to include London, after all I have lived here now for 20 years, I do appreciate the West End, Hyde Park and the various museums you can go to.

    My favourite overseas city that I have visited is San Francisco.

    However to be honest I rather tired of cities now and I prefer to be in the country or quiet coastal towns.

  • Comment number 49.

    21 Tony

    " I live in Worcester which has a population of 100,000 people. Although small compared to many other places in England, I consider it to have a very high quality of life with the beautiful river Severn flowing though it, low unemployment, good schools and housing, good access to the rest of the country by road/rail, a cathedral and lots of old medieval/Georgain architechture, a new thriving University and easy access to beautiful countryside. I am originally from London and have lived in a couple of other places as well - out of any of them I would say London has the worst quality of life."

    It's been ruined by people like you moving to it. Its population has been massively expanded by incomers, the 'natives' feel like strangers in their own city.

    The economy is tanking - the centre is full of shut down or charity shops. The once-thriving industrial base has all but disappeared. Most people living there commute to jobs elsewhere. The locals don't live in 'good housing', they live mainly on run-down council estates. They've been priced off the market by the likes of you.

    It seems to have escaped, just, from yet more expansion to cater for the likes of YOU, but it's only a matter of time till the council unveils yet more expansion plans.

    The 'thriving university' you refer to is a farce, and a cause of major hassle to the locals.

    And the 'beaufiful countryside' you refer to is rapidly being paved over to make space for the likes of you.

    It was Worcester ENGLAND you were talking about, I presume? If so, please consider the harm you and your kind have done it, and stop living in a fantasy world.

  • Comment number 50.

    My favourite place to live is Vientiane City, Laos. It has a sleepy relaxed charm, good quality inexpensive accommodation, and a great range of quality restaurants serving Lao and western food. Also the weather is warm and sunny all year round. OK - yes it does have a tendency to rain very heavily at times in the summer - but not all the time.

    Lao people love their Buddhist festivals and social occasions and foreigners are always welcome to join in. There are many delightful small bars to drift into to when the need for calm is required. The local beer may not be real ale but it is still of a very decent quality.

    There is a good quality expat community - mostly professional working people (embassy officials, development workers, mining and construction workers, teachers etc) rather than the type that hang around the seedy beach resorts of Thailand.

    For sure the foreigner in Vientiane will experience some annoyances (perhaps this is culture shock). I certainly did during my 5 years of living there. But these can be overcome with a little patience and understanding of the local culture.

    I will certainly go back to Vientiane again provided the pound regains its lost value.

  • Comment number 51.

    Vienna is indeed a wonderful city in which to live. The coffee house culture and the whole way of life is just so different to any other city.

  • Comment number 52.

    While I love traveling, visiting a city only gives you a very rudimentary idea of what it'd be like to live in the place.

    Consequently, my favourite cities and towns are those where I've lived and from where I have happy memories.

    So they'd be Edinburgh; Birmingham; Oxford; Boston, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; Toronto, Canada and now back to London, UK - where my parents and siblings moved to, and where I've joined them.

    Quality of living and standard of living - none of those beats happy memories.

  • Comment number 53.

    I've always thought Lisbon's a little bit underappreciated.

  • Comment number 54.

    Hate all cities full of nasty minded selfish people. Much prefer the countryside thank you.

  • Comment number 55.

    Vienna is a beautiful city but there is no smoking ban in public places so restaurants and bars are very unpleasant for non-smokers. I would have thought this would have been a major issue affecting 'Quality of Living'

  • Comment number 56.

    St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Population 1800, YES, 1800.

    No shops of any note, shopping malls etc ....

    In the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park, with the sea just down the road.

    Traditional cities are generally foul places.

  • Comment number 57.

    My favourite city is Manchester. It has history, great architecture and the people are just brilliant!

  • Comment number 58.

    By the way, the bit that Mercer do not take into account is the weather. Whilst for me that is a very important decider between happiness and misery.

    I lived in Sydney for a few years and loved it. But a huge part of the attraction was the stunning weather for pretty much 9 months a year.

  • Comment number 59.

    Exeter is a gorgeous city, I would kill to live there as a permanent resident, although I suspect that the steep hills of the city might kill me first! I also quite like Portsmouth - it's a bit shabby, but there's lots going on, it's next to the New Forest and I find it relaxing to sit on the Solent watching the warships coming and going on deployment.

    Currently live in Leicester as a student. The city centre is very much like that of any major city outside of London - devoid of character except for a few landmarks like the clock tower, ultra-commercialised and a bit dull, but the area just outside the centre proper is absolutely amazing - bohemian, green, spacious and with lots to do.

    I doubt very much that many cities in the UK will be able to compare to somewhere like Geneva, Amsterdam, Paris or Turin for the time being, but even our big regional conurbations have their charms.

  • Comment number 60.

    Venice - it is the most stunning place I have ever visited, it quite simply takes your breath away.

    Of course, I'd never actually move there as I'm a country girl through and through and I wouldn't leave the Yorkshire Dales for anything!

  • Comment number 61.

    Berlin, one of the greenest cities, surrounded by forest and lakes, an absolutely marvellous truly integrated transport system(runs 22 hrs a day), travel by underground,train,bus,tram with one ticket for the equivalent of £2.50 a day. Great facilities, night life, restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs.
    I'd live there tomorrow given the chance, and I'm a country boy.

  • Comment number 62.

    21. At 11:56am on 26 May 2010, tonyp2604 wrote:
    It's likely that the 221 cities around the world were all larger ones with bigger populations. I imagine that there are lots of smaller/medium sized cities in the UK that were not even included but have a much higher "index" of quality of life than London has. I live in Worcester which has a population of 100,000 people.

    ***

    Well Tony, Geneva has some 200,000 people. Bern about 130,000. And Luxembourg (ranked 19) has around 90,000. That is less than Worcester...

  • Comment number 63.

    San Francisco - California. Sunshine, great vibe - I'm suprised nobody else has mentioned this one!

  • Comment number 64.

    London now that the unelected Scotsman and his cronies have been thrown out.

  • Comment number 65.

    " "As the world economy becomes more globalised, cities beyond the traditional financial centres are emerging as attractive places in which to expand or establish a business.

    "Cities in many emerging markets, such as in the Middle East or Asia, have seen a significant influx of foreign companies and their expatriate employees in recent years. "

    Has this guy seen the index?
    Methinks not. I had a look and didnt see any middle, far or even near eastern countries. and with Vienna, Zurich and Geneva at the top... well new is a relative term i suppose.

    Mind you i did spot Sydney

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    In most countrys on mainline europe you can go out at night without being confronted by men and women in their late teens and early twentys leaving a trail of vomit and violence in most english cities this is the norm so I'm not suprised London is low on the list.

  • Comment number 68.

    Vatican City.

  • Comment number 69.

    I'm not surprised London didn't make it into the top section of the list. It is a truly horrible, soulless place to live with absolutely nothing to recommend it. Give me those beautiful cities of Europe any day!

  • Comment number 70.

    Florence. Just perfect. Not too crowded, plenty of art, great restaurants, not too far from Rome or Venice or Bologna.

  • Comment number 71.

    The top 10 on the list are interesting, for me Geneva makes number one although on a hot still day it can be rather too warm.

  • Comment number 72.

    I live in London and hate it. I've visited numerous cities and there is not one I would want to live in.

    The countryside offers far better quality of life but unfortunately there are few jobs there.

  • Comment number 73.

    Stockholm is a wonderful place to live.

  • Comment number 74.

    Paris, Paris and Paris the most beautiful city in the world.

    Followed by, in no particular order

    Rome,
    Toronto,
    Koblenz,
    Dubrovnik,
    Cracow,
    Lisbon,

  • Comment number 75.

    Overcrowded, cramped expensive living spaces, noisy, smelly, absolutely everything requires money, dangerous traffic, dangerous people, the stars are invisible due to light polution, most of the world is grey rather than green, most people are fearful of one another, if you tried to be friendly you would probably be arrested. We have problems in the country too (many of them imposed by the city that rules us, but I'd rather live in a tent here than in a palace in a town.

  • Comment number 76.

    I haven't visited every major city but in my view London is the best. I used to live there and agree that the daily grind of packed out tube journeys gets very tiring. I now live in Edinburgh which is amazing - great architecture, small and congestion free but still the benefits of a city (airport, all the shops, parks, facilities). The only downside is the weather! Anyway I do travel down to London every so often and just love it - it is so cosmopolitan, and as has been said previously, the entertainment/things to do is second to none. So if I were someone looking to take a business trip why choose some of those at the top of the list - really boring but neat, tidy and quiet when you can go to London? No competition surely!

  • Comment number 77.

    I am just wondering how these cities were assessed for there quality of life?.

    For instance, is it based on spending power, leisure activities and the environment?. If it is, then if you are earning a huge salary, the quality of life in any City would be good, whilst I doubt earning a low salary in any city would result in a similar perspective to the city you live in.

    As most of these Cities are still considered "first World," I assume this survey was based on the opinion of executives, rather than the majority of people who work two jobs, and live in less luxurious surroundings.

    Therefore it could be flawed and biased considering many emerging countries have far more beautiful, people friendly cities.

  • Comment number 78.

    Forget Cities & the Urban rats, go to the Country.

  • Comment number 79.

    Rome has to be top of my list for its culture and style.
    London near the bottom, coming a close second to Paris for its filth and unfriendliness. Still, in Paris at least if you speak some French you can get by, unlike trying to use English in London.

  • Comment number 80.

    St David's in Pembrokeshire, our smallest city.

  • Comment number 81.

    Why the surprise about London? It is crowded, dirty, has a 3rd world feel in some parts, is unsafe (due to traffic and crime), expensive, and lacks a viable public transport system. Given these features almost anywhere else is preferable.

    For me my favourites would be Denver, Boston (Mass), Muscat, Munich and Paris.

  • Comment number 82.

    Having lived in a number of cities I can't judge a city on its own as I also want to be able to escape to a more rural environment occasionally, so I am interested in the surrounding area as well.

    Of the cities I've lived in London was the nicest as a city (most to do without leaving the city), but I preferred Copenhagen and even Rotterdam (dreadful city, but in a great country and very easy to get out of at the weekend) to live. Bottom of my list is Dublin; rural Ireland is great, but you need your own transport to see it, and Dublin compares badly to other more provincial European cities.

  • Comment number 83.

    I could not imagine living in homogenous and stagnant cities like Bern, Auckland or Munich. They seem to exemplify "safe but dull". Life is too short to live somewhere boring!

  • Comment number 84.

    Living in Yorkshire I am not surprised to read here the many people extolling the virtues of London: a city so far up its own backside it can almost see San Francisco's shoes. Last ime I was in London I was walking down Marchmont street ans daw typical Londoners enjoying the "Cafe life" sitting at tables outside on the pavement, talking loudly about themselves and oblivious to the dustcart belching out fumes right next to them and the piles of garbage-bags being slowly chucked into it by underpaid illegal immigrant labourers. That encapsulated for me the true spirit of the city. Give me the dreamy spires of Doncaster any day.

  • Comment number 85.

    Atlatis

    Sea views are out of this world, with minimal crime rate, the worst aspect is the sharks who have a worse bite than those who live in London, but at least you can avoid them if you know where to hide at teatime.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    Adelaide

  • Comment number 88.

    Without a doubt, Rome. We spent 10 days there in 2000. It was absolutely fascinating and the people were so friendly.
    Peter D South Carolina

  • Comment number 89.

    3. At 11:38am on 26 May 2010, Fitz13 wrote:

    Perth

    Indeed it is a lovely place, the gateway to the highlands, unlike it's Australian namesake.

  • Comment number 90.

    Wellington, New Zealand is the city that I would like to have as my home town. The air and the water are clean.
    There are wide open spaces and stunning vistas. It is not overcrowded. It has a lively artistic life fed by
    both Maori and European culture. It has superb sporting facilities, including access to many public golf
    courses. It is in every way the opposite to London. London's air and water are not clean. It is overcrowded,
    people are crammed together. It's roads carry too much traffic - major cause of air pollution. Its
    night skies suffer from light pollution, its inhabitants have no chance to see the stars. It has much human
    poverty that results in a high rate of crime. The gap between rich and poor is wider in London than anywhere else in the UK. The rich can dine in fine restaurants, enjoy wonderful theatre, belong to extremely expensive golf clubs, and enjoy several holidays abroad each year. The poor face a daily struggle for survival. London
    is not a good place to live.

  • Comment number 91.

    I can hardly see any comment about Asia regions. I am very disappointed. Although some devastating natural disasters, such as earthquake, have happened for the past few years, but I think Asia cities’ position are too low. (Singapore is at 28, Tokyo at 40. I cannot believe it.)

  • Comment number 92.

    49. At 12:29pm on 26 May 2010, Apple-Eater wrote:

    It was Worcester ENGLAND you were talking about, I presume? If so, please consider the harm you and your kind have done it, and stop living in a fantasy world.


    ----

    If your'e representative of the warm welcome we can expect in heart of England I suspect most of us would rather give it the swerve.

    Actually one of my best mates from uni lives in Worcester, a couple of years ago me and another friend, who happens to be black, went to visit him. My black friend was sporting an afro.

    Our night out was continuously punctuated by wide-eyed, slack jawed locals coming up and touching his hair, often without even asking, - which was thoroughly embarassing for all of us.

    Thats my lasting impression of Worcester, populated by people with manners from an earlier century - and not in a good way.

  • Comment number 93.

    London is a very big place and it depends on which part you live in. There are some truly horrible parts of London and there are other parts which are absolutely fantastic places to live. This survey suggests London is the best city to live in in the UK. London probably is the best city in the UK but it is also the worst.

  • Comment number 94.

    It's hard to get me out of the village in which I live, but when kicked hard enough, I don't mind Stockholm. Copenhagen is pretty good too. Nairobi used to be attractive many years ago, but I cannot say what it is like now. The worst place? Anywhere with a population of more than a few hundred, but this is only a personal feeling.

  • Comment number 95.

    Favortite? Has to have the least air, water and noise pollution, and the most fresh air, good water, and pleasant ambiance. That knocks out most of the popular ones.

  • Comment number 96.

    I quite like cities, but I don't like visiting any. They do manage to concentrate people, vehicles and buildings in one place making the country-side that much more enjoyable.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    Certainty not paris, it’s a cess pit. Barcelona, it’s warm, beautiful, good food and great people.

  • Comment number 99.

    I love living in London, I only wish thre weren't as many tourists. I know they bring in money, but they suck the atmosphere out of the city. Looking at the Thames from an empty Lambeth Bridge on a cold, early Sunday morning is not the same as only being able to cast a furtive glance through a three deep cordon of slow and loud tourists on a hot day in summer.

  • Comment number 100.

    I prefer London to Vienna. London has some rubbish areas, but these can be avoided. Transport and housing in London is expensive, but can't complain about the price of food and entertainment (i.e. dinner at Chinatown in London is only GBP5; a drink at a Weatherspoons pub is only GBP1; museums, art galleries and parks are free). London offers expensive options (i.e. Michelin star restaurants; certain tourist attractions), but you don't have to go to those. Would be good to have some more central London flats to push prices down a bit and efficient operation of the Tube to cut transport fares.

 

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