Country Guides May 15, 2024

Finding Home – The Best European Country to Live In

Choosing the best European country to live in is one of the most thrilling chapters in the moving overseas journey. However, don’t forget that this process should be tailored to match your unique lifestyle and aspirations. Europe presents an array of choices for expatriates. Each country offers the chance to immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes, delve into centuries of history, and experience different cultures and traditions.

What Is the Best European Country to Live In?

Deciding where to live demands thorough research, detailed planning, and setting a relocation budget.

This is especially important when moving abroad.

If you want to live in the best European country, you’ll have to explore the unique offerings of places like the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Switzerland, and Portugal.

26% of American expats opted to relocate to Europe

Each country presents an opportunity for expats to experience high standards of living. Nevertheless, moving from the US to the EU requires careful consideration of factors such as:

Moreover, hiring a reliable overseas shipping company can ensure a stress-free relocation. Their services are designed to safeguard the belongings throughout shipping and facilitate a seamless and efficient transition.

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Germany – The Heart of Innovation, Economic Prosperity, and Efficiency

Germany stands out as one of the top European countries for expats, offering a robust blend of innovation, economic strength, and efficiency. Its excellent transportation network makes traveling a breeze, its varied landscapes invite exploration, and its cuisine delights the palate. The climate varies, with milder temperatures in the north and warmer conditions in the southwest, catering to a wide range of preferences.

For those considering a move to Germany, there are plenty of job opportunities in technology, engineering, education, and construction fields. So, if you are relocating without a job, this makes it the perfect time to polish your resume and interview skills.

Housing costs do vary though. Cities like Berlin and Munich offer furnished one-bedroom flats at a rent between $900 and $1,250. Finding the right place takes time, but it is crucial for settling comfortably into German life.

Embrace the German Way of Life

Living in Germany means embracing a lifestyle marked by cultural richness, a reliable social security system, and a healthy work-life balance. The German way of life is defined by order, privacy, and progress.

Punctuality and organization are highly valued, as is maintaining a distinction between personal and professional life. Germany’s high educational standards and technological advancements reflect its commitment to progress. This country offers the chance to be part of a strong economy and advanced infrastructure.

Flag of Germany
Enjoy a rich culture, safe environment, and good work-life balance

The Netherlands – Progressive Living by the Canals

The Netherlands is known for its delicious cuisine, wooden clogs, beautiful tulip fields, and iconic artwork. It even welcomes a growing expat community. Cities like Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam are particularly appealing, each with its unique charm.

Amsterdam, the bustling capital, is famous for its cultural scene and historic architecture, while Hague houses the Dutch government and offers a more laid-back vibe. Rotterdam, with its modern port and architecture, is a hub of innovation and diversity.

The country’s transport network, encompassing metros, trams, and an extensive cycling culture, makes navigation seamless and enjoyable. For Americans relocating to the Netherlands, it’s important to note that health insurance is mandatory, providing access to a wide range of healthcare services.

Housing varies across cities, with Amsterdam on the pricier side, reflecting its popularity and central role in the Dutch lifestyle. Nonetheless, the overall cost of living is balanced by its high quality of life. The country ranks highly in terms of job opportunities, work-life balance, education, and environmental quality. The Dutch approach to life combines a strong social fabric with a healthy work ethic, making it a sought-after destination for those seeking a new home abroad.

Blooming colorful tulips flowerbed in public flower garden with windmill and waving netherlands flag on the foreground. Popular tourist site. Lisse, Holland, Netherlands
The Netherlands offers a chance to be part of a vibrant, forward-thinking community

Finland – The Northern Beacon of Happiness and Education

Finland, known for topping the World Happiness Report 2023 as the happiest country globally, presents a compelling case for those looking to relocate. This Nordic nation is celebrated for its exceptional education system and a lifestyle deeply intertwined with the community and nature. Whether you’re drawn to Helsinki’s architectural marvels and design culture or Tampere’s scenic lakes and museums, Finland offers a variety of settings for every preference.

The country’s transport infrastructure is highly efficient, featuring high-speed trains and a metro system in Helsinki that ensures swift and comfortable travel. Those considering moving to Finland should be prepared for its unique climate. You’ll be experiencing minimal sunlight during winter, and mild summers, particularly in the southern regions.

Enjoy Life Amidst Nature’s Tranquility

Embracing Finnish life means connecting with nature and diving into the country’s vibrant cultural scene. Finland is known for its commitment to sustainability and environmental conservation. Here, dense forests cover over 70% of the land while lakes account for nearly 10%.

The Finnish practice of “Every Person’s Right” provides unrestricted access to natural spaces. It promotes outdoor activities and a profound connection with nature, leading to relaxation and joy.

However, Finland’s embrace of nature is matched by its dynamic cultural contributions, notably its status as a renowned hub of heavy metal music. Even former US President Obama acknowledged Finland’s unique passion for heavy metal, underscoring its global recognition in this genre.

Finland flag
Join a community where happiness, education, good music, and love for nature coexist

Portugal – A Warm Welcome in the Iberian Peninsula

Portugal, with its welcoming climate and blend of traditional and modern lifestyles, has become a go-to destination for many. The country has seen a significant rise in its foreign resident population, now hosting over 780,000 people. Its picturesque Atlantic coastline, delectable cuisine, and inviting beaches offer a rich experience for those relocating.

Lisbon is known for its expansive sandy shores and neoclassical architecture. Porto, on the other hand, has rich historical significance as a UNESCO World Heritage site and provides diverse living options. The introduction of the digital nomad visa in 2022 further positions Portugal as an attractive location for remote workers. However, it comes with specific eligibility requirements and necessary documentation, so try to be informed on the matter.

Portugal’s healthcare system, the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS), offers comprehensive care, including GP consultations and maternity services. However, keep in mind that there will be some out-of-pocket expenses for additional services like dental and optical care.

The Cost of Living and Quality of Life in Portugal

Regarding living costs, Portugal stands out for its affordability, especially when compared to other Western European countries. The cost of groceries, housing, and general living expenses are significantly lower, making it an appealing choice for expats. This affordability does not compromise the quality of life. On the contrary! Portugal’s mild climate, exquisite wines, and beautiful beaches contribute to a relaxed and enjoyable lifestyle.

Flag of Portugal
In Portugal, your budget stretches further without sacrificing the joys of life

Switzerland – Precision, Privacy, and Unmatched Quality of Life

Switzerland is renowned for offering a quality of life that’s hard to match. Known for its picturesque landscapes, precision in every aspect of life, and a commitment to privacy. It’s a country where serene lakes and majestic mountains provide a tranquil lifestyle. This setting is perfect for those hoping to slow down and truly enjoy their environment.

Upon relocating to Switzerland, one must navigate the universal healthcare system, which mandates basic insurance coverage through non-profit insurers. This system ensures access to essential healthcare services, all within the canton of residence that include:

  • Hospitalization,
  • General practitioner consultations,
  • Maternity care,
  • Medications.

Expatriates can enjoy the historic charm of Lucerne or vibrant city life in Zurich or Basel. Beyond its urban appeal, Switzerland is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Summers offer the chance for water sports on its lakes, while skiing and snowboarding in its renowned alpine resorts are reserved for winters.

Living the Swiss Dream

Living the Swiss dream encompasses far more than scenic beauty and outdoor activities. It’s about immersing oneself in a culture known for academic excellence, environmental sustainability, and multilingualism. The Swiss education system offers innovative programs that prepare students for global success. Residents enjoy clean air, efficient public transport, and a culture that balances work and life seamlessly.

Switzerland’s diverse community, where multiple languages are spoken, and cultures from around the world meet, provides a rich cultural tapestry. This diversity, coupled with the country’s environmental consciousness, offers a unique lifestyle and fun weekends full of activity. While the cost of living is on the higher side, strategic budgeting and taking advantage of discounts can make this exceptional quality of life accessible.

Flag of Switzerland
Switzerland offers an unparalleled living experience

Making the Move – Considerations for Choosing Your New European Home

When organizing your move, several critical factors demand your attention to ensure a smooth transition. Firstly, understanding visa regulations is paramount as these legal requirements determine your eligibility to live, work, or study in the chosen country. Compliance with these rules is essential for securing your residency and avoiding legal complications.

Secondly, language barriers can significantly impact your daily life and integration into the community. Learning a new language facilitates everyday interactions, deepens cultural understanding, and enhances social connections.

Lastly, the ease of integration into the new country is influenced by its cultural openness, availability of expatriate networks, and social inclusivity. A welcoming environment can greatly accelerate your adjustment period, making it easier to feel at home. Together, these factors play a crucial role in your search for a place where you can thrive.

Research and Select the Right International Moving Company When Moving to Europe

Hiring reliable movers is essential for a smooth move. Begin with an in-depth investigation of potential moving companies, focusing particularly on feedback and testimonials from past customers. Such feedback can offer crucial insights into their reliability, service quality, and proficiency in handling overseas relocations. Confirm the mover’s licensure and insurance status to ensure your peace of mind and protection during transit.

If you’re looking for top-tier international sea moving services, Shepherd International Movers are here to help. We promise an effective and streamlined process of shipping overseas. Our packing solutions include high-quality materials, top-tier equipment, and advanced boxing-up techniques designed to safeguard your belongings to the highest degree. In short, our professionally trained team is dedicated to making your move as secure and seamless as possible.

Shepherd movers loading the truck for international moving
With the right international moving company, every task is solvable

Let Our Overseas Moving Company Make This Transition a Smooth Endeavor

Moving and living abroad in Europe doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right preparation and support, you can embark on this life-changing journey with confidence and adjust to new surroundings in no time. Shepherd International Movers’ expertise in overseas relocation and handling logistics will help make this adventure a seamless and smooth endeavor. Contact us today and let our team handle the rest.

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