Where Will Travel Insurance Take You? Best European Cities for Expats Revealed

June 25, 2023

It's official!  Bucharest is the best European city for British expats wishing to live overseas  – well, at least according to recent research, which has highlighted the top 10 destinations with the lowest cost of living, highest job opportunities and lowest crime rates.[i]

But cities are about more than that, so Europesure Travel Insurance has taken a deeper look at their attractiveness as travel destinations and city-break boltholes. If you do make the move, we can cover your travel insurance needs, of course, one you are an expat. If you simply wish to visit these cities as a tourist, to discover them for yourself, we’ve got that covered too, if you live in Europe.

[i] https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/1732035/british-expats-best-city-europe

1. Bucharest, Romania

It's official!  Bucharest is the best European city for British expats wishing to live overseas  – well, at least according to recent research, which has highlighted the top 10 destinations with the lowest cost of living, highest job opportunities and lowest crime rates.[i]

But cities are about more than that, so Europesure Travel Insurance has taken a deeper look at their attractiveness as travel destinations and city-break boltholes. If you do make the move, we can cover your travel insurance needs, of course, one you are an expat. If you simply wish to visit these cities as a tourist, to discover them for yourself, we’ve got that covered too, if you live in Europe.

[i] https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/1732035/british-expats-best-city-europe

2. Valletta, Malta

As one of the smallest of European capital cities, Valletta is a World Heritage Site bursting with impressive fortified city walls and Baroque architecture. Despite its small size, Valletta is packed with churches, two harbours, museums and restaurants so, if time is limited here, it's best to plan your itinerary in advance.  For expats choosing to call this 2018 European capital of culture their home, the good news is that it's a relatively quiet place, offering a relaxed lifestyle.  

A few must-see spots would be St John’s Co-Cathedral - probably the city's most impressive building, and intrinsically connected to the artist, Caravaggio, whose largest painting, The Beheading of St John the Baptist, is on show within.  A visit to Barrakka Gardens should also be on the to-do list, just to see its impressive statues and views out over the Mediterranean Sea.  Most of Valletta's restaurants come with views of the Grand Harbour and the city has a thriving nightlife of bars and live music venues to explore.

3. Nicosia, Cyprus

Expect plenty of traditional Cypriot food in Nicosia, as well as coffee and cake - café culture is a big part of life within the city’s famous Venetian walls!  Do as the locals do and head to the OCHI farmer's market, which happens every Wednesday and Saturday in the area of Bayraktar Mosque, to enjoy fresh vegetables, fruit and life amongst the locals.  For history and heritage, head to the Cyprus Museum, the largest and oldest archaeological museum on the island and home to  archaeological finds from the Neolithic to Byzantine periods, including the Aphrodite of Soloi statue.

4. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn's coastline has beautiful promenades along which to stroll and sandy beaches on which to lounge, if you want to enjoy a more relaxed break.  However, the city has  also developed, in recent years, into a contemporary and vibrant destination.  Medieval meets modern, so take your pick from a wander through the Old Town, a coffee in Master’s Courtyard or maybe checking out the street art springing up city-wide.

Many expats currently living in Tallinn will most likely know of the famous Song and Dance Festival which takes place every 5 years. 100,000 people attended the 2019 event.  Do note, however, if planning to check out 2024’s, that any large crowd-based event can be heaven for pickpockets. Booking travel insurance means you will have theft cover that can get you out of a fix, if wallets, purses or valuables are stolen.

5. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Named as Europe's green capital, this pedestrian-friendly city is full of pretty medieval streets, Italianate churches and delicious local cuisine.  Check out the Old Town, Preseren Square and Tivoli Park, to enjoy architecture and the joys of nature, and maybe indulge in a canal trip too. 

With influences from Austria, Italy and Hungary, Ljubljana is a Mecca for foodies and brimming with excellent restaurants.  If a food experience is top of your itinerary, this is the place to be!  If at all worried that fully indulging in all the gastro delights could result in a food-poisoning scenario (which can happen anywhere) you will be covered, if you have Europesure travel insurance.  Knowing that, should leave you able to relax and enjoy events such as the outdoor street food market, The Open Kitchen, which operates every Friday on Pogačarjev Square.

6. Bern, Switzerland

Take in some of the best museums and art galleries in the world in Bern, including the Zentrum Paul Klee, with 400 works by the artist.  For a dose of history, visit the Natural History Museum with its life-sized dioramas, check out the Old Town and be sure to photograph the Zytglogge medieval tower and 15th-century astronomical clock.  A charming small town feel pervades throughout Bern and traffic is helpfully kept out of the Old Town, allowing visitors to enjoy a peaceful coffee or stroll through the arcades.

Make sure your trip includes a visit to the gothic Bernese Minster with 312 steps to reach the viewing deck and, if it’s nice and warm when you visit, you could take a dip at Piscine Extérieure Marzili outdoor pool.

7. Zagreb, Croatia

Mix with the locals and head to the many outdoor markets of this large bustling town.  Theatres, museums, cafes, a cathedral - Zagreb has it all. If shopping and a bite to eat sounds good, head to Tkalciceva Street, a delightful promenade where you will find a lively social scene. Another must is probably the Museum of Broken Relationships – just for the novelty value, if nothing else!  You will discover exhibits which all relate to failed loved affairs!

Keen hikers should make a beeline for Medvednica (Bear Mountain) which provides treks for all abilities, with breathtaking views.  If going trekking, however, do tell us here at Europesure Travel Insurance before you get the boots on.  Any sport or activity should be declared before you travel.

8. Warsaw, Poland

Described as Poland's Versailles, Warsaw is beautiful city to explore, particularly if you wish to listen to the music of local classical music legend, Chopin, so strongly associated with this city.  Daily Chopin concerts thrill music lovers at The Fryderyk Chopin Concert Hall.

You could take a polish dumpling making class or private food tour, or explore the palace and parklands at Wilanów, which boasts spectacular Baroque interiors and gorgeous, ornate gardens. 

9. Vilbius, Lithuania

Visitors to Vilnius will discover a cosmopolitan city, with a lively social scene and large student population.  Whilst getting to know the city, a natural draw will be the quaint old town - filled with taverns and independent shops around which to spend a day browsing. 

For something a little more unusual, why not head to the KGB Museum or take a trip to Lukiškės Prison? Now open to the public, having closed in 2019, fascinating tours are available and the space has also been transformed into a performance and exhibition venue for music, contemporary art, design and culture. you can even enjoy a drink at the prison bar! 

10. Budapest, Hungary

A refreshingly vibrant city, Budapest is definitely a place to visit more than once. Full of art nouveau architecture, thermal baths and excellent public transport, a few must-sees to tick off the list are Buda Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and The Great Market Hall,  housed in a restored neo-Gothic tunnel and a place of scrumptious street food, local produce and trinkets.  Walk on foot, over a bridge, to Margaret Island, in the middle of the river, and you can explore a beautiful green space with rose gardens and waterfalls.  Do check out the Music Fountain - stunning when lit up at night.

It’s also hard to resist the chance to cruise on the Danube, by day or night, with lots of differently themed cruise options available.

In the evening, the Jewish Quarter, with its lively bars and restaurants is a huge draw.  It's wise to be cautious if enjoying a night out - bar scams and pickpocketing aren't uncommon, as in any city. Keep belongings close, perhaps leave valuables at home and avoid any strangers or suspicious activity whilst out and about.  

 

If you are planning a trip to any of these destinations, make sure you buy travel insurance well in advance, so that you are covered for your outlay, should you have to cancel your trip due to unexpected circumstances.  Head to www.europesuretravelinsurance.com to see what suits you best.

[i] https://www.express.co.uk/travel/articles/1732035/british-expats-best-city-europe

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