If you want an overseas property from which you can access all the best in a nation’s culture, shopping and nightlife, head for the city. But which city is the nicest to live in?

A holiday home or even a new life overseas doesn’t have to revolve around sun, sea and sand. Many overseas buyers opt for their favourite foreign city, where they can immerse themselves in the accessible culture, shopping, restaurants, nightlife and other attractions. Cities are easy to reach for a weekend trip, tend to hold their price and have great rental potential.

Each year The Economist magazine ranks the world’s great cities by “liveability”, with each judged across 30 factors including safety, healthcare, education, infrastructure and the environment. Here are two that The Economist judged among the world’s top cities, plus a couple that we think are worth a look too.

Character Barcelona flat

One of the few major European cities to boast a sweeping sandy beach, the capital of Spain’s Catalonia region offers so much more beside the sea. It’s a real cultural hub, one of the world’s trendiest cities with stunning architectural landmarks by Antoni Gaudi, such as the Sagrada Familia, dotted throughout the city. Barcelona’s love of sport goes beyond passionate; the shopping and restaurants are first class and the nightlife is exhausting! If you have the energy for it, Barcelona delivers.

This fully-refurbished city-centre apartment is just metres from two Barcelona landmarks, namely the famous La Rambla boulevard and Boqueria market. With one-bedroom, it contains original features, including a traditional vaulted ceiling and restored floors, as well as a balcony. For more details, click the image.

Modern Melbourne apartment

Melbourne was judged the world’s best city for the seventh year running. It scores for its cool, cultural edge, both of the art gallery and café culture varieties, plus its trendy nightlife. Melbourne has the coastal location that many people crave, but its dynamism is proof that there’s more to Australia than beaches and barbecues. Not forgetting that much of life in the city revolves around sport, so much so that Melbourne has been dubbed sporting capital of the world.

Located in Travancore, on the fringe of the Central Business District, this affordable two-bedroom apartment offers 25th floor views to enjoy from the comfort of the open-plan lounge, kitchen and dining area. On the ground floor is the gym and sauna.

Stylish Toronto pad

Canada’s largest city came in fourth on The Economist’s list of best cities to live (Canada, “The Great White North”, took three of the top five places). It’s on the shore of Lake Ontario. You don’t have to head out into the wilderness to get a sense of space; Toronto’s modern skyscrapers look out over more than 1,600 parks and 8,000 hectares of diverse terrain. Toronto has that North American get-up-and-go attitude but combined with free Canadian healthcare.

Centrally located in the heart of the entertainment district, these one- and two-bedroom apartments are just a few yards from Queen Street – the second coolest street in the world according to Vogue magazine. The spacious open-plan suites are complemented by a rooftop pool, fitness centre, sky lounges, BBQ areas and 24-hour concierge.

Make yourself at home in Montpellier?

Back in Europe, Montpellier is too small to be included in most liveability indexes, but for those in the know it has been growing in popularity. It combines grand architecture and boulevards in the Parisian style, but with a vibrant local nightlife (as a university town), and with the Mediterranean just a short bus ride away.

This new-build block is at the heart of the city, and on Montpellier’s new tram route. It will have stunning interior features and a choice of studio to three-bedroom apartments. Keep it for yourself or use an investment in one of France’s fastest growing and most liveable cities.

Written by Overseas Guides Company.

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