Taipei is the World’s Best City for Expats… Here’s Why

It may not surprise you that Taipei is ranked the best city in the world for expats in 2020. At the risk of sounding biased, we whole heartedly agree with this ranking. Why wouldn’t we? Last December, InterNations released a list of the best and worst cities to live and work abroad in for 2020, with Taipei coming top for the second year in a row. 

When it comes to best cities to live and work abroad, Taipei is one of the best for many expats. (Image source: MTT)

Obviously, this isn’t exactly recent news, and the results of this survey would presumably be incredibly skewed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we feel this is relevant to bring up now, as due to Taiwan’s incredible response to COVID-19, Taipei would still be top of the list. (Read more: Coronavirus update: where do we stand at the end of July?)

According to AFAR, to work out the rankings, “participants were asked to rate 82 cities around the world based on quality of life; ease of getting settled; work-life satisfaction; financial security and housing; and local cost of living. Each of these elements of living and working abroad was divided into subcategories, which included transportation, safety, friendliness of locals, and job security.”

The top ten cities are as follows: Taipei, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, Montreal, Lisbon, Barcelona, Zug (Switzerland), The Hague, and Basel. The top four all in Asia – not bad! The press release states that Taipei scored highly in quality of life (3rd, only behind Tokyo and Zug), with 98% of foreign residents surveyed happy with public transport and 94% approving of the accessibility and availability of health care. 96% of expats also feel very safe in the city. (Read more: A guide to using EasyCard in Taiwan)

Safety and and health care are the top two reasons why expats fall in love with Taipei. (Image resource: MTT)

Taipei ranked fourth in terms of local friendliness, ninth in making friends and socializing, with 80% of respondents stating that the Taipei locals are friendly and welcoming. And it’s true: Taipei is an incredibly inviting and welcoming place. It’s welcoming to people of different religions, kids, and is even a fantastic place to visit with your parents. Taipei and Taiwan as a whole is also incredibly gay-friendly. Last year’s PRIDE event in Taipei was the biggest in East Asia since 2003, partly due to Taiwan becoming the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. We’re not exaggerating when we say Taipei welcomes all. (Read more: The ultimate Taipei LGBT map)

Being the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, Taipei welcomes everyone to come and experience the local hospitality. (Image source: MTT)

One thing that Taipei didn’t rank highly on was local language (50th), as foreigners who move here genuinely struggle to get to grips with Mandarin (never mind Taiwanese). However, many places in the city have English speaking staff, services and menus, making it easier to deal with the language barrier. Also, should you want to visit and book a tour, be assured your guide will speak fluent English and display some of that classic Taipei friendliness that we’re bragging so much about. (Read more: Travel insider: MyTaiwanTour tour guide Gordon)

For first time visitors, an English guided tour is a nice way to get to know the city. (Image source: MTT)

While obviously you can’t visit or move to Taipei yet due to border restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, rest assured that Taipei and Taiwan’s tourism industry will be ready to welcome you and show you just why it’s ranked number one in the world when things are slightly more back to normal. Hopefully, we’ll see you soon. (Read more: Taiwan: the best post-pandemic travel destination)