This Is the Best City for Expats in 2022

Looking to relocate?

Panorama aerial view of Kuala Lumpur skyline

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As the digital nomad lifestyle has become increasingly popular, countries have made it easier for foreign workers to move abroad. As a result, many people have packed their bags and set up home in a different place. So if you're contemplating living the expat life for the foreseeable future and you're looking for a place that balances affordability with safety, high-speed internet access, and good entertainment options, Kuala Lumpur is your best bet, according to a new report from Preply, an online language learning platform.

The Malaysian capital topped the ranking with an overall expat relocation score of 6.62 out of 10 and the lowest cost of living per month: about $1,057. According to Preply's data, sourced from Numbeo, expats in this Southasian city can expect to pay, on average, $407 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. Kuala Lumpur is also home to the most affordable coworking spaces out of the top 20 cities in the ranking, where the average cost is around $86 a month. Affordable dining options are also a major factor for expats. A meal in Kuala Lumpur costs about $3.21 — the only city in the top 10 with a lower average meal cost per meal is Bangkok. And with 322 landmarks, including the famous Petronas Twin Towers, the capital also offers plenty of things to do, such as gallery hopping, exploring its exciting music scene, visiting its many temples and religious sites, and trying out its delicious cuisine.

View of traditional narrow street of Old Tbilisi, Georgia

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However, Preply points out that Kuala Lumpur underperforms when it comes to internet speed — with 11Mbps, it is among the slowest on the ranking. The company also estimates that it would take an English speaker about 900 hours' worth of language lessons to achieve professional working proficiency in Malay.

Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is second on the list of best cities to live in as an expat, with an overall score of 6.58. While the city is more expensive than Kuala Lumpur in terms of average monthly rent ($651) and cost of living ($1,346), Tbilisi has one of the best safety scores on the list.

Lisbon takes the bronze medal on Preply's ranking. The Portuguese capital, which is also one of the best places to retire, draws expats with an incredible variety of landmarks and things to do, low cost of living (about $1,600 per month), reliable internet speed (29 Mbps), and a high safety index score.

You can read Preply's complete list here.

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