10 best cities if you want to earn more, work less

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Susan Devaney
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A new survey has revealed the top 10 cities to live if you want to earn a great salary and work fewer hours. And London made the cut…

The world has a lot to offer in terms of great cities to live. But with so many to pick from it can be rather difficult to opt for one to settle down in and call home.

Thank goodness, then, for Expert Market USA’s new research, which has found the city that tops them all in 2018.

By ranking 69 key economic cities located across the world, the survey considered three factors: average monthly salary (before tax), working hours per year and paid holiday.

And Luxembourg City came out on top.

That’s right, the city that’s known for being one of the least stressed in the world (and is often overlooked by career-driven millennials) offers an average salary of £3,144 for 33 hours in the office per week.

As it turns out, the cities offering workers great pay, amazing hours and plenty of annual leave are all on our doorstep in Europe.

Peruse our gallery below to find out which other places made the cut – and get some inspiration for your next big move, too…

10. London

London doesn’t have a reputation for offering a particularly good work-life balance, but things are looking up. According to the survey, employees in the UK capital enjoy an average of 25 days’ paid leave a year and an average monthly salary of £2,074.28. 

9. Oslo

Surrounded by incredible views of the sea and mountainous terrain, the city of Oslo is Europe’s fastest-growing capital for justifiable reasons. If you’re already tempted by the hipster hotspot then knowing the average monthly salary is £2,361.42 with 25 days holiday per year, might just make your mind up to move. 

8. Dublin

From its cobbled streets to classic pubs, Dublin is considered to be one of the friendliest (and most laidback) places on the planet. And for good reason, too. Dubliners are earning an average monthly salary of £1948.48 and can take 32 days holiday per year. 

7. Rome 

Ah, Rome. It may be a top tourist destination for its incredible architecture, vibrant culture and mouth-watering culinary fare, but it also keeps city workers content with an average monthly salary of £1,340.08 and 32 days holiday. 

6. Copenhagen 

From its relaxed working hours (4pm finish, anyone?) and cycle-friendly landscape, Copenhagen is one cool city. Which is why the Scandinavian metropolis scooping number six for its average monthly salary of £2,213.46 and 25 days’ holiday comes as no surprise at all. 

5. Lyon

Some may say this is a surprising one to make the list. Often equated with relaxing family holidays than an economic hub, the city of Lyon could be the perfect place to settle if you’re looking for somewhere a little off the beaten track. With an average monthly salary of £1,695.87 and 29 days holiday per year, it’s a strong option for most in 2018. 

4. Helsinki

As everyone knows Helskini is a great place for vibrant culture, unique designs, tasty food and great nightlife. With city workers earning an average salary of £1,957.70 and 29 days’ holiday, it’s certainly enough money to be able to lap up the lifestyle the city is offering.

3. Paris

When we think of Paris we imagine the twinkling Eiffel Tower, decadent pastries and stunning architecture. But now in 2018, the city is pulling in people from across the Channel with its “exceptional work-life balance for ambitious earners.” Offering an average of 29 days paid leave and a monthly salary of £1,931.09, you’d be hard stuck to turn down a job offer in the City of Lights. 

2. Munich 

The city of Munich may be universally known for beer and sausages, but it never fails to top a list or two for the quality of life it offers its residents. With the average employee earning £2,374.82 per month for 143 hours, and 29 days annual leave, living and working in the city seems like a pretty good lifestyle choice.  

1. Luxembourg City

Is it any surprise that Luxembourg – a country which offers free healthcare to all of its 600,000 inhabitants – treats its workers with the same respect? With the average employee earning £3,356.30 per month for 142 hours (around 33 hours per week) and 32 days’ holiday in its capital city, it’s been given the number one slot.  

Images: Unsplash / Getty 


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.