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These are the top 10 cities to live in if you're a millennial

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Moya Lothian-McLean
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Avocados not included.          

You’re young and free. You like fancy coffee and avocado-on-toast, preferably at the same time (a habit which is apparently ruining your chances of climbing onto the property ladder). You spend an inordinate amount of time on social media. You’re equally pleased by a soundtrack of Fleetwood Mac as you are by Drake. You just might be – whisper it – one of those dreaded millennials the papers are so obsessed by.

If so, the world is ostensibly your oyster. But the question of where to settle on the planet to make the most out of your years between (roughly) the ages of 22 - 37 hangs heavy. What place would best serve the millennial temperament? The pink city of Jaipur, India? The cacti-ridden landscape of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert? Or perhaps just pitching up above a bottomless brunch establishment? 

No need to wonder anymore. Home rental search engine, Nestpick, has released a study revealing the top 110 cities for millennials to make their home in. 

Ranked using 17 core criteria – including housing affordability, the business ecosystem and internet speed – the results throw up some interesting details, like the fact China and Hong Kong rank highest for access to contraception and Madrid has came in top for friendliness to the LGBT community. 

But it’s the overall 10 that came out on top that hold the most interest. See below to discover the city you should lay your beret.

1. Berlin, Germany 

The German capital takes the title of best city for millennials, thanks to its openness. It scored highly in immigration tolerance, LGBT friendliness and got a perfect 10.0 for its thriving nightlife scene. The Holy Trinity. 

It also came up strong for start-ups so maybe it’s time to take that app idea you’re always bringing up at after-work-drinks further afield.

2. Montréal, Canada 

Montréal’s second place may come as a surprise. But the biggest municipality in Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec offers great support for new businesses, a liberal lifestyle and easy access to contraception. It’s also very welcoming of émigrés and has a flourishing queer community.

3. London, United Kingdom

Good news for millennials already living here – London is the third best place in the world to get your speakeasy-and-vegan-pancake fix. The UK capital received particularly high ratings for tourism (good if you have friends visiting, bad if you’re trying to scurry down Oxford Street to a meeting). It was also reviewed strongly for its excellent LGBT scene, universities and freedom to make your own life choices. 

Unsurprisingly though, the city was ranked 105/110 for housing. 

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands 

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The city famous for canals and cannabis scored a full 10.0 for its permissiveness of personal freedoms and is also great for LGBT individuals looking for a community. Festivals were a big draw, too. But it’s not all play; Amsterdam has been unveiled as a hub for entrepreneurs as well, with a strong start-up ranking.

5. Toronto, Canada

The ‘Six’ itself. Toronto offers young people a great healthcare system and, interestingly, excellent beer. It’s also got one of the higher ratings for gender equality of the top 10 – although tellingly none of them manage to surpass 7.5. 

6. Vancouver, Canada

The third Canadian city to make it onto the millennial dream destination list. Does that make Canada the most millennial-friendly country in the world? Vancouver is great for those looking for new employment and actively courts immigration. Our bags are essentially packed already.

7. Barcelona, Spain

Whilst still technically part of Spain, the Catalan capital has a culture that embodies the best of the southern region. Gaudi’s architecture, incredible food and plenty of sun. The scores reflect Barca’s laid back, Catalanese vibe which has caused thousands of millennials to flock there in recent years.

8. New York, USA

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The city that only partially sleeps (because it’s no longer cool to get less than five hours a night) finally makes an appearance. Despite its inordinate cost, it still really is a land of opportunity – if you can get in (it’s not the easiest place to move to). But it’s the best base for anyone starting a business and employment opportunities are also plentiful. Just don’t get sick.

9. Cologne, Germany

Berlin isn’t the only German city to shout about. Cologne is also a solid bet for young people. Those living there report delicious food, a good rental market and brilliant nightlife. So you’ll always have somewhere to wobble home to after a night on the town, and a next-day carb load to wolf down. 

10. Manchester 

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The northern capital and one that’s fully earned its place in the pantheon of great world cities. Being a millennial in Manchester is like being a millennial in London – except everything is cheaper, people thank the bus driver when they get off and gravy with chips is accepted as standard. So, essentially, better.

Images: Pexels/Rex Features

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Moya Lothian-McLean

Moya Lothian-McLean is Stylist’s editorial assistant where she spends her time inventing ways to shoehorn Robbie Williams into pieces. A reoffending dancefloor menace, a weekend finds her taking up too much space at disco nights around the city and subsequently recovering with dark sunglasses and late brunch the next day. 

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