When we were younger, we coveted the idea of living in a big city.
We pictured ourselves lounging around our gorgeous apartment a la Carrie in Sex and the City, enjoying a never-ending budget for cocktails, clothes and fun. We imagined that all our friends would live round the corner, and fantasised about days spent drinking coffee in cafes before heading off to our brilliantly stress-free jobs.
Fast forward to the present, however, and things look a little… different. Rising rents and stagnating salaries have collided to make city life unachievable for many, with millennials in their hundreds leaving London in favour of more affordable areas.
But if you’re still after that big city dream, it might be worth considering swapping the UK for a new destination. In an annual ranking of 140 of the world’s best cities to live in, the UK had a dismal two entries, with Manchester coming in at 51st place and London just behind at 53rd.
And the city in first place? Melbourne, Australia, on the literal other side of the world.
The list, compiled each year by The Economist, pits cities against each other in five key categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.
Using these criteria, Melbourne achieved an overall score of 97.5 out of 100, with Vienna a close second at 97.4 and Vancouver an equally-close third at 97.3
Toronto followed just after in fourth place, while Calgary and Adelaide tied in fifth.
You can see the full list of the 10 best cities below:
We’re off to grab our passports...