Certain cities in Europe are booming and we get that you want to be a part of it. Check out our run down of 2020’s most exciting European cities for finding work.

Ah, Europa. The continent has always had some of the world’s best cities when it comes to big career opportunities, but this list of cities is always changing. When one place booms, another dwindles.

We’ve put our research caps on and come up with a fresh, up-to-date list of the best European cities for finding work. It turns out that they’re scattered all over the place, so there’s something for everyone – assuming current COVID-19 restrictions don’t stop you moving.

We used sources such as Numbeo (for living costs), Payscale (for salaries) and the latest online studies (for everything else) to cherry-pick the most valuable information. Enjoy the tour.

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The Tallinn cityscape

Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia and one of our top European picks

Best cities in Europe to find work right now

The best cities in Europe for finding work right now are: Eindhoven, Tallinn, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Stockholm and Lisbon. Read on to find out more about each city.

Eindhoven

If tech is what gets you going, get going to Eindhoven. This Dutch city, situated in the south of the Netherlands, is one of Europe’s most exciting and fast-growing tech hotspots. In the time it’s taken for you to read that sentence, another techy Dutch startup has probably popped up. ECA International’s 2020 liveability report for European expats rated it fifth, above perennial favourites Amsterdam, Dublin, and Zurich. Cop that.

There’s a lot of fuss about Eindhoven’s High Tech Campus, a gathering of over 160 companies and 11,000 researchers who share all their knowledge with each other. The campus is known as “the smartest km² in the world”, so it’s kind of a big deal. Eindhoven is a green and spacious city, full of flashy new buildings and big opportunities. What’s more, the chocolatey land of Belgium is only a 20-minute drive away.

Average salary:

Population: 231,469

Look for local jobs on: Together Abroad

Major companies: Philips, PwC, Intel, BT, Huawei and ABB

Typical living costs:

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Tallinn

The Estonian capital of Tallinn is getting a lot of attention. Despite its fairly remote location (right in the northeastern corner of mainland Europe), the city’s startup scene is thriving. Since 2014, Estonia’s e-Residency programme has turned Tallinn into the perfect place for birthing new companies, allowing people to acquire a ‘digital residency’ without actually having to move to Estonia. The city’s biggest success story is Skype, which was invented by some Scandinavians but entirely developed in Tallinn.

People are also digging Tallinn for its super duper affordability, being one of the cheapest capitals on the continent. If that doesn’t make saving money sound easy enough, public transport in Tallinn is also free. You can hop on a bus for fun and it won’t cost a cent. The setting is lovely too, with the Baltic Sea in one direction and magical forests in the other.

Average salary:

Population: 437,619

Look for local jobs on: Work in Estonia

Major companies: Skype, Transferwise, BLRT Grupp, LHV and Eesti Energia

Typical living costs:

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Houses in Amsterdam

The colourful mansions of Amsterdam along the city’s Canal Ring

Amsterdam

Here’s another reason to move to the Netherlands. If Eindhoven sounded a bit too obscure for you, the Dutch capital is chock-full of career opportunities. More than 80 Dutch startups were included in Deloitte’s 2019 Technology Fast 500 list, which is largely down to Amsterdam. Marketing firm Hubspot asked around 500 Amsterdammers about the tech scene, and 91% of them said they believed companies can succeed there. You certainly can’t knock their optimism. The city is also home to some big annual tech conferences (e.g. TNW) where you can make connections with important people.  

As a place to live, the Dutch capital is super goed. With over 180 different nationalities based there, the vibes are extremely multicultural. The centre is also a fairly car-free affair, and instead you’ll find over 400 km of cycle lanes winding through the city. To top it all off, Amsterdam came fourth in the Economist’s 2019 Safest Cities Index, so you can live your techy dream without too much trouble.

Average salary:

Population: 872,680

Look for local jobs on: Iamsterdam

Major companies: Shell, Exor, Airbus, Heineken and ING

Typical living costs:

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London

Of course we had to mention the Big Smoke. The UK capital has been a major global financial centre for centuries, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Despite the fears surrounding Brexit, in 2019 London’s venture capital investment in tech reached an incredible £7.27 billion. That’s £3.37 billion more than in 2018. The city is bursting at the seams with thriving industries, from finance and technology to media and tourism. Forget Silicon Valley; it’s all about the Silicon Roundabout.

Life in London is famously expensive, but you’re paying a premium to live in one of the world’s most exciting cities. There is always something to do there, whether you’re a young’un looking for gigs and clubs or a family looking for a nice green park. The city is always changing, always growing, and there’s always another weird bar popping up in Shoreditch.

Average salary:

Population: 9 million

Look for local jobs on: The Guardian

Major companies: HSBC, Sky, GlaxoSmithKline, Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Typical living costs:

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Berlin

The German capital has long been the place for wild ravers and ice-cool creative types, but more recently it’s also become a bit of a hotspot for tech. Advisory agency Gruenden reckons that, on average, a new startup is born in Berlin every 20 minutes. There are 500 new startups per year now, and they’ve collectively raked in around $10.8 billion in venture capital, according to Crunchbase. Berlin’s business world is skyrocketing and it’s starting to make Munich and Frankfurt feel a bit uneasy. Most of the buzz is happening in Silicon Allee, a coworking campus full of clever companies. It sounds way better than Silicon Roundabout (at least ‘Allee’ rhymes with ‘Valley’) and it’s got its own craft beer bar.

Some seriously major companies are racing to get a piece of the Berlin pie. You know it’s a big deal when the big dogs get involved. Microsoft and Google have both invested in major ‘accelerator’ spaces in Berlin for new startups, which all sounds very fast and exciting. Twitter, Uber and Facebook have followed suit and set up offices there too. It’s one big business snowball – or schneeball – that keeps on getting bigger and bigger. The question is whether the famously affordable Berlin will stay that way (we don’t have the answer).

Average salary:

Population: 3.77 million

Look for local jobs on: Jobs in Berlin

Major companies: SoundCloud, Siemens, Deutsche Bank and Mercedes-Benz.

Typical living costs:

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Berlin cityscape

The Berlin cityscape in the afternoon sun

Stockholm

Welcome to the fastest-growing capital city in Europe – or so say the Swedes. Economist Kjell Nordström has predicted that Greater Stockholm’s population will more than double by 2045 to about 5 million people. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is surely the city’s booming tech scene. Stockholm is creating jobs and attracting investment at a seriously impressive rate, to the extent that Global Finance rated it as one of the best cities in the world in 2020. A ‘unicorn’ is a company founded after 2003 that has reached a $1 billion valuation, and the Swedish city has churned out no less than five unicorns, including Spotify, King (which made Candy Crush) and Mojang (which made Minecraft).

The winters might be bitterly cold over there, but the people in Stockholm have otherwise got things pretty good. For one, they’ve absolutely nailed their work-life balance; most people get at least five weeks of holiday each year, and parents are given 480 days of leave to share between them. The city itself is beautiful and you’ll fall in love with the coffee-and-cake-based pastime that is fika. Despite the Swedes’ excellent proficiency in the English language, it can really help your employment chances over there if you know a bit of Swedish. 

Average salary:

Population: 975,904

Look for local jobs on: The Local

Major companies: H&M, Ericsson, Spotify, Nordea Bank, Skype and Electrolux.

Typical living costs:

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Lisbon

Lisbon has been on quite a journey over the past ten years. Hit hard by the global recession of 2008, it received a whopping $85 billion bailout by the EU. This set the Portuguese capital back on the right track, and now Lisbon is bouncing from strength to strength. It’s humming with bright entrepreneurs and an endless stream of tech startups. In 2016, the big annual Web Summit conference moved from Dublin to Lisbon, and this basically told the world that Lisbon was the hottest place for new startups to be. Of course, nobody complained; the living costs are cheap, the weather’s warm and the food is marvellous.

It’s a very familiar story: swanky co-working spaces are springing up, huge international companies are setting up new offices, there are government initiatives to encourage investment – you get the idea. Most excitingly, an old food factory is transforming into an enormous 35,000km² startup campus called The Hub Creative do Beato. Google and Volkswagen are both planning new tech centres in Lisbon, and you’ll even find a few ‘coding bootcamps’ (like Academia de Código) dotted around the city.

Average salary:

Population: 505,526

Look for local jobs on: Jobs in Lisbon

Major companies: Deloitte, Uniplaces, Nokia, Huawei, Microsoft and Google.

Typical living costs:

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Next steps

Hopefully at least one of these places has tickled your fancy. Whether you want a wintry city in Northern Europe or a balmy city down in the South, we’ve got your options covered. At MoveHub, we can help you move your belongings abroad.

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