Looking to escape the metropolis to downsize? Our global network of correspondents have come up with a definitive list of the world’s best small cities, which provide the right balance between opportunities for rich cultural experiences on your doorstep and that all-important space to breathe.
A new decade, a new city? How about fleeing that busy metropolis and downsizing? Is it possible to have it all – the job, social life, family, a well-connected airport – away from the capital in a cosier place? We believe it is – and we’re backing the 2020s as the decade of the small city. So we’ve selected the world’s best for your consideration.
“But wait – why should I want to move to a small city? I’m happy here!” We hear your rebuttal from the sophisticated suburbs of New York, Hong Kong and Sydney. Small cities aren’t for everyone but the best ones can offer life-enhancing qualities. For one, your finances go further – whether you’re homemaking or setting-up shop.
Small-city living isn’t just about space and comfort – although the idea of a vegetable garden to call one’s own has its appeal. And socially, life can feel refreshingly different in a more community-minded place. Big cities bring people closer together but often only in a practical sense: isolation and loneliness seem to be unavoidable by-products. The best small cities tend to provide the opposite: people are more relaxed and happy to have a chat. While your social calendar may start off looking sparse upon arrival in a good small city, it doesn’t take long to become integrated.