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5 European Cities I’d Love To Live In

Every now and then Mr. T and I talk about moving abroad, and I’ve made it no secret that I’d love to move to Europe and that I’ve questioned whether or not the U.S. is the place I’d choose to raise my kids.  While moving would be a huge change, if the right opportunity came along, we’ve both said we would jump on it.  Why not?  If you want an adventurous life, you have to be open to adventure!  In the meantime, I’ll keep daydreaming about the cities I’d love to live in and it’s no coincidence that they are all in Europe (I must have been European in my past life):

1. Florence

(Florence, Italy)

(Florence, Italy)

Okay, Florence really represents Italy because I’d jump at the opportunity to live in any city in Italy.  Put me in a shack under the Tuscan sun, a rundown apartment off the coast, or a suburb of a major cosmopolitan city in Italy and I’ll be doing my happy dance with a chanti in one hand and the other pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.  I love that there are tons of towns to visit in Italy all easily accessible by rail, the abundance of history in the country, the beautiful architecture, the fresh markets, the fact that you can go truffle hunting – my goodness, I could dedicate a whole post to my love for Italy so I’ll just cut it off here and say… of all the Italian towns, Florence seems like a good one to make a base.  It’s somewhat central in the country, it’s a great kick off point for Tuscany, and yet all the major rail lines pass through the city so it would be easy to jet around and tour the rest of the country while I’m there.

2. Copenhagen

(Copenhagen, Denmark; photo from here)

(Copenhagen, Denmark; photo from here)

When I studied abroad in Sweden, I was a short ride ride from Copenhagen. While I haven’t been back since, Copenhagen seems like the most buzzing of the Nordic cities.  The standard of living is high, there are plenty of big companies in the city, there’s a bustling waterfront, and given that it’s the second largest city in Scandinavia, you’d be able to find all the major conveniences of a living in a big city.  Plus, it’s a great launching off point to visit other European countries.

3. Amsterdam

(Photo credit: Massimo Catarinella)

(Photo credit: Massimo Catarinella)

I love that Amsterdam is full of tall, narrow, and colorful canal houses that look like they are hugging each other.  I love that the canal winds throughout the city (let’s face it: any city by the water is beautiful), biking is one of the main modes of transport, and people don’t take themselves too seriously there.  It’s just a pretty city.  I could see myself buying fresh flowers from the outdoor markets, taking coffee breaks in one of their many cafes, and shopping in the little boutiques that line the canals on the weekends. It doesn’t hurt that the main train station in the city is just a short train ride to the airport and this makes for a great base to explore the rest of Europe (are you sensing a theme yet?).

4. Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal

(Lisbon, Portugal)

I never thought I’d love Lisbon as much as I did, but the gorgeousness of the city combined with its tolerant culture and its Mediterranean lifestyle really did a number on me when I visited last summer.  In fact, I was so taken by the city that I wrote a post on 10 Reasons Why I Want to Move to Lisbon.

5. London

(Photo credit: "London Big Ben Phone box" by , wiki+spam@eindruckschinderdomain.de)

(Photo credit: “London Big Ben Phone box” by, wiki+spam@eindruckschinderdomain.de)

Ahhh London…where the skies are grey but there’s plenty to do.  Living in London seems like it’d be akin to living in New York City except the accent makes everyone sound tons classier in London (no offense to the New Yorkers but I’m pretty sure even the New Yorkers would even agree with me here).  But, just like New York, there’s a hustle and bustle vibe, people keep to themselves, and there are plenty of festivals and events to keep someone busy (if that’s your thing). Alternatively, I could stay just as anonymous as I want.  I like that aside from deciphering all the regional dialects, there are minimal language barriers in London.  Also, Mr. T and I both think it’d be pretty cool if Traveler #3 grew up in the U.K. and oh, I don’t know, started calling us “mummy” and “daddy”. 🙂  Lastly, in keeping with the theme of being able to explore other parts of Europe, London has plenty of budget airline options that would let us jet away to any European country for the weekend which is win-win in my book!

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Trishia Jacobs - August 7, 2014 - 8:31 am

I have the same dream except I think I’d prefer smaller cities or towns, like Brugges, Belgium, or Avignon, France. My husband and I both like Malaga, Spain — or one of the small coastal towns around there.

JustWanderlust - August 7, 2014 - 1:53 pm

Hi Trishia! Of the ones on your list I’ve only been to Brugges and that was indeed a very pretty town. I’ve mostly been to the major European cities so could only use those as inspiration, but I definitely see the appeal of smaller cities/towns, too! I hope to explore the smaller towns soon (as if I needed another reason to go back to Europe, haha).

Ione - August 7, 2014 - 5:54 pm

I enjoyed reading this. Of your list I’ve visited Florence, Amsterdam and London – all beautiful in their own special way.
I do agree with Trisha with regards to smaller cities. One of my favourite places in Europe is Innsbruck, Austria. There is just something about it, charming, extremely beautiful, friendly and completely magic.

Trishia Jacobs - August 8, 2014 - 2:56 pm

JUST got back from the first showing of the day of the new movie “The Hundred Foot Journey.” Critics {NY Times/Roger Ebert site} are panning it, but I loved it. It was filmed on location in a place in southwestern France in the Midi-Pyrenees region called Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val. Now that’s exactly the sort of town I’d love to move to. For me, the views and scenes of that dreamy place were worth the price of admission!

Jane Travel Geek - August 25, 2014 - 12:29 am

I totally agree with you on Amsterdam, I just returned from a short trip and the city is amazing. I would totally imagine living there.

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