Besides offering one of the great capitols of the world, the UK attracts history, arts and sports enthusiasts from all over the world. Living in the UK, as one writer put it, is basking in the aura of deep-rooted history that emanates from almost every corner of the land. It’s also the birthplace of some of the greatest music of the 20th century. Pubs and clubs are essential parts of the British social life, whether in a small city of in the center of metropolitan nightlife. Besides stunning beaches on the south coast, which not many people know of, the country offers great opportunity for enjoying the outdoors, from the marshes of Wales to the Scottish highlands.
Both culturally and geographically The Netherlands is a gateway to the rest of Europe. It celebrates an open-minded culture built on a rich artistic heritage and centuries of international trading. Healthcare and education consistently end up at the top of international lists. Its renowned nightlife offers entertainment even for the most exotic visitors and during the summer there are many free festivals to visit. The Dutch love to go out. Walking on the shores of the North Sea, cycling outdoors or going boating on the city canals or on the many waterways throughout the country. People here work hard but they also know how to enjoy themselves: its work-life balance ranks among the healthiest in the world.
Yes, the Germans are orderly and punctual as the cliché goes, and some newcomers may have to adjust to that. But once you do you’ll discover an open-minded people and a great land, from the vast Thuringian forest to cosmopolitan Berlin, which alone offers over 170 museums and an internationally renowned nightlife. More to the west of the country, Frankfurt am Main is home to the largest German stock exchange, the European Central Bank, and the German Federal Bank. It’s a country with a fantastic artistic heritage, be it in cinema, theatre, music or literature, but it’s also an innovative society that’s very much looking to the future.
Not only the country’s excellent healthcare and education made Belgium a popular destination for expats. Its vibrant café culture and love of fine dining is known throughout the world. And if beer were the eighth wonder of the world, its statue would be in Belgium. But there’s more: great museums with paintings of the old Flemish masters, fabulous historic cities and the beautiful Ardennes national park with its caves, castles, bucolic valleys and many outdoor activities. Speaking French and/or Dutch is a great advantage in this peculiar bilingual culture with Brussels officially recognized as a bilingual city. Together with Strasbourg the city also houses the official seat of the European Union.
If you enjoy the outdoors, you’ll love this wide-open country with its great fjords, some of which were declared world heritage by UNESCO. Hiking, camping and fishing are all a part of the Norwegian lifestyle and the opportunities are endless. Norway is considered one of the safest countries in the world and consistently ends up in the upper regions of countries with the highest quality of living. The cost of living admittedly is high, but you’ll get many excellent services in return. The capital Oslo is the center of urban life, with many clubs, bars and restaurants. Many Norwegians speak excellent English, which is a great help for getting around when you’ve just arrived.