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happy couple exploring the city

Open borders and the trends of our time are driving many people to seek out the best cities to live in Europe. A key factor in choosing a city is the connection to nature. Many have dreams of combining the dynamics and economic opportunities of a big city with the chance to visit beautiful parks, sunny beaches, wild places such as mountains, forests, etc. This piece looks at several locations that meet this challenge and prove to be excellent places for work and quality living. 

Bern, Switzerland  

Bern is the capital of the Canton of Bern and of Switzerland. Many are surprised to learn this, because usually the economically active city of Zurich and the related to international politics city of Geneva get the spotlight. Famous landmarks include the medieval UNESCO Bern Old Town, the Zytglogge clock tower, Bear Park and more. 

However, Bern is also a wonderful place to work and live in, and ideal for people who love nature. The Aare River makes a beautiful curve around the Old Town, and on its other bank, there are a number of spots that will make you want to get away from the dynamics. 

In your free time, you can take a stroll in The Rose Garden, one of the most beautiful parks in the city, which offers a panoramic view of the majestic architecture of the Old Town. More than 400 species of roses and irises grow on its grounds. Visits there are free. Nearby, you will also find the Bear Park. Before you worry about the animals, you should know that they are well cared for and have enough space for a quality life. You shouldn't be surprised by the fact that the people of Bern adore bears: they are a symbol of the city and the entire canton. There are also a bunch more parks in the city, including the University Botanical Garden. It's hardly a coincidence that Bern ranks third among the capital cities with the healthiest living conditions. It is definitely one of the best cities to live in Europe. 

However, what is outside the city is also not to be missed. Even if you only have one free day, it will be enough to organise a trip to picturesque Vevey, Lake Brienz, the Gantrisch National Park, or to the mountain-surrounded town of Thun, through which the Aare river flows and creates the perfect atmosphere for a peaceful stroll along the shore. The possibilities are endless.

Faro, Portugal 

And while endless forests and mountains spread out around Bern, the beaches and the ocean belong to Faro. It is the largest city in the Algarve and one of the best cities to live in Europe. Faro is located in the Ria Farmosa Lagoon area. Besides having a rich history and beautiful architecture, next to it is the Ria Farmosa Natural Park. Various animal species can be seen there, including flamingos and the European chameleon. The Portuguese water dog breed, which helped fishermen in their work, also originated in the area. If you choose to live in Faro, you will be able to enjoy the opportunities the park offers all year round. Kayaking enthusiasts will definitely love the place.

However, the opportunities of the coast should not be undermined: Ilha Deserta will impress you with a beautiful 6 km long beach. The southernmost point of the country, Cabo de Santa Maria, is also located there. You have the opportunity, in your free time, to gaze at the ocean, collect tanning, watch dolphins or indulge in water sports. And just an hour from town, you can visit locations such as the famous Benagil Cave.  So, if you're a beach person Faro can definitely be your ideal home suitable for work and life.

Florencia, Italy

Such a list cannot pass without mentioning the wonderful region of Tuscany in Italy. Florence is the regional capital and is one of the best cities to live in Europe. It is best known for its historical, economic and cultural heritage. However, it is often forgotten about the nature in and around the city. The Arno River runs through the city, and along part of its banks is the extensive Parco delle Cascine, the largest and most used by the locals park. It is perfect for spending your days off. Don't forget about the Giardino delle Rose and the Garden of the Iris. 

Outside the city, it's worth visiting the Parco di Pratolino, in the centre of which you'll find a huge statue of a river god protecting the park. Tuscany is famous for its landscapes. Take a walk to the Balze del Valdarmo or The Parks of Cornia Valley. In Italy, the hiking trails and views never end. 

However, if you fancy a bit of variety, you can always head to the beaches of Viareggio: it'll take you about an hour and a half by car.  

a couple exploring a city

Bergen, Norway

Norway is famous for its beautiful scenery: majestic forests, impressive fjords, postcard-like islands, exceptional wildlife, the northern lights, and much more. If you don't shy away from colder weather, Bergen is one of the best cities to live in Europe. The city is the second largest after the capital Oslo, making it suitable for people looking for dynamism and job opportunities. 

In terms of nature, you will be pleasantly surprised. The urbanised part is largely located on or near a fjord or bay, and it is also surrounded by mountains. This allows for beautiful views and walks. You can use the funicular to climb Floyen Mountain in a few minutes. You will then have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the city, nearby islands, fjords and mountains. A bunch of interesting activities are also available, such as canoeing, hiking in the forest and more. 

Those of you who are used to more strenuous activities and are looking for something a little wilder can indulge in the 7-hour Dronningstien panoramic hike in Hardanger. There the opportunities to lose yourself in the beautiful scenery are endless.

Split, Croatia

Last but not least, we offer you the second largest city in Croatia, Split. It is a coastal city located on a peninsula, and on two sides stretch the Kozjak and Mosor mountains. Very close by are a number of islands, including the popular Brac and Hvar. All this gives residents the opportunity to enjoy different types of nature. 

You can take a stroll around the extensive urban Marjan Park, which offers spectacular panoramic views. Nearby is also Kasuni beach, which combines sand, sea, mountains and forests in one. If you feel like venturing outside the city limits, it's only a 2–3-hour drive to one of Croatia's landmarks: the Plitvice Lakes. Other suitable locations are Krka National Park, Cikola Canyon and The Blue Cave (Blue Grotto), which is located near Vis Island.

When choosing a new place to live, it's a good idea to explore not only the urban environment, but also the opportunities to visit natural locations. Proximity to nature implies a higher quality of life. Our list of the best cities to live in Europe is based on this proximity and does not exhaust all the possibilities. It's all up to you and your imagination. The experienced team at Movega Removals will support you in your relocation to a new home. We offer a wide range of services. All you need to do is contact us through our contact form or chatbot.    

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