The world’s ten best and ten worst cities in which to reside, according to Mercer’s 2009 Quality of Living survey.
Australia’s largest city, with a population of nearly four and a half million, Sydney’s beaches, beautiful harbour and cultural attractions – including the Sydney Opera House – are its big draws, although, according to Mercer, it is the world’s 15th most expensive city.
The best and worst cities to live in
9. Bern, Switzerland
With a population of around 128,000, Bern is Switzerland’s fifth most inhabited city. The medieval centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while Albert Einstein once lived and worked in the city as a patent office clerk.
8. Frankfurt, Germany
The largest financial centre on the continent, Frankfurt is the seat of the European Central Bank and the German Federal Bank. The city’s key sights include its 14th-century Gothic cathedral and a host of futuristic skyscrapers.
7. Munich, Germany
Germany’s third-largest city with around 1.36 million inhabitants, the Bavarian capital also boasts plenty of Gothic architecture. Munich was heavily damaged by allied bombing during World War II, but recovered to host the Olympic Games in 1972.
6. Dusseldorf, Germany
Situated on the Rhine, the city is renowned as a centre for German fashion, advertising and telecommunications, while the Dusseldorf Karneval attracts millions of visitors each year. The city is twinned with Warsaw, Moscow, Cairo and Reading.
4= Auckland, New Zealand
Home to 31 per cent of New Zealand’s population, Auckland boast two harbours – Waitemata to the north and Manukau to the south, helping earn its nickname: the City of Sails.
Consistently ranking among the cleanest, most livable cities in the world, Vancouver possesses an ethnically-diverse population, while it has become a centre for shipping, film production and a popular tourist destination.
3. Geneva, Switzerland
With a population of around 185,000, Geneva is best known for diplomacy (it is home to various UN and Red Cross agencies), finance and the CERN nuclear research facility – birthplace of the World Wide Web and the Large Hadron Collider.
2. Zurich, Switzerland
One of Europe’s richest cities and home to a wealth of multilingual Europeans, Zurich has attracted the likes of IBM, UBS, Google and Microsoft – each of whom has offices in the city. Novelist James Joyce died and was buried in Zurich.
The world’s best city in which to live, according to Mercer, Vienna boasts great economic, cultural and political strength, was the birthplace of Marie Antoinette and Sigmund Freud and has been sung about by Ultravox and Billy Joel.