A Quick and Easy Guide to the Pros and Cons of Expat Destinations Throughout the World

Every single country has it’s inherent advantages and disadvatanges. Here is our quick and simple guide to some of the top expat destinations throughout the world.


Pros: Culturally rich living environment that offers access to a wide variety of entertainment, cuisines and art; impressive landscape and a wide variety of outdoor activities; relatively low cost of living; expat-friendly community.

Cons: Weak currency; corrupt political environment; economic instability; inefficient bureaucratic systems.

Destination GuideBuenos Aires


Pros: English-speaking environment; great weather; fantastic outdoor scenery; modern, thriving cities; big and diverse country with plenty to see and do; high-quality medical services.

Cons: Relatively high cost of living; remote cities; isolated from many other major countries; poisonous insects and snakes.

Destination guides: MelbourneSydney


Pros: Culturally rich, enlightening living environment; picturesque countryside; fascinating historical sights and traditions; high standard of living for those on expatriate contracts.

Cons: Pollution; over-populated cities; poverty in many areas; language and cultural barriers; many home comforts are not available; extremes of weather in many cities.

Destination guides: BeijingShanghai Hong Kong

Costa Rica

Pros: Sizable expatriate community; high standard of living; plenty of outdoor activities on offer, stunning natural scenery.

Cons: Recent increase in drug crime; many expatriate living areas have become Americanized and do not embrace the local culture and traditions; great destination from which to explore South America.


Pros: Great cuisine; laid-back culture; great destination from which to explore Europe; beautiful countryside, culturally-rich cities; high standard of living.

Cons: Language can be a barrier for those that don’t learn French; restrictive employment laws; high cost of living; bureaucratic administrative environment.

Destination guide: Paris


Pros: High standard of living; great destination from which to explore Europe; beautiful countryside, culturally rich cities.

Cons: Unpredictable weather; bureaucracy; restrictive employment laws; inherent racism in some areas; language can be a barrier for those that don’t learn German.

Destination guide: Berlin


Pros: Low cost of living; English is widely spoken; diverse and interesting cuisine; fascinating culture.

Cons: Local infrastructure and transportation is poor; high levels of poverty; over-populated cities; lack of hygiene in many areas; pollution; tedious and time-consuming administrative procedures.

Destination guides: MumbaiDelhiBangalore


Pros: Delicious cuisine; fascinating country will plenty to see and explore; interesting culture and history; great base from which to explore Europe.

Cons: Few employment or business opportunities for foreigners; lengthy bureaucratic procedures; relatively expensive cost of living; currently economically instable.


Pros: Rich culture and history; relatively low cost of living; fascinating culture; friendly population; great destination for entrepreneurs, freelancers and retirees.

Cons: Not as safe as other destinations in South America as a result of drug and gang culture; economically unstable; unreliable infrastructure in many areas.

New Zealand

Pros: Spectacular natural scenery and outdoor lifestyle; friendly people; moderate climate in many areas; plenty of space; English-speaking environment; calm and relaxed atmosphere; safe.

Cons: Isolated from many other major countries; high cost of living.

Destination guide: Auckland


Pros: Cultured and educated people with strong traditional values; cultural entertainment and exotic cuisine; no shortage of entertainment options.

Cons: Exceeding cold, long winters in many parts of the country; language can be a barrier if you don’t speak Russian; corrupt government; not safe in many areas; people from different ethnic backgrounds may be treated hostilely in many areas; high cost of living.

Destination guide: Moscow


Pros: Year-round sunshine; relatively crime free, clean and well maintained; efficient infrastructure; well connected with the rest of the world; child friendly; cultural attractions; no risk of natural disaster; English is widely spoken.

Cons: High cost of living; hot and humid; relatively limited outdoor activities; strict laws; kaisu culture.

Destination guide: Singapore

South Africa

Pros: Well-maintained infrastructure; beautiful natural scenery, multitude of outdoor activities; pleasant weather; diverse and interesting culture; sophisticated transport systems.

Cons: High levels of crime; high taxes; overcrowding in some areas.

Destination guide: Cape Town


Pros: Pleasant climate; beautiful beaches and natural scenery; rich culture and traditions; friendly people; relatively low cost of living;

Cons: High levels of bureaucracy; opaque property laws in many areas; high crime rates in some cities.

Destination guide: Madrid


Pros: Affordable; expatriate friendly; pleasant climate; beautiful natural landscape; culturally rich.

Cons: Can be politically unstable; high crime rates in some areas; overpopulated and polluted in some areas; natural disasters.

Destination guide: Bangkok

United Kingdom

Pros: Well-developed infrastructure; fascinating country with plenty to see and explore; historically rich; very good education and health systems; plenty of entertainment on offer; multicultural living environment in most cities.

Cons: High crime rates in major cities; threat of terrorism; unpredictable weather; high taxes; relatively high cost of living.

Destination guide: London

United States of America

Pros: Well developed infrastructure in most cities; convenient services and products; free thinking is encouraged and differences are embraced; multicultural living environment;

Cons: High social security taxes; health insurance is mandatory and expensive; relatively lower vacation days per year than other countries; some cities experience high rates of crime and gang culture.

Destination guides: New YorkChicagoHoustonLos Angeles


Pros: Relatively low cost of living; friendly people; beautiful natural scenery; rich in culture and history; enlightening experience.

Cons: Poor infrastructure in many areas; bureaucratic; many areas of the government are corrupt; language can be a barrier to assimilation; poor road safety standards; price discrimination.

Destination guide: Hanoi

Author: ExpatInfoDesk