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Moving abroad? Here are Europe’s most family-friendly cities

Moving overseas is often a daunting decision — especially when you have children.

Living abroad can be incredibly enriching and open new possibilities by introducing kids to new languages and cultures.

But uprooting not just your own, but also your kids’ lives, means even more thought needs to be put into making these big life changes.

There might also be additional factors you need to consider when kids are involved, such as the cost of childcare, whether there are plenty of outdoor areas for them to play in and various health and safety concerns.

So especially if you are free to choose a destination rather than being sent abroad by work or moving for family reasons, there is a lot to think about as some countries and cities will be much more suitable than others.

The most suitable one, in Europe at least, is Vienna in Austria, according to a new report by life insurance firm Reassured that was published earlier this month. Childcare costs just £223.14, around $270, a month on average in the central European city, while the overall average monthly cost for a family to live there is £2,794.

Rent makes up a significant portion of this, with the average cost of a home with at least three bedrooms being £1,356.69. Relatively low pollution and crime rates also boost the attractiveness of raising kids in the city.

However, it has just 44 parks, the analysis found, which is far lower than second-placed Prague with 106, and third placed Rome with 148. Rome also offers the highest number of kid-friendly activities in the cities on the list with 687 opportunities to play and learn dotted around the historical city.

Both Prague and Rome also have a lower overall monthly cost of living for families, with £2,682 and £2,677.70 respectively. But monthly childcare costs are far higher at £787.43 in Prague and £407.36 in Rome.

Pollution levels in the Czech Republic’s Prague are also over double those of Vienna, while Rome’s are close to four times as high. The Italian city also has a significantly higher crime rate, making safety a concern for families.

Austria also performed well as a country overall in the ranking, with three of the top 10 cities being located there. Salzburg, famous for its culture and opera festivities, comes in fifth place, while winter spots destination Innsbruck comes seventh.

Italy is also represented in the top 10 by multiple cities, with Trieste in the north of the country, close to its border to Slovenia, placing tenth.

But it is Germany that has the most cities in the top twenty family friendly cities: Nuremberg in sixth, Munich in thirteenth, Hamburg in fifteenth and Hanover in twentieth place.

Despite Vienna and Rome scoring highly, many other major European hubs fall short of slightly smaller, less well-known cities on the continent. Finland’s Helsinki in fourth place is the only other capital city to place in the top 10.

Paris is the next closest capital in eleventh place. The monthly cost of family life there is £3,184.80 on average, just a few hundred pounds higher than Vienna. But the average cost to rent there is over £1,000 higher at £2,434.56, and childcare costs are more than triple those of Vienna’s with roughly £694.84 a month.

Paris also has a very high crime rate — but also the highest number of parks on the entire list, with a whopping 306!

London does not even make it into the top twenty most family friendly cities in Europe, instead placing a distant sixty-ninth. The report notes that the average cost for childcare alone is £1,599.49 in England’s capital.

The total cost for a family to live there is around £3,712.10 a month. One perk are the 651 different kid-friendly activities you can pick from in the city and 187 different parks, even though this might not make up for the immense costs.

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