Which are the cities with best climate in Europe to live? Well, the question of the best place to live in Europe based on any criteria strongly depends on somebody’s preferences. But let’s see what we’ve got here on this question.
How to rate climate and for what purposes? Well, there is something called “weather rating.” It takes into account many conditions of weather: rain, sunshine, and wind, making it more or less objective. But objective for what? If you have one of these GPS devices, you might have noticed that there is a hunting and fishing option which predicts good and bad times for these activities. Well, those are also based on the weather, so weather rating is used to get such predictions for activities like fishing and hunting, as we have said. With weather rating, you can also get predictions for other outdoor activities such as hiking, water sports, cycling, golf, football, beach, barbecue, and you get the point.
This weather rating thus can be used for some short-term activities, and it is a great thing. But, what about the climate in general, if you are looking for the best places to live? Well, on this matter we must get a bit more subjective. Of course, year-round sunny beaches are a stereotype of best weather and climate locations. But, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Some people like snow, some people like heat, so the warm beaches are not the only criteria in the game.
There is also one other rating of the climate – the Köppen–Geiger climate classification. In short, this classification represents several main climate types throughout the world based on temperature and humidity. It is a division of climate we are all familiar with, having five main groups: tropical, arid, temperate, continental and polar. There was also interesting research done on climate score using this classification which puts up hot Mediterranean climate (that belongs to the temperate climate group with the symbol Csa – C meaning temperate, s meaning hot summer, a meaning dry summer) as the best climate.
So, for making our list of cities with the best climate in Europe, we have tried to cover many opinions on what a good climate is. Our goal was finding places that have either a mild, pleasant climate with no rapid changes year round or places with proper seasons but no extremes. So, we have tried to avoid places with rainy weather year round such as south of UK (though there you would find some of the best places to live in Europe for English speakers of course), or places with ‘’six months day six months night,’’ and long winters for example. For the information on cities for those who prefer mild/warm winters with no snow we have looked at Quora (where we have also found some tips on best places to live in Europe for expats and best countries in Europe to live and work as well), Reddit and The Mysterious World. On the City-Data and we Skyscraper City we have found out which countries people prefer in general considering the weather in Europe (with both snow and sun), and also mentions of some cities there helped us to complete our list.
But, choosing a city to live in does not only take climate into account, while it might be an important factor of course. Looking for best European cities to live in your 20s or best places to live in Europe for families, you will probably not find the same places on these lists. If you don’t have to stick to Europe only, you can also check out which 21 Cities with the Best Climate in the World Year Round are.
And finally, yes, as you have expected, there will be Italian, French and Spanish cities in here of course, but maybe you’d like to reconsider some other cities with best climate in Europe to live as well, and if so, proceed down to the list.
15. Gdansk, Poland
We start our list of cities with best climate in Europe to live from the northernmost area. In this case, it is Poland. Poland has all four seasons though there are several regions which differ in climate characteristics, usually having hot summers and cold (to very cold) winters. Gdansk is located on the Baltic sea; it is characterized by good weather, and also has some nice beaches, for those who like chill summers and cool winters.
14. Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is located in the heart of Slovenia, and also on the boundary of oceanic, continental and humid subtropical climates. That makes the climate in Ljubljana warm in summer and moderately cold in winter. There are also all four seasons distinctive in this city. There is also an interesting meteorological occurrence here, the temperature inversion – the cold and moist air being trapped below the warmer air closer to the ground especially in winter.
13. Vienna, Austria
Austria has four seasons distinct, so this is a good choice for those who like snowy winters and moderate to warm summers. Vienna has hot summers and dry cold winters. Apart from being among the cities with best climate in Europe to live, it was also third-ranked European city for cleanest air in urban transport in 2015.
12. Athens, Greece
If you are wondering where to live in Europe for a year, Athens might be a perfect choice. It has a pleasant climate throughout the year. Summers are long and hot, while winters mostly mild, and it can also be a bit chilly as well. Average rainfall in Athens is about 400 mm a year, having the most of it from October to April.
11. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik is one of the most picturesque cities in Croatia and this part of the Adriatic coast, being named the Pearl of Adriatic by Lord Byron. Being among the cities with the best climate in Europe to live, it has very hot and dry summers and rainy autumns (from October to December, being one of the rainiest cities on the coast in this part of the year).
10. Chania, Greece
We are continuing our list of cities with best climate in Europe to live with Chania which is the largest city of the Greek island of Crete. The climate of Crete is characterized as the Mediterranean in the northern part of the island while the southernmost parts have the impact of Northern African climate. The northern coast of Crete has mild and short winters (even with some snow in the inner mountains) and warm, but not too hot summers.
9. Lucerne, Switzerland
If you are looking for milder climate (for Alpine region), then Lucerne is a perfect choice. Apart from having all four seasons, it is one of the cities with the mildest climate in Switzerland, but also in the proximity to the Alps where winter environments are available through the most of the year. What makes the climate in Lucerne milder is the warm Foehn wind.
8. Malaga, Spain
If you are looking for the warmest European city in the winter, look no further. Malaga is the city for you. Paced on Costa del Sol, it has around 300 days of sunshine during the year, and with only around 50 days of rain.
7. Limassol, Cyprus
Limassol ranks 7th on our list of cities with best climate in Europe to live. It is the second largest city on Cyprus. Summers here are long and warm, winters mild an rainy, while autumn and spring are short and mild as well with a lot of sunshine. Sometimes during the winter, even light snow can be seen in Limassol, but only on very rare occasions.
6. Nice, France
Summers in Nice are warm and dry, and winters rarely go down below 5 degrees Celsius. The cooling factor in Nice is the Mistral wind blowing from the north that occasionally blows here.
5. Barcelona, Spain
There is much sunshine throughout the year in Barcelona with little rain in general (around 55 days a year) and with an average humidity of around 72%. Being the cultural and educational capital of Catalonia (well, and it’s capital as well), together with warm climate it is one of the great cities in Europe to live.
4. Catania, Italy
As we have noted earlier, of course, some Italian cities had to be here. Here we go. Sicily is among those provinces in Italy with the best Mediterranean climate (the Csa that we have mentioned). And from all the Sicily, why Catania? While having warm summers and winters as well, in the vicinity of this city is Etna volcano, which, with the elevation of over 3,000 meters offers full winter adventure, whether you like hiking or skiing.
3. Marseilles, France
If you like large urban areas, Marseilles is among the best solutions regarding cities with best climate in Europe to live. It is the second largest city in France. It has over 300 days of sun during the year. And even though having warm climate year round, as in Nice, you should be aware of the Mistral, a chilly wind coming from Rhone valley which blows throughout the year.
2. Lisbon, Portugal
As some sources say, Lisbon is the European capital with the best climate year round. There are around 300 sunny days in Lisbon, and even though the temperature is warm throughout the whole year, the Atlantic ocean makes it more pleasant with cooler water and breeze.
1. Valletta, Malta
Malta is probably the best country to live in Europe. It is in the heart of the Mediterranean, and that’s why it has a perfect Mediterranean climate. So, while having one of the mildest winters and among the most pleasant weathers in general, we have picked Valletta as the number one of the cities with best climate in Europe to live. Apart from the best places to visit, this country has been known as one of the best places to retire and the safest country, as well as having the best climate.