Best Cities In China

You've arrived in China and are prepared to begin a whole new life there. One major issue, however, is where the heck you're going to live. Just in case you haven't found the solution yet, you may count on me to help you out. My own recommendations for the top cities in China for expats to live and work.


China's capital city of Beijing is really cool. Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall are all there, and they constitute the nucleus of modern Chinese historical identity. It offers fantastic restaurants serving cuisine from all around China and the globe, an incredible variety of buildings, and a reliable and inexpensive public transit system.

In addition, the city is home to some of the most standard Mandarin speakers in China, making it considerably simpler to acquire and use the language despite the city's distinctive accent. It's also simple to make plenty of new acquaintances and connections because to the city's multicultural Chinese population and its massive expat community.

Last but not least, Beijing's large population makes for a thriving labor market, where foreigners may obtain high-paying work in almost any profession with relative ease.

Some Considerations

Beijing's massive population is both one of the city's greatest strengths and one of its worst weaknesses. Beijing is enormous, even though every Chinese city is sizable by international standards. As a result, living costs are high, commuting times are lengthy, public spaces are cramped, and air pollution during the winter is extreme since so many people burn coal to remain warm. Furthermore, Beijing's winters are as frigid as the climate on the planet Hoth from the Star Wars saga.


When compared to other Chinese cities, Shenzhen is essentially on the cutting edge. After almost disappearing 30 years ago, it is now one of China's most important economic centers. As a result, it is very cutting-edge and boasts a plethora of western-style conveniences that are uncommon in more traditional Chinese towns.

There are many options to join or establish a firm, both international and Chinese, in Shenzhen because of the city's thriving business and commercial sector.

In addition, the trendiest international city in Asia, Hong Kong, is just an hour away by train or boat. Hong Kong is a special administrative area (SAR) and is home to many Western services and goods that are hard to come by in mainland China. This also makes obtaining a new visa or transferring to a different country considerably simpler and inexpensive.

Since traveling to Hong Kong is so simple from Shenzhen, expatriates working in China can enjoy both Chinese culture and all the modern conveniences they've come to expect from life in a Western metropolis. If you needed more convincing to make the move to Shenzhen, here are some more.

Reasons to consider Shenzhen is not a good area to acquire standard Mandarin since most inhabitants speak Cantonese. Depending on your expectations, a busy work market might also entail increased food and housing costs, which could reduce your capacity to save money.


Chengdu is often referred to be China's "most livable" city. As a city where people take their time over tea and mahjong, the pace of life is noticeably more relaxed than that of most Chinese metropolises. It's also known to be more accepting of LGBTQ culture than other Chinese cities, earning it considerable notoriety among international visitors.

Similarly to Beijing, Chengdu has a wealth of nearby cultural and historical sites, as well as hundreds of mountains and hiking paths. Also, the local Chinese food is some of the greatest I've ever had, thanks to the use of spicy chilies and the numbing Sichuan peppercorn that are characteristic of dishes from this region.

Even while the employment market isn't as large as it is in China's main cities, there are still opportunities to get well-paying positions. When you factor in Chengdu's much reduced cost of living, you may be surprised at how simple it is to put away significant amounts of money. As a result, many foreigners who find employment in China choose to settle in Chengdu.

Some Considerations

To put it bluntly, there isn't much native cuisine in Chengdu that won't make your mouth wateringly hot if you're not a fan of spicy food. Chengdu has a smaller percentage of foreign residents because of its remote location, so be prepared for more people to stare at you or sneakily take photographs.

Chengdu is not the best location to study standard Chinese since the local dialect, although comparable to Mandarin, is rather challenging for a non-native speaker. Air pollution is high, albeit it does not reach the levels in Hebei and Beijing, and the weather is cloudy for the majority of the year since the region is an alluvial plain surrounded by mountains.

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