Everything You Need to Know About the Least Stressful Cities in the World
Have you ever daydreamed about moving somewhere totally new and starting over? If you ever decide to make those dreams reality, consider some of the world’s least stressful cities.
A recent report by Zipjet ranks the stress level of cities around the globe based on several factors:
Individuals feel stressed for different reasons, requiring our study to look at data from a macro level to determine the comprehensive well-being of a city’s population. We examined the overall mental health of a city, and then considered all of the major stress-inducing factors, including unemployment, debt per capita, traffic, public transport, security, pollution and density. We also considered elements such as lack of sunshine hours, which has been linked to poor mental health.
The least stressful city? Stuttgart, Germany.
In fact, Germany is really killing it in the stress-free department—along with Stuttgart, Hannover, Munich and Hamburg also placed in Zipjet’s top 10. You can read the full report and see all of the factors measured here.
If you’re curious about these cities, below is a sampling from the top 10 that covers rent costs, local attractions, and of course, why they ranked so high. Wondering how U.S. cities stacked up? On their list of the 150 least stressful cities, eight cities in the States made the list — Seattle at #12, Boston at #35, SF at #40, DC at #58, Miami at #80, LA at #81, Chicago at #84 and, finally, NYC at #84,
Median Rent (One Bedroom): $839.68 – $1,090.45, depending on location.
Why Locals Stress Less: Stuttgart comes in at No. 1 for amount of green spaces, with the highest percentage of public green spaces within the city’s limits. It also ranks 5th for mental health—a combination of awareness, available resources, and lower suicide rates.
Things to Do: Stuttgart is home to several museums and galleries, as well as a zoo and botanical garden (Wilhelma Zoologisch-Botanischer Garten) and the Kriegsberg Vineyards. You can see more Stuttgart attractions at Lonely Planet.
Median Rent (One Bedroom): $1,308.26 – $1,611.02, depending on location.
Why Locals Stress Less: Luxembourg takes the top spot for population density, with the lowest average population per square kilometer of all the cities on the list. It also takes the top spot in the mental health category, and comes in at No. 1 for social security benefits.
Things to Do: Luxembourg is full of interesting historical attractions, including several medieval castles and fortresses, like Château Beaufort and Bock Casemates. Find out more at Lonely Planet.
Median Rent (One Bedroom): $849.37 – $1,199.76, depending on location.
Why Locals Stress Less: Bern takes the top spot for satisfaction with public transportation and gender equality in the workforce, and comes in at No. 1 for race equality, too. The city also ranks third for amount of public green spaces.
Things to Do: Bern is a small city with plenty to do, from visiting 15th century gothic cathedrals to Bear Park and the Museum of Communication—plus, it’s right in front of the Alps, so you can’t beat the view. See more attractions at The Culture Trip.
Median Rent (One Bedroom): $532.26 – $676.19, depending on location.
Why Locals Stress Less: Bordeaux residents feel safe, since the city comes in at No. 1 for perception of security. It also has the least amount of noise pollution of the cities on the list, and comes in second for mental health.
Things to Do: Bordeaux is a great destination for wine lovers, with museums like La Cité du Vin and plenty of wine bars. It’s also home to Miroir d’Eau, the world’s largest reflecting pool. Find out more at Lonely Planet.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Median Rent (One Bedroom): $748.92 – $948.07, depending on location.
Why Locals Stress Less: Of all the cities on the list, Edinburgh has the least amount of air pollution, so residents can breathe easy. The city also comes in at second place for amount of public green spaces, and takes third place for race equality.
Things to Do: Edinburgh is home to several museums, castles—you can see the Scottish Crown Jewels at Edinburgh Castle, for example and historical monuments, plus tons of galleries and outdoor spaces to enjoy. Learn more at This is Edinburgh.
Median Rent (One Bedroom): $1,481.06 – $2,051.12, depending on location.
Why Locals Stress Less: Sydney comes in at second place in several categories: population density, satisfaction with public transportation, and social security benefits. It also rounds out the top 5 for amount of public green spaces.
Things to Do: Sydney is home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, plus attractions like the Australian National Maritime Museum, beautiful beaches and several parks and outdoor spaces. Find out more at Sydney.com.
Median Rent (One Bedroom): $529.46 – $621.58, depending on location.
Why Locals Stress Less: Graz takes third place for social security benefits, average number of sunshine hours, and mental health. It also comes in at No. 4 for low traffic congestion levels.
Things to Do: Along with Schlossberg (the site of a former fortress and one of the Graz’s most popular destinations), Graz has plenty of unique attractions to offer, like the Glockenspiel clocktower and the Kaiser-Josef-Platz Market. See more at The Culture Trip.
Note: Rent data is as of October 2017, via Numbeo.