And the city offering the best quality of life is…?

Paris may be the City of Romance and the City of Lights but it is certainly not the "City of quality of life" according to the latest international rankings. The French capital was ranked well down the list,although ahead of London. But which city was top?

And the city offering the best quality of life is...?
Photo: AFP

The latest world rankings for the cities that offer the best quality of life are in, and unfortunately for Parisians the French capital is a long way from the top.

Out of 223 cities worldwide the City of Light and Romance was ranked just 27th. Top of the table was the Austrian capital Vienna, followed by Zurich in Switzerland and then Auckland in New Zealand.

In fourth place came Munich and in fifth was Vancouver in Canada. The French capital was also ranked behind the German cities of Dusseldorf (6th) Frankfurt (7th) and Singapore (25th) which was the highest ranked Asian city.

The lowest ranked city in Europe was Tbilisi in Georgia.

Parisians who are enormously proud of their city can console themselves however on the fact their city was ranked ahead of London (38th), Madrid (50th) and Rome (51st). It was placed behind the popular German capital of Berlin which came in in 16th place.

The highest ranking U.S. city was San Francisco, at joint 27th with Paris, while New York was at number 43. 

“European cities enjoy a high overall quality of living compared to those in other regions. Healthcare, infrastructure, and recreational facilities are generally of a very high standard. Political stability and relatively low crime levels enable expatriates to feel safe and secure in most locations. The region has seen few changes in living standards over the last year,” said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer.

SEE ALSO: What is the best city in the world for students?

Propping up the table was the Iraqi city of Baghdad, which finished one place below Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, which has been devastated by sectarian violence.

There was good news for France however with the city of Pointe-A-Pitre in its overseas territory of Guadeloupe topping the rankings for Central and South America.

Management consultants Mercer, conducts its Quality of Living survey annually to help multinational companies and other employers decide on how much to pay employees posted-abroad.

The survey, carried out in Autumn last year looks at 39 different factors of life in a city grouped into 10 categories, such as Housing, Public Services, Medical and Health, and Transport and Recreation.

The scores for each factor are weighted to reflect their importance to expatriates.

SEE ALSO: The best places in France for quality of life

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro