Nicest, most safe country in which to live

My family and I are looking for the nicest, most safe country in which to emigrate from the US to the European continent. A family of five, all three still in school, teenagers. English speaking but willing to adapt.

The internet is so full of disinformation that we are uncertain of the advertised websites info. We have the means, I believe, for any of the programs to qualify for such. Love the beach, biking, weather of a Portugal.

Does anyone have another place to consider for which I am unaware, that has a welcoming, realistic residency possibility in the near future.
thanks in advance

Hi Lance, I’d suggest Montenegro as the second best choice after Portugal.
But you need to act fast as their program will shut down by the year-end.
Feel free to DM me if you have questions on Montenegro in general.

France, Italy, and Spain are all quite realistic. Greece. Czech Republic. It’s not really even that hard to move to Germany if you want to, just that no one ever seems to talk about doing so. Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, somewhat the Netherlands, those rank from difficult to impossible. Never looked at Poland or Slovenia. Montenegro is on the continent, does it count?

What do you consider “nice” or “safe”? What defines “welcoming” and “realistic”? Any of the above fit those descriptions depending on your definition. There is no “est”/“most”. You need to be a lot more specific.

IMO despite my own interest, I think Portugal is getting too much play for its own good. If you are willing to be boots-on-the-ground and are not super concerned about if or how long it takes to get a passport (versus long term residency), Europe is wide open. Portugal’s upside is (a1) the low means required for D7, or (a2) ARI lets you avoid boots-on-ground on your way to the passport, (b) NHR if that actually helps you in your situation, and (c) shorter time to citizenship - IOW, technicalities. COL, I have my doubts, versus France or Italy or Spain, especially after looking at somewhere like Lisbon or Ericeira or Albufeira, and depending on what level of life your COL assumes. Which isn’t to say Portugal isn’t a nice place, but Portugal is the “trendy” place at the moment it seems and I would not let myself be blinded by it. (Personally those technicalities are driving me, because I have reasons to not emigrate immediately.) France I would say is hard from an integration standpoint if you have a family, and hardly welcoming from a cultural standpoint if you don’t put in a ton of effort, IMO. Spain/Italy is probably harder from language barriers and schools, though it depends where you go. If you have the means, for a family, Germany IMO is hands down the easiest transition - the US military presence has made Germany really used to hosting Americans, and no, having lived there and spent a lot of time there, I have never noticed any meaningful resentment over it as long as you respect the culture and don’t act like an asshole and learn to religiously sort your trash and put your cart back after you put your stuff in the car. I adore Heidelberg. And given teenagers, don’t ignore the benefits of the practically-bi-lingual-and-basically-free German university system.

Also, what’s “European continent”? Montenegro is on the continent and an up and coming destination.

From my guess, you care more about the lifestyle of a given place and family factors than the factors that often drive digital nomads, which may mean this community is not necessarily the best source of information for you. (Nothing against nomadgate but from a year of reading the content, it’s IMO the truth - when has anyone talked about schools, for example?)

Get a subscription to International Living. Sure it sells those “insider’s guides to X” but their writers have to make a living somehow. The attitude of the articles may sometimes seem sometimes just a little too positive, but from 20+ years of traveling Europe on a motorcycle (which is a different beast than in a car, IMO) and simply paying attention to these kinds of things, I can say that they’re not really all that wrong, either. The editor once commented on this - that the articles seemed too positive - and he just flat out admitted they accentuated the positive some just to help the average American overcome the deathly fear they often seem to have of leaving the country, and again, I truly get the point. So often when I talk about Europe as a destination I get some combination of “wow that’s brave, I could never do it” to “why would you want to do that?”

I’m sure I’m going to get castigated for this heresy, but oh well.


Regarding the prior posts I would say +1 to Germany. Very open society.
Spain – I think if you speak the language you would be fine.
Switzerland +1, even mid-size cities such as Basel you would be fine.

Are you going to join the local neighborhood “club” and fit in? Probably not but who cares. You will find some people to hang out with and be fine.

And yes, virtually any country that you live in for 5-10 years you can get permanent residency.

In reality if you are living in a large city in any country just about you will not have any issues. As an European, think , could I fit in in New York City? Of course, because it is so diverse and most people only interact casually. If you don’t speak English you will really struggle, but thats true anywhere if you don’t speak the local language. I imagine European cities are even more diverse and accepting.

thanks Jeff, you are restoring my decision to make just such a move. I am going to reread your response a few more times. I appreciate the time and effort of such a comment.

Tommy, I am going to look at that now. You r the second out of two comments to suggest just that.

Isle of Man

almost no violence or crime. Lovely people. Beautiful scenery, low cost housing and tax

Considering your interests and means, you might want to look at relocating to Gibraltar (low tax, easy residency if you have wealth, friendly, English language education, good airport) with a holiday home in Spain (surf at Tarifa, ski at Sierra Nevada, interesting places to visit, some people like it).

Is there such opportunity in Gibraltar though?..

Obtaining residency in Gibraltar is pretty straightforward. It didn’t make the cut of my preferred initiatives but I studied it and it seemed both attractive and viable.

Thanks, I will check it out!

Cyprus is very safe and quiet to most Americans. My teens are ready to get off this island, though after five years of living in a place where unlocked doors and cars are the norm. They do not speak Greek and never made the effort to learn. There are many English-speakers and many English schools. Make sure you land in the LEGAL Republic of Cyprus in the south and not the much cheaper but political football North Cyprus.

What Jeff B said. I don’t know how far up north you’re willing to go but another country I’d like to live in is Denmark. It’s mainly the drab weather that is its biggest shortcoming.