Copenhagen ranked 'best city for quality of life' for first time in seven years

The Local Denmark
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Copenhagen ranked 'best city for quality of life' for first time in seven years
People hanging out outside the La Banchina restaurant on Refshaleøn. Photo: Kim Wyon/Visit Denmark

Copenhagen has won back its place at the top of Monocle magazine's Quality of Life index, on the back of its impressive handling of Covid-19, the new Metro ring, and fewer tourists.


Copenhagen has won the title no fewer than four times since Monocle launched the ranking back in 2007, but since 2014 it has been lagging in fourth or even 10th place, with Zurich coming tops in 2019 (the last year the ranking was produced) and Munich the year before. 

In an article explaining the decision, the magazine said that the pandemic had showcased Copenhageners' "society-mindedness", that "sense of pride in social cohesion", which made the city a place where children can roam free, which is accessible to those on low incomes, and where the harbour is so clean that you can swim in it. 

“Copenhagen is one of those cities where there is a real ambition to deliver a better quality of life for everyone,” says Monocle’s editor in chief, Andrew Tuck, in a press release. 

“The ambitions around creating a cleaner environment are best in class and the city is reaping the rewards of years of urban investment.”


In the  article also praised the testing system and coronapas, which had allowed restaurant and cultural life to bounce back,  and gave special praise to the hip Refsahaleøn area, with its new Copenhagen Contemporary Art Museum, and wealth of interesting places to eat. 

Copenhageners, it added, were falling back in love with the beautiful cobbled squares in the city centre, not that they are no longer crawling with tourists. 

You can see the full list here: 

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark)
  2. Zurich (Switzerland)
  3. Helsinki (Finland)
  4. Stockholm (Sweden)
  5. Tokyo (Japan)
  6. Vienna (Austria)
  7. Lisbon (Portugal)
  8. Auckland (New Zealand)
  9. Taipei, Taiwan
  10. Sydney (Australia)
  11. Seoul (South Korea)
  12. Vancouver (Canada)
  13. Munich (Germany)
  14. Berlin (Germany)
  15. Amsterdam (Holland)
  16. Madrid (Spain)
  17. Melbourne (Australia)
  18. Kyoto (Japan)
  19. Brisbane (Australia)
  20. Los Angeles (USA)


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