Help find the perfect European city for me?

  • omatix

    Posts: 89

    Jul 14, 2010 11:22 PM GMT
    So, I'm just done with my grad program in the US. I'm originally from Ireland, and I want to move back to Europe when I'm done in a year or so, mostly so that I can be within a short flight of my family.

    I'm 27, and I've lived in the US for six years, so it's been a long time since I've lived anywhere else. It'll be a big culture shock to move away again, and I'm shitting my pants about it, basically.

    Basically, I want to hear what people think about the relative gay-friendliness of big and medium-sized cities in Europe. I'm open to moving almost anywhere, although I'd be less excited about the UK (where I've also spent a few years). At the minute I'm considering anywhere from big cities (Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Stockholm...) to smaller cities with big universities (Munich, Toulouse...). The ideal would be a medium-sized city with a large medical sciences/biological sciences research institute, with at least a moderately sized gay population, decent weather and proximity to mountains (for snowboarding).
    .
    Seriously, I don't expect to be able to find the perfect place to live. But I wanted to see what people came up with. It'll probably end up being wherever a good job works out for me, but it's worth a shot
  • mke_bt

    Posts: 707

    Jul 15, 2010 1:27 AM GMT

    Rotterdam - A less expensive alternative to Amsterdam
    Dubrovnik
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    Jul 15, 2010 1:28 AM GMT
    Berlin. i wanna go there. HAHA
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    Jul 15, 2010 1:31 AM GMT
    Berlin is amazing. I loved it. It's really big but doesn't feel crowded at all -- tons of green space, different areas, great people, plenty of roads and room for biking, etc.

    Amsterdam is cool too, Paris is overrated, and I've never been to Stockholm. So besides Berlin I'd suggest Manchester, Vienna, Bratislava and Prague, all of which I've been to as well and are all pretty similar to what you're looking for.

    Obviously you should spend a few days in any of these cities before making a decision. But good luck!
    icon_biggrin.gif
  • AlanGZ

    Posts: 385

    Jul 15, 2010 1:35 AM GMT
    If France is a place u wanna try u should go to Lyon, one of the best city in france, not too big, clean, lots of things to do around and quite gay friendly!
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jul 15, 2010 1:46 AM GMT
    Of the cities you mention (with the exception of Toulouse), Amsterdam is by far the smallest (way smaller than Munich), and feels like a big, cosmopolitan village. And, almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks excellent English. Unfortunately if you're into the outdoors, there's nothing much resembling wide open spaces anywhere in the Netherlands. Munich has a pretty lively gay scene, though, and a large university. It's near the Bavarian Alps, too, for skiing and hiking. But you'd better brush up on your German...
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    Jul 15, 2010 2:07 AM GMT
    Nice or Barcelona
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    Jul 15, 2010 2:32 AM GMT
    I would also vote for Berlin, assuming you are fluent in German. I lived there 2 years. Biggest drawback for me was the climate, wetter than London, colder, and very far north, little sunlight in winter. But if you are from Ireland it's not much worse.
  • omatix

    Posts: 89

    Jul 15, 2010 4:50 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I'm really poorly traveled in Europe, which is partly why I'm asking here for input. The only language I speak apart from English is French, which is part of the reason that France is high on my list. A lot of the places I'd get a job (especially in Germany) operate in English anyway, so I'm open to figuring out if I could get by in Germany/the Netherlands too.

    I like the idea of places like Berlin and Rotterdam - even though I do want to get away from overcast northern European weather, I could probably deal with it.

    One nice thing about northern and northeastern US cities is that the winters may suck, but they're a hell of a lot brighter and sunnier than many places in northern Europe. I guess you can't have everything.
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    Jul 15, 2010 5:09 AM GMT
    Never been, but Copenhagen almost always ranks #1 in the world in quality of life and happiness of its residents. Supposed to be rather gay friendly too.
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    Jul 15, 2010 8:58 AM GMT
    Omatix saidso I'm open to figuring out if I could get by in Germany/the Netherlands too.

    I like the idea of places like Berlin and Rotterdam - even though I do want to get away from overcast northern European weather, I could probably deal with it.


    you can live in Holland with no dutch, though it can limit your socializing at an extent... It´s not that hard a language compared to Chinese, Japanese or Arabic though. If you stay you should learn it
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    Jul 15, 2010 9:32 AM GMT
    Barcelona...!!!

    Hot mediterranean men
    Legal gay marriage
    Thriving international gay scene (even in public icon_smile.gif )
    Sun, sand, sea,
    All-night restaurants and great clubs
    Great food, great fashion, architecture, history
    English official second language (NOT spanish)
    Major regional university city, including medical/biological
    One of cheapest countries in Europe
    Anything else??...




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    gaudi.jpeg

  • hallyhallo

    Posts: 539

    Jul 15, 2010 9:40 AM GMT
    Well, Berlin will be a great choice for you. very cheap compared to the other european cities. It has almost everything you asked for. Except maybe the proximity to mountains.

    more expensive, but also very nice is zurich..

    Career wise these cities have large medical sciences/biological sciences research institutes. And they are probably more renowned than e.g. Barcelona (which is a great city)
  • hallyhallo

    Posts: 539

    Jul 15, 2010 9:41 AM GMT
    GuerrillaSodomite saidNever been, but Copenhagen almost always ranks #1 in the world in quality of life and happiness of its residents. Supposed to be rather gay friendly too.


    copenhagen is really nice. But more expensive and not really well-known for its large medical sciences/biological sciences research institutes
  • CDNinOZ

    Posts: 38

    Jul 15, 2010 9:42 AM GMT
    Don't forget about Switzerland. Zurich for example, good pay and quality of living, decent size gay community, and a stone's through from great ski areas.

    Other than that Berlin would be my first choice in Germany. Germany has a great rail network so any medium to large city on a high-speed line will be great for travel connections.
  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Jul 15, 2010 10:21 AM GMT
    Munich icon_biggrin.gif no lie IT is hands down the Best city in the World icon_biggrin.gif
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Jul 15, 2010 11:20 AM GMT
    Ik ben het met je eens, Lostboy. Yes, anywhere in the Netherlands you'll be able to live and thrive without knowing any Dutch, but the downside is that you'll always feel a bit outside of the loop socially. Knowing the language is the entry card into the inner sanctum of a culture. Without it, you will perpetually feel like an outsider.

    Personally, I think it's a complete cop out to live anywhere without learning the language, even if one never masters it perfectly.
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    Jul 15, 2010 11:21 AM GMT
    amar_m saidEnglish official second language (NOT spanish)


    hahaa... you try getting around with only english.

    People there speak Catalan and Spanish.
  • Nayro

    Posts: 1825

    Jul 15, 2010 12:29 PM GMT
    Rotterdam is a crapcity, I only heard bad things about it. Amsterdam is super cool! Though not as big as the other capitals in europe. Berlin is one HUGE city. I think all the big cities are gayfriendly though.
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    Jul 15, 2010 2:07 PM GMT
    Daelin saidRotterdam is a crapcity, I only heard bad things about it.


    then listen harder, bitch
  • omatix

    Posts: 89

    Jul 15, 2010 2:17 PM GMT
    NC3athlete saidPersonally, I think it's a complete cop out to live anywhere without learning the language, even if one never masters it perfectly.


    I definitely agree with this.
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    Jul 15, 2010 3:54 PM GMT
    I spent a summer in London between my sophomore and junior years in college -- and I loved it: the gay scene, the culture, everything.

    Then I spent my junior year abroad in Lyon, which sounds more like the kind of place you are looking for. It's a manageable size, interesting physically, close to the Alps and southern Europe.

    Good luck!
  • Nayro

    Posts: 1825

    Jul 15, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    Daelin saidRotterdam is a crapcity, I only heard bad things about it.


    then listen harder, bitch


    ow lol, i never knew u were from Rotterdam icon_razz.gif But is it true?
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    Jul 15, 2010 5:24 PM GMT
    Daelin said
    Lostboy said
    Daelin saidRotterdam is a crapcity, I only heard bad things about it.


    then listen harder, bitch


    ow lol, i never knew u were from Rotterdam icon_razz.gif But is it true?


    I actually live in Den Haag at the moment, but am probably/maybe moving to Rdam, so I eMoved on here to see what it´s like and it´s good so far. Rdam is much cheaper than the other Randstad cities, more gay life than DH, more guys, less stuffy and closeted, there is a university, more cultural life.... anyway my work is in DH and Rdam. If I had totally free choice and didn´t hate commuting I´d live in Adam
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    Jul 15, 2010 5:39 PM GMT
    Cologne, Germany

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