Munich was voted the fourth best city in the world in terms of quality of life, while the north western Rhine city of Düsseldorf came in sixth and banking-haven Frankfurt seventh, according to the international rankings.
Berlin came in sixteenth place, ahead of other capital cities Paris (27th), London (38th) and Madrid (50th).
The top five cities were Europe-heavy, with Austrian capital Vienna bagging the top spot and Zurich in second place.
Auckland came third and Vancouver was in fifth place behind Munich. The lowest ranked city in Europe was Tbilisi in Georgia.
The highest ranking U.S. city was San Francisco, at 27th in the poll (tied 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,” said Slagin Parakatil, senior researcher at Mercer, which publishes the rankings.
“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,” he added.
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.
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 healthcare, and transport and recreation.
The scores for each factor are weighted to reflect their importance to expatriates.