7. Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt, the largest financial center in continental Europe, retains the seventh spot from last year's rankings of the best places to live.
Germany's fifth largest city, it is home to major institutions such as the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Frankfurt is also a major transport hub for central Europe given its modern infrastructure, including an integrated high-speed rail network and a busy international airport. The city ranks second only to Singapore in the world for its infrastructure, according to Mercer.
The city is also building a reputation for its environment-friendly initiatives. In 2008, a "low emission zone" was set up in the city and only vehicles with a green badge reflecting low emissions are allowed to enter the area. The aim is to reduce pollution and maintain air quality levels in Frankfurt. More than 50 percent of the city consists of open green spaces and waterways.