The 5 Best Places To Live In South Africa | 2022

wonder where Best places to live in South Africa Yes? Then keep reading!

Where can you find more beautiful landscapes and amazing wildlife than South Africa? This natural resource-rich place on Earth doesn’t just look beautiful. It has a cool multicultural vibe and offers many job and business opportunities for foreigners.

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However, the best South African cities vary widely. From the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg to the peaceful seaside town of Port Elizabeth, the country offers a lot of diversity in character and scenery.

Here are five of the best places to live in South Africa for expats to help you decide which is best for you in this colourful country.

South Africa flag

Cape Town

The vibrant city of Cape Town is easily one of the most popular places for expats to live and work in South Africa. The port city on the south west coast is the perfect place to mix old and new, with many historic landmarks and plenty of modern amenities.

Since Cape Town is a global business center, finding a job here is easy. There are opportunities in all industries, such as tourism, hospitality and transportation.

Also, since there are many international companies, there are many jobs in marketing and finance.

There’s a lot to do here, so Cape Town offers expats and digital nomads an interesting and existing way of life. In addition, several safe neighborhoods provide comfortable living for foreigners, including foreigners with children.

City Bowl is one of the most popular areas at the foot of Table Mountain. It has all the amenities you need and is close to some of the best international schools.

Waterkant’s proximity to the CBD makes it a top choice for young single professionals. Or, if you prefer to get away from the hustle and bustle, head to Hout Bay, with its beautiful beaches and walking trails.

Cape Town also boasts stunning scenery, with the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. The climate is also pleasant as it is rarely too hot or too cold.

Also, the cost of living here is affordable and you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for around $450-$650.

Cape Town


As the country’s largest city and sprawling economic center, Johannesburg is naturally another of the best places to live in South Africa for expats.

Johannesburg is located in the Gauteng province in the northeast of the country and has a relatively mild and pleasant climate.

Nicknamed “The City of Gold”, Johannesburg was a gold mining settlement in the 19th century. However, today it is a bustling metropolis with a population of about 4.4 million.

There’s always a lot going on and lots of cool places to hang out. As a result, many parts of the city have a funky vibe, with new cafes, bars and boutiques popping up all the time.

Ongoing urban renewal projects are taking place in many areas of the city, resulting in various types of accommodation, such as stylish loft-style apartments.

However, certain areas of the inner city are high crime areas, so it’s best to base yourself in suburbs like Rosebank or Parkhurst. Many of these areas have gated communities for added security.

As the economic center of South Africa, many international and South African businesses are headquartered here. Therefore, there are many job opportunities for foreigners in many industries.

If you’re trying to choose between Cape Town or Johannesburg, the significantly lower cost of living may tip you toward the latter. You can rent a one-bedroom apartment for less than $400 in Johannesburg, or a three-bedroom house in the suburbs for about $700.



Although not as famous as Cape Town and Johannesburg, Durban is one of the best cities in South Africa for those who want to enjoy sunny weather and beautiful beaches.

Located on the east coast, it has a tropical climate with warm sunshine all year round.

With its many beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife, Durban is the perfect complement to the weather. It’s also one of the safest cities in South Africa, especially if you live in one of the gated communities.

Morningside is one of the most popular neighborhoods for expats because of its proximity to the financial district, yet still has a peaceful vibe. There is also Glenwood, which is popular with young fashion professionals, and Queensburgh, which is popular with families for its ample supply of housing and its proximity to schools.

Durban offers a more relaxed and natural lifestyle than Cape Town and Johannesburg. Still, as the country’s third-largest city, there are plenty of jobs and business opportunities, especially in finance and tourism.

What’s more, as the country’s most important seaport, Durban has a thriving manufacturing industry. The cost of living is in line with Johannesburg, with renting a one-bedroom apartment typically costing $300 to $400 per month.



The administrative capital, an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Pretoria is another of South Africa’s best cities to live in.

Pretoria is also smaller, quieter and less crowded than its bustling neighbours, making it a great choice for expats who prefer a slower pace of life.

Another reason foreigners love Pretoria is that it is full of culture and history, with lots of monuments and museums to visit. It is also full of beautiful flowers and trees, such as bright purple jacaranda trees.

In fact, it’s so numerous that it’s been called the “Jacaranda City”. Plus, there are some lovely parks and other naturally rich outdoor spaces.

Pretoria has three top universities and numerous research centres, creating many jobs in education and science.

Also, due to all the government offices, a large number of government jobs are vacant. In fact, most of the 2 million people living here are either civil servants or students.

Cost of living and rental prices are the same as in nearby Johannesburg. The most liveable areas are in the north, such as Wonderboom and Capital Park, which are close to the beautiful Wonderboom Nature Reserve.

Alternatively, Waterkloof in the east is very safe and green, close to the Botanic Gardens.


port elizabeth

Port Elizabeth is a smaller city located on Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape. It is one of the best cities in South Africa for people who love nature and wildlife.

This is because whales, dolphins and seals are seen year-round in this part of the coast, as well as several nature reserves.

Port Elizabeth is known for its friendly community atmosphere and windy weather. It is one of the most laid-back cities in South Africa and one of the sunniest, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year.

Port Elizabeth is especially popular with families due to its relaxed atmosphere and nature-rich environment. Plus, there are plenty of things in town to keep you entertained.

For example, the boardwalk waterfront entertainment complex has a five-screen movie theater, an amphitheater, and an adventure golf park. Summer Strand and Walmer are two of the safer Port Elizabeth neighborhoods, both close to the beach.

The cost of living is higher than Johannesburg and Durban, but slightly lower than Cape Town. Here, you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for $450-$550 a month or a three-bedroom house for $800-$1,000.

port elizabeth

Final thoughts on the best places to live in South Africa

As you can see, South Africa has something for everyone. So whether you prefer a cosmopolitan lifestyle or living close to nature, one of these five best places to live in South Africa will be perfect for you.

Also, while these places are generally safe, I recommend living in one of the many gated and safe communities in any city of your choice.

Not sure if South Africa is right for you? Read one of the following guides:

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