India can be overwhelming at first. You are smacked in the face (metaphorically, of course) with the busy and vibrant city streets, smells and sensations of this amazing and colourful country. With over 4,000 different cities, hundreds of languages, and many diverse traditions and cultures, it can be hard to adjust to your new surroundings. Yet, most expats to this majestic country not only learn to live here but they fall in love with it as well.

Allied helps thousands of expats successfully relocate to India every single year! So, we know how to find the perfect Indian city to call home and which cities are always at the top of every expat’s list. 

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Choosing Where To Live

With so many different cities in India to choose from, it can be tough to choose where to settle down. Aside from choosing between the top cities that we’ve listed below, it’s a good idea to create some criteria to evaluate your options against. The most common factors expats look for when choosing where to live include the ease of living, job opportunities, scenery and surroundings.


We define the ‘ease of living’ as a combination of convenience with quality of life. It can be tricky to find the balance between the interesting and exciting with the peaceful and tranquil. Convenience can come at a cost, which usually involves living in bigger, noisier and densely populated cities. However these cities also have the best range of cuisine, culture and entertainment that India can offer.


Most expats relocating to India already have work lined up. The large global companies tend to be based in bigger cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Usually, the bigger the city, the more job opportunities available. However, the rise of remote working has meant that expats have more opportunities to work from smaller cities. The only limitation being adequate internet access and other needed infrastructure, which tend to be less developed in rural and poorer regions. 


As mentioned before, you’ll have to choose whether you prefer convenience or serenity in India. But, that doesn’t mean the busier cities lack beauty. You can find unique architecture, skyscrapers and bustling markets in the big cities. Smaller cities and remote areas will offer stunning landscapes, as well as exquisite religious and historical sites to explore. It’s important to remember that just because you choose to settle in one area, does not mean you cannot travel around and see the rest of India. 

Popular Indian Cities for Expats

These cities are some of the favourites among expats choosing to settle in India.

1. Bengaluru

Recently named as one of the emerging best cities for expats by Bloomberg, Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) is becoming a quick favourite for those looking to be a part of the tech boom. Home to many new start-ups and technology companies, Bengaluru is seeing an influx of new expats enjoying the abundance of job opportunities and flourishing culture and cuisine scenes. 


As a city on the rise, Bengaluru is investing heavily in new infrastructure and amenities to cater for its new growth. Compared to some of India’s larger cities, the cost of living is rather affordable and provides a high quality of life. The bustling nightlife is balanced out by the many parks and green spaces, including the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, scattered throughout the city which can be enjoyed year round thanks to the moderate warm climate. Bengaluru is popular as there are many international schools, however these tend to be expensive.

2. Pune

Pune is the ideal place for expats who are looking for a city which offers job opportunities, thriving cosmopolitan life and beautiful landscapes. Known as the ‘Oxford of the East’, Pune is home to many reputable universities and schools making it highly popular with expat students and families.


With friendly and a high number of English speaking locals, Pune is considered an inviting city for expats. Cut in half by a river, the Old Town is considered the cultural heart of Pune and is where you will find all the markets, movie theatres, zoos, and historical and religious sites. With Pune’s thousand-year history, there is a lot to explore and discover. 

3. Chandigarh and Gandhinagar

Known as ‘the Planned Cities’. Expats often find it hard to choose which is the best of the two cities. Locals say both are equally beautiful.

You can enjoy an unpolluted and peaceful lifestyle in both Chandigarh and Gandhinagar. The two cities blend the feel of the urban with the natural. This appealing combination is ideal for health-conscious and outdoorsy expats.


Both also boast a relatively cheaper cost of living compared to the big cities like Mumbai and Delhi. Rent and food are more affordable and if you choose to live in either city, you’ll enjoy verdant landscapes and well-maintained roads. These two cities are no doubt some of the best places in India for expats.

4. Kolkata

Also known as the City of Joy, there’s plenty to love when it comes to Kolkata. Easy to live in, budget-friendly and with magnificent infrastructure, Kolkata is labelled the City of Joy for good reason.

Kolkata’s cost of living is considerably cheaper than that of Mumbai. Local purchasing power, rent, and consumer prices fall several points lower. You might earn about 25% lower than an income in Mumbai, but groceries, restaurants, properties, and utilities are not as expensive.


Kolkata is also a heaven-on-earth for foodies, housing a diverse mix of nationalities. The epicurean delights are plentiful in Kolkata. There is a mix of Bengali, Italian and Asian, with a dash of Western cuisine. Your tastebuds will never get bored.

This city is also suitable for expats who love majestic architecture and traces of India’s Colonial heritage. It is a city that merges the old with the modern, with an Instagram-worthy opportunity at every turn.

5. Mumbai

Mumbai is the Financial Capital of India, whereby opportunities are vast for professionals looking for well-paid work.


If you enjoy the urban side of life, you will love the entertainment that Mumbai has in store. Nothing beats the upbeat lifestyle of its people. Essential commodities, such as malls and gyms, are within easy reach, making it extremely convenient. If you ever tire of the fast-paced lifestyle, you can always get away to Marine Drive along the bay for a dose of relaxation.

Being a famous city for young professionals, Mumbai is pretty crowded and polluted. Noise and chaos is in abundance here. The cost of living is also higher compared to other cities.


There are many cities in India to fall in love with. Take the time to travel to each and explore before you decide where you’ll settle. Whether you are moving to India for work, retirement or pleasure, the moving professionals at Allied can make your relocation easy. 

With our global network of moves, high level of training and reputation for being some of the best movers around, you can trust that Allied will make your move to India a seamless experience! Please get in contact with us today and receive a free quote which is tailored to your unique moving requirements and budget. 

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