Once you start traveling you will inevitably notice that something is rotten in the state of Denmark. And I don’t mean the country.
What I mean is the undeniable fact that many Western European cities are anything but the best cities for single men to live in. Many fail to provide for the interests of the single man. Be it that you live in a country which has recently proclaimed to follow a “feminist” foreign policy or be it that you live in the social graveyard that is Germany: no matter how you look at it, the grass always seems greener on the other side.
This washed-out saying turns into bright reality once you start traveling. The more East you go the more you will realize that your own cultural background is not the one norm with all others to be measured against it. It is, after all, just one out of many others and maybe not even a good one at that. And if you start comparing things in regard to male interests such as self-development and dating then you will come to realize that life abroad is not “just different” — but that you might just have pulled the shorter straw in life.
Here comes the good news
As a single Western man you are free to travel and emigrate to pastures that actually are greener. It is my personal belief that any young man who went through the emasculating process of growing up in Mid-West USA, Scandinavia, Germany and the like should — or maybe even has the obligation to travel where Western values are upside down.
This introduction brings you three of the best cities for single men that will not make you feel like you are rolling a rock up the hill every day of your life. All cities come with advantages that, in any case, prove them to be the better alternative to the city you are currently stuck in. I am discussing the advantages – as well as the obvious disadvantages – in the categories of:
- The Women
- Stability & Reliability
Let’s get right into it.
As a former communist state Hungary had its own version of the concept, namely Goulash Communism, meaning things were by no means as rigid as they were in Russia.
Thus, Hungary was able to save most of its Austrian-Hungarian heritage with its classical architecture and Vienna-like coffee house culture. As Hungary never had to back down like Russia’s main bottom-bitches Ukraine and Belarus in terms of Russification the Habsburgian heritage is still alive today with many Hungarians learning German instead of English as their first foreign language.
The unique blend of Eastern Bloc heritage and Western European heritage makes Budapest an attraction in itself as the city combines the best of both worlds: A high quality of living and a weak amount of Western nonsense go along with a degree of openness and friendliness in people that you will not find in the bordering slavic states.
On top of that, Budapest even has its very own low-cost airline. WizzAir operates from Budapest’s main international airport (not one of those out in the countryside) and is one of the few low-cost carriers that is halfway reliable and doesn’t suck entirely.
Rent an apartment in Budapest and you might be blessed with one of the picturesque inner courtyards that are in common with Soviet style building styles and will look something like this:
Keep in mind, though, that renting an apartment long-term in Budapest comes at almost Western prices. Hungary, like Ukraine, has no rental market to speak of as everybody and his sister buys the place they live in, even if it means starting to pay for mortgages at the age of 20.
Budapest girls are some of the sweetest females you will ever encounter in the whole of Europe. Just like with the overall atmosphere of the city recent history also reflects in females: Budapest girls are feminine and attractive (Eastern Bloc history) while at the same time they are no ice queens (Western Bloc history) like you will find them in Ukraine or Russia.
While you will see lots of the obnoxious beer ride things (whatever these things are called officially) in Budapest like on the picture below, Budapest is (not yet) a stag-party haven like Riga. As it is still a bit father away from Western Europe than, say, Prague, Budapest isn’t totally washed out from cheap city tourism, either.
Even with a growing influx of dead-beat tourists from Britain and Germany Budapest girls manage to keep their charm. One of the most feminine and most attractive woman I ever met I met in Budapest.
Stability & Reliability
You guessed it: Budapest’s East-West history even plays into the field of stability and reliability. The Western heritage takes off a bit of the edge in Budapest’s everyday shadiness that you won’t get to see if you spend your time drinking away with backpackers in Szimpla Kert.
The sketchiness of Budapest is not to be found in something like the slavish harshness, but more in the overall take-no-hostage mentality common with many Eastern Europeans. Want an anecdote? An Airbnb host in Budapest – an overall friendly and well-traveled guy in his mid-30s who I went for a drink with – once told me how he made “an extra buck” during the late 1990s:
With the help of friends from his small hometown 2 hours away from Budapest he managed to get his hands on an older AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle. What he did then was have the rifle fixed by the locksmith in his hometown and then sell the reassembled rifle – again with the help of friends – to some local guerilla in 6-hour-away Kosovo, Ex-Yugoslavia (no joke). “I got 600 dollar this way, it was easy!” – Full-time Airbnb host, part-time arms dealer.
While there is all kind of shenanigans going on with buying and selling real estate Budapest itself is pretty much hassle-free. Here’s one more anecdote: I remember when I was at Heroes Square for the first time, desperately trying to find a decent place to have lunch.
Walking past the Museum of Fine Arts I was approached by a man in an admiral’s costume who was trying to get tourists to board a London-style city tour bus. I waived off the Admiral and proceeded to scope the area for a venue that would offer more than overpriced burgers and fries.
Unable to find a restaurant, I was about to give up and walk back to the center when I came by the Admiral for the second time. I approached him in English, making a hand-gesture as if to say: “Don’t give me your spiel, I just need to ask you something.”
The admiral’s eyebrowse rose and much to my suprise he now stepped out of his character completely. Speaking to me as if I was a local he complained how all the restaurants on Heroes Square would serve small portions at high prices which he found “unfair;” he advised me to go back to the center and recommended three restaurants. Such behavior by someone who makes a living off tourists surely would be out of the equation in Riga, Prague or even Wroclaw.
LISTEN UP, WUSSIES!
I’m sick and tired of being asked by men if “Ukraine is safe” or why I am supposedly traveling to “a war zone”. Please get it through your head that Kiev is a perfectly safe place to travel. In fact, I am saying that your chance to get into any kind of uneasy situation is lower in Kiev – or in Ukraine as a whole – than in any other (Eastern) European city.
This being said, Kiev is also one of the best cities for single men to travel to and live in. And that for several reasons.
First off, Kiev actually is an attractive city. Unlike many other Eastern European cities that turn dull and boring once you leave the city center that was well refurbished with EU-support (Bratislava, Brno, Poznan, Ostrava, Ljubljana), Kiev has interesting spots all over with the oligarch’s ghost town being an absolute insider tip.
The most striking aspect about living in Kiev are the prices.
If you put aside renting apartments long-term and staying at hotels in Kiev then Kiev has some of the lowest costs of living of all major European cities. Have you ever had a three-course meal at a restaurant for 2,10€? In Kiev this would be the average rate for a tasty Biznez Lunch (50 UAH), a common lunch-offer including a soup for starters, a local dish as well as a drink and a desert.
This list goes on with: 9 cents (!) for a Metro ride, 1,00€ for a daypass at a well-maintained gym and 3,50€ for a taxi ride from one end of the city to the other. A cover charge of 100 UAH (4,30€) for a club in Kiev’s nightlife is to be considered above-average, but still is comically low if you compare it to basically anywhere else in the world.
Take the advice from my Kiev Travel Guide to get decent long-term housing at a reasonable price, relocate to Kiev and enjoy one of the best cities for single men worldwide in regard to value for money.
The females you will see in Kiev are some of the most attractive ones in the world: Ask the average Joe on the street to name three countries with attractive women and he will probably come up with Brazil, Russia – and Ukraine.
And Joe is right. The average level of female attractiveness in Kiev is a slap in the face for almost any other European city, with Oslo and Stockholm perhaps being negotiable exceptions. Kiev girls are tall, slim and slender and they embrace their femininity through skirts and heels instead of piercings and dyed hair.
Stability & Reliability
Ukraine is no country for poor men. With a non-existing welfare-state and (still) heavy corruption Ukrainians have little trust in people they are not related to. The Ukrainian family is their substitute for a welfare state and missing employment rights alike. The fact that getting married at 20 in Ukraine is common and socially endorsed has for a good deal its root in necessity and not so much in an undying love.
The good news is that if you derive your income from a source outside of Ukraine – which you should in any case – you will face none of these negative aspects. Ukrainian banks are just as reliable as anywhere else and since there are no tourists in Kiev to speak of, now more than ever, there is no hassling of foreigners/tourists whatsoever.
Needless to say that you will not experience the slightest resemblence of the conflict in the East of the country as everyday life in Kiev goes on untouched by the events. Kiev is safe, cheap and full of gorgeous women.
Did you know that Berlin is 9 times larger than Paris and has twice as much people as Barcelona? In other words, Berlin is huge with a lot going on for itself.
Berlin is a thriving capital city that does not have to hind behind London, Paris or any other European capital in terms of internationality and city flair.
Just like Budapest, Berlin has its own low-cost carrier named AirBerlin and together with other low-cost airlines like Germanwings or TuiFly Berlin can be reached fast & cheap from almost anywhere in the world.Once in the city, finding a decent long-term apartment is probably the easiest in the whole of Europe as Germany has an active culture of subletting apartments (“Zwischenmiete”).
Combine this fact with the tens of thousands of Berlinians going abroad all the time you have a super high chance to rent someone else’s nice downtown apartment for the exact same price that he rents it himself: Zwischenmiete is key in Berlin, sites like wg-gesucht.de have thousands of offers for sublets at reasonable prices with no realtors involved whatsoever.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that after the fall of the Berlin Wall almost half of the city’s population left to try their luck in Western Germany. A good deal of the “empty seats” were refilled by the bazillions of state agencies (and their employees) that now chose Berlin, the new capital of united Germany, as their new headquarters.
Now, what do you get when you have a city that has always been wordly but never been rich and that now stands half-empty with low prices for rent? That’s right, you get a hipster plague. Since the mid 1990s there has been a constant influx of “artists” and other bohemian city slickers that have declared Berlin their new Mekka, setting themselves a monument with this well-known video:
Here comes the work-around: With almost 3,5 million people Berlin may well be home to quite a bulk of face-tattooed freaks and hipster girls. The good news is that considering its size, reputation and sought-after-ness Berlin also acts as a magnet for women from all over the world.
When in Berlin you simply do not depend on German girls whatsoever as the city is teeming with women from every corner of the world. Take advantage of the housing situation where prices have definitely gone up in the last years but still are arguably cheap in comparison to Paris, London or Rome and make Berlin your European version of New York City with the same amount of international girls in the city.
You don’t even have to look far as downtown places like the Garden of Lust (“Lustgarten”) have a never-ending supply of girls from basically everywhere and they are all in vacation-mode.
If that doesn’t suit you then you can always go for some full-on debauchery in Berlin’s excessive nightlife that is home to venues like the infamous KitKat Club which is as spaced-out as the VIP-area of New York City’s Studio 54 back in the 1980s. Or the world-famous Bergain that gets going by 11 am and that is internationally known for its no-limits policy, darkrooms and drug/techno excess (don’t let their innocent-looking homepage fool you. Read this article instead)
Face control at these locations mainly consists of not being extroverted enough. Just wearing regular street clothes will get you as much problems trying to get it as will business attire with a blazer and leather shoes. On the other hand, a Clockwork Orange-like costume and anaconda contact lenses almost guarantee you entry.
Stability & Reliability
Even with its cutting edge nightlife and laissez-faire mentality Berlin still is a German city. This basically means that everything from public transport to administration will work fast and reliable.
Likewise, taking advantage of tourists/travelers is as much unheard of as is trickery by shop owners or taxi drivers. Berlin is a safe city that has no real drawbacks in terms of stability or unreliability.
This article originally appeared on Euromentravel.com