Best European Cities to Relocate [React Devs]

If you are a React Engineer looking to relocate or work remotely for a European company, in what cities should you prioritize your search?

Agnes Nduta

Nov 2, 2021 · 18 min read

Which are the Best European Cities for React Engineers?

Top European Cities for React Engineers

There are several reasons why you might need to relocate. It could be part of the job description, a personal reason like wanting to settle down with a significant other, living standards, or even just for a different experience.

If you are a React Engineer looking to relocate or work remotely for a European company, in what cities should you prioritize your search?

Top 20 European Tech Hubs

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The above image from the State of European Tech Report 2020 by Atomico, Orrick, and Slush shows the top tech hubs in Europe based on capital investment. The top 5 are London, Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, and Munich. In this section, we list cities from the above list and rank them based on factors like salaries, living standards, and internet speeds.

London, United Kingdom

Palace of WestMinster

Image by Jamie Street from Unsplash

If you have always wanted to work for big tech companies (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple), then London might be your lucky charm. The construction of Google’s London headquarters is underway. The skyscraper will house Google’s current London staff (4,500 employees).

Google London Office

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Big tech uses React. In fact, Facebook invented it and open-sourced it, while other brands like Microsoft’s Skype use React Native.

The big 4 in tech’s expansion to the European continent is however a double-edged sword, especially for startups who are needing to set aside higher salary budgets to stay competitive amidst the mammoth salaries offered by the big tech companies.

On the other hand, the big tech expansion will see startups strive to keep up with the salary competition, which means that start-ups, in general, will offer better perks.

So, if working in a startup is appealing for you, you have an opportunity to try it out in London, especially in companies that offer company shares.

When it comes to living standards, London is on the higher end. A monthly income of $4,700 will allow for a modest lifestyle. A one-bedroom apartment’s rent in London’s city center is $1,698.98. A cappuccino is EUR 2.99 and half a liter of local beer EUR 1.84.

The internet speeds in London are at an impressive average of 81.62 Mbps, with the fastest speed recorded being 3512 Mbps. There are also plenty of coworking options in London should you work for a company with hybrid, remote or work-from-home options.

Paris, France

Eiffel Tower

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

The La French Tech is one of the things that makes Paris a city of interest to relocate to as a React developer. La French Tech is a French government initiative aimed at putting the tech ecosystem in France on the world’s map.

Startups can receive funding and even be part of the French Tech Ticket accelerator program to help them get started. Winners of the program’s previous seasons have received office space, a fast-tracked residence permit and have had their businesses incubated.

This equals more opportunities.

If you still need more convincing, here are three funding round sets of data that showcase Paris as a leading tech hub in Europe:

Funding Rounds 75% French Funding Rounds Number 1 Hub

The French Tech Visa is perhaps the most exciting thing that should make you want to relocate to Paris. The Visa allows startup founders, investors, and even employees to work in France for 4 years.

The visa has minimal requirements, for example:

  • a 3-month contract (minimum) with a company eligible to recruit via the tech visa,
  • and a gross salary of at least twice the minimum French wage.

While you can work as a React engineer in Paris without any French knowledge, it helps to speak English. Life outside work may be difficult if you do not speak French fluently. You will need your French when looking for an apartment, or ordering at a restaurant.

Internet speeds in Paris are spectacular, at an average of 121.45 Mbps, with the fastest speeds being seen from a free provider (2374.47 Mbps). There are many coworking options in Paris, including tech hubs like station F.

Paris’ living standards are on the higher end. A one-bedroom apartment’s rent in Paris’ city center is $1,229.32. A cappuccino is EUR 3.70 and half a liter of local beer EUR 6.5.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm City Hall Image Source

Stockholm has 3 company categories that would fit the tier 3 slot (discussed in the salaries section) - multinationals, large companies, and high potential growth startups.

Stockholm was home to 54% of Multinational Corporation Headquarters located in Nordic countries on the 2019 Forbes Global 2000

Stockholm was home to 54% of Multinational Corporation Headquarters located in Nordic countries on the list. These are 22 Global MNC headquarters. In the 2019 Forbes Global 2000 list. These are 22 Global MNC headquarters. In the 2021 Forbes Global 2000 list, Stockholm-based companies like Investor AB, and Ericsson also made it to the list.

Moreover, Stockholm has large companies like Securitas AB, which has over 302K employees, H&M with over 126K, and Ericsson with over 95K. (see below infographic)

Largest Companies in Sweden - Number of Employees Image Source

The CBInsights Global State of Venture Report (Q2 2021) showed some promising startups, for example, Northvolt that received funding, Klarna, which was among the top 10 most valuable unicorns, and Oatly whose IPO exit value was $10.1B.

A quick look at the open positions in these companies shows that they use React to build their applications, including React Native and Redux. Some of them have great benefits and even relocation support.

When it comes to whether you should be fluent in Swedish to work in Stockholm, the general answer is no. Most Swedish people are fluent in English. However, being fluent in Swedish gives you access to more opportunities. The last thing you need is to join a company where all meetings are conducted in Swedish. The good news is that you can learn Swedish for free through the SFI (Swedish for immigrants) program.

Internet speeds in Stockholm were 49.61 Mbps in 2020.

Berlin, Germany

Engagement Image Source

The reason why Berlin is referred to as the Silicon Allee (Europe’s Silicon Valley) is that it is the startup king. In 2021 alone, Berlin companies raised $4.8 billion in business funding (263 rounds).

Here were the top five in Q2:

German Start Up Funding Image Source

The above list helps to significantly narrow down your search. Out of the 6 companies, 4 are based in Berlin. You can begin by checking their ‘careers’ pages for open positions that need React knowledge, before looking up similar companies. Some companies like Forto even go ahead to give you a feel of what it is like to work at the company.

You do not need to necessarily speak German to work as a React developer in Berlin. However, it’s advisable to be fluent in the language should you need official documents or permits (depending on your home country). It is also always good to be able to interact with the locals and the culture, which is best experienced if you can understand and speak the language.

The average internet speed in Berlin is 37.33 Mbps, with some providers’ speeds being impressively high - 1030.69 Mbps.

There are also plenty of coworking options in Berlin, and the living standards are fairly affordable, with a 1 bedroom apartment’s rent being EUR 741, half a liter of local beer going for EUR 0.89, and cappuccino going for EUR 3.08.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands Image Source

One reason that puts Amsterdam on the top 5 list of cities React developers should consider in Europe is the fact that there are several tech companies that call Amsterdam home and whose valuation is over $1B. Some of these companies include Messagebird which has 700+ employees (over 55 nationalities), and Mollie (35+ nationalities).

In addition, 101 multinationals opened up offices in Amsterdam in 2020, while 35 existing ones expanded. All these are opportunities that React developers could seize.

When it comes to perks and benefits, Amsterdam does not disappoint. Here is a list of benefits from Adidas’ Netherlands office, which serves as a satellite office to the German global headquarters.

Amsterdam, Netherlands Image Source

You don’t need to speak Dutch. Adidas, the Netherlands for example, has a ‘no Dutch’ requirement. This might not be the case in all companies, though. It is always a good idea to learn the country’s official language. This way, you will not miss out on opportunities.

Amsterdam has fast internet speeds (60.31 Mbps) on average. The Hubspot Tech Scene Document lists Amsterdam’s average salaries in tech at EUR 4036, a 1 BR apartment at EUR 1402, a cup of cappuccino at EUR 3.24, and a bottle of wine for EUR 6.

You are even likely to come across co-working spaces where you pay in crypto.

What Developers Look for in a City

Software Developer Image Source

In this section, we want to explore factors that a software developer would consider before moving into another city.


A larger paycheck is definitely a reason to consider moving to another city. There are several facets to salaries. Knowing average salaries, for example, 60,000 EUR annually for the most experienced engineers in Amsterdam, is important. However, the potential salary growth is also a significant consideration.

How much you earn over time may largely depend on the individual company that you end up working for. You want to work for companies that are in the “third tier”. What tiers are we talking about?

Salaries tend to have 3 tiers, a concept referred to as the trimodal nature of salaries Why is it important to understand these tiers? This is because they will determine your long-term compensation growth.

Salary Tiers Image Source

The salary a company offers, to a large extent, helps to attract and retain top talent. In order to stay competitive, companies have to keenly monitor their competition’s remuneration.

How far companies cast their nets results in their salaries being higher or not.

Tier 1 companies benchmark their competition’s salaries within the local market.

Tier 2 companies only benchmark their salaries within the local market. They, therefore, stay within the local market range or pay a little higher.

Tier 3 companies benchmark salaries regionally and globally. This makes their salaries competitive. A senior engineer’s salary would be in the EUR 125,000 to 250,000 range vis a vis the average range of EUR 60,000.

An interesting thing with tier 3 salaries is that they are likely to include bonuses and stocks, if the company is public, or is IPO listed.

Company Culture/Benefits

As we have seen, compensation within companies is determined by how far the company casts its benchmarking net. In addition to opting for tier 3 companies, let’s explore other aspects that would make a company appealing to a software engineer who wants to relocate.

Here is a job description from Celonis, a German software company that got its series D funding in Q2 2021. First, it calls its employees ‘Celonauts’, which points to a sense of belonging. There are also attractive benefits like leave days, flexible working hours, a remote option, remote work stipend, transportation and meal allowance, health insurance, and even relocation packages. A company with all these benefits might make one want to move, right?


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Monthly Costs/Standard of Living

In addition to larger paychecks and great company culture, a city’s living costs and standards is definitely something that influences whether software engineers want to move to a particular city.

For example, Zurich, Switzerland is ranked as the most expensive city in Europe, based on the 2021 Mercer Cost of Living Ranking. and Sofia, Bulgaria, the least expensive.

The aforementioned Hubspot European Tech Scene article helps to further paint the cost of living picture in top European cities by comparing things like rent (for a 1 bedroom apartment), the cost of local beer, the cost of a bottle of wine, and the cost of a cappuccino.

A 1 bedroom apartment’s rent is EUR 741 in Berlin, EUR 1423 in Dublin, EUR 1878 in London, EUR 1064 in Paris, and EUR 1402 in Amsterdam.


One tricky thing about moving to another city is that the official language may be different from your home country’s or the country in which you are currently residing. For example, if you want to move to a German city, you are better off learning German.

While not all jobs require you to speak or be fluent in a specific country’s official language, it is always beneficial to be able to effectively communicate in it.

The last thing you need is to have to communicate with colleagues who may not know English or attend conferences where another country’s official language is being spoken.

Internet Speeds, Coworking Spaces, and Other Factors

Fast internet speeds are a must-have, so software engineers want to work in cities with quick internet speeds.

If a software engineer’s job has a remote or work-from-home option, coworking spaces become an alternative for when an engineer does not want to work from home. Cities with numerous coworking choices are therefore more appealing.

The last thing you need is to have to communicate with colleagues who may not know English or attend conferences where another country’s official language is being spoken.

Why Do Developers Love React So Much?

React is an extremely popular framework, according to the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey. Coming in as the second most popular web framework (as voted for by 35.9% of the respondents), its counterpart React Native went ahead and claimed the 6th position in the ‘other frameworks’ category. Overall, the respondents chose React as the second most loved web framework (68.9%).

What makes React so loveable? Well, turns out there are a couple of things. Let’s look at them below:

Love React

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Time-saving Boilerplates

React boilerplate code comes in handy with components that have already been created and peer-reviewed by other developers. This decreases the amount of time it takes to write code.

Cross-platform Use

As the saying goes, you learn React once and use it everywhere:

  • React Native for mobile apps (on both iOS and Android).
  • Desktop applications with Electron
  • Component server rendering with Next.js
  • Static sites with Gatsby

Handy Features and Tools

Using a React Native example, developers have features and tools that make building apps easier. The React Native Debugger, for instance, is built for debugging React Native apps, making it even more effective than the usual Chrome debugger on DevTools.

And also, since React components are in essence separate entities, debugging them is easier.

Large Global Community

There are three sides to these. One, the fact that Facebook invented React and open-sourced it. This means that the giant company prioritizes it to ensure that it continues to work great and build apps globally. It is no wonder that Facebook uses React in its other products like Instagram.

Two, there are many developers in the world who code in React and interact with each other via various platforms. The official React site lists some of the most popular ones, for example, the React subreddit which has 276k members, the Hash Node React Community which has 66.7 k followers, and the Reactiflux Community with 166k members.

Being a member of such communities not only helps you stay updated but can help you solve problems when you hit blockers.

Three, React is open-source. This means that there are developers who are continuously contributing to the library making it more robust while staying up to date. This makes the library more efficient, and also gives you a chance to contribute to open source.

Faster Loading Sites and Apps

React uses a virtual DOM, which is ‘a virtual version’ of your app’s HTML, making web pages or apps load faster. This creates a great user experience (UX) for the app’s users. The longer your app or web pages take to load, the faster the users leave. Here are some tools to help you measure your website’s loading speed:

Some important metrics:

  • GTMetrix (LCP) - measures how long it takes the longest element on your page to load. Aim for 1.2 seconds.
  • Total Blocking Time (TBT) - the amount of time blocked by scripts as your page loads. Aim for 150 milliseconds max.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift CLS) - how much your layout shifts as the webpage loads. Aim for 0.1 max.

Speed is also one of the factors that helps your site rank higher on Google’s search results.

In Conclusion

We have explored the best cities to explore as a React developer looking to relocate. We have looked at 5 cities to put at the top of your list and some factors to consider when choosing cities to relocate to.

One thing that cuts across all the cities that we have discussed above is a thriving startup scene since start-ups are an indicator of a growing and thriving economy.

Looking out for cities with significant start-up growth is definitely a smart strategy to use to find more European cities of interest to you as a React developer.

Which is your favorite city, and why?


Agnes Nduta is a content creator who creates worlds in words, empathy and code.

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