Best Cities For Architects The Ultimate Guide to 15 Breathtaking Cities


What are the best cities for architects to live in?
Whether you are looking to pursue a career in architecture, if you’re a student in search of the best university where you can hone your knowledge of architecture, or if you just want to surround yourself with magnificent architectural wonders, the first step is to find exactly what you are looking for.

In order for your architectural career to flourish, then you might want to consider moving to a new location.

Best Cities for Architects Illustrations

Depending on what you’re looking for, a promising salary, various employment opportunities, the ideal balance between life and work, plenty of internships and education options, or if you just want to be inspired, these are some of the best cities for architects.

All the options we will present you with are based on different criteria and factors. We chose these cities after careful consideration and prior research, and of course in line with our personal opinion.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best cities for architects you might be able to see yourself in. 

Best Cities for Architects to Earn Money

Best Cities for Architects to Earn Money

In the process of searching for any job, salary and job perks are always at the top of our list. Naturally, when it’s time to weigh the pros and cons, the remuneration package is what we look at first. As an employed architect, you already know exactly how much your time and effort are worth.

If you want to make a living as an architect, then take a look at some of the best cities for architects. 

Best cities for architects starting with New York City

New York City for Architects

Photo Credit: MusikAnimal / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Big Apple is well-known as the financial hub of the United States and the world itself. Otherwise called “the city that never sleeps,” New York City is the promised place of opportunity and home to some of the most prominent architecture firms on the globe. You are sure to strike it rich and make a name for yourself as an architect in this concrete jungle.

According to statistics and various research, the average salary for an architect is close to $94,000 per annum. Not only did it take the third place on the list of the highest-paid cities in the United States, but it was also included in the list of top 10 places to find a job in 2019.

Acclaimed for its modern collection of skyscrapers, New York City captures different architectural styles. Varying from Gothic revival to Art Deco, some of the most recognizable buildings worldwide can be found in New York City, such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the One World Trade Center. 

San Francisco

San Francisco Best Cities for Architects

Many would agree that San Francisco, and California in general, is the dreamland for any budding architect. The city’s distinctive and unique architecture is the result of topological tendencies, such as earthquakes that shaped this captivating city.

Otherwise known as the land of dreams, California offers a multitude of jobs in any field, and architecture is no different. An architect can earn up to $97,000 a year, and that’s just the average salary.

In San Francisco, the architectural styles transcend from modern to traditional Victorian fashion. Its most famous landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge, is said to be one of the most beautiful bridges on the globe and it has been named one of the Wonders of the Modern World.

Boston

Boston Best City for Architecture

One of the oldest founding cities in the history of America, Boston is the perfect mix of the old and the new. It’s exactly this stylistic fusion that makes Boston the prime starting point for building a career in architecture.

According to Zippia, Boston takes the 5th place on the list of the highest-paid cities , with an average salary of almost $96,000 per annum. Not surprisingly, this cosmopolitan hotspot definitely makes our list of the best cities for architects as well.

The flashing skyscrapers tower over the entire town, giving off a contemporary character, no matter its ancient foundations. Some of its most recognized structures are the Old and the New Hancock Towers, as well as the Prudential Tower.

Best cities for Architects based on Employment opportunities - where to go?

Best cities for Architects based on Employment

We have laid out where you would make the most money as an architect, but now lets focus on where you would be able to find a job quickly in the first place.

We concentrated on the United States for high salaries, now let’s move to the east in search of abundant job opportunities. Let’s take a look at some of the best cities for architects where you can find work effortlessly.

Dubai

Dubai Best Cities for Architects

Travelling about 11,000 km east, we arrive to Dubai, a whole new world. As the financial center of the Middle East, Dubai is renowned for its fast-paced lifestyle and futuristic structures that are constantly spreading and growing.

Dubai is the place where anything is possible - it is where the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is located. Other luxurious palaces such as Burj Al Arab, the Cayan Tower and Atlantis, The Palm mark this city’s progressive development.

One might say that Dubai is a giant three-dimensional puzzle that consists of the most amazing architectural wonders. It’s one of a kind and definitely worth exploring. 

Shanghai

Shanghai

This Chinese metropolis is a living history book that traces the dramatic and astonishing changes of Chinese architecture. The epitome of Art Deco style, Shanghai is the home of some of the most contemporary and eclectic architectural designs in the world.

One of its most distinguished landmarks, the Shanghai tower, is the tallest structure in China. The city is bustling with fascinating architectural wonders, projects and companies. Some other architectural spectacles include the Jin Mao Tower, the Longhua Temple and the Oriental Pearl Tower.

It offers a lot of potential and opportunities, where you shouldn’t be afraid to think outside the box. This labyrinth of skyscrapers and concrete is never short of new ideas and fresh perspective. 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong for Architecture

Photo Credit: Temppic

Hong Kong looks like a portal to another dimension, one that takes us about a thousand years into the future. This urban universe is notable for its modern and postmodern style, where there is no room for old and outdated trends. The countless skyscrapers form a skyline that is like no other.

In line with the city’s aim to only keep growing, architects are always in demand. What better place to show off your skill and knowledge than in this innovative business center?

Some of the most intriguing architectural advances include the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, the Opus Hong Kong, the Clubhouse Mongkok Skypark, the Bank of China, and many more. 

The Perfect work-life balance in Architecture?

The Perfect work-life balance in Architecture

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the quick-paced lifestyle, and soon enough we can’t even recall when was the last time we relaxed next to a cup of coffee with some friends. Those who put their careers first know this sensation all too well.

Let’s not even talk about endless deadlines and projects never being fully finished. There is always something that can be improved, right? Having a family as an architect is also a challenge, so finding the perfect work-life balance in architecture is difficult, but not impossible.

Here are some of the best cities for architects that are ideal for finding that much needed balance between our professional and personal lives. 

Toronto

Toronto

Photo Credit: Jchmrt / CC BY-SA 4.0

Even though the architecture of Toronto was influenced by the United States and Europe, one cannot argue that this cosmopolitan city is unique in its own way. This blend of various architectural styles sets the ground for a flourishing art scene where any architect can contribute.

Thanks to several employment opportunities and its stable economy, it’s less stressful to live there than in some of its urban neighbors. Toronto provides just what you might be looking for - a guaranteed career, flexibility and room to focus on other areas of your life.

London

London - City for Architects

Photo Credit: Pawel Libera

World famous sights such as the Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and many other landmarks attract millions of tourists every year.

One could say that London is a map of European architecture, embracing various architectural styles from Georgian trends to Art Deco and Post-War Modernism.

London is the perfect setting for newcomers and most certainly a place of opportunity. Architects make well for themselves in this financial hub, where you can find a great number of leading European architectural companies and businesses.

So, if you’re looking for a location where you can earn more than enough, and where you can see an important landmark on your way to work, then London just might be the right place for you. 

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Right behind London, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s biggest startup hotspots and a great place to launch your architecture business. You can certainly make a name for yourself in this entrepreneurial city of growing and advancing technology.

Other than the space for potential it offers, Amsterdam is also known as one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Europe. Apart from its charming colorful houses and rich architectural history, Amsterdam is also famous for its countless canals that branch out through the entire city. 

This business-friendly center is sure to inspire you on a regular basis. 

Best Cities for Architecture Based on Education and Internships - How to Get Started

Cities for Internships in Architecture

Choosing the ideal architecture program when you plan to study abroad can be a difficult decision. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of college applications, graduate and postgraduate courses.

The situation is no different for internships, there’s plenty to choose from, but you’re not sure where to start. That’s why we have prepared the best cities for architects to study and start their architectural careers. 

Paris

Paris

Photo Credit: William Daniels

What better place to study than in the most beautiful city in Europe? Where you can take a break from your daily routine and go see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, or the many other architectural gems this city is thriving with.

This living encyclopedia of European architecture recorded the most recognized moments of architectural history - from the origins of Gothic style and French Renaissance to Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Various styles and designs can be seen in every nook and cranny of this place.

This fairytale city is the perfect place to start your journey as an architect, all the while admiring its never ending beauty. 

Vienna

Vienna

Photo Credit: Bwag / CC BY-SA 3.0 AT

As a well-known location for beginning and furthering your studies, Vienna has been hosting international students for years. Walking through the paths of Vienna, you are likely to run into a cathedral or a Baroque-style house anywhere you turn. It’s filled with some of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. 

Some of the most famous landmarks that are worth setting aside your time for are the Schönbrunn Palace, Belvedere Museum, Rathaus and Hundertwasserhaus. 

Berlin

Berlin

Photo Credit: dronepicr / CC BY 2.0

Affected by the deep prints left there by warfare, Berlin is a city rich with history more than anything else. A handful of salvaged buildings were later on demolished, in order to make room for the new and improved capital of Germany. 

Today, Berlin is a kaleidoscope of architectural innovation and eclectic designs. Among the Berlin Tower, Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral and many more architectural jewels, awe-inspiring architecture follows you wherever you go.

Above all, it’s a great place for students and new architects who are looking to take their first step into this field. Berlin offers a large number of universities and startup firms where you just might find your place.

if you're interested to know a bit more about the history of architecture in Germany during World War II, you may want to check out our Ultimate Guide to Nazi architecture.

Best Cities for Architecture based on Inspiration - Live Aesthetically

Inspiration - Live Aesthetically

There are some cities in this world that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime, let alone live in. To spend a few years, or much more, in these breathtaking locations is like living in a movie - every day's an adventure. Take a look at some of the most stunning and best cities for architects and architecture lovers.

Barcelona

Barcelona - city for architects

Photo Credit: Tango7174 / CC BY-SA 4.0

This one of a kind city looks like something taken out of a picture book. Renowned for its unusual cityscape, warm temperatures and multicultural society, Barcelona is teeming with architectural gems.

As an epitome of Catalan modernism, Barcelona is home to many works of art, such as the unfinished masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Casa Batlló, Park Güell and many more.

All these wonders are proof of the brilliance of Spanish architects, which are sure to spark your interest and leave you wanting more. 

Singapore

Singapore

Photo Credit: Chensiyuan / CC BY-SA 4.0

A city-state that was definitely designed for the future, Singapore looks like it belongs to a sci-fi movie. We can certainly call it an urban jungle, as it seems to be the perfect mix of cutting-edge technology and vast greenery.

What’s particularly interesting about Singapore are the “super trees” that were built in order to produce solar power and sustainable light. The green city also offers the Gardens by the Bay, the Three towers of the Marina Bay Sands, Reflections at Keppel Bay and many other architectural sights.

To an architect, this location holds countless possibilities for improvement and career advancement, where the sky is the limit. 

Tokyo

Tokyo

Photo Credit: Kakidai / CC BY-SA 3.0

Shaped by natural disasters and warfare, Tokyo was built to resist anything that could come its way. It’s commonly known as the city with the fastest and most advanced state-of-the-art technology. The city is bathed in colorful lights all the time, making you think you’ve stepped inside a graphic novel.

Also being the most populated city in the world, Tokyo is known for its contemporary architecture. The high rise skyscrapers leave you in awe. Just make sure you don’t get lost in all the commotion.

We hope that you were able to find what you were looking for. All of these cities have something in common - they offer various architectural styles and wonders, all unique in their own way. Such living art makes these cities so special and welcoming to any architect. 

What's your favorite city for architects?

We hope that you were able to find what you were looking for. All of these cities have something in common - they offer various architectural styles and wonders, all unique in their own way. Such living art makes these cities so special and welcoming to any architect.

Comment below which city is your favorite and where you will travel next! 

About the Author

Dušan Cvetković is a professional architect from Serbia with international experience in the industry. Collaborated with numerous clients all around the world in the field of architecture design, 3D modeling and software education. He's been teaching Rhinoceros3D to thousands of architects through How to Rhino community and various social media channels.