Second home hotspots around the world

Hannah Norton

Jun 24, 2024

The pandemic has really shifted our attitudes towards travel, with many of us prioritising holidaying overseas and visiting warmer climates. And, if you fall in love with a certain place and find yourself returning, then you might have considered buying a holiday home there which could double as an investment property.

Whether you prefer tropical beach destinations, or big, bustling cities, there are so many places all over the world where you could invest in a second home to spend your time off work at, and rent out to earn some extra money.

With that in mind, the home loan experts at Compare the Market decided to uncover the world’s second home hotspots, by analysing various factors, including things to do, safety scores, the cost of living, and rental rates.

1. Prague, Czechia

If you’re looking for a base that offers lots of things to see and do at a low cost, then look no further than Prague. The Czech capital has come in top place for holiday homes, and it’s easy to see why: not only does it have the most things to do per 100,000 people, at 330 attractions, but it has the second most number of restaurants (377 per 100,000), and the ninth cheapest cost of living overall, with average monthly outgoings of AUD$4,478 for a family of four, according to Numbeo.

So, spend your holiday getting lost in the winding cobblestone alleyways, before admiring the gothic Church of Our Lady Before Tyn, discovering local artists’ work on Charles Bridge, and picnic-ing in Letná Park. And if that’s not enough, then rest assured that with the fourth highest safety score (and highest of the top 10), you’ll love coming back to visit your holiday home for years to come.

2. Nicosia, Cyprus

Nicosia’s gorgeous weather secures it second place for a holiday home hotspot, with the third highest yearly temperatures, at a glorious 20 degrees Celsius on average; as well as the third lowest yearly rainfall (364mm over the year).

Nicosia offers the best of both worlds, with the city boasting numerous museums, art galleries, and some of the best restaurants in the country. However, it’s also just a short drive away from sandy (and shingle) shores, with Krioneri Beach in the village of Kato Pyrgos, and Omega Beach in Tylliria both less than two hours away by car.

3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Netherlands’ capital is the third best place for a holiday home – and it’s ideal if you love big city life, with lots of things to do. Not only does Amsterdam boast more restaurants per 100,000 people than anywhere else on our list, at 437, but it has the second most things to do too, at 277 attractions per 100,000.

If you’re travelling as a family, then spend your time cruising down the canals, touring working windmills, and playing in the many parks. Or, if you’re visiting your holiday home as a couple or group of friends and want to see a different side to the city, why not walk through the red-light district, and visit some of the more risqué museums?

4. Lisbon, Portugal

If you love nothing more than long, lazy mornings enjoying a cup of coffee and a pastry in a chic coffee shop, before spending the afternoon getting lost down charming backstreets, then Lisbon could be the perfect place to invest in a second home.

The city has the second cheapest cost of living out of our top 10 (and the seventh overall on our list), with our research finding you’d expect to pay AUD$4,251 for a family of four every month to live here. Additionally, year-round temperatures are a moderate 16.7 degrees Celsius, so you can get out and about and explore the sites at any time of the year.

5. Los Angeles, California, USA

With the second lowest rainfall on our list (357mm), as well as mild average temperatures (17.6 degrees Celsius), Los Angeles makes it into a very respectable fifth place for a holiday home hotspot.

Look in the areas of Venice Beach, Malibu, Santa Monica, and Laguna Beach, if you want to buy a place that’s near the ocean. Each of these areas boast beautiful beaches, and have lots of great things to do, whether you’re travelling as a family, couple, or group of friends. Alternatively, if you want to be closer to the city and money is no object, why not consider buying a place in upscale Beverly Hills or the palm-lined streets of Cheviot Hills?

6. Madrid, Spain

In sixth place for a second home is Spain’s capital, Madrid, with the fifth lowest yearly rainfall, at 415mm, and the joint seventh highest safety score, at 73.2.

If you’ll be spending shorter periods of time here, you’ll likely want to be in the heart of the action, so consider buying your holiday home in Sol, with shops, bars, and restaurants right on your doorstep. Alternatively, if you’ll be spending a considerable amount of time in your second home, you could consider the areas of Retiro, with El Retiro Park right on your doorstep; or Salamanca, which is known for its spacious properties and luxury shops.

7. Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Our seventh holiday home hotspot is Phoenix, with the highest yearly temperatures on our list, at 23.2 degrees, as well as the lowest average yearly rainfall, at 258mm… which makes perfect sense, considering it’s situated in the middle of the desert!

If you can drag yourself away from your pool, then there are lots of things to do here, from the desert botanical gardens, which is home to more than 4,000 different types of plant species; to the theatres and museums of downtown Phoenix.

8. Rome, Italy

With the sixth most things to do per 100,000, at 150 attractions; Rome easily makes it into eighth place as one of the best second home hotspots in the world.

Tick off classic tourist attractions including Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon; and then spend your time discovering lesser-known sights, such as Torre Argentina, which is a cat sanctuary that sits on the grounds of where Caeser was murdered, or Porta Alchemica, which is a “magic door” inside the park at Piazza Vittorio.

9. Warsaw, Poland

If you’re looking to purchase a second home in a place that offers a low cost of living and is safe to be in, look no further than Warsaw. Poland’s capital has the second highest safety score in our top 10, at 73.8 (ranking joint sixth overall), and the cheapest cost of living of our top 10, with a family of four typically spending around AUD$3,992 for a month.

Whichever neighbourhood you choose to buy in, make sure you spend equal time in the Old and New Towns: the former of which is home to pretty pastel buildings and quaint restaurants serving traditional Polish cuisine; and the latter home to international fashion brands, and the vast Łazienki Park, which really comes alive during the summer months.

10. Canberra, Australia

Rounding off our top 10 second home hotspots is Canberra – after all, not every holiday home has to be abroad! Spend your holidays here, and you’ll have a huge number of restaurants and cuisines to choose from, with Australia’s capital home to the sixth most number of restaurants per 100,000 people, at an impressive 287.

When it comes to choosing where to look for your home, consider the neighbourhoods of Griffith and Dixon, which are close to the centre of the city, with lots of cafes and shops on your doorstep. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to invest in somewhere that’s a little further out, then look into Kambah, which is home to lots of parks, playgrounds, and the natural wonder of Kambah Pool.

Other holiday home hotspots to consider

Many of our other cities scored highly on the different aspects we looked at, without making it into our top 10, just showing how many amazing places there are to invest in.

If safety is your number one priority, then the European cities of Munich, Zagreb, and Zurich could be ideal, with scores of 79, 78.3, and 77.8 respectively. Each offer plenty of things to see and do, whether you’re after a family holiday or a romantic couples’ retreat.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for somewhere that’ll make your money stretch, then the South African cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg offer the lowest cost of living. Cape Town is a great option if you love the outdoors, with Table Mountain, Hout Bay, and Cape of Good Hope right on your doorstep. Or, if you’d prefer to spend time in Europe, then Bucharest, Porto, and Budapest all scored well for the cost of living, too.

If you’re not going to spend long in your second home, renting it out can be a great extra source of income. Paris, Los Angeles, New York, and London have the highest average rental rates, with a place in the centre of Paris returning a rental yield of around AUD$11,469 a month.

Stephen Zeller, General Manager of Money at Compare the Market AU states: “If you find yourself returning to a specific destination time and again, buying a holiday home there can be a great investment, as not only will it cut down the cost of your trips abroad, but you can rent it out when you’re not there.

“By securing an investment loan for a potential investment property, you can utilise it for positive rental yields while you’re not using it yourself.”

To find out your borrowing power, try out our online calculator, or if you’re ready to commit, discover competitive interest rates to get the ball rolling on your investment property.


This dataset ranks 50 locations, based on how good they are for a second home holiday. To do this, seven different factors were used. Once the data for the factors was collected, the factors were then normalised, to provide each factor with a score of between 0 and 1. If data was not available, a score of 0 was given. The normalised values were then summed, to give each location a total score out of 7. The locations were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores.

The factors used are as follows:

  • Things to do – The number of results in the ‘Things to do’ category on Tripadvisor, within each city, per 100,000 population.
  • Restaurants – The number of restaurants in each city on Tripadvisor, per 100,000 population.
  • Safety score – A score ranking the crime and safety levels in each city with a higher score indicating greater safety.
  • Cost of living – The monthly cost (AUD) of living for a family of four in each city according to Numbeo.
  • Cost of rent – The average monthly rent cost (AUD) in each city.
  • Average temperature – The average annual temperature in each city.
  • Average rainfall – The average yearly rainfall in each city (mm).

The factors were indexed as follows:

  • Things to do – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Restaurants – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Safety score – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Cost of living – Low values get a high score. High values get a low score.
  • Cost of rent – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Average temperature – High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
  • Average rainfall – Low values get a high score. High values get a low score.

To view the full list of sources, please click here.

All data is correct as of 29/05/2024. The ranking data shown is a compilation of multiple data sources and may not be representative of real life. All data is accurate with regards to the sources provided. The following currency conversion rates were used: 1 EUR = 1.63 AUD, 1 USD = 1.5 AUD, 1 GBP = 1.92 AUD, 1 CAD = 1.1 AUD, 1 ZAR = 0.082 AUD, 1 SEK = 0.14 AUD, 1 PLN = 0.38 AUD, 1 CZK = 0.066 AUD, 1 CHF = 1.65 AUD, 1 NZD = 0.92 AUD, 1 NKRONE = 0.14 AUD, 1 HFL = 0.0042 AUD.