The Benefits Of Living In Second-Tier International Cities

A second-tier city is generally not among the top three most interesting cities of a country. Most travelers only stay in one for a short amount of time, usually a weekend. You know you’re in a second-tier city when a girl asks you why you’re there, like you’re crazy not to be somewhere else.

The first second-tier city I lived in for a while was Cordoba, Argentina. It’s well-known and gets a lot of play in Lonely Planet, but your average visitor only stays to party for a few nights before settling in Buenos Aires. While I didn’t slay much pussy there (my best lay was a Brazilian), I enjoyed the vibe more than Buenos Aires. It was more tranquilo with friendlier, pretty girls who were excited to meet me since they rarely ran into tourists. Costs were also cheaper. However, knowing what I know now, Cordoba isn’t nearly second-tier enough. If I go back to Argentina one day, which I won’t, I’d pick a smaller city.

The point of staying in a second-tier city is to leverage your foreign status in a place where girls don’t usually meet foreigners. The thinking goes that the higher your exotic status, the easier it will be to get girls in the sack. At the minimum, girls will be more receptive to your approach.

Here are some general pros and cons of a second-tier strategy:


  • You stand out more
  • Girls view you as novel
  • Cheaper cost of living
  • Easier to find a niche since city will be smaller


  • More boring
  • May have more limited female selection
  • Harder to find short-term apartment rentals
  • Nightlife can be quieter during the week

One thing I want to make clear is that you don’t have to go to a second-tier city to get laid. I spent quite a bit of time in Medellin and Rio, meccas to horny men from around the world, and still pulled fine in spite of the fact that in some bars I’d see a 4:1 ratio of gringos to locals. In some cases, it’s actually better to visit a top-tier city because the girls are more used to men from your culture. One of your peers has already cracked a nut that you can now eat without spending much time and energy. These “English groupies” will be easy, but trust me when I say they’re not particularly attractive.

I want to be the nutcracker, not the tenth Western guy a girl has fucked. I also enjoy the feeling of being the only foreigner in a bar. While that’s not necessary to get laid, being the most exotic guy in a place gives me a confidence boost. It’s kind of like working out at the gym. Your muscles are barely bigger than a month prior, but you feel more confident, so it translates into tighter game. My best game comes out when I know I’m a special little snowflake.

Another benefit of a second-tier city is that you can achieve rock star status thanks to decreased (or non-existent) competition. If you get an apartment in a good area of town, build up a little social circle, and find your niche spots, you can do far better than if you were in a top-tier city. The fruit of the second-tier city may take longer to ripen, but it’s more juicy.

If you’re only going somewhere for a week, then you might as well hit the top-tier spot, but if you have more than two weeks, strongly consider a second-tier city. Here is a sampling:

Argentina: Tucuman, Sante Fe
Brazil: Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Vitoria
Bulgaria: Plovdiv
Colombia: Manizales, Pereira
Denmark: Aarhus
Estonia: Tartu
Germany: Frankfurt, Stuttgart
Poland: Wroclaw, Poznan, Katowice
Russia: Nizhny Novgorod
Spain: Zaragoza
Sweden: Gothenburg
Ukraine: Lviv

One way to find a second-tier city is to google “list of cities in [country name].” Pick the city you’ve never heard of that has roughly 500,000 citizens and you’ll be in second-tier paradise (less than 300,000 and it may be too small). Some tiny countries, such as ones in Eastern Europe, have second-tier cities that are more like villages, so in that case just hit the capital. The forum has two great threads on second-tier cities:

I wrote this from a little studio in Poznan, Poland. I’m five minutes walking distance from the main nightlife area. I can’t confirm it but I believe I’m the only American living here who isn’t a student. When I tell a girl “I live here,” I wish you could see how their cute little Slavic faces light up. The only thing luckier than being an American slaying Polish women is being a Polish girl in a mediocre city meeting a cool American (her first) who has his own place. For a man who wants to work less in getting better responses from women, second-tier cities are the way to go.

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  • Riker

    you’re a special little snowflake, haha

  • Anonymous

    I recommend Nantes, France as a second tier city. Fits your criteria and I had many people ask me why I was there. I speak passable French but many of the university students there want to improve their English so they are willing to speak it with you. The girls are not necessarily stunners but it is a pretty fashionable city.

  • Marmot

    Definitely yes. These smaller cities are so much more enjoyable and yield better results in almost everything. And people always wonder why I don’t go for huge capital cities to enjoy metro rides to the club…

  • Evan

    Great work Roosh.

  • romeo maldino

    the simple genius of roosh. excellent post.

    the big fish in small pond concept applied to pussy. love it.

  • Foo

    TIL Frankfurt is a second-tier city with not many foreigners. Did you mean Frankfurt-am-Oder at the Polish border?

  • dufu

    I don’t think Frankfurt am Main works as a second-tier city. It’s an international finance center so there’s lots of business travelers and foreigners who live there. And since it’s airport is the main entrepot for Germany, lots of tourists make it their first stop.

  • greenlander

    lol I was in Nizhny Novgorod (one of the cities you mentioned) for two weeks. I met lots of friendly girls and they didn’t have that Moscow bitch vibe. Yet, it’s no hole in the wall and has opera, theaters, and a direct flight to Frankfurt on Lufthansa.

    You hit this one on the head, Roosh. It’s something I’ve found myself in my own travel experience.

  • Carmo

    As #7 points out Frankfurt has same type of feel as the finance district in Manhattan so a lot of business types and tourists. Right out side of Frankfurt is Mainz, which is a great little 2nd tier city that is much more enjoyable.

  • Vic

    Solid post, Roosh. I always suspected big cities anywhere would have women with entitlement monkeys just like in the USA. So good advice on moving into second tier cities. I found the same thing when I was travelling through Udonthani, Thailand, which is the main city in NE Thailand. Of course, Thai women are notorious for looking for a sugar daddy. I would be curious to hear about Polish women, who are conservative and catholic, as well as E Europe in general. I know a cute girl in Rostov, Russia. Never met her, though. I suspect Rostov also has sexy country girls, without all that Moscow ‘tude.

  • The G Manifesto

    I try to work the 2nd tier city angle with a beach. Suits me well, since I dig beaches.

    Some more pro’s of 2nd tier cities:

    – Nightlife more manageable. If there is one main strip of bars in the city, you don’t spend all night wondering if you should be somewhere else.

    – No velvet rope crap. Nightlife in 2nd tier cities is often way easier and more low-key.

    Some (potential) negatives:

    – Smaller town mentalities and smaller environments could place a target on your back.

    By the way, Roosh, that apartment looks pretty dope.

    You really are stepping up your Game. Good work.

    It pays to have a dope crib near the nightspots.

  • http://Alpha'sGirlfriend Lost Gringo

    Spot on post. I have one question for you; I realize that that the South American and European countries you’ve spent extended time in are all unique – but given your experiences thus far, if you had to choose between SA and Europe – which would you choose, and why?

  • Cliff Arroyo

    Most non-Polish long term residents in places like Poznan or Wroclaw are in steady relationships (living together or engaged or married) and don’t go out much since nightlife anywhere in Poland is not that great (diplomatic understatement). The foreign students are the ones who go out a lot but Poznan and Wroclaw are a lot more used to foreigners than most Polish cities.
    Young women in places like that impressed by Americans sound like country girls freshly arrived in the city or proles.

    For Hungary, places like Szeged and Pecs (both picturesque university towns with about 200,000 people) might be okay for shorter stays. Miskolc is also a university town but it’s also a prole family vacation spot so the nightlife is gruesome. Anywhere else is too small or too touristy (like Balaton lake full of drunk middle-aged Germans).
    You probably wouldn’t like Hungarian women anyway – they’re noticeably less feminine than Polish women. They veer between frumpy or masculine dress and looking like b-list porn stars without much in between.
    Budapest is generally a great place to live (language skills help a lot) but the nightlife there is not for everybody and you have to be constantly careful to avoid rip offs.

  • nguyenimproved

    loving these posts from eastern europe.
    reminds me of watching Foreign Correspondent.

    but instead of reporting from
    behind wrecks being shelled with bombs

    ..roosh is wrecking blonde bombshells’ behinds.

  • virlge kent

    Ok real talk Roosh, How many girls have you banged on that tiny couch…

  • Girl who is not bitter

    busted betas in toilet cities

  • jkc

    is Baltimore a 2nd tier American city?

  • Basil Ransom

    Quebec: Trois Rivieres, Quebec City

  • PUAVault

    “My best game comes out when I know I’m a special little snowflake.” – so true and so hilarious.

  • Jordan

    Sounds like you’re having a great time in Poland. TELL US MORE!!

  • Anonymous

    So are you actually pulling higher quality chicks in second tier Polish cities than Medellín/Rio, or are you just scoring the same level chicks easier?

  • Bortimus

    I noticed the same thing in Pisek vs Prague. Girls pay way more attention to you in non-tourist cities. Plus shit’s cheaper.

  • imeatingmybreakfastnow

    Don’t go to Poznan train station if you don’t have to, some things seen over there cannot be unseen lol

    Even though Poznan is quite nice, I’m not really the biggest fan of this city. I prefer Wroclaw much more. Atmosphere over there is quite nice and there is a certain amount of girls that are not polish (erasmus students and some other crap) which makes this place more interesting for me.

    If you’re in Poland during the summer (as the winter tends to get pretty savage), go north. The major city in the north is Gdansk which is located 10 minutes from Sopot, which is filled with students from all over the place as there is plenty of nightclubs over there. There is also one sweet small place called Wladyslawowo, which is more like a beach resort. One of the best beach bars has moved over there from a different place (they had some problems with the local police or something) so it’s worth checking out. And don’t go to Kolobrzeg, it’s filled with old people.

  • Roosh

    “So are you actually pulling higher quality chicks in second tier Polish cities than Medellín/Rio, or are you just scoring the same level chicks easier?”

    Great question. I’d say 20% the former and 80% the latter. It’s mostly easier.

  • Sai

    If you’re looking for a second-tier city in Hungary I’d recommend Győr. It’s 120kms away from Budapest towards the Austrian border, you can definitely be an event there much rather than in Budapest, where foreigners are common. Győr is also a university town, so there shouldn’t be a prob with finding quality poon either.

  • Bernie

    Go to northern England instead of London. Old mill towns like Preston and Blackburn have a lively nighlife.

    When the local birds – usually dressed like hos – hear your accent they will ask if you are from ‘Americer.’ Then they will tell their pretty friends in the pub who will all gather round and ask you questions.

    The local men are actually pretty tough and fight often. But just talk sports or music and you are in, especially if you know a bit about English soccer or English boxers.

  • sheesh

    Regarding Germany: Frankfurt is not a second tier city, it’s the financial center of Germany and there are probably more there than in most other German cities, it also has lots of yuppies with money so keep that in mind.

    I don’t think that it makes much sense to go to second tier cities in Germany anyway.

  • sheesh

    “more foreigner in Frankfurt” is what I wanted to write.

  • RF Interference

    If you go anywhere in Scotland, but especially outside Glasgow (even Edinburgh), they’ll routinely ask you why you aren’t visiting London instead. You can jumpstart this conversation by saying “hello” when greeting people, as everyone there seems to us “hi-ya”.

  • Anonymous

    Word Roosh, word!

  • Anonymous

    Man, Tartu is an aquarium. The chicks are so-so, but at least it’s easy.

  • Rakishness

    Arrid has worked very well for me

  • Mr GM

    Lets see How Lyon and Gothenburg will work for me.

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  • brazilian guy

    Brasília and Vitória? You must be kidding.
    These cities have the coldest girls in Brazil.
    Belo Horizonte is ok. Gorgeous girls that like to interact. Add to your Brazilian list: Goiânia and Porto Alegre. Goiânia is like a smallest Belo Horizonte, and is known to have some of the most beautiful girls in the country. Very close (200km, app. 120 miles) to Brasília.
    In fact, I live in Brasília and sometimes go to Goiânia on weekends: better quality and way better scores.

  • visitor

    I indeed agree. I live in Tartu, and the selection available is enough for anyone. Although, it is a little small, with a population of only 100K. For me double the size would be best, enough to be noticed and different, but large enough to remain anonymous if you wish. Lately I just tell girls that I am a long-term sex tourist.

  • Tweety

    Big talk here. Not much else. Bet you all are basement dwellers.