Living abroad is a great experience one must have once in life, however, it can sometimes be expensive and this is why it is so important you have a look at cheap countries to live in Europe!
There are many beautiful and cheap countries around Europe that will allow you to live the life of your dreams without stressing about your budget. You don’t want to be in debt or struggle to make ends meet because of moving abroad.
So, why is Europe a good continent for expats?
Not only does Europe have affordable countries, but it’s the perfect place to be if you love travelling. Some countries are so close to each other that it is very easy to travel within them.
Let’s say you move to Germany, you’re in a strategic position because you’re next to Poland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, etc. which makes it easy for you to travel to these wonderful destinations.
Also, its food! There are plenty of delicious and healthy meals in European countries – Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal to name some.
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Reasons to move to Bulgaria
What is the most affordable country to live in Europe? Bulgaria is the answer.
Apart from affordable prices, these are the reasons why you should consider Bulgaria as your next expat home:
- Incredible nature. Bulgaria is an underrated country and many tourists are surprised by how many unique but beautiful mountains and beaches Bulgaria has. It’s the perfect place for any nature lover – whether you love skiing or relaxing at the beach.
- Culture. The country is known for having a mixture of Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences which makes it a place with a rich heritage of traditional dance, music and costumes.
- Relaxed lifestyle. If you’re after a less touristy and chaotic city or country, Bulgaria is definitely a great choice for you. Locals enjoy a slow lifestyle that makes them more present and engage in outdoor activities like watching sunsets, playing sports with friends, horse riding.
Cost of living in Bulgaria
1 bedroom apartment in the city centre – 253.36 €
A monthly bus ticket – 25.56 €
A meal in a restaurant – 5.11 €
Average monthly salary – 516.35 €
Reasons to move to Croatia
Croatia is an enchanting southeastern European country that is becoming more and more popular (especially Split and Dubrovnik) although there are many undiscovered beautiful places.
If you’re after a digital nomad lifestyle, Croatia is offering one year visas for remote workers.
So why is Croatia a good place for expats?
- Cost of living. Despite the cost of living varies depending on the location, you’ll generally find very affordable prices. You can get delicious fresh fruits and vegetables for very cheap prices in outdoor markets, and if you love travelling you’ll be happy to hear that transport is good and reasonably cheap.
- Safety. Croatia is considered a safe destination to live in.
- Language. Although Croatian is the official language, most people generally speak English really well. This is a big advantage because it means you don’t need to worry so much about learning the language before moving there.
- Friendly locals. This is good news to anyone who is extrovert or keen to make friends. Croatians are very educated, friendly and will always be willing to help you.
Martina and Jürgen of PlacesofJuma say “Croatia is generally a really amazing country for expats! Since it is part of the EU, especially EU citizens can stay and work in the country easily and without much bureaucratic effort.
The cost of living is still relatively cheap, although it gets a bit more expensive along the coast. There are really cool cities like Zagreb and Rijeka, where you can enjoy a hip lifestyle, but also beautiful natural landscapes that provide peace and relaxation.
Especially unique are the people of Croatia, who are very hospitable and always happy to help in any situations.”
Cost of living in Croatia
1 bedroom apartment in city centre – 403.26 €
A monthly bus ticket – 46.25 €
A meal in a restaurant – 7.93 €
Average monthly salary – 770.36 €
Reasons to move to the Czech Republic
- A good expat community. The Czech Republic is home to many international students who come for a semester but then decide to live longer in the country.
- Cost of living. It’s very cheap, and if you’re a remote worker you’ll definitely make the most of it. Food, transport, accommodation are much cheaper than in other European countries.
- Plenty of things to do. There’s no way you’ll get bored in this country as there are things to do for everyone – green spaces to relax, baroque buildings to contemplate and much more.
On top of this, it’s super easy to travel from the Czech Republic to other European countries like Austria, Germany, Poland or Slovakia as they are next to it.
Cost of living in the Czech Republic
1 bedroom apartment in the city centre – 533.15 €
A monthly bus ticket – 19.35 €
A meal in a restaurant – 5.42 €
Average monthly salary – 995.13 €
Reasons to move to Greece
Greece is a country where you’ll want to make good memories. So, how do you know this is the right county for you?
- Natural beauty. I’m sure you’ve seen stunning pictures of Greek beaches on magazines, social media, etc. Greece has a good variety of islands where you’ll find out of the world beaches, mountains and wildlife.
- Cost of living. Prices for daily essentials such as food and transport are much cheaper than the US and other European countries. The same happens with rent, however, you must avoid living near touristic places as prices will considerably increase.
- Safety. Greece has a relaxing atmosphere so you’ll feel safe walking during the day or night.
- Food. Greece is the heart of Mediterranean cuisine, and it’s your destination if you’re a big foodie. Greek food isn’t only healthy, but delicious too – grilled meats and fish, fresh salads, feta cheese.
But if you’re after sweets, you can’t go past baklava!
Cristina of LooknWalk Greece recommends Greece: “Incredible historical sites, warm and welcoming people, a huge expat community, great food, and a lively Argentine tango scene make Athens an astounding choice for expats (or digital nomads).
More so, it’s incredibly affordable to eat out (12 euros for a generous spread of mezedes for two).
And rental apartments won’t set you back badly, either.
If you happen to work online, you’d be delighted to know that in Athens, the ADSL (Vodafone) is stable and fast (and very likely part of your rental price).
Hop on slow ferry boats to explore the islands at a low cost.”
Cost of living in Greece
1 bedroom apartment in the city centre – 332.55 €
A monthly bus ticket – 30.00 €
A meal in a restaurant – 10.00 €
Average monthly salary – 743.78 €
Reasons to move to Hungary
Hungary has recently become a more popular destination for expats and digital nomads. Not only because of the inexpensive cost of living but the liberal immigration policies, especially if you’re a European citizen.
But there are more reasons why you may want to move to Hungary:
- Food. Who doesn’t love delicious traditional hearty food? If you do, you’re in the right country. From the famous Goulash that you can find anywhere in Hungary to Töltött Káposzta a traditional dish that consists of cabbage leaves stuffed with mince, rice and spices.
But you can find yummy desserts too, and an example is “Chimney cake” (Kürtös Kalács), that cylindered cone you’ve probably seen many times on Instagram.
- Beautiful landscapes. Hungary is filled with wonderful natural sites that you’ll want to discover. Many of these national parks aren’t very popular but they have hidden gems you won’t find anywhere else.
- Easy to get around. Hungary transport is reliable and affordable, especially in Hungary’s capital, Budapest. Also, it’s a great place to live because as Budapest is in the centre of Europe, it’s very easy to travel to neighbour countries such as Austria and Slovakia.
Katalin of Our Life, Our Travel says: “Hungary is a perfect choice for those who would like to live in more western conditions but at a much affordable price. Housing costs, as well as food prices and services, are much cheaper than more to the west.
While Budapest, the capital, is the most vibrant place for longer stays, I can recommend smaller cities where accommodation prices are even lower. Keep in mind that there are fewer options for nightlife and culture, especially in villages – so that is something to take into account before choosing a location in Hungary.”
Cost of living in Hungary
Reasons to move to Italy
Italy attracts millions of tourists, expats, digital nomads, etc. and there’s no doubt why people want La Dolce Vita that locals talk about.
If you’re thinking about moving to Italy, here are some reasons that will convince you:
- Culture and art. Italy is a romantic country where you’ll find art and beautiful architecture in every corner. You just have to look at cities like Rome, Florence and Venice. If you’re an artistic person, you’ll fall in love with the country.
- Diversity of nature. Well, Italy isn’t only about art and architecture, but it’s a great place to live if you enjoy nature – the breathtaking Italian Alps, the beautiful Tuscany sunflower fields, the crystal clear coasts in Amalfi.
- Food and wine. Pasta, pizza and wine are life and there are so many different types of pasta and wines. But Italian food also goes beyond these two great meals as every region offers something unique.
- Cost of living. I’ve heard many people saying that Italy is expensive, well it depends where you go! Also, it’s different to go on holiday to Italy during the summer season than living in Italy.
Nicole of The Abroad Blog says: “Italy is one of the cheapest countries to live in as an expat in Europe. First, if you grocery shop for your own food at places like Conad Supermarket, you’ll find the product prices to be extremely affordable.
Of course, you’ll want to budget for some meals out, but food can be very cheap, even in Italy’s major cities.
Second, public transportation in Italy is affordable and very efficient. If you’re looking to travel around Europe, I recommend taking advantage of overnight buses, like FlixBus. You can travel to another country for as little as 10 euro!
Lastly, Italy is full of expats!”
Cost of living in Italy
1 bedroom apartment in the city centre – 596.19 €
A monthly bus ticket – 35.00 €
A meal in a restaurant – 15.00 €
Average monthly salary – 1,433.69 €
Reasons to move to Poland
Poland is one of the cheapest European countries to live in, and generally, you’ll find that Western Europe is much cheaper than Eastern Europe.
So, why should you choose Poland?
- Cost of living. As I’ve already mentioned, Poland is your top choice if you’re on a budget. The cost of food, public transport, eating out and rent are relatively low in comparison to Eastern European countries.
- Safety. Poland, especially Warsaw, is considered one of the safest destinations in Europe. Although I wouldn’t recommend walking alone late, I felt the city centre area was very safe even at night.
- Welcoming locals. Polish people are very friendly and well-known for their excellent hospitality.
When I visited Poland for a two-week European project in 2015 and I felt super welcomed. They were very interested in learning about my hometown and showed me hidden gems in Olecko, a small town in Northeastern Poland.
Cost of living in Poland
1 bedroom apartment in the city centre – 469.40 €
A monthly bus ticket – 22.22 €
A meal in a restaurant – 5.56 €
Average monthly salary – 721.40 €
Reasons to move to Portugal
Portugal has become one of the most popular places for digital nomads and expats, and if you wonder why, here are some of the reasons why you’ll want to move to Portugal:
- Beautiful historic places that will steal your heart. Portugal has over 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – from the famous Tower of Belém in Lisbon to the historic centre of Porto (Ribeira).
- Affordable cost of living. Not only is the food cheap, but rent and transport too.
- Friendly and welcoming locals. Portuguese people are very friendly and will always be happy to help. They won’t judge you if you don’t know the language and will try to communicate with you.
- Weather. If you compare Portugal to Northern European countries, you’ll agree the weather is mild all year round. In addition to this, winters are much better since you’ll enjoy more daylight and sun.
- Food. Every time I’ve been to Portugal, I must admit I’ve enjoyed every single meal. Portuguese cuisine is made with local and seasonal ingredients and it’s quite healthy (grilled fish, fresh seafood, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.)
- Beaches. The beaches in Portugal are incredible, and if you love surfing, Ericeira is the surf paradise for digital nomads.
Jules of Jules’ Trails recommends Portugal because “Most expats dream of living in a country with great weather, a mix of sunny seaside, lush mountains, modern cities, delicious food and amazing people.
Portugal has all of this, and more.
Lisbon is a lively hub for culture, art, history, food, entertainment. It also has a thriving and growing international community of expats, so there’s no risk of feeling lonely or isolated!
If you plan to live away from the crowds and connect with nature, Portugal has some of the most varied and wildest landscapes in Europe. It’s a paradise for surfers and hikers alike, every day could be a new adventure!”
Cost of living in Portugal
1 bedroom apartment in the city centre – 593.00 €
A monthly bus ticket – 40.00 €
A meal in a restaurant – 7.95 €
Average monthly salary – 854.04 €
Reasons to move to Romania
When people look for places to move abroad, Romania isn’t in their list, however, these reasons may change your mind:
- Excellent internet. You’ll be surprised to hear that Romania has one of the fastest Internet in Europe, and the good thing is that it’s cheap too. Good quality Wi-Fi is a must for any remote workers.
- Cost of living. Although wages aren’t high, basic goods, transport and accommodation are very affordable. When I visited Romania, I couldn’t believe how cheap everything was! I had plenty of food in a mid-range restaurant for less than ten euros.
- Natural beauty. Romania has beautiful green landscapes, mountains and beaches too. It has a very diverse nature which makes it the perfect place for incredible road trips.
- Wine. If you haven’t tried Romanian wine, what are you waiting for? The wine is extremely good and affordable too.
Jade of The Migrant Yogi recommends moving to Romania because “Romania is a top option for affordable living in Europe. Even in the largest cities, you can find a two-room apartment for 500 euros or less, particularly true if you don’t need to be in the city centre.
A popular country for digital nomads and expats, Romania ticks all of the boxes. Super-fast WIFI, friendly residents, and best of all, cost-of-living are among the top things that attract people to move to Romania from abroad. In major cities, most people under 45 speak English.
Moving to Romania is fairly straightforward, even if you are not an EU resident. To obtain Romanian residency, simply open a business for less than $1000 to obtain a permit.”
Cost of living in Romania
1 bedroom apartment in the city centre – 286.70 €
A monthly bus ticket – 15.38 €
A meal in a restaurant – 5.13 €
Average monthly salary – 568.32 €
Reasons to move to Spain
Spain is another wonderful Mediterranean country to live in. And, I am not saying this because it’s my hometown, but many expats agree Spain has a great lifestyle.
Cities like Madrid and Barcelona are in the top ranking of best cities in the world. However, let me tell you that there are other less popular but incredible places to live in Spain such as Málaga, Murcia and La Rioja.
Wherever you move to Spain, you’ll find many reasons to stay:
- Social life. Spain is one of those countries where you’ll make friends quick because the locals are very friendly and welcoming. They love socialising whether it’s having some tapas and drinks on a terrace or inviting friends and family over to have a BBQ or paella.
- Weather. Spain’s weather in comparison to other countries like the United Kingdom, it’s amazing for you if you love warm and mild temperatures as well as daylight.
However, let me tell you there’s a big difference between Northern Spain and Southern Spain. Northern Spain is known for greenery landscapes but lots of rain too, whereas Southern Spain is known for beautiful coastal areas but dry weather.
- Food. I’m sure you’ve heard of paella, and sangria too! But there are so many delicious dishes that many people don’t know. Every region has its speciality but all of them have a few things in common such as the use of herbs like oregano, excellent olive oil and garlic.
- Cost of living. Barcelona and Madrid are indeed the most expensive cities to live in Spain, however, you can still find affordable rent and transport. If you’re on a budget, I would recommend living in the south, smaller cities like Logroño or Teruel which are in the list of the cheapest cities in Spain, or towns.
Joanna of Andalucia In My Pocket recommends living in Spain because “Spain is one of the cheapest countries to live in as an expat, in South-Western Europe. The cost of living here is very affordable, especially if you choose a place that is not already popular with expats, such as Barcelona or Costa del Sol.
Inland, you can easily rent an apartment for less than 500 euros a month, with bills included. Eating out in Spain is also very affordable, with a large three courses menu del dia costing less than 10 euros.
Living in Spain has also huge advantages when it comes to warm weather, especially if you choose a place on the coast. There are thousands of miles of pristine beaches, one more beautiful than the others, where you can rent a chair and an umbrella for the entire day, for 5 euros.”
As you’ve seen there are plenty of beautiful and affordable countries to live in Europe. It’s your turn to make a decision on what country is the best for you.
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Frequently asked questions about living in Europe
Which European country has the lowest cost of living?
Bulgaria is the cheapest country in Europe. Not only is it cheap, but the perfect place to live for those who are looking for less crowded and more tranquil cities.
Which country in Europe has the highest job opportunities?
Malta is one of the best countries to find job opportunities. This is followed by Germany and The Netherlands.
Where is the best place to live in Europe for expats?
Spain is considered the best place to live in Europe for expats. The best cities in Spain for expats are: Valencia, Alicante, Málaga and Madrid. If you want to learn more about what living in Spain as an expat is, check this blog.