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The Top 7 Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe

cheapest countries to live in Europe

Seeking a new home abroad, Europe stands out as a popular option. Many aspire to study in Europe, eyeing countries like Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic for their low living expenses for international students.

In the EU, all these nations allow obtaining second citizenship through naturalization, offering a pathway to an EU passport. With an EU passport, you can live, work, study, and retire across 30 countries. For expats, remote workers, or digital nomads, these countries present excellent value for your money.

Regardless of your motive for choosing Europe, affordability is key. Hence, we’ve curated a list of the most cheapest countries to live in Europe.

Budget-friendly Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe

1. Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a gem that hides in plain sight, attracting both travelers and expats with its affordability. It graces the list of being one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe

Bulgaria
Image Credit: Worldpackers

The capital, Sofia, grants easy mountain access, and the Black Sea coast invites relaxation on affordable beaches. Neighbors Turkey and Greece offer proximity to ancient cities like Istanbul and Athens, along with the stunning Aegean Sea islands and beaches.

Rich in history, Bulgaria has diverse landscapes—summer beaches along the Black Sea and winter mountains for skiing. You can start living on $600 monthly which is quite feasible. Bulgaria stands among Europe’s most economical countries, offering abundant nature and historical towns.

Big city two-bedroom apartments are for around $400, even less in rural areas. One-bedroom apartments cost about $300, contributing to its status as one of Europe’s cheapest countries.

Affordability extends to transportation and dining, with $5 train tickets and sub-$10 dinners with a drink. Bulgaria’s efforts to enhance infrastructure, elevate living standards, and combat corruption. Nevertheless, it remains a highly recommended European destination.

2. Romania 

Romania stands among one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe, having the best nature’s grandeur, medieval towns, and historical richness—a haven for expats. It is a land of stunning scenery, vibrant cities, and an extraordinarily economical lifestyle. The living expenses in Romania start at approximately $657  monthly in the northern regions. The relishing dining experiences in Romania prove surprisingly light on the wallet with $4 lunch menus and accommodations starting at a mere $7 per person.

cheapest countries to live in Europe
Image Credit: Expedia.com

Securing residency in Romania poses minimal challenges for non-Europeans. one-bedroom apartment costs around $350, and dining out adds just a dollar or two, a nominal increase compared to Bulgaria.

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In our opinion, the ideal Romanian city is Brasov, an old medieval gem near the mountains with abundant historical attractions.

3. Montenegro

Montenegro, much like Bulgaria, tops the list globally, offering a mere  $767 monthly living cost. Covering rent, healthcare, food, and fun, it’s a steal. With breathtaking landscapes and welcoming locals, Montenegro’s countryside has pocket-friendly real estate, though expenses rise near the sea.

Montenegro
Image Credit: Hotels.com

Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is a budget-friendly European haven. Living costs, well below the European average, allow a comfortable existence under $1000 monthly. Dining out at $5 and renting a one-bedroom at $250 make it a great choice.

Montenegro neighbors affordable Balkan countries like Albania. Kotor, a charming historic city surrounded by mountains, offers trekking adventures and tranquil beaches, making Montenegro an ideal Adriatic dwelling.

4. Czech Republic

You can explore the Czechia which reveals the charming historic small towns and cities, wooded areas perfect for hiking, and a sprinkle of mountainous regions. For a budget-friendly move, living outside Prague is a smart choice. Take, for instance, the picturesque Karlovy Vary. Prague, though pricier, still stands as one of Europe’s top-notch living spots.

cheapest countries to live in Europe
Image Credit: Rough Guides

Calculating the expense of a single-bedroom apartment, Prague may demand more, but the Czech countryside is surrounded by stunning landscapes and reasonable real estate. Monthly living costs are around $1,041. It is positioned in Central Europe, the Czech Republic serves as a gateway to neighboring nations like Austria and Germany. 

Notably, the Czech Republic boasts happiness, ranking among the world’s cheeriest. Czechia isn’t merely affordable; it’s a haven with a high standard of living, a stone’s throw away from Budapest and other European marvels. Plus, let’s not forget, the drinking water here is amongst Europe’s purest!

5. Hungary 

Hungary stands as one of the finest nations to explore, offering a living cost ranging from about $986 in rural spots to $1,535 in Budapest. It is nestled in Central Europe, Hungary connects to the Adriatic Sea, Austria, Slovenia, and Slovakia. 

Hungary 
Image Credit: Hotels.com

Affordable food and travel options sweeten the deal of this destination. Budapest, a top-tier European capital, anchors Hungary as one of Europe’s budget-friendly spots or the cheapest countries to live in Europe. Beyond urban hustle, Hungary unfolds nature’s wonders.

Living in Budapest guarantees a decent lifestyle without breaking the bank. Romanesque-style buildings cradle natural thermal hot springs, offering a tranquil retreat. The city flaunts an imposing castle with a captivating view, and its old quarter buzzes with vibrant coffee shops and bars. Renting a one-bedroom apartment costs around $500 monthly, with dining out at affordable spots averaging $7 per meal. 

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6. Portugal

Portugal, pricier than some Eastern European spots, emerges as the most economical in Western Europe. A monthly budget of around $1,315 covers warm weather, seaside charm, and high safety. Costs here are half or even a third of those in other Western European nations, excluding Lisbon. 

cheapest countries to live in Europe
Image Credit: Hotels.com

Amid Western European options, Portugal stands out as the most budget-friendly or one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe. While not the absolute cheapest, it’s the most economical in the Western European league. Consider it a ‘bonus’ country, offering stunning landscapes along the Atlantic with Europe’s finest beaches and quick access to Morocco.

A one-bedroom apartment averages $450 monthly, and dining out costs $7-10 at affordable spots. Lisbon and Porto, the main cities, lean towards the pricey side. Opting for a quieter locale outside these hubs allows a frugal lifestyle, averaging around $1000 monthly for all expenses. Portugal also secures a spot among Europe’s safest countries to reside in.

7. Spain

Spain has a community of lively people with diverse interests. Living here appeals to everyone! It is often considered Europe’s most budget-friendly for ex-pats, but costs vary by location. Spain offers budget-friendly experiences, drawing many with its inviting climate and scenic landscapes. While rural areas are the most economical, even cities like Madrid can be affordable with careful housing choices.

Spain
Image Credit: Civitatis

A week’s visit might tally around $274 at the least. Staying a month or more significantly reduces costs, possibly around $877 per month with prudent budgeting. For wallet-friendly dining and drinks, you can skip touristy spots. Walking is recommended, and city metros are usually inexpensive. Spain’s fantastic transport system is both easy and affordable.

Groceries are budget-friendly, and local markets are a treasure trove. Whether craving city buzz or a beach town peacefulness, Spain delivers all. The rich culture, festivals, and remarkable architecture of Spain are incredible and await you. Friendly people, divine food, and superb weather complete the package.

Conclusion 

From the beautiful scenes of Portugal to the lively vibes of Spain, these countries not only save money but also offer unique experiences. Whether you prefer calm places in Eastern Europe or the sunny Mediterranean, finding the cheapest countries to live in Europe is possible. Each country has its special charm, making budget-friendly living enjoyable. So, as you look for a place to live, think about the special qualities each country has to offer you and enjoy the journey of finding a budget-friendly home in Europe!

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