Europe has always retained a special place in my heart! It’s part of the reason why we decided to pack up and move all the way from sunny South Africa to the gorgeous and historic European continent.
If like us, you have long since dreamt of living on the European continent, then you may be interested in learning more about some of the cheapest European countries to live in.
In this guide, we’ve teamed up with fellow bloggers to bring you this definitive guide on the best and cheapest countries in Europe to live in. Regardless of whether you’re planning a travel trip or actually embarking on a move across the pond, this post will hopefully provide you with some much-needed insights so you may choose the perfect European destination for you!
Before you go, be sure to plan & book your European Travel Essentials:
- Search & Book flights here on Skyscanner
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- Click here to browse & book bus and train tickets
- Lastly, don’t forget about travel insurance for your trip!
Pssst…Have you packed all your essentials? Make sure to read our European packing list guide to ensure you’ve ticked all the packing necessities off your list!
18 Cheapest Countries To Live in Europe
By Catalin from TravelTrained
Only a few days ago I have returned from Albania and I purely fell in love with it. I’ve made my own itinerary in Albania for about 6 weeks in different cities like Saranda, Berat, Tirana, Shkoder, Ksamil, Girokaster, Himara, and also in the north of the country in the beautiful Balkans mountains. I’ve discovered that the north of the country is a bit cheaper than the south but not with much of a difference.
I spent most of my time in hostels but I met people in Saranda who were paying as little as €100 a month to rent a flat and a digital nomad that I met was paying €300 a month in Tirana. While Tirana is more expensive to get the dinner out, in some other cities you can get a dish for as little as 300 Lek (2.5 euros).
In Tirana, we were looking for cheap traditional restaurants and we found quite a few, in one of them I remember we paid 20 Euros for 3 people – 1 litre of wine and more food than we could eat. Transportation inside the city is very cheap by bus. In Tirana, we paid 40 Lek for a bus trip (0.33 euros) and in other cities 30 Lek. Transportation outside, let’s say if you go from Saranda-Tirana (280km) is 1200 Lek, or Tirana-Shkoder (100km) is 400 Lek.
You can certainly save more by using public transportation, avoid dining out in high-class restaurants (I only went once and paid €35 for a meal) because it is a huge price difference compared to the normal corner restaurant, buy everything from the markets – they always have fresh vegetables and fruits, you can also go to the butcher shop and buy fresh meat to cook at home too!
By Ellis from Backpack Adventures
Bosnia is one of the cheapest countries in Europe to live in. The low cost of living is largely due to low prices for housing and food. Even in the beautiful old city centre of the capital Sarajevo, it is possible to find an apartment for less than €400 per month. Outside the city centre, it will be even cheaper.
In Bosnia, you can live comfortably without being afraid to run out of your budget. Going out to a mid-range restaurant will cost you around €10. Throughout the town are cosy tea houses where you can enjoy coffee, tea and pastries for less than €5. The markets in Sarajevo are full of fresh produce like fruits and vegetables for bargain prices in case you like to cook your own meals.
Bosnia is not only cheap to live in, but it is also a very beautiful country to live in. The charming and multicultural capital has lots of things to see and do. It is sometimes called the Jerusalem of Europe with lots of beautiful churches, mosques and synagogues.
Bosnia’s lush and green mountainous landscapes also offer plenty of adventures. Whether it is rafting in one of the deep blue rivers or hiking in the hills. Bosnia’s nature is always rewarding. Most towns and places are connected with a good public transport network that will make travelling anywhere in the country a breeze!
By Sarah from A SocialNomad
While Bulgaria, another cheapest European country to live in, is in the EU it’s not yet in Schengen and hasn’t joined the Euro (as yet) and that’s likely one of the reasons it’s one of the cheapest places to live in Europe For those who like cities, the capital Sofia is cosmopolitan yet not expensive, and Plovdiv, the second city has a somewhat Mediterranean feel to it. The mountain resort of Bansko has the cheapest skiing in Europe. There’s a decent – and cheap – public transport system, well-maintained roads and a great mix of beach resorts on the Black Sea, National Parks and mountain villages.
You can find a five-star hotel – like the Kempinski Grand Arena in Bansko during the summer for €35 a night, or a local hotel for €15 a night. You can also rent a one-bedroom apartment for €150 a month, or buy one for €12,000. Eating out is also cheap – with a good meal in a local Mehana (restaurant) costing €6. Bulgarian beer and wine are also good and costs €1.25 for a large beer and €5 for a half litre of wine. Long-distance buses usually cost €8 for a 3-hour journey, but trains are a bargain, with a 5-hour journey costing €3.
By Martina from PlacesofJuma
Croatia is one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe. And not only that, life here is just beautiful and there is a lot to experience! The costs in this country are still below the European average, but the quality of life is extremely high compared to other countries! This amazing Balkan country fascinates not only with beautiful landscapes and countless dream beaches, but also the cities by the sea like Dubrovnik and Split are unique.
The capital Zagreb is also really cool, where you can spend a wonderful time. Boredom doesn’t come up in Croatia anyway: walks in nature, wonderful days at the sea, shopping, exploring old towns or sightseeing – there are so many amazing things to do in Croatia!
On top of that, the community in Croatia is really great. The people are very warm, hospitable and always ready to help – another plus point why you should live in Croatia.
Now to the prices in Croatia. Of course, depending on where and how you live, the prices in Croatia are different. In principle, living is cheap, in the countryside, the cheapest whilst in the city, it is rather expensive. For rent, you can expect €150-500. For expenses such as food, insurance, electricity, etc. another €600. But regional products such as fruit, vegetables, fish and meat are very cheap in Croatia. Also, bakery stuff is cheap to get. Another highlight is the coffee prices – a delicious milk coffee in a nice café bar costs only €1.50!
Croatia is not only a beautiful tourist destination but also a fabulous and on top of that one of the best and cheapest place to live in Europe!
By Charu from Travel With CG
Affordable local transportation, food, housing, and nightlife make the Czech Republic another cheap country to live in Europe. Home to an extensive rail network, it is a perfect place for those interested in travelling locally. Other than the famous Prague, Czechia boasts many picturesque cities and towns that are ideal for exploring.
The cost of living in the Czech Republic varies from place to place, with Prague being the most expensive. However, compared to several other well-known capitals in Europe, it is still affordable, with adequate one-bedroom accommodations in the city centre starting from €700 a month. Neighbourhoods outside of the centre of Prague and in other cities like Brno and Ostrava can be even cheaper.
Everyday necessities such as groceries, transportation, utilities, and healthcare are also reasonably priced in Czechia. For instance, a monthly travel pass for Prague will set you back by €22 and would cover unlimited bus, tram, metro, ferry, and other local transportation in the city. Cycling is also another common and affordable way to get around there.
If planning to use taxis, remember to track the journey on Google maps as the drivers in Prague often scam foreigners with detours.
By Baia from Red Fedora Diary
Located between Europe and Asia, Georgia is one of the cheapest countries to live in, considering the cost of living, affordable transportation options, and the ability to stay in the country visa-free for a year.
Among its cities, living in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, might be the most costly. However, compared to other European or Eastern European cities, it still is very affordable. The cost of living in Tbilisi highly depends on one’s preference. The highest expense here is the cost of accommodation, where the prices start from €170 and can get up to €1030 and higher per month. However, the utilities are affordable and can be anywhere between €8-45 per month.
The prices of groceries do depend on the neighbourhood and the supermarket, but generally, it is very budget-friendly compared to other neighbouring countries.
Transportation within Tbilisi and the country is also very affordable with various means of transport. Metro and bus tickets in Tbilisi cost €0.14, while taxis are also very cheap.
One of the tips to live even more affordably in Georgia is to either live in other towns or find accommodation options in the outskirts of Tbilisi. And to shop in farmer’s bazaars for local produce.
By Paulina from Paulina On The Road
Greece is among the most popular countries due to its history, culture, cuisine, and climate. Yet it is one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe because of the economic crisis in the past. After the crisis, the cost of accommodation has drastically fallen. That has made it possible to live here at a cheap price.
The average cost of living in Greece per month is €584. One of the cheapest places here to live in is Thessaloniki which costs approx €7008 for a person per year. The average cost of accommodation here is only €276, for lunch, it is €30 and for transportation, the monthly pass costs €30 on average.
Individuals can share their flat with a roommate to reduce the accommodation expenses. For transportation, it is preferable to purchase a monthly bus pass as individuals can travel anywhere in the town using this pass.
Greece is one of the most preferred countries to live in. Thessaloniki is also considered due to its proximity to places like Paros. The fastest way there takes about 3 hours by flight. You can rent luxury villas in Paros for a night and come back to Thessaloniki the next day.
By Roxanne from Faraway Worlds
A relatively small, landlocked country in central Europe, Hungary is known for being one of the cheaper countries in Europe. Even Budapest, its beautiful capital city, is affordable, with a single person able to budget around €1,000 a month for living expenses.
Rent in Hungary ranges from around €500-700 a month for a good-sized apartment, depending on the area. Entertainment and eating out is generally inexpensive, with a meal for two in a restaurant costing around €30, including drinks. Groceries and alcohol are also on the cheaper side, while clothes and appliances can be a bit more costly.
Of course, prices do depend on where you are based in Hungary. Costs in Budapest are a little higher than in the rest of the country, and there are also differences depending on which neighbourhoods you are in.
Regional transportation in Hungary is affordable and the country is in a great location for exploring neighbouring countries easily – many of which are also quite inexpensive (Austria being the notable exception).
By Caroline from Veggie Wayfarer
The Mediterranean island of Sicily is one of the sunniest places in Europe. It is a popular holiday destination and has seen a large influx of digital nomads moving in due to the low cost of living.
The capital city Palermo is a great city to base yourself in. It has everything you need (fast internet, plenty of shops & museums and beautiful beaches nearby). Expect to pay €500 a month for a very nice apartment in the heart of the city. Move outside to suburbs and rent will come down significantly.
An additional added benefit of Palermo is the really great (& cheap) street food that can be found everywhere. For €2 you can have a feast! If street food is not your thing, there are plenty of supermarkets around with delicious produce at low prices (budget €30 a week). The good weather means that you will be spending a lot of time outside either at the beach or visiting the many different sights around.
By Paulina from Paulina On The Road
Kosovo is located in the Balkans, in Eastern Europe. It borders Albania, Serbia, and Macedonia. There is a population of roughly 1.9 million and when it comes to living costs, Kosovo is the best on groceries and consumer goods. The town also provides free rides to nearby towns. The average expense of an individual living there is just €324 monthly.
Along with consumer goods, the house rents are also cheap — around €275 a month. That is why it is considered one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe.
An individual may need €550 monthly as an average expense in the country. The house rent can cost between €100-200. Utilities like internet and electricity may cost between €40-50 a month. Additionally, a bus trip may cost the traveller between €0.40-0.50.
For cheaper transportation, you should consider going for a monthly bus pass that costs €12. If you are sharing a room with a partner, you may be able to manage monthly groceries within €20.
There are some of the cheapest places to live in Kosovo like Peja, Prizren, and Pristina. These places have all the utilities for residents from shopping malls selling vegan winter coats to lavish restaurants.
By Ben from Ticket 4 Two Please
Malta is an often overlooked country within Europe for ex-pats to settle down in and call their home. However, with a very affordable cost of living and English widely spoken, it is perhaps time for Malta to get more of a look-in when it comes to the best cheapest countries to live in, in Europe.
Getting Maltese residency is a little bit of a lengthy process, as with the majority of European countries, but once you have been in the country for 3 months, you are able to apply for your residency card.
Successful applicants will then be able to experience a relatively low cost of living that will be enhanced by the addition of a residency card to call your own.
For example, a ferry from Malta to Gozo ordinarily costs €15 but with a residency card, the journey would only set you back €4.50.
When you factor in that any bus journey on either Malta or Gozo is €1.50 for a single, or 12 journeys for only €15 euros with a resident’s Tallinja Card, you start to understand how cheap Malta can be to live in.
On top of that, as a Maltese resident, you will not have to pay council tax or a TV licence as both are complimentary.
When you consider all of these benefits, you start to appreciate how truly affordable Malta is to live in.
By Rich from Krakow Buzz
I never fail to be amazed at how far my money goes in Poland. You can still get a pint of local beer for around 5 PLN (€1.10) and eat a full meal in a mid-range restaurant for about 40 PLN (€9) per head, drinks included. And who doesn’t love Polish foodie classics such as Polish Kielbasa sausage, Pierogi, Bigos, and more.
Rent has been increasing in recent years but is still relatively affordable, even in popular cities like Krakow (Poland’s southerly cultural capital), where you’re looking at around 2,500 PLN (€545) for a very good quality pad within walking distance of the UNESCO Old Town.
Transport from city to city might not be on uber high-speed trains a la Spain or Germany (although new Pendolino locomotives are now running fast connections from Krakow to Warsaw), but buses go even to the smallest villages and the road system is getting better every year.
On top of that, I’d say Poland is one of the best places in Europe to do some otherwise pricy activities. Check out the skiing in Zakopane (a charming highland town with fairy-tale timber cottages), where you can do a two-hour session on the slopes for under €17!
By Alice from Adventures of Alice
Compared to the majority of Europe, Portugal is one of the cheapest places you can live, plus the quality of life there is also quite high. They have well-developed public transport so it is easy to get around and the average monthly pass for public transport is €40 in the capital, Lisbon – much cheaper than buying a car and the availability and timetables for public transport are much better than places such as the UK.
Dining out in Portugal is also quite cheap, with the average cost for a 3-course meal for two people being only €30!, making it about €15pp (In the UK this can easily reach £60 total, or £30pp, especially if you have alcoholic drinks with your meal).
In terms of general expenses (food shopping, household bills, etc), the average cost for a family of 4 is €1,580/month, excluding rent. For a single person, this figure becomes €450 without rent.
Rental costs range from around €450 (2-bed apartment)-€1300 (3-bed house) depending of course on the area you choose to base yourself in, meaning a single individual could easily live on €900/month and for a family of 4 the joint income should be around €2880/month.
On average these costs are about 28% less than in the UK for instance, making Portugal one of the cheapest European countries to live in.
By Jade from Traveling Transylvania
Ask any ex-pat or digital nomad about the cheapest countries to live in Europe, and you’ll undoubtedly find someone who suggests Romania, one of the continent’s hidden gems.
You’ll find costs to accommodate a variety of budgets. In Cluj-Napoca, one of the most expensive cities in the country, rent prices range from €300-800 including utilities. Weekly groceries for two people amount to roughly €60. As you can see, even among the most expensive places to live in the country, you’ll find that the prices are markedly cheaper than elsewhere in Europe.
To maximize the low costs of living in Romania, take advantage of public transportation and try the “meniul zilei”, or the daily menu. This generally includes three courses for €4-5. You can pay as low as €5 per month for your cell phone bill, and utilities in the country are notoriously low. Romania is also consistently ranked among the fastest Wi-Fi and internet in all of Europe, so if you’re working online, you can count on having a great connection.
By Victoria from Guide Your Travel
Spain is an incredibly cheap country to visit and live in, in Europe and attracts hundreds of thousands of travellers with its comfortable climate and beautiful scenery. While the countryside will be the cheapest, cities like Madrid can also be done on a budget if you’re careful about booking very affordable accommodation.
Still, a week in Spain will cost somewhere around 250€ at the least. However, if you’re staying for at least a month or longer you’ll be able to get costs down considerably. You will probably be able to get by on a budget of around 800€ per month if you truly budget effectively.
Definitely avoid the tourist areas if you want to eat out or have drinks. Head to places with a lot of university students instead which will be a lot more affordable. Walking to places is also highly recommended although the metro in many major cities will be very cheap. If you want to do some sightseeing you’ll be happy to know that a lot of attractions allow people with a student card to get in for free.
By Sean from LivingOutLau
As the value of the Turkish Lira continues to drop (at the time of writing), Turkey is becoming one of the cheapest countries to live in. As many of you might already know, Turkey is a country that exists on two continents – Europe and Asia. The separation between the two continents actually happens in Turkey’s most famous city – Istanbul.
Istanbul’s arguably the most expensive city in Turkey to live in, but even that is cheap. A 1-bedroom rent can go as low as €130 a month, depending on how far from the city centre it is located.
Food in Istanbul is also incredibly cheap (and tasty). A meal at an average restaurant in Istanbul would cost somewhere between €2.5 to €5. If you are not dining out, you can live even more frugally as supermarkets are unbelievably cheap in Turkey. Just remember, this is Istanbul. Any other city in Turkey will be even more affordable than that!
If you are planning on living in Turkey, you will want to travel around the country. Thankfully, Turkey has an amazing system of long-distance buses that let you reach anywhere in Turkey, including places like the deserts of Cappadocia, pristine beaches of Bodrum, the ancient archaeological site of Ephesus and more.
By Jonny from Backpackingman
Ukraine is one of the cheapest countries in Europe you can live in. Although not part of the EU it is a European country and has a lot to offer to someone looking to live there. The capital Kyiv is a modern dynamic city coming out of the shadow of its Soviet past and has some great nightlife and the bars in Kyiv are some of the most fun in Europe.
Ukraine, in general, is cheap for food and living, compared with other countries in Europe. A meal at a restaurant will set you back around €4.50 upwards and you can get a decent enough two-bedroom apartment in the centre of Kyiv for around €350 a month, and cheaper if living on the outskirts.
Although being a huge country it’s easy and cheap to get around using the trains and buses. With a budget of around €600 a month, you can live very comfortably with a place to stay in a good area and eat and drink out every day. Technically you could get by on a lot less if living outside the main cities of Kyiv, Lviv, and Odesa. Living in a rural town and €350 a month will get you by.
By Kerry from Adrenaline Junkiez
Wales is a small country to the west of the United Kingdom with vast amounts of rural countryside, coastland, mountains and valleys. In comparison to the broader UK, Wales is 1.27% less than living in the rest of the British Isles.
But this can differ across the country. The closer you are to national landmarks or parks, the higher the cost of accommodation and living expenses. For example, the North of Wales is home to Snowdonia National Park with attractions such as the Snowden Zip Wire, therefore the cost of living here is particularly high.
Overall, though, the average cost of living in Wales is £1088 and the average monthly salary is £1764 after tax. The cost of living in Cardiff or living in coastal areas is not much more (£1131), but the additional salary in the capital evens it out. Of everything, transport costs are some of the most expensive, particularly if you rely on public transport. Rent can be even less if you don’t stay in the city centres or have a lot of land.
Despite the fluctuations across the country, Wales is an affordable and beautiful alternative to living in the broader UK.