Although there are many factors to consider when considering relocating, the cost is at the top of the list for many people. If you are thinking of relocating to Europe, you will find that there is a significant difference in the cost of living and property prices from one country to another. There are even greater differences when you start comparing countries. To help you find an affordable place to live, here are the 20 most affordable places to live in Europe based on the cost of living index of Expatistan.
20. Riga, Latvia
The capital of Latvia, Riga, has a population of more than 627 thousand residents, a third of Latvia's total population. This city boasts beautiful architecture, museums, concert halls, shops, and restaurants. It also has a vibrant nightlife as there are many bars and nightclubs. According to Numbeo, the cost of living in this city is 46.48 percent lower than in New York. The biggest saving is rental or property purchase prices, although all aspects of living in this city are low compared to Europe's average.
19. Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb is the capital and largest city in Croatia, and it sits along the Sava River in the northwest of the country. This city is where Central Europe, Southeast Europe, and the Mediterranean meet, so it is an important transport hub. Zagreb has a diverse economy and a high standard of living. It is known for sporting events, entertainment, museums, and many other activities and attractions. Despite all these features that make it an appealing place to call home, it has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe.
18. Murcia, Spain
According to Forbes, Spain has some of the highest living standards in the world. Despite the high living standards, there are many areas of Spain that are considered some of the most affordable in Europe. At the top of the list of affordable Spanish cities is Murcia. In Murcia, both rental and purchase prices for property are some of the lowest in the country. Furthermore, the cost of food and utilities is also low.
17. Vilnius, Lithuania
Lithuania is often a country that is overlooked by people who want to relocate to Europe, but it is a great option for those who want somewhere affordable to live. One of the best cities in this country in terms of the cost of living is Vilnius. All aspects of living in this city are lower than the average living costs in Europe. Although it is a capital city, it feels more like a large town as its pedestrian and vehicular traffic are not as high as in most major cities. Ex-pats living in this city also enjoy the diverse range of attractions and activities to enjoy.
16. Bratislava, Slovakia
Bratislava is both the capital and the largest city in Slovakia, and it has a population of approximately 430 thousand people. However, it is expected that this figure will significantly rise as it is a rapidly expanding city. The city is split by the River Danube, with part of the city on each of the banks. It sits by the borders of Austria and Hungary. Its location is just one of the reasons that make this an appealing European city in which to live. The cost of living for a single person in this location is just over $700 per month.
15. Prague, Czech Republic
Europe Language Jobs lists Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, as one of the cheapest places to live in Europe. In addition to the low cost of living, the work/ life balance is another reason that this is a good option for those who want to relocate. It is also one of the most beautiful cities in Europe so that you will benefit from the aesthetically pleasing surroundings.
14. Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw is a city that will appeal to a vast array of people with varied interests. It has an excellent food scene that will appeal to foodies, while history and art enthusiasts will enjoy the galleries and museums in this city. While it is growing as a tourist destination, it is not a place that is overpopulated with ex-pats. Therefore, you can really absorb yourself in Polish culture. Although the cost of living in Warsaw is low across the board, the food and drink are especially cheap in this country.
13. Budapest, Hungary
If you prefer to live in a city with an established ex-pat and international community, then a good option is Budapest in Hungary, says Indian Girling. The Eastern European economy is on the rise, so there are plenty of job opportunities. Similarly, the tourism industry is also rising, so you will find plenty to interest you. Despite the many advantages this city offers, it remains one of the most affordable places to live in Europe.
12. Belgrade, Serbia
Located on the confluence of the Danube and Sava Rivers, Belgrade is the capital and largest city in Serbia. The city has a rich and interesting history, as it played an important role in the Roman, Austrian, Ottoman, Byzantine, Roman, and Serbian empires. Despite Serbia suffering troubles, Belgrade is considered a safe city in which to live, says World Nomads. The cost of living in this city is approximately 58 percent lower than living in a major city in the United States, such as New York.
11. Moscow, Russia
If you want to live in Russia in a location that is at the heart of things, then Moscow is one of the best options. It is the country's cosmopolitan capital, and it is home to many of Russia's most historically significant landmarks. The city is rich in history and culture, and it is particularly famous for the Red Square on the outskirts of the city, and for the Kremlin in the historical core of Moscow. It is amongst the cheapest cities in which to live in Russia. According to Russia Beyond, the cost of renting an apartment is extremely low when compared to other cities in Europe. Many other elements of the cost of living are also low in this city.
10. Tirana, Albania
The cost of living in Albania is just over 42 percent lower than living in the United States, and one of the most affordable cities in this country is Tirana. Renting a property in Tirana is approximately 79 percent lower than the cost of renting in the United States. Not only is Tirana the capital of Albania, but it is also the largest city in the country by area and population. Although it is a major city, it is a beautiful place to live as the city sits against a backdrop of countryside and mountains. Therefore, it will meet the needs of both those who enjoy the urban lifestyle and those who like to spend time outdoors.
9. Krakow, Poland
Krakow is one of the largest and oldest cities in Poland. Excluding rent, the monthly cost of living in this city for a single person is almost $600, while the cost for a family of four is less than $2,000. In addition to the low cost of living, there are many other benefits of choosing this city as your relocation destination. It is considered one of Europe's most beautiful cities, and it was once the capital of Poland. It is home to many of the most famous landmarks in the country, and there are plenty of things to keep you entertained in your leisure time.
8. Wroclaw, Poland
Wroclaw is a city in western Poland that sits by the Oder River. It is known for its historic buildings and cultural venues. The average cost of living for a single person in Wroclaw is less than $600, while the cost of living for a family of four is under $2,000. The overall living costs in this city are approximately 57.26 percent lower than the cost of living in New York.
7. Bucharest, Romania
Other than the low cost of living in this city, Bucharest is appealing as there are areas of outstanding natural beauty surrounding it. Despite the low living costs, the economy in this country is growing, and it also has an emerging tech industry. It means that there are employment opportunities if you plan to work after relocating. Many of the major companies are multicultural, and they welcome ex-pats with the right qualifications or experience from across the globe. The Romanians are proud of their history and culture, so you should learn more about this if you plan to relocate to this country.
6. Sofia, Bulgaria
Sofia boasts beautiful architecture, and it is set against the backdrop of magnificent mountains. Despite the pleasant setting, this city is one of the most affordable places to live in Europe. You can enjoy cheap beer, food, and utilities in this country. It offers an excellent lifestyle, as there is an urban vibe with plenty of bars and restaurants in the city, but the rural surroundings mean that there is the option to enjoy a vast array of outdoor activities, including skiing in the mountains.
5. Saint Petersburg, Russia
Formerly known as Petrograd, Saint Petersburg is a port city in Russia that sits by the Baltic Sea. For two centuries, it was Russia's imperial capital, and it remains the cultural center of this country. If you enjoy the performing arts, museums, and art, then you will find plenty to enjoy in your free time in this city. Although rent in the city center is expensive compared to other parts of the city, it is much lower on the outskirts. The other costs of living are much lower than in other parts of Russia or the rest of Europe.
4. Iasi, Romania
Located in Eastern Romania, Iasi, is a university city that is close to the border with Moldova. If you enjoy living in a historic area with examples of architecture from different eras and in different styles, then this is a city that you will adore. An interesting comparison that shows the low cost of living in this city is that it is 61.5 percent cheaper to live in Iasi than it is to live in New York.
3. Kyiv, Ukraine
Kyiv, or Kiev, is a fantastic place to live if you enjoy interesting architecture, dining out, and historical landmarks. The average cost of living in this city for a local is just over $600 per month, while the average cost of living for ex-pats is higher at just over $1,000 per month. Food and drinks are particularly cheap in this city.
2. Yekaterinburg, Russia
The second-cheapest place to live in Europe is Yekaterinburg, which is the fourth largest city in Russia. The average cost of living in this city is below $700, which is exceptionally low compared to the cost of living in many other parts of Europe and living in the United States. However, it is important to note that the average wage is very low, which makes the city expensive for locals. If you plan to work in this city and not just live there, then you should check your earnings potential against the cost of living.
1. Kharkiv, Ukraine
According to Expatistan, the cheapest place to live in Europe is Kharkiv in Ukraine. It is the second-largest city in the country, and it has a vast array of attractions for both tourists and residents to enjoy, including a zoo, botanic gardens, theaters, and museums. Therefore, although it has the lowest cost of living in Europe, there are many benefits to choosing this destination to relocate.
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Written by Liz Flynn
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