If you’re looking for cheap places to live in Europe that are English speaking, then the United Kingdom and Ireland are your obvious options. The Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey may have English speakers aplenty, but cheap places to live are few and far between. Yet while other European countries may not have the same proportion of native English speakers as the UK and Ireland, some have a high enough level of English fluency to make getting by just as easy for English speakers as it is for anyone else. In Denmark, for example, a whopping 71% of the population speak English fluently. If you’re looking for somewhere that won’t break the bank or leave you struggling to be understood, check out these ten cheap places to live in Europe that are English speaking.
10. Copenhagen, Denmark
No one is going to say that every area of Copenhagen is an affordable dream. As the country’s capital, living in its most fashionable neighborhoods comes at a premium. Fortunately, there are plenty of neighborhoods that won’t blow a hole in your budget, and unlike some of the more rural areas in Denmark where the cost of living is generally much lower, you’ll have absolutely no problem at all in getting by without a word of Danish to your name. The vast majority of Copenhagen’s residents speak English so well, it’d be easy to mistake them for native speakers.
9. Birgu, Malta
Birgu is a popular hub for expats thanks to reasonably priced properties, an excellent clutch of schools, a charming center, and a cost of living that as Malta Guides outlines, compares very favorably to that of Malta’s more fashionable northern side. If all that wasn’t enough, it’s blessed with glorious weather and a relaxed pace of life. The fact that English is Malta’s second official language doesn’t exactly hurt either.
8. Gibraltar, British Overseas Territory
If you want to avail yourself of the UK’s free healthcare system without having to put up with the gloomy British weather, you might want to consider Gibraltar. Blessed with Spanish sunshine and English-speaking residents, it offers the best of both worlds for sun-seeking, English-speaking expats. While those on a budget might want to avoid the super chic neighborhood of Ocean Village, there’s plenty of other neighborhoods that offer a great standard of living at a very reasonable price.
7. Delfzijl, Netherlands
A full 72% of people in the Netherlands speak English, often at a standard that would put native speakers to shame. Although the country is by no means the cheapest in Europe, there are plenty of affordable places if you know where to look. Widen your property search beyond the obvious attractions of Amsterdam, and you’ll find it easy enough to find an affordable home in Delfzij, a medium-sized port city that ranks as one of the Netherlands’ cheapest places to live.
6. Umea, Sweden
Almost three-quarters of Sweden’s population speak English. If you live in the capital city of Stockholm, you can expect to pay a fair whack for the privilege. Fortunately, there’s a lot of other equally tempting cities with a far more reasonable cost of living. The university city of Umea is a charming place with attractions to spare, including an annual jazz festival, film festivals, a clutch of great museums, and more opportunities for winter sports than you’ll know what to do with.
5. Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland has some of the cheapest cities to live in in the UK. Chief among them is Londonderry, a city where £114,222 will get you a very comfortable, decently sized property within striking distance of the city center. Cast your net a little wider, and you shouldn’t have too many problems finding somewhere even cheaper on the outskirts. As the second-largest city in Northern Ireland, Londonderry has a lot to offer, with plenty of amenities, attractions, and a strong economy. The old city center is packed with charm and history. Despite its somewhat rough and ready reputation of old, its transformation over the last couple of decades into a thriving, vibrant city unquestionably makes it an attractive place to call home.
4. Ferndale, Wales
Ferndale is not necessarily the most attractive town in Wales. Not by a long shot. According to Wales Online, it is, however, the cheapest town, especially if you plan on buying a house. The median property price is just £97,000, meaning you’ll only need to earn £4.07 per hour (less than half the national minimum wage) to afford a mortgage. The job market isn’t exactly booming but fortunately, the big city attractions and opportunities of the Welsh capital of Cardiff are an easy commute away.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
According to World Atlas, the Czech Republic has one the highest percentages of pupils learning English as a second language in Europe. As a result, most of the adult population has a good level of proficiency in the language thanks to learning it from a young age. In the capital city of Prague, getting by with English as your primary language is easy. As an extra bonus, it’s also incredibly affordable, with everything from rent to groceries coming in at a fraction of the price you’d pay in certain other parts of the continent.
2. Castlerea, Ireland
Ireland is a country of extremes, with the cost of living in its most expensive areas coming in almost ten times higher than in the cheapest areas. As to which areas are the most affordable, few can compare to Castlerea in Co. Roscommon, which boasts a median property price of just €76,025. To put that in perspective, that’s ten times cheaper than the cost of property in Dublin’s chicest neighborhoods.
1. Shildon, England
According to Zoopla, the small, rural town of Shildon in County Durham ranks as one of the cheapest places to live in England. If you want to stop sinking your money into rent, this is the ideal place to do it: the average property comes in at just £60,000. When you compare that figure to the average annual income, it gives a price-to-earnings ratio of 2.11, the lowest across the UK.