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If you are a nomadic soul who has always dreamt of living abroad and tired of the Bali overkill, I’m here to tell you there are cheap places in Europe to live!
Contrary to popular belief, there ARE cities in Europe where you can live for cheap.
Maybe not Hanoi cheap, but cheap by European standards.
Two years ago, moving to Germany from India was NOT a cheap decision, but I did it anyway and I’m so happy that I did.
In this post, I will show you the cheapest places to live and work in Europe.
Are you ready?
THE ULTIMATE LIST OF CHEAPEST PLACES TO LIVE IN EUROPE
#1: Berlin, Germany
No list would ever be complete without including this gorgeous city.
Not only is Berlin the capital city of Germany but is an absolute DREAM for foreigners who would like to move to Europe and stay a few years.
Berlin is the startup capital of Western Europe and you can bet that at any given time a ton of people are trying to move to this city. This has made rents increase substantially while wages remain relatively stagnant.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking to be in the heart of Europe, with plenty of jobs, international people, culture and history, then Berlin makes an affordable and delightful option!
COST OF LIVING IN BERLIN
Here’s a good overview by Nomad List for the expected costs of a short term stay (up to 3 months: Nomad Cost) and as an expat.
As someone who has been living in Germany for the last three years, I can say that it is definitely possible to live as an expat for less than $1200/month.
Granted, you would have to share your flat, limit going out and be cautious of where you spend your money. However, for the quality of life you get, $1200/month is a VERY decent amount.
#2 Budapest, Hungary
One of my all-time favorite Eastern European countries, this city is not only one of the cheapest cities you can live in but also has a great international and expat community.
Thanks to being a large tourist hub, you can be assured you’ll never be bored. As the Eastern European economy takes off, so have the number of companies and jobs in this region that are open to hiring foreigners.
The language might still be a constraint when compared to counterparts like Berlin, but I am a strong believer in spending time learning the local language if you truly want to feel at home.
COST OF LIVING IN BUDAPEST
The cost of living in Budapest is cheaper than anywhere in Western Europe, but the wages are considerably lower too.
if you plan to freelance or take up a short term role in this city, be prepared for being paid like a local as well.
At $1052/month as an expat, there’s not much to complain about though!
#3 Prague, Czech Republic
Another drop-dead gorgeous city which also is a part of the gateway country between Eastern and Western Europe.
Prague is slightly more expensive compared to Budapest, but with a stronger economy, you are likely to earn more and have access to a better job scene.
Prague also happens to have an excellent international and vibrant community as many European students also move here to study.
This means you won’t likely only live in an expat bubble!
COST OF LIVING IN PRAGUE
At $1547/month as an expat, Prague isn’t the cheapest place to live in Europe, but also not the most expensive.
Does it help that food and pubs in Prague are EXCELLENT?
If you’re looking for a lively place with lots of young internationals and plenty of travel opportunities, Prague makes for an excellent choice to live in.
#4 Kyiv, Ukraine
When people think of historic cities in Europe, one often thinks of Rome, Paris, Barcelona and the likes.
Kyiv or Kiev, the capital city of Europe makes for an excellent place to live in if you’d like to have access to beautiful architecture, affordable dining options and lots of shopping.
It’s also a good place to explore Ukraine and its neighboring countries.
COST OF LIVING IN KYIV
While not the cheapest city to live in, it does come at a very affordable price tag!
If you’d like to start a company, the pool of highly qualified labor is also a good incentive to base your company here.
#5 Lisbon, Portugal
If learning Portuguese, sampling a ton of port wine, and surfing sound like your thing, then Lisbon would be an excellent place to live for you!
Thanks to the growing startup scene, Lisbon attracts a lot of digital nomads who want to take advantage of the cheap cost of living, great weather and cultural admiration.
I haven’t been to Lisbon but it’s definitely on my list!
Living in Lisbon you’re also ridiculously close to North Africa, hurray for more travel?
COST OF LIVING IN LISBON
Slightly more expensive than it’s Eastern European neighbors, I would gladly pay this premium for the extra sunshine and coastal access.
But that’s just me!
On the bright side, coffee is super cheap, EH? That’s a winner in my books!
#6 Sofia, Bulgaria
Possibly the cheapest place to live in Europe on this list, Sofia is fast emerging as a digital nomad hub.
Thanks to super cheap rentals, high-speed WIFI and a vibrant community of young internationals.
If you’d like to explore the Balkan region and have access to other parts of Europe on a budget, Sofia in Bulgaria makes for an excellent choice!
COST OF LIVING IN SOFIA
At $800 per month as an expat, this city even beats out popular digital nomad hubs in Asia such as Canggu and Chiang Mai.
One would argue that over-tourism and over-digital-nomadism (yes, I make up my own words) has made those hubs not only more expensive but also harder to access.
If you love Balkan food as much as I do and have a tight budget, definitely look at this city!
#7 Tallinn, Estonia
I have traveled to over 20 countries in Europe and I have to say visiting Tallinn was a highlight.
This city is a perfect mix of old architecture mixed with modern buildings and the most advanced regulatory framework in Europe.
If you don’t know Estonia, e-residency program makes this nation unique in the way they have dealth with the whole digital nomad movement.
After having recently spent time in the country, I have to say I was impressed!
International cafes, co-working hubs, affordable dining options make for a very attractive city to live in.
COST OF LIVING IN TALLINN
Tallinn comes out as slightly more expensive compared to the other cities on the list, but it makes up for the excellent regulatory framework.
As a freelancer or digital nomad who would like to set up a company in Europe with the least hassle, this country makes it possible.
#8 Warsaw, Poland
The first city that I arrived in Europe, and the first country in Europe that I called home!
My bias for Warsaw is HUGE.
But personal favorite aside, I have to admit that Warsaw is an excellent place to live especially when you think of the value for money proposition.
Wages are higher than the other places on this list but at the same time, the cost of living is low enough to be affordable.
The nightlife in Warsaw is also excellent for someone who enjoys going out. In general, the language barrier tends to be HIGH as Polish is by no means an easy language.
If the language barrier is not a big concern, then Warsaw is a great contender.
COST OF LIVING IN WARSAW
For the fact that Warsaw is fairly well situated in the middle between Western and Eastern Europe, it also doesn’t cost a fortune to live here.
As an expat, you can live for less than $1200 per month and if you play your cards really well, it can be pushed down to $658/month.
How great is that?
#9 Bucharest, Romania
When I think of Romania, I think of amazing landscape, Dracula castles, and vibrant culture.
It doesn’t hurt to know that Bucharest in Romania is not only a great hub for students but also for expats and digital nomads alike.
Bucharest is also home to miles of beautiful parks. If living in an old timeless city with a ton of natural beauty inspires you, then Bucharest is your muse!
COST OF LIVING IN BUCHAREST
The average cost of living is around the same as Warsaw, yet the cities are a tad bit different.
While Warsaw is built with a lot of modern corporate hubs in mind, Bucharest still retains its old-world charm.
#10 Vilnius, Lithuania
Last on the list, but certainly not the least, is the gorgeous city of Vilnius, Lithuania.
Thanks to cheap airlines such as Ryan Air and Wizz Air, this city has now excellent and cheap connections to mainland Europe.
Not to mention, the entire Baltic region is accessible to you if you do decide to move here.
The benefit of going to non-traditional nomad cities such as Berlin is that you benefit with a lower cost of living, competition and have a great chance to meet locals instead of just international people.
COST OF LIVING IN VILNIUS
Coming close to Warsaw and Bucharest, Vilnius falls also in the budget range of less than $1200/month.
For a high quality of living in the Baltics and good connectivity you really don’t have much to think about if you do decide to move here.
Although there’s many more cities in Europe worth moving to, these sum up the top 10 cheapest places in Europe to live for you!
RESOURCES FOR MOVING TO EUROPE
If you plan to move to one of these cities you might want to check out these additional resources to help you lower your costs!
- The Only Europe Trip Planner Guide You Need
- The Complete Europe Travel Checklist
- The Ultimate Travel Europe For Cheap Guide
- 5 Must-Have Items On Your Packing List for Europe
- The Ultimate Europe Packing List Guide For Summer
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Hello/Namaste! I’m Shruti, the founder of Indian Girling & Digital Empires. Two years ago, I left my post-MBA life in India to chase a new adventure. After living in four different countries, I now call Germany home.
I believe in creating a life you love, one that you do not need a vacation from. On this website, you will find tips on how to travel Europe on a budget, travel hacks and how to grow an online business. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram or subscribe to get the latest updates.
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