For those looking to relocate abroad, Europe is a popular choice. Europe as a whole has 50 countries and the European Union has 28. Europe is often associated with high costs of living, and just visiting, especially West Europe and the Nordic countries. This is not always the case, however, as some countries are very expensive while others are very affordable. Several are even more affordable than the United States.
Check In Price compiled a list of the cheapest European countries to live in, perfect for retirees and expats moving for work or adventure. Cost of living, healthcare, entertainment, and safety were all factors considered for this list, which includes not only the cheapest countries in Europe but the most balanced ones. This means that you’re not sacrificing the quality of life or standard of living just by moving to an inexpensive country.
Montenegro, considered to be one of the best countries to retire in the world, has an estimated monthly budget of just 700 Euros per person. This budget covers rent, healthcare, food, and entertainment. Montenegro is known for its beautiful landscapes and friendly people, and a vast countryside where real estate can be bargained. The cost of living can increase as you move closer to the sea, however.
The cons of Montenegro are the lack of infrastructure and lack of flights.
Bulgaria is one of Europe’s hidden gems for both travelers and expats located in Eastern Europe. Bulgaria has both history-rich cities and beautiful landscapes, including beaches along the Black Sea in the summer and mountains for skiing in the winter. A person’s monthly budget for living in Bulgaria starts as low as $600. Transportation is incredibly cheap in Bulgaria with long-distance train tickets starting at $5 and dinner with a drink will cost less than $10.
Bulgaria is not a popular destination for migrants, so it is relatively easy to stay in the country legally if you are not an EU citizen. Bulgaria is the poorest EU member, however, and has work to do in its development of infrastructure, corruption, and standard of living.
Romania is another country with beautiful landscapes, colorful cities, and a very affordable lifestyle. The monthly’ budget for Romania starts at about 600 Euros if you want to live in the northern parts of the country. The cost of living is the most expensive in the country’s capital, Bucharest.
Dining out in Romania is very cheap, including lunch menus for $4 and hotels, hostels, and apartments starting at $7 per person for those looking to visit.
It is relatively easy to get a residence permit in Romania even if you are not a citizen of the EU. Romania’s cost of living can remain so inexpensive because, even though it is a part of the EU, it does not use the Euro. Those looking to relocate or visit Romania should be aware that its high levels of corruption.
Hungary’s cost of living is on the higher end of this list at about 900 Euros per month up to 1,400 Euros per month to live in Budapest. Hungary is conveniently located in Central Europe, with access to the Adriatic Sea and other countries to explore, like Austria.
Hungary’s countryside is beautiful and incredibly affordable. Food and travel accommodations are relatively cheap as well. Unfortunately, unlike other European Union nations, Hungarian speak a non-Indo-European language, so it will be more difficult for expats to pick up an understanding of it.
While more expensive than other countries on the list, Portugal is the cheapest country in Europe. At a monthly budget of about 1200 Euros, Portugal offers a warm climate, access to the ocean, and a high level of safety. Prices in Portugal are about one-half or even one-third of other Western European countries, as long as you’re not planning to settle in Lisbon.
Although Portugal is relatively cheap, it is gaining popularity in recent years, especially among retirees, so prices are expected to rise.
Away from Prague, the countryside of the Czech Republic has both beautiful scenery and real estate bargains. The monthly budget for living in the Czech Republic is about 950 Euros, which is a little on the higher end of this list. Many people prefer to live in Prague, which will raise the cost of living as well.
The Czech Republic is located in Central Europe, allowing for easy access to other countries such as Austria and Germany. The standard of living in the Czech Republic is about the same as Germany but it costs about half. One can find meals as cheap as $3 to $5 and those looking to visit can pay around $15 for a night at a hostel.
One of the less popular European destinations is Georgia, where the monthly budget is about 600 Euros. Aside from an inexpensive lifestyle, getting a residency permit in Georgia is relatively easy even if you are not an EU citizen. If you want to become a full-time resident of Georgia, it’s as easy as a very low investment and a company formation.
Georgia is relatively far from the rest of Europe, so you will not have easy access to other countries as you would if you were located more centrally. Luckily, inexpensive travel options are increasing operations in Georgia.