10 Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe

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Introduction

In this article, we will discuss the cheapest countries to live in Europe, whether you’re in for a more laid-back lifestyle with gorgeous beaches and hiking trails or a  bustling metropolis.

Although some European nations have an image for being costly, this is not true of all of Europe. As a matter of fact, certain East European nations are surprisingly economical and are even ideal places for retirement.

Some of the most crucial aspects of a digital nomad destination are affordability, health care, safety, and entertainment, especially if you’re attempting to spread your funds.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Bulgaria

Bulgaria is not only a cheap place to live in Europe with such a low cost of living, but it is also a country rich in amazing natural scenery. It also has a booming economy and an expanding tech industry.

Surprisingly, whether for residing or traveling, this Balkan nation is one of the least regarded nations in Europe.

Beautiful beaches and amazing mountains may be found in Bulgaria. There are also numerous golden sand beaches there, including Sunny Day, Golden Sands, Albena, and Varna. Bulgaria is home to some of Europe’s most stunning and spectacular settings.

Despite the nation’s reputation for having extraordinarily well-trained medical experts, due to a lack of financing and infrastructure, many of its facilities have subpar standards. English-speaking medical personnel are more likely to work in Bulgaria’s larger cities than in its rural areas.

If you are a resident of the European Union or the European Economic Area, your European Health Insurance Card is recognized in Bulgaria.

In Bulgaria, private healthcare is much more modern and well-equipped than that provided by the public sector. Bulgaria has become a more popular destination for medical tourism as a result of its relatively affordable private healthcare when compared to several neighboring countries.

Cost of Living in Bulgaria

In the entire EU, Bulgaria has one of the lowest food, electricity, and rental costs. The majority of Bulgarian cities have excellent public transportation that makes getting about relatively simple and affordable.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Bulgaria is estimated to cost 15 leva while a mid-range restaurant can charge 16.5 leva for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Bulgaria’s city center is at 3,179 leva, while that outside of the area is at 2,186 leva. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 638 leva and 477 leva on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Bulgaria for one person can hit 994 leva on average, while it can cost about 3,499 leva for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe varna
Sea garden park in Varna, Bulgaria. ©kmeta.bg

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Romania

Romania offers mouthwatering cuisine, a fairly low cost of living, and incredible natural beauty.

Romania is modest and one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe, yet it has a lot to offer travelers. Romania will never let you down, with its breathtaking vista of Transylvania, outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites, old towns, and castles. Bran Castle is the most well-known and often visited tourist destination in Romania.

In comparison to the rest of the globe, Romania’s healthcare system is rather well-developed. Hospitals and sufficient resources are present, however they are mostly found in congested places like Bucharest. In Romania, there is some medical system corruption, and some patients must pay bribes in order to receive quality care. Although the country’s universal healthcare system benefits local residents, it’s still preferable to have access to international health coverage.

Retirement residents in Romania can travel more, pick up new interests, and generally live better lives thanks to the country’s low cost of living. Everyone can find something to like in Romania at costs that are way below than in the US.

Cost of Living in Romania

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Romania is estimated to cost 34 lei while a mid-range restaurant can charge 150 lei for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Romania’s city center is at 8,686 lei, while that outside of the area is at 6,100 lei. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 1,702 lei and 1,221 lei on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Romania for one person can hit 2,387 lei on average, while it can cost about 8,312 lei for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Poland

Poland has a variety of top industries with lots of job prospects for foreigners, particularly in global businesses. The country’s official language is Polish, however English is also widely spoken there. Therefore, teaching English could be a rewarding career for expats looking for income.

The local transportation network is well-developed; you can take the reasonably priced PKP intercity train or the Polski bus. Unquestionably, Poland is one of the safest and cheapest countries to live in Europe.

There are a lot of ancient old cities, cathedrals, castles, and other historical sites to see in Poland. Despite possessing breathtaking mountains, lakes, and national parks as well as stunning sea beaches, the country is still not a very popular tourist destination in the continent. 

Everyone who lives or works in Poland has access to the publicly funded NFZ healthcare system, which is provided for free or at significantly reduced charges. Utilizing Poland’s public healthcare system has various advantages, including the availability of treatment regimens that are not offered by any of the nation’s private hospitals.

In Poland, private hospitals have more advanced medical supplies than public ones. Furthermore, there aren’t any lines of individuals patiently waiting their turn. The language barrier is not a major issue because everyone who works in these facilities speaks proper English.

In comparison to other European nations like Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, living in any of Poland’s major cities is incredibly affordable. Even in big cities like Warsaw and Krakow, food costs can be quite reasonable.

Cost of Living in Poland

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Poland is estimated to cost 30 zlotys while a mid-range restaurant can charge 150 zlotys for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Poland’s city center is at 15,274 zlotys, while that outside of the area is at 10,529 zlotys. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 2,479 zlotys and 2,103.5 zlotys on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Poland for one person can hit 2,475 zlotys on average, while it can cost about 8,219 zlotys for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Hungary

One would be hard pressed to find another affordable nation in Europe that offers as many chances and such breathtaking natural beauty. Budapest, the nation’s capital, is one of Europe’s most affordable cities to live in. Over time, it has started to attract expats and tourists from around the world.

Incredibly, Hungary’s largest cities offer all the amenities found in any Western European nation for less than half the cost.

Undoubtedly one of the safest cities in Europe for solo travelers is the continent’s capital, Budapest. The nation has numerous natural attractions, including the stunning Danube River, the Balaton Lake, a verdant valley, and a rich culture.

Hiking and other outdoor sports are fantastically accessible in Hungary. The Buda Castle and the Hungarian Parliament are added must-sees when in the country.

In Hungary, the majority of medical treatments are free; nevertheless, residents must contribute to the state’s insurance program on a monthly basis. Long wait times are a problem that many other low-cost healthcare systems also encounter. This is also true of the Hungarian public healthcare system. People who are waiting for non-essential operations are most affected by this.

If you’re a European, you can show your European Health Insurance Card in order to avail of free healthcare in the country.

Cost of Living in Hungary

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Hungary is estimated to cost 2,500 forints while a mid-range restaurant can charge 14,000 forints for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Hungary’s city center is at 992,512 forints, while that outside of the area is at 700,088 forints. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 154,325 forints and 119,053 forints on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Hungary for one person can hit 200,296 forints on average, while it can cost about 692,307 forints for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe budapest
Budapest’s parliament. ©Image by wirestock on Freepik

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Slovakia

Slovakia is a safe place to live in Europe, and in recent years, it has begun to draw more expats and visitors from around the world because it is one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe.

Although Slovakia is not as inexpensive as Bulgaria or Hungary, it offers superior values in terms of the standard of living, access to healthcare, and access to education. At a fraction of the price of western nations, you may enjoy fine food, good wine, and a wide variety of tourist attractions here.

Slovakia is a beautiful nation with many hiking routes, national parks, castles, museums, and UNESCO-protected monuments. Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, is a charming little city that is a top choice for art and history lovers.

To really explore Bratislava, you’ll need a few days. The most visited castles in the nation are Bojnice Castle, Spis Castle, and Bratislava Castle.

Every resident and citizen of Slovakia is entitled to free healthcare. The National Health Insurance scheme does require an obligatory payment, though. A person’s salary will determine how much they pay into their health insurance policies.

The Slovakian health insurance policies are available to expats, remote workers, and citizens of other EU nations as long as they pay into the national insurance scheme. However, the level of medical care, contemporary facilities, and equipment falls short of that of other European nations.

The nation’s public hospitals are generally understaffed and underfunded. Patients bear a heavy financial burden as a result of the high cost of private healthcare and amenities.

Cost of Living in Slovakia

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Slovakia is estimated to cost 6 euros while a mid-range restaurant can charge 31 euros for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Slovakia’s city center is at 2,642 euros, while that outside of the area is at 2,050 euros. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 497 euros and 399 euros on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Slovakia for one person can hit 586 euros on average, while it can cost about 1,989 euros for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Latvia

Retirees will find Latvia to be a lovely place to call home as affordable housing, quality healthcare, and groceries are all available here.

In Latvia, you can discover a variety of intriguing locations, engage in a variety of entertaining pursuits, and interact with kind, open-minded locals. It is one of cheapest countries to live in Europe. It is also a haven for English-speaking expats and digital nomads since many Latvians understand English.

Hiking, kayaking, skiing, and other outdoor sports are only a few of the available recreational activities in Latvia. For a deeper understanding of the rich history of the nation, visit the well-known canals and outdoor museums. Learn about Riga’s National Opera and 1,000-year-old castle while strolling through the Old Town.

In terms of public healthcare, Latvian nationals can avail of such without charge. However, the level of medical care services in the country are not of the same caliber as those offered in the majority of European nations due to the lack of personnel and the necessary tools, which could occasionally lead to long waiting lines.

Meanwhile, Latvia’s private healthcare facilities are run by leading private doctors in the nation and have enough modern equipment. Their offerings can be very pricey, though. For this reason, those who wish to receive care at private hospitals and clinics should purchase a thorough foreign health insurance coverage first before moving.

Cost of Living in Latvia

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Latvia is estimated to cost 9 euros while a mid-range restaurant can charge 40 euros for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Latvia’s city center is at 1,752 euros, while that outside of the area is at 1,106 euros. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 346 euros and 262 euros on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Latvia for one person can hit 684 euros on average, while it can cost about 2,302 euros for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Belarus

Belarus is consistently ranked as one of the cheapest countries to live in Europe, albeit it is one of the least traveled nations in the continent. Natural wonders and thriving cultural hubs provide citizens with a high standard of living. One of the main factors enticing many expats to relocate to Belarus is the country’s low cost of living.

Wherever you go in Belarus, you will be charmed by the locals, enchanted by the breathtaking natural beauty, and tempted to stay to stretch your funds.

In the countryside, you may anticipate a lot of lush foliage and beautiful scenery. You can also engage in other outdoor activities including canoeing, hiking, fishing, and hunting.

Both modern infrastructure and access to healthcare are insufficient in Belarus. The majority of the staff, including the doctors and nurses, do not speak English, making it exceedingly challenging to receive the correct care—especially for complicated procedures like surgery. You must get evacuation insurance so that you can access appropriate care in a neighboring or adjacent nation, especially for serious medical conditions.

Cost of Living in Belarus

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Belarus is estimated to cost 21 rubels while a mid-range restaurant can charge 100 rubels for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Belarus’ city center is at 4,058 rubels, while that outside of the area is at 2,782.5 rubels. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 865 rubels and 622 rubels on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Belarus for one person can hit 1,233 rubels on average, while it can cost about 4,487 rubels for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe belarus
Minsk, Belarus. ©Trip.com

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Czech Republic

One of the most affordable and secure countries in Europe to reside in is the Czech Republic. It is contemporary, secure, cozy, and welcoming. The people of the Czech Republic are kind to visitors from abroad.

The Czech Republic draws expats for a variety of reasons, including its inexpensive cost of living, first-rate healthcare system, stunning woods, and interesting historical structures.

The Czech Republic, which lies in central Europe, has a magnificent old town with beautiful Gothic structures. Popular locations in the Czech Republic that are noteworthy include the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and Bohemian Paradise.

There are numerous hospitals, clinics, and private medical practitioners in the Czech Republic, and its healthcare system is up to date and developed. In fact, one of the best healthcare standards in the European Union is found in the Czech Republic. The nation is a popular destination for medical tourism since it provides affordable healthcare and a high level of care.

The Czech Republic is not the cheapest place overall, but it is less expensive than other western European nations in terms of services, food, transportation, lodging, and clothing.

Cost of Living in Czech Republic

The cost of living in the Czech Republic varies by region, as it does in the majority of other nations. Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, is a well-liked tourist attraction and more expensive than rural areas. The cost of transportation is reasonable, with local public transportation tickets starting at about $1 for a 30-minute trip.

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Czech Republic is estimated to cost 170 koruny (US$6.92) while a mid-range restaurant can charge 800 koruny for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Czech Republic’s city center is at 108,175 koruny, while that outside of the area is at 88,621 koruny. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 15,690 koruny and 12,727 koruny on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Czech Republic for one person can hit 15,372 koruny on average, while it can cost about 51,173 koruny for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Montenegro

Montenegro is the right dream nation for you if you’re seeking for a cheap European country to live in with a beautiful natural setting, great weather, and affordability. By western standards, Montenegro’s room rent, utilities, and groceries will be quite affordable.

Montenegro is quickly becoming a well-liked and inexpensive European destination for digital nomads thanks to its low cost of living, expanding economy, and developing tourism sector. Despite not being a member of the EU, Montenegro utilizes the Euro.

Discover the breathtaking scenery, lovely beaches, and spectacular mountainous countryside of Montenegro. The country has abundant of tourist attractions, including the magnificent Venetian Old Town in Kotor, the fjord-like bay, the lovely national parks, and Lipa Cave.

However, the quality of healthcare may not always meet the expectations of expats from western Europe or North America. Your best option is to acquire private health insurance that gives you access to private medical care, even if you are a citizen of an EU member state and are entitled to free healthcare.

Cost of Living in Montenegro

A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in Montenegro is estimated to cost 6 euros while a mid-range restaurant can charge 29 euros for a three-course meal for two, according to Numbeo.

In terms of real estate, the cost per square meter for buying an apartment within Montenegro’s city center is at 1,682 euros, while that outside of the area is at 1,244 euros. Rent for one-bedroom apartments inside and outside the city center cost 370 euros and 274 euros on average per month, respectively.

The overall monthly cost of living in Montenegro for one person can hit 483 euros on average, while it can cost about 1,688 euros for a family of four, both excluding rent.

Cheapest Countries to Live in Europe: Final Thoughts

Do remember that cheap is a relative concept, thus you should first determine your budget before looking for a nation where the cost of living and standard of living are reasonably balanced. Besides, any of these areas could cost you more if you spend a lot of money on shopping, dining out, drinking, and spoiling yourself. Therefore, always take into account your personal lifestyle when evaluating how much it will cost to live overseas.

If you’re interested in investing for income, read our articles, such as best investment options for Australian expats in 2022, what are the best investment options for UK expats in 2022, and what are the best investment options for Canadian Expats in 2021.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 460.2 million answers views on Quora.com and a widely sold book on Amazon



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