It rarely happens for people to consider that it’s possible to live in an EU country for cheap. But you don’t have to be a millionaire to move to Europe and live here and there are still some options available to live on a budget. To prove that, I’m going to share with you the top 3 cheap EU countries to live in.
Setting up home base in a cheap country in the European Union is a great idea. This way, you get the chance to visit Europe while keeping costs low – there are tons of low cost flights available, while trains or buses are generally cheap and solid options as well.
Or just relocate in one of these countries and enjoy all the benefits of being an EU citizen – on the cheap.
The choice is yours and the prices are, in most cases, not as high as you expect them to be. As long as you can compromise a bit and stay away from the main touristic attractions, of course.
Also, you shouldn’t have to depend on earning your living in these countries: having income from other sources (like blogging, investments or a pension) puts you in a better spot in these cheap countries to live in Europe.
Greece is a beautiful country filled with history. Beautiful islands and amazing views, plus decent weather all year long – these are just a few of the things that make Greece so appealing.
Living in Greece is also pretty cheap, believe it or not! The country has been through some economic turmoil recently and some very strict measures had to be taken. This means that costs are low and getting your income from elsewhere might put you in a nice spot in Greece.
You need to be a little bit careful when choosing your new home. Greece is extremely touristy and wherever you have tourists, you have higher prices. Also, many of the islands are know to “shut down” during the winter, meaning that you will have very few things to do.
My recommendation? Go for the continental Greece instead and choose one of the larger cities in order to be close to year-long amenities and goodies. Traveling to the islands or more touristy spots is cheap and easy anyway.
Cost of living in Greece is really low – this article shows that a couple can live on around 1,500 Euros per month easily. You can really cut them down a bit if you go for cheaper accommodation (you can easily find good stuff for 500 Euros per month) and eat more at home. So you might be able to do it even on a tighter budget!
If you want to really keep costs low, Romania is the Cinderella on the list. Probably one of the least famous countries in the European Union, Romania is extremely affordable, yet safe and generally nice, with some stunning, unspoiled natural views as well!
The cost of living is extremely low – you can expect to live a really good live on around $1,400 per month per couple in most cities according to the Romania Experience blog. There are also good connections to the rest of Europe.
The climate is not amazing – with pretty cold winters and hot summers, but that’s the case of most countries in Europe and you can easily get used to it. The people are really nice and welcoming with foreigners and English is widely spoken.
Romania is pretty much unknown, meaning that you don’t get to meet many expats in most places, while living in villages is impossible since many still don’t have running water, working toilets and, in some cases, even electricity… but living in small towns or one of the larger cities gives you everything you would expect from the civilized world.
So if you love nature and low prices, then Romania is definitely the choice for you. It also offers both winter activities for snow lovers during the winter, and nice beaches during the summer. A perfect place to be in!
Just have in mind that, at least at the moment of writing this article, Romania is part of the EU, but not the Schengen area. This is extremely useful for those planning their stay in the Schengen zone: you can simply move in to Romania for three months, reset your Schengen count, then move back again!
The cheapest country in the European Union is Blugaria. Neighboring Romania and offering most of the things that its neighbor offers, but at even lower prices, Bulgaria is starting to get a bit touristy thanks to its beautiful beach and mountain resorts, but it’s still a long time until things become unaffordable to Western standards.
Having in mind that the average salary is under 500 Euros per month, you can imagine how cheap living there is. $1,000 per month-cheap, according to the Farm Boy & City Girl digital nomad blog. Just make sure that you have a steady income as getting hired in the country is pretty difficult and doesn’t pay well.
As I said, Bulgaria is very similar to Romania: they offer spectacular raw nature, amazing destinations and they’re still not too touristy. However, going to the top touristic destinations sees you spend a lot more, so stay away from those.
Tip: You can still live a nice life on the cheap in major cities like Sofia or Varna – the latter also keeping you really close to the beach.
Just like Romania, Bulgaria is not part of the Schengen zone, but part of the European Union. Again, use this to your own advantage is planning to stay for more than 3 months in Europe.
You can see that it’s possible to live in the European Union on the cheap. I would say that, if you’re used to bootstrapping a bit and you like to cook your own food at home, you can make it in most EU countries as a single person for $1,000 per month – and if gets cheaper for a couple.
Have you been to any of these countries? What do you think about them as cheap destinations for your stay in Europe? I really consider them extremely pleasant surprises and ready to welcome you with open arms.