Top 3 Cheap Countries in the EU to Live in

Rarely would people associate the idea of living in an European Union country and “cheap”. But you don’t have to be a millionaire to move to Europe and live here. To prove that, I’m going to share with you my top 3 favorite 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 travel to nearby countries and visit Europe while keeping costs low. Or just relocate in one of these countries and enjoy all the EU benefits on the cheap.

The choice is yours and the prices are, in most cases, not as large as you might expect them to be. As long as you can compromise a bit and stay away from the main touristic cities. 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 really good spot.

1. Greece

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. 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 lot if you go for cheaper accommodation (you can easily find good stuff for 500 Euros per month) and eating out.

2. Romania

If you want to really keep costs low, Romania is the Cinderella on the list. Probably one of the least know-about countries in the European Union, Romania is extremely affordable, yet safe and generally nice.

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 Romania Experience. 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 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 larger cities gives you everything you would expect from the civilized world.

Plus some of the fastest internet in the world, in case you need that for your business. You can find out everything about living in this country in this blog I’ve already mentioned. It has helped me a lot!

If you love nature, then Romania is definitely the choice for you as it is spectacular. It also offers winter activities for snow lovers, as well as nice beaches during the summer. A perfect place to be!

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.

3. Bulgaria

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 get too expensive.

Having in mind that the average person earns around 500 Euros per month according to Wikipedia, 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.

Wrapping up

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 some countries as a single person for $1,000 per month. It’s surely doable in the recommended countries above!

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.

3 thoughts on “Top 3 Cheap Countries in the EU to Live in”

    1. Well, this is a pretty vague question. Researching the countries and job opportunities would be a good place to start. Of course, consider your skills and if you speak the local language (because in most countries you do have to speak at least a bit of the local language in order to be able to get a job).

      However, one of the most important things to consider is that usually salaries are directly related to the cost of living. In other words, a very cheap country will have salaries lower than a country with higher cost of living. Do your research, that’s all I can say right now 🙂

  1. Thanks for the double mention, Cristine! Romania is indeed one of the cheapest places to live in the European Union, especially if you’re not relying on income generated withing the country (so it’s great for freelancers and bloggers for sure!) Just like any country out there, Romania has its cons, but it is, overall a beautiful country and I second your recommendation. It’s still way under the radar and off the beaten paths, yet it still has so much to offer!

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