Europe has a reputation as being an expensive place, and true enough, some parts of Europe are very expensive. Because of this, a lot of people who might enjoy living there dismiss the possibility out of hand. However, the reality is that there are many places in Europe with a high quality of life that are more affordable than in the U.S.
That should be good news since right now, for a variety of reasons, many Americans are leaving for a new setting. They shouldn’t discount Europe from their options, and we’ll show you 10 European countries with a quality of life and low cost of living that just might be worth quitting your job for. We’re not saying you won’t need a source of income, but you’ll be able to get by with far less than you need to keep working for in the U.S.
With beautiful mountains, a coastline on the Black Sea, a relatively warm climate, and modern, cosmopolitan cities, Bulgaria is a lesser-known but attractive place to relocate. In the capital city, Sofia, monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment goes at about $400. Groceries, restaurants, and other living costs are inexpensive as well.
Although Croatia is the most expensive of the Balkan nations and the former Yugoslavian republics, it’s one of the least expensive nations in the EU. The coastal cities are rather expensive, but rural areas and inland cities such as Zagreb, the capital, are much cheaper. In Zagreb, you can get a one-bedroom apartment for around $500 a month.
3. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is another of those nations that’s expensive compared to some others in Eastern Europe but still way cheaper than in Western Europe or the United States. Average monthly rent in central Prague, the capital, is $850. And the countryside is beautiful.
4. Lithuania (And the Other Baltics)
If you’re old enough, you might remember memorizing Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in that order as the U.S.S.R.’s Baltic Republics. Today, the Baltic Republics are democratic nations and members of NATO. All three are quite inexpensive by European standards. What might be toughest are the long, cold winters and the fact that not many people speak English there.
Poland has a high quality of life and is one of the cheapest places in the EU. Housing, infrastructure, internet access, and entertainment are all top-notch. Large cities have excellent employment opportunities, and with many multinational companies moving or operating there, speaking only English isn’t that much of a concern.
Portugal, with a beautiful landscape and great climate, is a top destination for Americans emigrating for retirement or remote work. It’s the most expensive EU country on this list, but outside cities like Porto and Lisbon (the capital), the cost of living is still well below that of most metropolitan areas in the U.S. And even those cities, while fairly expensive, are less expensive than being in the heart of a large American city.
Like Bulgaria, Romania has rugged mountains, a Black Sea coastline, cosmopolitan cities, and a relatively low cost of living, making it an attractive place to live. In addition, it’s home to Transylvania, the legendary location of Castle Dracula and its infamous resident. On that note, there are many ancient castles to visit and admire.
Another European country that’s relatively cheap to live in with a high quality of life, Slovakia actually leads Poland economically right now, and it’s an attractive place for remote workers. This small landlocked country doesn’t draw tourism the way larger coastal nations do, which is one of the reasons the cost of living is lower than Poland’s while the quality of life is higher, but don’t let that make you think the country lacks its own charms. It doesn’t.
With great natural beauty, vibrant cities, and rich history and culture, Slovenia is already an attractive place to live. Now add in some of the lowest crime rates in the EU and average rents that are 64% lower than they are in the U.S., and you begin to see why people might want to emigrate there.
With some of the most stunning landscapes and richest culture in Europe, you might not expect Spain to be that affordable, but it is. Sure, large cities like Barcelona and Madrid are expensive, and you’ll pay a lot for coastal property, but overall, the country is much less expensive to live in than the U.S. is. And did we mention the awesome climate?
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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.
Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.