The cheapest places to live in Europe: 6 dreaming destinations
Lots of European countries are pricey, but it is possible to find budget friendly places as well. That's why I'm here to tell you about some of the cheapest places to live in Europe.
Have you ever thought of packing up your things and moving to a whole new country? It's a great idea to get out of your comfort zone and do so, but understandably it can be stressful, and very pricey.
A lot of people may dream of living in Europe (or at least moving to another part of Europe) but believe they can't afford to. Luckily, there are options of cheapest places to live in Europe, and perfect for your big move.
Let's take a look at some countries to live in Europe that are:
- Budget friendly
- Provide great volunteer opportunities
- Are pretty awesome
Are there cheap places to live in Europe?
Say the words 'moving to Europe' and most people will start to fantasize about eating croissants on a tiny balcony in Paris or admiring the view from a high-rise apartment in London.
Sure, these places are amazing and have so much going for them, but believe me when I say they'll set you back at least a few thousand euros a month (and that won't be including extremities).
Europe is a fantastic place to live, with so much diversity and culture across the different countries. You can get from one place to another in just a few hours by plane, train, bus, or boat and experience a completely different world in such little time.
From different foods, languages, scenery, and people in each place, there's definitely something for everyone. However, unless you're made of money, a lot of places in Europe can be quite pricey.
Like I said before about Paris and London, they're great, but what fun is it when you don't have enough money at the end of the month to buy groceries?
That's why I'm here to tell you about the 6 cheapest places to live in Europe.
In this article, I’m going to share some tips on how to volunteer abroad with Worldpackers so you can have a taste of the place before moving for real.
You might also like: The 10 cheapest cities to live in the world
I don't think it's any big secret now that Poland is one of the cheapest places to visit in Europe. An Expatistan article says that the 'cost of living in Poland is cheaper than 69% of countries in the World (51 out of 74)' which is a pretty big deal!
The second-largest, and one of the oldest cities in Poland, Kraków, is a very popular destination for tourists. With its rich history and beautiful buildings, it's easy to see why. Luckily, despite being so popular, it still remains a very cheap place to live.
Poland is one of the places in Europe where you can live at a particularly low cost, but with a very high quality of life, so you don't have to compromise on the nicer things in life. It's totally a win-win situation.
The average cost of living in Poland per month is: around €1,100
Recommended places to live in Poland:
- As mentioned, Krakow!
- Warsaw - old town, castles, stunning buildings, city lifestyle...must I go on?
- Gdansk - for opportunities and lots of things to do. Known as a very happy city!
You can visit Poland as Worldpackers volunteer and help in some positions:
- Exchange your talent for accommodation - live in a hostel as a volunteer designer and experiment Krakow.
- Show your decorator skills: paintings, signs & graffitti to make a hostel beautiful!
Much like a lot of Europe, Romania is beautifully intricate with its building designs, but on a large scale. It has one of the lowest costs of living, making it an ideal location for those eager to move country for the first time.
Its friendly people, beautiful language and love for tradition make this country one of great interest and culture.
If you're a fan of turning off your phone, getting up in the hills and living life the more traditional way, then Romania is perfect for you. It's an old-style country to live in, and one certainly worth the visit.
The average cost of living in Romania per month is: around € 800
Recommended places to live in Romania:
- Bucharest - with quite a French feel to it, it has been nicknamed 'Little Paris'. Gorgeous greenery, and stunning buildings!
- Constanta - a popular beach destination with gorgeous white sands and warm waters. Also great for those who like a good party!
- Brasov - in the heart centre of Romania. Both traditional and modern, there's plenty to do in this beautiful city and it's perfect for any age.
You can visit Romania as Worldpackers volunteer and help in some positions:
- Help a NGO in a children's home in Transylvania and live in Romania for a while with the three meals included.
- Join the team of an International Family Hostel.
If you have read my other blog on the cheapest countries to travel to in Europe, you will know that Portugal falls under that list, and the same goes for its living costs.
It's almost hard to believe with such a popular tourist destination that it could remain so cheap. According to the website Expatistan, Portugal is the cheapest country to live in Western Europe. This means it is not as cheap as other countries, but if you prefer Western Europe then it is an ideal location for you!
The average cost of living in Portugal per month is: around €1,400
Recommended places to live in Portugal:
- Lisbon - diverse, historic, and lively - the ideal place for those who like to live life to the fullest.
- Porto - like Lisbon, safe, historic, and lively, but cheaper!
- Braga - great nightlife but smaller than the other cities, so not as overwhelming.
You might also like: Quitting my job to learn Portuguese as a volunteer in Portugal
You can visit Portugal as Worldpackers volunteer and help in some positions:
- Have a good time in Braga, collaborating with a hostel.
- Enjoy Porto and give a Guest House a hand at breakfast time.
The same goes for Hungary as it does for Portugal - a very popular destination for weekends away or short trips, but still very very cheap. I volunteered in Budapest, and despite it being a very busy bustling city, it felt so homely and safe - I even said at the time I could see myself living there. I would say that if you're from the UK, it won't take you long to adapt to the lifestyle.
Hungary is just a wonderful country in general - the people are very friendly and down to earth, the hills are gorgeous and every building looks like a piece of art. Hungarian people are pretty hardworking, but they also know how to have a good time. It's the perfect place for a good work-life balance.
The average cost of living in Hungary per month is: around €1000
Recommended places to live in Hungary:
- Budapest - lively, full of things to do, great nightlife, and gorgeous views. Great for anyone, but particularly those who are looking for the city lifestyle on a budget.
- Eger - beautiful and historical, great for those looking for something a little bit quieter.
- Szeged - great weather, great cafes, and a great place for students! Or anyone for that matter.
Read more articles about travel on a budget: The 17 cheapest islands to visit worldwide plus tips to save money
You can visit Hungary as Worldpackers volunteer and help in some positions:
- Enjoy Hungary while teaching English in a Hotel.
- Help to run a hostel on the top of a hill in Hungary!
It may be a small country and look quite luxurious, but Montenegro is much cheaper to live in than you would think. It has an incredibly low tax rate, making it very appealing for those looking to live a luxurious coastal lifestyle, without the price tag to go with it.
It is ideal for those looking for a warm sunny place, with gorgeous views and a quieter lifestyle. Like any other place, it will get busier during the summer seasons, but it is not so overwhelming like other places. The further you stay from the towns, the more tranquil life will be.
The average cost of living in Montenegro per month is: around €900
Recommended places to live in Montenegro:
- Podgorica - affordable, beautiful, and a popular place for expats who are looking for a typical work-life balance, other than just relocating for a view.
- Budva - for those who like to party and enjoy water sports.
- Kotor - a great place for families. Full of tradition, history and wonderful views.
You can visit Montenegro as Worldpackers volunteer and help in some positions:
- Live and help off-grid on a yacht in Montenegro.
- Be the best friend of the guests in a hostel - summer season.
Last, but certainly not least, we have what is currently known as one of the cheapest countries in the world! A typical family holiday destination, Turkey boasts one of the most popular places for British people to migrate to. Its sizzling sands will have you running into the inviting sea for a dip to cool down, making every day feel like a holiday.
Turkey is an ideal location to move to as its quality of life is high, with great attention to its healthcare system. As mentioned before, many Brits decide to move here later in life as the house prices are significantly cheaper but just as good.
The average cost of living in Turkey per month is: around €500 (wow!)
Recommended places to live in Turkey:
- Istanbul - for the professionals looking to improve their work-life with a great view, and fantastic weather.
- Alanya - a growing hotspot for expats. Great nightlife, beautiful waters and overall good vibes!
- Marmaris - for those who love the sea life and great food! All round gorgeous place to live.
You can visit Turkey as Worldpackers volunteer and help in some positions:
- Be a worldpacker at Turkey's biggest Eco Yoga Farm!
- Central hostel + cafe is looking for volunteers in Istanbul.
Don't all these countries sound so inviting to move to? I'm certainly tempted! Now I've only covered 6 countries, but I can assure you there are plenty more cheap countries to live in Europe.
Think Lithuania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and many more. The ones I have listed aren't all necessarily the cheapest places to live in Europe, however there's a good contrast between them. It's good to have variety!
The best way to figure out where you want to move to is to volunteer for a bit first, to find your bearings and get to know the city. My recommendation is to volunteer in a few different cities, and then narrow down what your favourite one is.
So go on! What are you waiting for?