Top Cheap Cities in Europe

Top Cheap Cities in Europe

Updated: January 2023

So, you’re a true adventurer and you’re looking for your next destination. Whether you want to travel around, go on holiday or relocate and look for a job abroad, one thing is clear: you want to move. 

Oh, and you probably spent all your money on your previous travels...

So how about taking a look at the places you can go without spending all of what remains of your money. There are incredibly cheap places in Europe where you can just enjoy local life without spending millions on the process. 

We did some research and made this list of the most attractive and cheap places in Europe to go. Based on data taken from Nomadlist and Numbeo, we estimated the approximate monthly costs for a local, which Nomadlist defines as, “living cheap, renting outside the centre of the city, buying groceries and cooking at home”.

We compared this with the average salary in the city, bearing in mind other leisure costs such as the price of a meal, a coffee, a draught beer or a cinema ticket. Using the information, we came up with this list of the cities with the best relation between costs/salaries/attractiveness of the city. 

Ready to be inspired? 

 

Minsk, Belarus

Minsk, one of the cheapest cities in Europe

We start our journey in the Belarusian capital, whose living costs for an average local are around 824 Belarusian rubbles monthly. It would be, translated from local currency to Euro, around €360 per month. Enough to live in a city where the average salary is around 1400 BYN (€520), based on Numbeo estimations. 

The monthly average rent for a 45m2 apartment is 846 BYN (around €315) and a lunchtime menu with drinks at a restaurant can cost you around 20 BYN (€7.50).

Furthermore, if you come with savings, there’s nothing you can’t do here: having a good dinner costs less than €15, while two cinema tickets are below €6 and having a pint of beer in the neighbourhood is only €2.

Sources: Nomadlist, Numbeo, Expatistan, Salary Explorer

 

Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje, one of the cheapest cities in Europe

With a monthly living cost of 22 257 Macedonian Denars (around €360) and an average salary of 53 400 MKD (€865), the capital of Macedonia is a perfect place to enjoy low costs and a good quality of life. 

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is 17 524 MKD (€284) and a three-course dinner for two in a mid-range restaurant has a ridiculous price of 1500 MKD (€24). 

There’s no doubt Skopje has a really attractive salary-to-cost of living ratio that allows you to afford to treat yourself from time to time.

Sources: Nomadlist, Numbeo, SalaryExplorer, Expatistan

 

Katowice (and almost every Polish city)

Katowice, one of the cheapest cities in Europe

Mentioning Katowice in this list is very apt since it’s ranked as the cheapest city in Poland… but, anyway, the whole country is one of the cheapest places in Europe to live. Like most of the countries with cities in this list, Poland has its own currency, Zloty (PLN), which makes everything cheaper for most foreigners. 

The monthly cost of living in Katowice without rent is set around 2623 zł (approx. €560). If we take into account the high salaries compared to those expenses (the average salary is 6280 zł, €1340), we have a perfect place to live and save money!

Other great cities in Poland where you can live while having reasonable living costs are Lodz (€527/month), Poznan (€509/month), and even Warsaw (€605/month) or Krakow (€560/month).

Sources: Nomadlist, Numbeo, Salary Explorer 


Braga and other Portuguese cities

Braga, one of the cheapest cities in Europe

The average price of living in this wonderful Portuguese city is set at €1152. Renting an apartment outside the city centre is the way to save more money, but anyway, the average price only varies by a little bit over €100 (€487 outside, €604 inside). With an average salary of €2060, the possibilities you have to enjoy the city do nothing but increase.

By the way, Braga is not the only suitable place in Portugal to live for a low price. Coimbra, with an average cost of living of €1073 per month, or Porto, with an average of €1382 (which is quite cheap for such a big and important city) are other options you can consider if you’d love to move to Portugal without spending so much money.

Sources: NomadlistNumbeo, Salary Explorer, Expatistan


 

Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, one of the cheapest cities in Europe

The monthly cost of living in the Bulgarian capital is estimated to be around 2010 Bulgarian Levs (1030€).  Renting a one-bedroom flat in the city centre costs around 830 BGN (€425) and other daily expenses are incredibly cheap: you can have half a litter of domestic beer for 3.50 BGN (€1.80), a coffee for 3.61 BGN (€1.85), and a good dinner for two for 75 BGN (€38).

The bad news is that there’s not much opportunity to save much: with an average salary of 3860 BGN (1978€), most of your money goes on daily expenses. 

Sources: Nomadlist, Numbeo, Expatistan, Salary Explorer

 

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, one of the cheapest cities in Europe

There’s no doubt Croatia is one of the trendiest destinations in Europe nowadays. Even for cheap living, it is a good option. Its capital, Zagreb, offers a good quality of life if you know how to administrate your money. The average monthly cost for a single person is around 10 005 HRK. It may sound like a lot, but it’s only around €1327. Salaries are actually acceptable in comparison to the costs at an average of 16 500 HRK (€2188) per month.

You can rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre for only 4197 HRK (€557). if you escape to the suburbs, you can expect to pay around 3101 HRK (€411) and save the rest of your money to enjoy the local life. You can have some beers (around 18 HRK, or €2.40 for a draught pint), invite someone out for a nice three-course meal for two (around 350 HRK, or €46) or go to the cinema (for 40 HRK, which is less than €6).

Sources: Nomadlist, Numbeo, Salary Explorer, Expatistan

 

Timisoara, Romania

Timisoara, one of the cheapest cities in Europe

Having monthly expenses of around 3 926 Romanian Leu (€794) and an average salary of 8430 RON (€1704), this Romanian city is one of the most affordable ones on our list.

It does not only have a much better salary-to-cost-of-living relationship than the Romanian capital, Bucharest, but some of the prices that we find in this city are REALLY attractive. 160 RON (€32) for a dinner for two, 9 RON (a little under €2) for a pint, 4 RON (€0.80) for a single public transportation ticket, 29.50 RON (€6) for a cinema ticket… and around 1832 RON (370€/month) rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre. 

Sources: Nomadlist, Numbeo, Expatistan, Salary Explorer

 

Ivano-Frankvisk, Ukraine

Ivano-Frankvisk is the cheapest city in Europe

We saved this peculiar case for last. Can you imagine a place where an inexpensive meal can cost you 120 UAH (€3), a dinner for two around 600 UAH (€15), and a pint of beer 30 UAH (less than €1)?

Well, it exists, and it’s called Ivano-Frankvisk. This city in Ukraine, the capital of the homonym Oblast, is by far the cheapest city in Europe.

To give some more examples of how crazily cheap this place is, you can have a coffee for 30 UAH (less than €1), go to the cinema for 82.50 UAH (€2.10), and pay 667 UAH (€17) for your monthly gym subscription.

What’s the downside of this? While you just need around 13 563 UAH (€345) for basic expenses, the average salary of the city is calculated at around 14 000 UAH (€356).

So, it gives you a clear idea of how difficult it may be for a local to make it to the end of the month. On the right side, if you can get a good job or arrive with savings, you will live like a king!

Sources: Nomadlist, Numbeo, Work.ua, Expatistan


Now that you have this information... have you decided if any of these could be your desired place? It's time to do your numbers and decide what's your next destination, bearing in mind that moving abroad doesn't have to be necessarily expensive!

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