15 Beautiful Places Around The World Where You Can Live For Under $2,000

Steve Cummings

Market Square Krakow

We all dream of living where the sun shines all day, and we have money left in the bank every month. Today, we will look at places where you can live for under $2000 a month and discuss why people move to these countries.

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand 
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

We must put Chang Mai at the top of the list as it's always talked about for having an excellent quality of life without costing a lot. For under $2,000 a month, you could live like a king in Thailand with plenty of money to spare. It's the top destination for digital nomads thanks to its excellent infrastructure for remote workers. Plenty of co-working offices cost about $100 a month for a dedicated desk (you won’t find this anywhere in Europe or the USA) with views that look over lush green forests or are located in the city center. These are also great ways to meet like-minded people.

Coffee costs about $1.50, and the broadband is reliable and fast! It's not just digital nomads who move here; a family of four could easily live here for roughly $1500 a month.

2. Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal
credit: depositphotos

Lisbon is one of the more expensive places on the list, but it's a capital city in Europe that costs under $2000. Other places in Europe are cheaper, but they won’t be as good for nearer the $2000 monthly price. After all, Lisbon is a massive capital city, but it is cheaper than 49% of Western European cities.

So, why would you want to live here? Like Chiang Mai, it has become a top destination for digital nomads (about 16,000 of them), and that's because of the year-round weather compared to much of Europe and the low daily living costs. However, there has recently been talk about digital nomads creating a housing crisis and pushing up the rents, which forces the local people out. If you want to enjoy cheap Portugal, move there now rather than later.

3. Medellín, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia
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When you think about Medellín, you probably think about Pablo Escobar and the Netflix Show Narcos and imagine it's unsafe. It's the safest it has ever been, and if you use your common sense, as in any other big city, you will be perfectly fine.

More people than ever are moving to Medellin, and the first reason is that your dollars will go a lot further here than back home. Then there's the weather. You won’t hear anyone complain about it being too hot or cold. You never get any extremes here; it's always lovely and warm.

What Medellín has that other places don’t, which can’t be totally understood without a visit, is the vibe and culture. People here are generally happy, love socializing, dress well, and are very friendly. Overall, it's a great place to base yourself if you want to explore other parts of Colombia or Latin America.

4. Da Nang, Vietnam

Golden Bridge, Da Nang
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Da Nang is one of the cheapest places on our list. Living here costs about $800 a month, but for $2000, you could live like a king and outsource all your house chores, such as cleaning and laundry. It is also 8.2% cheaper than Ho Chi Minh City.

Rental prices are increasing as more people come to the area, but there are always better prices in the city than on the beach.

When you are not working, there are loads of amazing beaches to visit and great food that is also very cheap (about $5 for a nice meal out). Da Nang also has plenty of modern amenities and excellent infrastructure.

We read some case studies in which people who planned to stay here for only six months ended up staying over five years, which sounds like good social proof.

5. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary
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Budapest is split into two halves (Buda and Pest), located on either side of the river. Pest is the lively side for bars and restaurants, while Buda is probably the better option for those who prefer a quieter life and green space. Neither side appears to be cheaper, but we will say that it's 78% more affordable to live here compared to London, and most things, such as good beer and a meal out, are at least 100% cheaper!

In addition to the cheap cost of living, there are loads of things to do here, such as the Thermal Baths, Great Market Hall, the Zoo, and even visiting the castle.

People love the excellent public transport here. Overall, it's a great capital city with lots going on and is more affordable than most prominent European cities.

6. Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Bali is probably one of the first travel destinations people go to for a year after leaving college or school. For that reason, it's definitely more popular with the younger crowd, and that's because of its lovely tropical beaches, warm weather, and, of course, the low cost of living.

You can get a lovely apartment for $200 to $300 a month, but for $1000 a month, you can get a villa with a pool and live like a king.

Like many places, prices have risen over the years due to their popularity, but we did a quick search on AirBNB, and there are a few fantastic places you could stay that would cost so much more elsewhere. For example, check out this beachfront Villa in Karangasem for £185 a night or this private villa in Payangan with a private pool for £114 a night.

7. Cuenca, Ecuador

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Even though this is in Ecuador, it is one of the most expensive places on our list, but we had to add it as people seem to love it here.

The cost of living is 67.3% cheaper than New York's, and the rent is 90% cheaper. You will also have much more space than a tiny room and enjoy fantastic weather all year round!

It is quickly becoming one of the best places to retire in the world, with people selling their homes in the US and moving there to enjoy the extra money.

Overall, if you want to live in a low-populated city that's very peaceful and affordable, then Cuenca could be the place for you.

8. Krakow, Poland

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Krakow is very popular with tourists, and the author of this blog post visited it with a group of friends just before COVID-19 hit. We all loved how cheap the beer and the food were reasonably priced. Uber was also much cheaperthan back home in the UK, making getting around very affordable.

Rent prices are 69% cheaper than in London, and food is about 50% lower.

For under $1000, you can find a lovely apartment within walking distance of the city center and have plenty left over for bills and whatever else you want to do. Prices are rising (but where isn’t?). Krakow is not experiencing the popularity hit that warmer European places like Lisbon are. That’s good news.

9. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen
credit: depositphotos

Having visited Playa Del Carmen twice, I noticed its popularity with Americans. So, after doing a quick Google search, I asked, “Why do Americans move to Playa Del Carmen?” There were many answers, but the cost of living was among the top reasons for moving.

Since COVID-19, with many more remote jobs, many people have moved over and found that their rent is less than half of what they were paying back home. The time zones are similar, and the flight times to visit family are not too long. Many people found that their quality of life just massively improved with less traffic and more time to go out and enjoy life.

10. Granada, Nicaragua

Granada cathedral and lake Nicaragua on the background, Nicaragua.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Nicaragua is not the cheapest country on our list but is not the most expensive. As such, it is fast becoming a popular choice for expats from countries like the USA, Canada, and the UK.

A month's rent in a decent house will set you back anywhere between $300 and $650, depending on what you need. These houses will likely be fully furnished, which would be impossible to find back home. Buying a house is also massively cheaper, with prices between $25,000 and $220,000.

Although there has been some political unrest in recent years, it is still a relatively safe place to live, with low crime rates compared to neighboring countries.

11. Tbilisi, Georgia

Tbilisi, Georgia
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No, we are not talking about Georgia (the US state), but we are talking about Georgia, the small European country that used to be part of the USSR that collapsed in 1991. 

It might not be the most popular choice on this list, but we wanted to include it as somewhere totally different that you might never have heard of. It has also become popular with Russians who wish to move out and get away from the war.

It's the capital of Georgia, with friendly locals, great food, and great hospitality.

With its proximity to Asia, it has a natural blend of European and Asian influences. There are loads to do here, such as the thermal baths and the old town, and it's also famous for its wine.

Living here is about 60% cheaper than in New York.

12. Penang, Malaysia

Penang Malaysia
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Penang offers so much for your money compared to other places. Kirsten from the blog Sand in My Curls talks about how much she spends, with her flat being about $600 a month. Her flat has impressive sea views, where she can watch the monkeys play. You would be hard-pressed to find cheap prices with those views anywhere else.

She also talks about spending more if you want something fancier. It all depends on what you need for your lifestyle.

Food, eating out, and other lifestyle costs are affordable, as they are in most other Asian locations. This could be a great alternative to Kuala Lumpur. 

13. Sofia, Bulgaria

Sofia, Bulgaria
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A friend of mine is Bulgarian and used to live in the UK. He recently moved back to Bulgaria, partly because he started a family, but mainly because living there is cheaper. He's gone from living in a small town in the north of England to the capital of Bulgaria. He said it's not massively cheaper, but he has a bigger house, and there's just a lot more going on.

Bulgaria's quality of life is good, and energy bills are cheaper than in much of Western Europe.

14. Luang Prabang, Laos

credit: depositphotos

Numbeo estimates that living costs in the country are 47% lower than in the United States, which is why it made our list.

The capital, Luang Prabang, has a significant expat community. With nearby Thailand about to start taxing expats on income earned, it is likely that more people wanting a cheap cost of living will move to Luang Prabang. 

It's a growing city with friendly residents and fantastic food. 

Numbeo states the cost of living is 52% lower than in London.

15. Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam
credit: depositphotos

Hanoi has always been known for its affordable living costs, which have made it popular with digital nomads and expats.

An apartment in the city center will likely cost between $400 and $700, but it can be much cheaper if you look outside the center.

Other bills, such as food, internet, and energy, are affordable, meaning you can comfortably live here for under $2000 and have some change left at the end of the month.

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We hope this article has given you an insight into where you could live for under $2000. We know there are many more places we could have added, but we wanted to include a mix of well-known places and some you may not yet have heard of.

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