Many people long to live in Europe but are discouraged by the high cost of living there. European cities like Frankfurt and London are among the priciest places to live.
Even on a tight budget, you can live in Europe if you search outside of the main cities and most well-known tourist attractions. There are hidden gems like the cities listed below throughout Europe that let you live more opulently and stretch your euro further while still taking in some of the most stunning towns on earth.
The rating indicates that European towns continue to have one of the finest quality of life in the world and are still the top choices for expats, with German and Swiss cities ranking among the most liked worldwide.
If you are moving anytime sooner within Europe, consider one from this list of thirteen cities.
1. Munich, Germany
Munich has something for everyone, whether you want to unwind with a locally brewed beer or listen to upcoming performers at a festival. Germany's second most visited city, after Berlin, is Munich. One yearly event, Oktoberfest, attracts more than seven million people to its beer tents alone.
But Munich is not only about beer and pretzels. There are many reasons why this place is among the European cities that offer high quality of life.
Around the city are numerous stunning monuments and museums. Additionally, it is the ideal starting point for visiting southern Germany's numerous Alpine lakes.
2. Vienna, Austria
From 2009 through 2019, Vienna was consistently ranked as the finest city in the world to live in by Mercer's quality of living survey. It boasts many green areas, affordable, effective public transport, a very low crime rate, and is in an excellent place geographically because it is in central Europe.
With a low crime rate, Vienna is very safe. In case you weren't aware, the city is also well known for its cuisine and wine. There are numerous benefits to considering moving to Vienna. In addition, Vienna's strategic location makes it simple to reach many of Europe's most important cities in a few hours.
3. Belgrade, Serbia
Belgrade is a developing and underappreciated city in Serbia that provides many of the facets of the European lifestyle that nomads desire while still having a very inexpensive cost of living in comparison to the rest of the continent.
We consider Serbia to be one of the most underestimated nations for ex-pats to live, and many people who visit Belgrade and take advantage of the city's many outdoor cafés, stroll through its cobblestone streets, interact with the kind residents, and explore the surrounding area will say the city truly attracted their eye.
If you want to get the most for your money and experience the best of Europe, you should pay attention to the Balkans!
4. Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, an EU member state, is another place worth considering for obtaining excellent value and leading a nomadic European lifestyle close to Serbia. You can use Croatia, a non-Schengen nation, as part of your plan to travel around Europe for an extended period while alternating between Schengen and non-Schengen nations.
Expats in developing countries frequently enjoy lower living expenses, more access to economic opportunities, and a growing network of nomads and like-minded individuals, giving them the best of both worlds. In light of all the recent tourist interest in Croatia's coast and islands, Zagreb is a city that somewhat slips under the tourist radar.
Don't overlook, nevertheless, what this former Yugoslavian capital has to offer in terms of culture, accessibility, and affordability to other significant European cities. Croatia deserves a spot on a nomad's list if looking for a pleasant lifestyle, despite being slightly more expensive than its neighbors in Serbia, Macedonia, etc.
5. Lisbon, Portugal
Although Lisbon has never experienced the high cost of living that other European cities have, it does have a warmer climate and a more relaxed way of life. The city is one of the greatest European cities for value and has a reasonably low cost of living, even though Portugal might not be the best spot to start a business because things move a little slowly.
Portugal, which has everything: affordability, safety, entertainment, openness, accessibility, a nomad-friendly environment for doing business and getting second residency in the EU, and the potential to pay zero income tax with non-habitual residence, is a country that ranks top on the list of affordable cities.
6. Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva has many parks, and visiting one in the summer feels like entering a tropical paradise. It is a fantastic place to live in for a variety of reasons. With its spectacular lakefront location and vistas of the Snow-capped Alps, it is, first and foremost, one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world. With a diversified population and a wide variety of cultural events available, it is also a fairly cosmopolitan city.
The quality of life is another factor to consider. Due to its low crime rate, first-notch infrastructure, and high standards for both healthcare and education, Geneva consistently ranks as one of the world's most livable cities.
Even though it's a small city, there are many things to do, such as free music performances, lake cruises, art shows, and film and music festivals.
7. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is a small, welcoming city with a wealth of amazing attractions. It is ideal for tourists or newbies because it has historical sites and hospitable residents. Scotland is a beautiful country to explore, and Edinburgh is a fantastic city. It is only a few hours away from the Scottish islands.
You may go to some of its cutest towns or the islands off the northwest coast, such as the Isle of Skye, among the most incredible places to go on a road trip.
8. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is one of the happiest cities to live in, which makes sense given that Irish people are among the most entertaining and hospitable you will ever encounter while traveling.
Living here will be an experience you'll never forget because of the city's old architecture and the history that can be learned about everywhere in this small Irish capital. Dublin is both a party and a tourist destination, so save some time in the evenings to sip on some local beer and take in some fantastic live music!
9. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm has a lot to be proud of, including an amazing work-life balance, some of Sweden's best fika breaks, and a welcoming community for raising a family. However, as a city spread across 14 islands and encircled by waterways, it also serves as a starting point for some of the most breathtaking hiking in the country.
In the city's 26 parks, stay-at-home dads frequently push strollers on weekdays. Stockholm is a progressive city that pioneers gender equality. Buses are free for parents pushing strollers, and there is a monthly stipend to help with the cost of rearing kids up to the age of 16.
10. London, United Kingdom
The capital, London, is acknowledged for being one of the most popular and exciting cities in the world. It is the biggest in the UK and has the most diversified communities, lively scenes, and the largest area. Since a long time ago, London has ranked among the top financial centers in the world and is famous for its technological advancements. The streets of this mega city are lined with some of the best eateries, bars, and coffee shops in the globe.
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, looking for a job, and taking in peaceful environs, London is unquestionably the greatest option in the UK. The city provides you with many possibilities to learn, develop, and gain experience. It is the center of economic growth in the United Kingdom.
However, as the population has remained constant for many years, there is fierce competition for jobs if you move to this lovely city without clear work stability. But when it comes to the booming trend of co-working spaces, London stands out. You'll never get bored in London, we wager!
11. Baku, Azerbaijan
The largest city on the Caspian Sea, which separates Europe from Asia, is Azerbaijan's capital city. It is the lowest-lying national capital in the world because it is 92 feet below sea level.
Given that Baku is known as the “Paris of the East,” you better expect that its architecture is stunning, fusing elements of the Old City with contemporary buildings that make up Baku harbor. If you're looking for history, go to Baku's Inner City, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower. The city's more modern area provides a place for merriment, making it a fantastic location for urban nightlife.
12. Tbilisi, Georgia
Georgia, another country at the nexus of Europe and Asia, is situated to the east of the Black Sea, with Tbilisi serving as both the nation's capital and largest city. A city with deep origins established in the fifth century A.D. has long served as a hub for trade, especially given its closeness to the Silk Road.
It is an ethnically diverse town with more than 100 distinct ethnic groups due to its central location, making it a highly welcome place for those who visit. As a result, there is a wide variety of architectural styles present all around.
To Wrap Up
The twelve above-stated European cities are the best if you plan to move. The standard of living, affordability, and incredibly beautiful tourist sites are a reason for their fame. Choose one that fits your criterion and plan to reside there.
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.