11 Cheapest Cities in Western Europe to Relocate to in 2023
Yes, the cheapest cities in Western Europe do exist. So, if you’re excited to explore Western Europe tourist attractions with a distinct culture, then you’re at the right place. See, Western Europe is expensive, no doubt but certain areas are affordable.
There are some places to live in Western Europe where the quality of life is high, the population is fair, education facility is standard, health care benefits with insurance are on-time, and the weather is pleasant.
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Therefore, if you’re thinking to move to Western Europe cities on a budget, here is a list of 11 affordable cities to live in Western Europe with its costs and expenses discussed broadly. See, you do not have to sacrifice safety and comfort to save little money.
So, keeping that in mind, here I’m presenting you a list of the cheapest places to live in Western Europe. Also, if you haven’t explored the Christmas market in Europe, you should defiantly check it out!
Table of Contents
Cheapest Cities in Western Europe
If you’re wondering what are the cheapest places to travel in Western Europe then feel free to scroll down and learn about the destinations. If you’re a travel blogger, retiree, digital nomad, student, backpacker, or alone, these places are perfect for you.
Remember, do not forget to use these Europe travel apps to travel freely and with confidence.
1. Ghent, Belgium
- Population: 495,218
- Average cost of living: $1448
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $903.90
- Crime rate: 26.29 (per 1,000 residents)
Ghent in Belgium will surely cater to your taste. I came here in the summer. Believe me, I spend my life’s hottest day ever. To some extent it was a relief, I got the chance to paddle on the water through the confluence of the Lys and Scheldt rivers.
I was here for a month, and it is surely the best city in Western Europe. Beyond its cool vibe and eco-minded strategy of living, Ghent is the most lovable city I was in. The streets are clean and you’ll never find a hurdle in finding a job.
During my initial years of resigning from 9-5 jobs and starting this website, I was here. Belgium is indeed the most affordable country to live in Europe. The inexpensive restaurant food can cost you around $35, monthly utilities around $200, and leisure expenses $30 with a very affordable transportation system.
I’ve heard, on average a person in Belgium earns $2012. Apart from that, you’ll love the network of narrow canal roads, red brick Gothic architecture, landscapes, and appealing town. Join some organized walking tours, you’ll love it.
Read Also: 10 Best Belgian Chocolate Brands for Chocolate Lovers
2. Enschede, Netherlands
- Population: 157,943
- Average cost of living: $1640
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $700
- Crime rate: 43.91 (per 10,000 residents)
A mysterious city called Enschede, sitting east of the Netherlands just right on the German border which rated as one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe. The average cost of living is around $1640 with rent.
Livingcost.org has ranked Enschede as the 11th best city to live in the Netherlands. The city saw an economic boom from innovative technology and the textile industry. Though the city does not offer much of historical attractions, you’ll love the architecture.
In terms of education, the Netherlands always ranks the top-class position. The study states that approx…81% of adults have upper-secondary education certificates with an average of 79%. The high standard of education also produces dedicated doctors and facilities.
In my experience, Dutch people are the best people in the world. They’re friendly, trustworthy, appreciating, loving, and warm. During my stay, I was so sick for 2 weeks, it was my roommate – Oriya, a Dutch girl who took care of me completely.
However, currently, the Netherlands is facing a huge housing crisis and landlords are taking advantage of it by increasing the renting fees. Apart from that, the nightlife, and shopping options, are great in this area.
3. Maribor, Slovenia
- Population: 113,778
- Average cost of living: $1059
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $547
- Crime rate: 22.02 (per 1,000 residents)
Once you step on Maribor, Slovenia you’ll feel the comfort right away. It sits east of the border of Graz, Austria not technically in West Europe. Here you’ll experience an air of culture of Mediterranean Europe, the Balkans, and Alpine Europe.
Maribor is the underrated and cheapest European country to live in, also it is the peaceful wine region on the Drava River. The view of mountain ranges greeting the sky, the coastline saying “hi” to the sky, and the contours of colors make it so welcoming.
The monthly expense excluding rent is around $220 whereas leisure activities are around $32. A year back, I rented a property, which cost me around $290. There are several access routes in Slovenia that have abundant hiking opportunities.
4. Grenoble, France
- Population: 158,240
- Average cost of living: $1316
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $216.33
- Crime rate: 58.26 (per 1000 residents)
Grenoble is a city surrounded by mountains with a lot of hiking trails and a great educational atmosphere. The city is close to Italy, so you get the chance to experience Italian culture and taste true Italian cuisine from many restaurants.
If you’re not a digital nomad, no worries, you’ll find a job. Industries like nuclear research, hydroelectric power, IT, fabrication, industrial parks, tourism, and university are ready to hire people. You can go on tour to Lyon, and also Geneva in Switzerland.
It is one of the cheapest cities in Western Europe for students. Do you know why? On average, a student spends $648– $757 per month with addend student life discounts. There are many pubs and bars options. I recommend going to Sun Valley.
Grenoble is an affluent city with a mish-mash of people. You might complain about its hot summer and cold winters but excellent public transport facilities allow you to postpone your need to buy a personal vehicle. Again, less expense!
And, the best thing about Grenoble is it is known as the capital of the French Alps which means there are many ski slopes like Alpe d’Huexz, Les 2 Alpes, and Les 7 Laux. I loved ordering Gratin Dauphinoise, tartiflette, and French tacos of Grenoble. You should order it too!
5. Graz, Austria
- Population: 359,354
- Average cost of living: $1441
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $660.88
- Crime rate: 25.72 (per 1000 residents)
I was invited to Graz, Austria by my friend, Bellie. I wasn’t expecting anything but once I reached there I understood it is Austria’s second-largest city with ample budget options. It is one of the cheapest cities to live in Western Europe.
The old town of Graz is incredibly beautiful. If you want to taste the creative and hippie culture of Austria, you should come to Lend, a quiet place. Also, if you’re here you should taste a variety of chocolates.
Comparatively, Austria is the cheapest country in Western Europe as the cost of living is around $1,552 and the average monthly salary is $2,124. From well-preserved historic centers to delightful views of the streets – Austria is one of my favorite spots.
I recommend going to Schlossberg, meaning “castle hill”. Checking the red stone castle and bastion at the top of the hill and garden is a must. Also, if you’re an influencer, then you cannot miss the chance of making a reel at a 6 km tunnel beneath the Schlossberg.
6. Porto, Portugal
- Population: 263,131
- Average cost of living: $1,560.53
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $757
- Crime rate: 43.39 (per 1000 residents)
The first thing that comes to my mind hearing “Porto” is delicious port wine, unforgettable architectural styles, and gorgeous streets. It is a perfect destination for retirees and digital nomads who are looking for affordable cities in Western Europe.
It sits in the Northern Region of Portugal along the Douro River. You’ll fall in love with the cobblestone streets, azulejo tiles, and old churches. The life pace is slow and dollars do not stretch too far.
I have to state that the city is comparatively cheaper than Lisbon by 10%. It was voted the hottest destination in Europe for consecutive years. After COVID, inflation hit the economy and a lot of things have changed.
When I was in Porto’s Casa da Musica district, I paid $648 a month for an apartment whereas, now the same apartment costs $ 730-800 a month. On the other hand, public transport is very comprehensive, reliable, and inexpensive.
I have not been to Marvao, but you can surely reside there as the place is quiet and one of the great mountain towns in the country. Castelo de Vide is also another beautiful place with a lot of cafes, restaurants, and stores. For instance, in smaller cities, a couple can reside with around $1,800 per month.
7. Seville, Spain
- Population: 703, 000
- Average cost of living: $1134
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $540
- Crime rate: 29.23 (per 1000 residents)
Andalucia’s capital – Seville in southern Spain is the most picture-perfect city sitting behind Barcelona and Madrid. It sits on the Guadalquivir River, and will definitely make you fall in love with its romantic buildings, and passionate flamenco.
It is one of the most affordable European vacation spots, as one month’s rent in a posh area of Seville is around $1,800. Compared to the USA, rent is very affordable in Spain. The high-speed rail is very reliable and hence you do not need a car – huge savings!
The place is very fascinating with an array of attractions like big palaces, monuments, Moorish palaces, cafes, and citrus trees around. Moreover, you can buy food which will cost not more than $40. However, it is not bad, if you can cook for yourself.
Did you watch Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara? It’s on Netflix, you can go and watch this Bollywood hit movie. Rather, I suggest you watch because if you’re a daring person then bullfighting or seeing the bull rings near the Plaza de Espana, and Parque Maria Luisa is something you cannot miss out on!
Spain is a very affordable country in Western Europe for retirees as the public transport is great and there are a lot of walking trails to enjoy the city on foot. Healthcare facilities like Virgen Macarena are excellent and the place is economical.
8. Girona, Spain
- Population: 784,941
- Average cost of living: $1288
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $1,363.49
- Crime rate: 36.72 (per 1000 residents)
Girona is one of the cheapest places to live in Western Europe for backpackers alone. It is a picturesque place with narrow winding city streets, medieval walls, and different shades of Barcelona.
I was here for 20 days and fell in love with the Mediterranean climate, relaxed lifestyle, and budget-friendly meals. Just imagine, I spend less than $40 for a three-course meal per day. Isn’t that cheap? You get beers for $3- $4.
Girona is one of the budget travel Western European destinations where dorm rooms cost around $20 – $22 per night. I spent $50 per day exploring Girona. You should visit El Call, exploring the roads of joy!
You cannot miss out on a walk on the medieval walls which is famously called the Passeig de Muralla. From here you get a spectacular view of the city. Also, a photo with Gustav Eiffel in the background is a must!
9. Dresden, Germany
- Population: 567,375
- Average cost of living: $1207
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $629
- Crime rate: 29.78 (per 1000 residents)
I’ve heard a lot about Dresden as one of the cheapest European cities to visit but have not done it personally yet. One of my very dear friends is there for the past 4 years doing his Master’s from Dresden University and working too.
I’ve heard a lot from him. So, I used to see his Instagram profile that every weekend he used to travel exploring new cities, towns, and places. I was so curious and asked him how did he manage his finance? Do, you know what did he say?
He gets student concession on traveling through metros and other public transports. The food is very affordable. Dorms are always on budget. So, traveling or staying in Dresden is very affordable. His cost of living per month was around $1,500.
It is also one of the affordable European vacation spots sitting 12 miles shy of the Czech border. The city appreciates cultural heritages, and vibrant nightlife, with very affordable restaurants and destinations to explore.
10. Patras, Greece
- Population: 176, 311
- Average cost of living: $890
- Rent per month (studio apartment): $357
- Crime rate: 37.26 (per 1000 residents)
Did you know that Patras has the lowest rent price in West Europe? Greece boasts endless sunshine, mild winters, soothing Mediterranean air, and relaxed life. You’ll never get bored with the archaeological museums, and venues.
Patras is a busy port city and a cheap place to visit in Europe. It has many vibrant clubs, restaurants, and ample budget hotels to stay. The monthly rent for one bedroom apartment is around $ 200.
Athens and Thessaloniki are the cheapest places to live in Western Europe for remote workers as you can enjoy the views and also afford the low cost of living. The pedestrian streets are full of young people exploring. You’ll love the place.
11. Palermo, Italy
- Population: 855,285
- Average cost of living: $1,074
- Rent per month (one bedroom): $516
- Crime rate: 47.74 (per 10,000 residents)
Anyone looking for the most affordable places to visit in Europe to start a new life in a new country, then no place is better than Palermo in Italy. It enjoys the Mediterranean warm type of climate.
How can you not love the home of Gothic palaces, Arabesque domes, frescoed cupolas, churches, and dizzying yellow streets? The city boasts 12 UNESCO sites. You’ll also love the street-side Sicilian food and small stories while exploring.
The cost of living per month here is around $1,683 excluding rent. One-bedroom studio is around $516 per month. However, Palermo is very busy with noisy traffic. You can choose Messina and Catania as a far better and quieter environment.
Remember, Southern Italy is one of the cheapest area to visit in Europe. I’ve been to Naples, another affordable destination in Italy. I recommend going to Cefalù, a small fishing which is an hour from Palermo. It’s beautiful!
Here comes the end of 11 cheap cities in Western Europe. The place is very diverse so expect big things to happen to you. I want to clear it out, that some places are not very “cheap” but affordable comparatively.
And of course, there are ways to cut back and save money, so if you want to still be in search of cheaper places then you can rent a flat with flatmates, eat homemade food, roam around the city on public transport, and more.
Of course, there are plenty of things to see in Europe so, it is definitely worth moving here and starting a new life from the beginning. Still, I suggest researching and planning your budget accordingly because moving in is really a big decision.
Good luck with your exploration of the best cities to visit in Europe – Happy traveling and moving in.
FAQ: Cheapest Cities in Western Europe
1. Where is the cheapest place to live in Western Europe?
A. The cheapest and most affordable place to live in Western Europe is Porto in Portugal. The average cost of living in Portugal is around € 1,400 per month. With Lisbon City Card transportation is very affordable. Iconic tram 28 takes you around the city in an affordable way. If you love partying then I recommend vesting Braga, an affordable place in Portugal.
2. What is the cheapest western European country?
A. Romania is a beautiful and cheapest Western European Country to live in. The average cost of living is around €800. The people are friendly, the language is pretty, and the place is very gorgeous. If you’re in Romania, I would suggest staying at Constanta, Brasov, and Bucharest.
3. What is the least expensive city in Europe?
A. The city of Lodz in Poland is the most creative city in Europe. It is also part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. For an 85 m2 furnished room, the monthly rent is around € 616. Research also states that Lodze is 62.1% less expensive compared to New York.
4. Which is a great weekend destination in western Europe?
A. I recommend South France for chilling in weekenders. The food is good, the weather is great and the people are friendly.