Have you always wanted to move to Europe but have always thought it was an impossibility due to the exorbitant cost of real estate? If you’re willing to look outside of the major cities and some of the other most popular areas, you can find some hidden gems that are quite affordable – maybe even more affordable than what you’d find in the US.
While many people dream of living in cities like Paris, Rome, or Barcelona, the reality is that most of us can’t afford the cost of living in those areas. Many people who choose a home outside of a major city find they prefer their life there and feel that it gives them a more authentic European experience. Some of these places are even more magnificent than their more expensive neighbors.
If you’ve been thinking of making a move to Europe but aren’t sure if it will fit your budget, we’ve curated a list of some great places to find a home for less. Read on for our 11 cheapest places in Europe to buy property.
1. Belgrade, Serbia
- Average Rent in USD: $258
- Average Home Price in USD: $30,000
Although Serbia has a bit of a rocky history, it’s now a safe and wonderful place to live with stunning views, a rich history, and a rollicking nightlife. The people are incredibly friendly, and there’s always something to do, including touring ancient castles and ruins. There are also beautiful lakes, awesome markets, charming villages, and delicious food.
The best part is that you can have all of this culture for a fraction of the cost you’ll spend elsewhere in Europe, especially if you’re willing to live a little outside the city center. You can get an older tiny home for as cheap as $1,200. If you want something a little bigger, you can get an eight-bedroom apartment for $3,550.
There are plenty of nice, three-bedroom houses with a yard for around $50,000, and if you’re willing to go up, you can get a really nice home. You can get houses that would be considered luxury houses in the States for next to nothing.
2. Chisinau, Moldova
- Average Rent in USD: $280
- Average Home Price in USD: $51,000
Moldova has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, and it’s even affordable to live in the country’s largest city, Chisinau. While Chisinau may not be what you envisioned when you’ve imagined living in Europe, it certainly offers a unique experience, and you may be happy that you chose something off the beaten path.
Moldova is a great place for history buffs, especially those who enjoy learning about the Cold War and Soviet Russia. There are several great museums and monuments from this era to visit. There are also parks, gardens, and outdoor markets to get you outside and moving around.
While the cost of living is cheap in Moldova, the housing market is somewhat scarce. If you find something you like, it’s best to make an offer quickly. You can get a one-bedroom apartment for $47,000 or less, and that’s for new construction. A three-bedroom brick house will run you a little under $70,000. While this house is a bit older, it has been recently renovated and is move-in ready.
3. Larnaca, Cyprus
- Average Rent in USD: $355
- Average Home Price in USD: $70,000
Larnaca isn’t the largest city in Cyprus, but it does have the lowest cost of living. The city is known for its wine and its food and is considered to have the best of both in the country. It is popular with retirees but is an ideal place for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Cyprus has a mild climate and offers many of the Mediterranean lifestyle trappings without the usual Mediterranean price tag. The beach is beautiful, and the boardwalk is perfect for leisurely evening strolls. You’ll also find a charming city rich with historical architecture.
If you’re considering building in Larnaca, you can find land for as low as $17,000. You can get a decent-sized studio apartment for around $30,000. An apartment with a little more space, access to a pool, and better proximity to the beach will run you about $80,000.
4. Istria, Croatia
- Average Rent in USD: $370-570
- Average Home Price in USD: $61,000
If you’ve always wanted to live in Tuscany but have found the prices to be too steep for your budget, Istria, Croatia, is being billed as the new Tuscany. Many people consider it the perfect place to retire or to simply live a more quiet life. Istria is known for both its grapes and its olives, and the fertile land is perfect for growing your own garden. The Adriatic sea’s sparkling waters are warm enough for swimming, and the climate is relatively mild year-round.
While prices can be higher on the coast, if you’re willing to live a little farther inland, you can really save some money. Istria has several beautiful stone houses in the country, all for under $40,000. You’ll have plenty left over for renovations, and since many of these houses are centuries old, you’ll be living in a piece of history.
Related: Cost of Living in Croatia
5. Abruzzo, Italy
- Average Rent in USD: $400 per month
- Average Home Price in USD: $59,000
Italy is often one of the top locations people consider when thinking of moving to Europe. Stunning locales, incredible food, and great wine are just a few of the things that draw people to Italy. However, when most people see the real estate prices, they’re quickly turned off.
Still, some places in Italy are not only affordable but are even cheaper than buying a house in the States. Abruzzo is one such place. While the average home prices are in the upper $50s, you can find some great steals. You can get a four-bedroom house in the country for around $47,000, and you’re just a drive away from the ocean or skiing.
If you don’t mind a little work, there’s a rustic stone cottage on a hectare of land for $35,000. At that price, you could fix it up and have a truly unique home. You can get townhouses for under $30,000, many of them needing little or no work before moving in.
6. Caldas da Rainha, Portugal
- Average Rent in USD: $405
- Average Home Price in USD: $59,000
Portugal is a prime location for ex-pats looking to relocate to Europe. The climate is mild and sunny, the food is delicious, and there is a stunning mix of beautiful scenes and historic architecture. While some of the larger cities can be quite costly, if you’re willing to live in a more rural area and slightly off the coastline, you’ll find the cost of living drops to more than affordable.
One such town is Caldas da Rainha, which is just a short drive from the beach. The town was founded in the 15th century as a spa resort town. It still retains many Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture from the period, making for some interesting strolls around town. There’s also parks and museums to keep you busy.
If you’re up for a project, you can buy a house in ruins for $11,000. It’s only 15 minutes from the city center, and with some work, it could be quite a place. A one-bedroom apartment will run you around $41,000. You can get a move-in-ready detached home starting at around $53,000.
7. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
- Average Rent in USD: $470
- Average Home Price in USD: $60,000
Many of us dream of running away and living in a seaside town, but few of us can afford it. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, can make that dream a reality. This sparkling beach town has some of the best real estate values in Europe. If you’re looking for a quiet escape in a sleepy beach town, then Sunny Beach may not be the place for you. But if you want a vibrant locale with lots to do, Sunny Beach is fantastic.
There’s some great real estate available in Sunny Beach. If you’re looking for an apartment to buy, you can get a really nice one for as low as $17,000 in an impressive resort complete with a sparkling swimming pool. Want a detached home? You can get a three-bedroom house with a private pool for around $80,000, and it’s only a 20-minute drive from the beach.
8. Klaipeda, Lithuania
- Average Rent in USD: $488
- Average Home Price in USD: $40,000
If you want more of a quiet life in Europe, Klaipeda is a sleepy port town with a charming atmosphere. Klaipeda, and Lithuania in general, has a focus on nature, so it’s a great place to live if you like to spend a lot of time outdoors. Things move slowly there, and the beaches are much less crowded than in some other towns.
While Klaipeda is the third-largest city in Lithuania, if you’re willing to forego some of the bigger-city amenities, you can save a lot on real estate. You can get a brand-new four-bedroom home for $47,000. That’s less than a fourth of the price of what you’ll spend for a newly constructed home in most places in the states.
There are many new homes under construction in Klaipeda, and all of them run between about $45,000 to $80,000. The cost of living is also cheap. If you’re still making an American income, you’ll be able to live quite comfortably.
9. Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Average Rent in USD: $543
- Average Home Price in USD: $62,000
If you’re craving the feel of a city without so much of the crowds and activity that you’ll find in many of Europe’s bigger cities, Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city, may be just the ticket. There’s plenty to see and do there, but the city itself is small and easily walkable. Ljubljana’s symbol is the dragon, based on the legend of Jason and the Argonauts, and you’ll have fun finding the many dragons around the town.
Ljubljana is charming and beautiful, with many city streets and squares to explore. There are also several interesting bridges and cafes to sample the local cuisine. While living near the city’s center can be costly (though still cheaper than major cities in the States), if you’re willing to move a little outside of the city, you can find some great deals.
There’s an abandoned house, just waiting to be renovated, for a little over $30,000. Or you can get a house in the beautiful countryside that’s move-in ready. It’ll only set you back $45,000. You can even get an adorable cottage with stunning views for less than $55,000.
10. Tallinn, Estonia
- Average Rent in USD: $550
- Average Home Price in USD: $60,000
Estonia’s e-residency program brings a lot of cash flow into the country, making it an appealing option for those looking to move to Eastern Europe. The city of Tallinn has all of the amenities of major cities (and then some) without the outrageous cost of living. Estonia has a unique culture, with a blend of Scandinavian, German, Russian, added to their own strong nationality.
Estonia is one of the least crowded places in Europe, making it the perfect location for those who want their space and need room to grow. There’s a lot of Medieval history to explore here, plus the beach and skiing. Many have described the country as a fairy tale come to life.
If you long for cold weather, architecture that is centuries old, and a culture steeped in history, you’ll love Estonia. Tallinn is known for its great WiFi, making it the perfect location for digital nomads. You can get an adorable three-story condo for $68,000, and that’s in the city. If you’d like to build your own place, you can buy a piece of land starting at around $8,000.
11. Almeria, Spain
- Average Rent in USD: $583
- Average Home Price in USD: $81,000
Spain may seem like a European country that is out of reach for those on a budget, but the cost of living is more affordable than many other European countries and even the US. As long as you’re willing to live outside one of the larger and more expensive cities, Spain should be well within your budget.
Almeria is one of the best towns as far as the cost of living goes. It also has a stately charm, with incredible views and impressive architecture. It’s not a tourist trap, so you’ll get to experience living in Spain like a local. If you want to build, you can get land starting at around $2,300. If you want a fixer-upper, you can get a large country house for $10,600. With a little work, you can have a nice home. If you want something move-in ready, you can get a renovated home for under $30,000.
Related: Cost of Living in Spain
We hope that this post has gotten you one step closer to your dream home in Europe. As you can see, there are plenty of places around the continent where you can find an inexpensive home to buy or rent. Combine lower housing costs with lower costs of living in these cities, and you may have an easier time budgeting.
Whether you want to live in a small apartment near the city center, a few minutes away from the beach, or in a stone ruin in the middle of nowhere, you can find just about any type of home in one of these cities. With the great prices and unique dwellings, you’re sure to find someplace you’ll love.