Most expensive and cheapest places to live in Europe

Published:  30 Jun at 6 PM
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Cost of living considerations are one of the most important aspects of deciding on the perfect place to live outside your home country.

Whether you’re moving overseas for work or retirement, balancing the cost of living in your chosen country with your financial status is essential, and doesn’t necessarily rest on average prices experienced whilst on holiday. In spite of the single European market place, everyday costs vary country to country and even between conurbations and rural regions.

Most surveys focus on specific wealth groups and present varying results, but the survey released by Eurostat, the EU’s official statistics agency, is more reliable than many. Checking their list of Europe’s most expensive and cheapest countries can help ensure expats don’t find themselves unable to balance their budgets.

Unsurprisingly, Denmark tops the list with its prices 40 per cent higher than average and the rest of Scandinavia isn’t far behind. Coupled with its long, freezing winters, living costs ensure this region isn’t attractive to many, and the rest of Northern Europe is a pricey option as well.

More expensive than in the past, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Cyprus now cluster around the EU average. Spain is cheaper by five per cent, France is dearer by nine per cent, Italy by three per cent, and Portugal and Cyprus are cheaper by 14 per cent.

For expats on a tight budget, Bulgaria is the place, with prices a whopping 48 per cent lower than the average. Just slightly more expensive at 42 per cent lower are Romania and Poland, and Hungary is affordable at 40 per cent below the EU average.

Price comparisons by disenchanted UK residents looking for a reasonably priced get-out should remember that Britain’s cost of living is 14 per cent above the EU average. So, if Bulgaria is the choice, prices for most household necessities, food and services would be a tempting 62 per cent cheaper than in the UK.
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