globe showing eastern europe

Best Places to Live in Eastern Europe

Have you ever considered visiting Poland’s mountains? Or perhaps learning about Czech Republic history?

While many people first consider the west for best cities in Europe, Eastern Europe has been dubbed “Hidden Europe,” because many travelers are only now discovering the stunning landscapes that these countries have to offer. With low living costs, a low crime rate and lots of opportunities for everyone from expats to digital nomads, perhaps this lost part of the world should become your next home.

Best Places to Live in Eastern Europe for…

  1. Expats: Budapest, Hungary
  2. English Speakers: Bucharest, Romania
  3. Digital Nomads: Plovdiv, Bulgaria
  4. Solo Travelers: Krakow, Poland
  5. Couples: Prague, Czech Republic
  6. Groups: Belgrade, Serbia

Top 10 Places to Live in Eastern Europe

1. Tbilisi, Georgia

Best City to Live in for A Relaxed Daily Life

houses in tbilisi, georgia

Cost of Living: $

Tbilisi is known for its Bohemian style and Neoclassical architecture. You can spend your days learning about ancient art and modern plays in museums and theatres, and then unwind at one of the city’s legendary speakeasies at night.

Tip: Narikala Fortress and Freedom Square are both worth seeing.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Digital Nomads

Pros:

  • The crime rate in Georgia is low.
  • Tbilisi has a large English-speaking population.
  • In comparison to the rest of Eastern Europe, the cost of living is affordable.

Cons:

  • Tbilisi is a small city that can be explored on foot on a weekend.
  • The public transportation system is not well developed.
  • Tbilisi receives a lot of rain, and temperatures can skyrocket in the summer.

2. Bucharest, Romania

Best City to Live in for English Speakers

cathedral in bucharest, romania

Cost of Living: $

Bucharest’s architecture pre-World War II was reminiscent of Paris’ art nouveau style, and you can still see remnants of these structures in the city. Nevertheless, there is also 21st-century art and a variety of castles to stay in.

Tip: The original Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, was born in Romania.

Who Would Like to Live There: English speakers, Expats

Pros:

  • Romania has an extremely low crime rate.
  • Vibrant nightlife.
  • English is widely spoken.

Cons:

  • Everyone will try to sell you something, from the cab driver to the grocer.
  • Bucharest is a heavily polluted city.
  • The hospitals are of very poor quality.

3. Krakow, Poland

Best City to Live in for Solo Travelers

town square in krakow, poland

Cost of Living: $$

Krakow is a historic city with vibrant nightlife and delicious cuisine, and it’s only a 2-hour drive from the Polish Tatra Mountains.

Tip: Krakow served as Poland’s official capital until 1596.

Who Would Like to Live There: Solo travelers, Outdoor enthusiasts, LGBTQ+

Pros:

  • It has something for everybody to discover.
  • The English language is extensively spoken in Krakow.
  • LGBTQ+ communities are prominent.

Cons:

  • Although Krakow has a low crime rate, vandalism and theft remain issues. Consider an anti-theft bag to keep your mind at ease.
  • Krakow is a relatively expensive city to live in.
  • The public transit system is in poor condition.

4. Warsaw, Poland

Best City to Live in for History Buffs

town square in warsaw, poland

Cost of Living: $$$

Warsaw is known as “The City with Two Faces” because of its skyscrapers and historical buildings. The more relaxed version of Krakow, Warsaw has parklands and palaces, the Old Town, and the Krazinksi gardens.

Tip: Warsaw’s Old Town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Who Would Like to Live There: English speakers, Amateur historians

Pros:

  • Boasts a vibrant street scene with food trucks during summer.
  • People in Poland are friendly.
  • Known as a “foodie” city.

Cons:

  • Heavy traffic and small parking places.
  • Living in Warsaw is also quite expensive.
  • Winters have been reported as being unrelentingly cold.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

Best City to Live in for Couples

overview of prague, czech republic at night

Cost of Living: $$$

Prague, the former home of Mozart and the place where Czech composer Antonín Dvořák died, is rich in art, music, and literature, as well as a thriving modern nightlife.

Tip: The Guinness Book of World Records lists Prague Castle as the world’s largest ancient castle.

Who Would Like to Live There: Couples, Expats

Pros:

  • The crime rate in Prague is extremely low.
  • For foreigners, salaries are extremely high, with expats typically starting in senior positions at corporations.
  • Healthcare is both affordable and of high quality.

Cons:

  • There are numerous con artists.
  • Prague is quite expensive to live in, however, it may be even more costly for foreigners.
  • In comparison to the rest of the Western world, customer service in Prague is atrocious.

6. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Best City to Live in for Digital Nomads

old town in plovdiv, bulgaria

Cost of Living: $

Plovdiv, Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city, boasts a rich history of Roman ruins, lovely hills, and wonderful wine.

Tip: Beautiful Ottoman-era townhouses can still be found in Plovdiv.

Who Would Like to Live There: Digital Nomads, Expats

Pros:

  • Everywhere there are cafés with strong Wi-Fi.
  • Living costs are inexpensive.
  • It’s a great place for everyone, from young expats to pensioners.

Cons:

  • Theft and vandalism are also a concern in Plovdiv.
  • Plovdiv’s medical services are outdated.
  • The locals can come off as rude to foreigners.

7. Belgrade, Serbia

Best City to Live in for Groups

overview of the city of belgrade, serbia

Cost of Living: $

Known as “the city that never sleeps,” you’d never guess one of Europe’s oldest cities is also one of Europe’s greatest party scenes. Thanks to its floating clubs on rivers and buzzing nightlife, you’re sure to have a night you will never forget.

Tip: The Strahinjića Bana, or Belgrade Strip, is a street lined with clubs and pubs.

Who Would Like to Live There: Party animals, Group travelers

Pros:

  • The city is not particularly overcrowded.
  • The cost of living is affordable.
  • From clubs to cafés, there is plenty of entertainment.

Cons:

  • There is a moderate risk of vandalism and theft, as well as a significant number of drug users.
  • The public transit system in this city is inadequate.
  • Winters here are severely chilly.

8. Kyiv, Ukraine

Best City to Live in for Young Professionals

overview of the city of kiev, ukraine

Cost of Living: $

Kyiv has built a name for itself as one of the best cities in Eastern Europe, with national parks, cultural monuments, and a thriving nightlife.

Tip: The Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and the Saint Sophia Cathedral are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyiv.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Digital Nomads

Pros:

  • The cost of living and rent are both very low.
  • Residents are entitled to free medical care.
  • Public transit is both affordable and reliable.

Cons:

  • Ukraine has a moderate crime rate, with vandalism, theft, muggings, and home break-ins all being possibilities.
  • Since World War II, little has been done to improve the infrastructure.
  • English is not very widely spoken.

9. Budapest, Hungary

Best City to Live in for Expats

view of budapest, hungary at sunset

Cost of Living: $

Budapest, with its thermal springs and the Danube River, is ideal for individuals who enjoy outdoor activities without having to travel far.

Tip: Budapest is known as the world’s spa capital.

Who Would Like to Live There: Outdoor enthusiasts, Expats

Pros:

  • The cost of living is relatively inexpensive.
  • There are hiking trails in the city.
  • Public transportation is reasonably priced.

Cons:

  • Vandalism and theft are moderate possibilities.
  • On top of the rent, utilities such as heating can be quite costly.
  • Budapest is likewise extremely polluted.

10. Minsk, Belarus

Best City to Live in for Explorers

overhead view of minsk, belarus

Cost of Living: $

Minsk is more than just the new home of Phoebe’s boyfriend from Friends; with its Soviet architecture, the city appears to be lost in time. However, once you arrive, you’ll discover some great hidden jewels.

Tip: Be sure to visit the Church of Saints Simon and Helena, also known as the Red Church.

Who Would Like to Live There: Expats, Amateur historians

Pros:

  • Minsk is one of the most affordable cities in the world.
  • Public transportation is affordable, and the Minsk metro system is fantastic.
  • Medical care is free and comparable to that in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Cons:

  • Unfortunately, the rate of crime is high.
  • English is not frequently spoken.
  • Winters in Minsk are also bitterly cold.

FAQs

1. Is It Safe in Eastern Europe

In general, crime in Eastern Europe is minimal, with theft and vandalism being the most common crimes.

2. What Currency Do They Use in Eastern Europe

Although most Eastern European countries have their own currencies, the Euro is the most widely accepted. Remember to properly plan how to carry your money while overseas.

3. What Language Do They Speak in Eastern Europe

Russian, Polish, English, and Romanian are the most frequent languages spoken in Eastern Europe, although there are many more depending on which country you visit, as most countries have their own language.

4. How to Travel Around Eastern Europe

The best and most economical options to travel around Eastern Europe include public transit, such as trains and long-haul buses, but most airline carriers are also low-cost.

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