2nd March 2022

Technology is an amazing thing. The power of Wi-Fi means you’re connected to literally everything and everyone, regardless of where you are in the world.

Our cloud-based business management software proves this: provided you have an internet connection, you can control your business from anywhere in the world. That means there’s nothing stopping you from relocating (if you choose to, that is).

The UK is ranked as the 12th most expensive country in the world to live in, and you can get better value for your money if you move east to Mainland Europe. That’s why we’ve discovered 10 of the cheapest European cities you can live in, whilst running your business back in the UK.

We took the following important factors into account:

  • A place to stay (because you’ll want a nice apartment to work from!)
  • Utility bills
  • Those all-important internet costs
  • Public transport (ready for those business meetings)
  • Average salary costs (for when your business expands, and you need to hire an extra pair of hands)

So, take a look at these 10 cost-effective European cities and let us know if:

  1. You’re surprised by the results; or
  2. You’re ready to relocate!
Cheapest European cities to run a business from infographic.

Kiev, Ukraine

Total Monthly Costs: £500

The Ukraine’s English Proficiency is amongst the lowest in Europe, but Kiev is home to the country’s second-highest ranked University – Taras Schevchenko National University of Kyiv – so there are lots of highly educated people, if you’re looking to take on a new recruit.

Living costs are really cheap here too – a cappuccino will set you back by just £1.16 (which by the way, is more expensive than a pint of beer, at £1) – and two tickets to the theatre are a mere £13.

The city is split into two sides: Left Bank and Right Bank, which are both sides of the Dnieper River. Whilst the Right Bank is more expensive, it has many benefits for expats, with shorter commuting times to the city, lots of business head offices, and a more international vibe.

Belgrade, Serbia

Total Monthly Costs: £723.50

A cocktail will set you back by less than £4, and two movie tickets are £7: these low living costs mean you can have a great time living in Belgrade!

Belgrade is where most expats live in Serbia, but the numbers are small. Unemployment rates are high (16%), but they are reducing yearly, and it provides an opportunity for you, if you’re looking to hire someone.

When it comes to flat-hunting, the city centre may have higher price tags, but it’s extremely convenient. Skardarlija is a great alternative, with quirky coffee shops, traditional Serbian restaurants, and winding cobblestone streets.

Sofia, Bulgaria

Total Monthly Cost: £760

Sofia has so much to offer: just walking around the city, you can see the mix of old and new, with Roman remains, Soviet-style buildings and modern hotels side-by-side. Plus, no matter where you are in the city, you’re never far from the looming Mount Vitosha.

Bulgaria is ranked 18th in Europe for English proficiency, and its main University – Sofia University – is the only one in the country to feature in the QS World University Rankings.

Looking for a place to live? Whilst Lozenets and Ivan Vazov are on the more expensive side, they’re great areas. Alternatively, Mladost offers cheaper accommodation, and has easy access to the subway.

Bucharest, Romania

Total Monthly Cost: £939.50

Bucharest is easily commutable from the UK, with numerous cheap, direct flights.

As the capital, Bucharest is the most popular city for expats. Their English proficiency is high, which makes it really easy to get around, and the University of Bucharest is attended by over 30,000 students.

Living costs are low here: a meal out for two will only set you back by £16, and a pint of beer is £1.54.

St Petersburg, Russia

Total Monthly Cost: £1,024.50

St Petersburg has to be one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe – spend your time off from work wandering down the majestic Nevsky Prospekt, visiting the Winter Palace, and lounging in the Summer Gardens.

St Petersburg is Russia’s most westernised city, and is considered the country’s gateway to business and finance. Whilst there are many English speakers in Russia, it’s worth learning some Russian, to make it easier to get around.

If you want to live outside of the city centre, then check out the apartments on Vasilevsky Island. Set on the other side of the River Neva, its range of bars, restaurants and shops, gives it a vibrant feel without being too busy.

Vilnius, Lithuania

Total Monthly Cost: £1,135.50

The Baltics, whilst positioned in Eastern Europe, are extremely westernised, and Lithuania is no exception.

The standard of living (especially in Vilnius), is extremely high, and whilst the country is ranked 20th in Europe for its English proficiency; rates are much higher in the capital.

Vilnius is extremely safe, with a low crime rate, and lots of nice areas to live. Whilst the Old Town is most convenient for its central positioning, Zverynas and Antakalnis are equally pretty: set by a large park and the river Neris, respectively.

Krakow, Poland

Total Monthly Cost: £1,335

Krakow is Poland’s economic, academic and cultural hub; and the huge numbers of tourists makes it an extremely westernised city – great for expats! Poland is ranked 9th highest in Europe for English, and over 20% of Krakow’s population are educated to MA-level.

Whilst Krakow may not be the cheapest city on this list; living costs are still much lower compared to the UK – 45% cheaper on average. A meal out for two costs approximately £16, and a beer is £1.84 (cheaper than a cappuccino, at £2.15).

Budapest, Hungary

Total Monthly Cost: £1,375

Budapest is easily accessible from the UK, with flight times just a couple of hours. Situated on the banks of the Danube, this majestic city is a great place to live whilst running your business.

Like Krakow, Budapest is a very westernised city: the standard of living is equivalent to what you’d expect in the UK, and the country is ranked 15th in Europe for English proficiency.

The city is split into 23 districts, with Pest more popular with expats. District 6 offers a lot of cultural entertainment, and District 13 is set back a bit further meaning it’s quieter, but closer to the business area.

In your time off, there’s lots of things to explore in Budapest – from the spas, to Hosok Tere and Parliament… and of course, the many ruin bars! You’ll never run out of things to do.

Oporto, Portugal

Total Monthly Cost: £1,430.08

If you’re looking for sunnier skies, then Oporto is your best bet on this list: average temperatures don’t dip below 15 degrees, and in summer you can work from the beach.

When it comes to finding a place to stay, Ribeira is ideal, with its rows of quirky restaurants and cafes. Alternatively, Campanha is located just outside the city making it cheaper, but with lots of green space.

Prices are lower than what you’d expect in the UK – two tickets to the theatre cost an average of £36, and two can dine out for £19.

Prague, Czech Republic

Total Monthly Cost: £1,573.50

Prague’s Old Town is a UNESCO heritage site, so you know you’re in for a treat if you relocate to the Czech capital. Charles Bridge, the castle and Old Town Square are just some of the things that need to be on your list of places to see.

When it comes to flat searching, if you live in District 1, you’ll never be more than 20 minutes away from all the attractions, but it can be very crowded. Many expats prefer to live in Vinohrady instead, which is 1km outside the centre, and has its own range of bars, restaurants and shops; and easy access to public transport.

So, are you ready to pack your bags? Before you go, make sure you set up your cloud ERP software so you can manage your business remotely. Check out our interactive system overview for a peek into how you can manage your business from anywhere in the world.