A trip to Europe doesn’t have to break the bank, but it depends on where you go. While countries like Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany are the first come to mind when thinking about Europe, they come at a high cost of living for digital nomads. If you’re searching for the champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget, you’ll find that these top destinations may be out of reach—but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Europe on a budget. You just need to know where to look.
From Serbia and Romania to Croatia and Albania, here are our top 10 cheap destinations for an inexpensive workcation in Europe.
Landlocked in Southeastern/Central Europe, Serbia proves to be one of the least expensive European countries for remote workers to visit. Belgrade, the county’s capital, is popular among digital nomads and scores highly for the quality of life, safety, fun, and most importantly, cost among remote workers. Outside of the capital, the smaller cities of Niš and Novi Sad are also top picks for remote working destinations in the country.
Serbia is not often frequented by tourists and although the numbers are growing, it sees just 2.2% of the annual GDP from tourism. Remote workers looking for a destination off the beaten path will, therefore, love Serbia as a unique experience for their next workcation
The cost of living in Serbia is an estimated 53.5% lower than in the United States with the rental market offering prices more than 82% lower than equivalent US properties. An individual traveler should expect monthly expenses of approximately $470 USD (without rent) with the living expenses of a family of four estimated at $1,590 USD (without rent).
Romania is a stunning country that’s packed with history awaits those who enter its borders. The capital city, Bucharest, is the main remote working hotspot in the country with the city gaining in popularity following the launch of the Romanian digital nomad visa. Inexpensive living conditions, reliable internet, and unique culture make the city a fantastic choice for budget-cautious travelers.
Outside of the capital, Romania has a wealth of hidden gems to explore. From the mountainous town of Sinaia to the Transylvanian city of Brașov, there’s plenty to see, do, and experience here. Romania offers one of Europe’s lowest costs of living, estimated to be approximately 52% lower than in the United States. The estimated monthly cost for an individual living and working in Romania sits around $480 USD (without rent) with the value increasing to approximately $1,680 USD (without rent) for a family of four. Rental prices are, on average, 80% lower than in the States, making the country a top destination for an inexpensive getaway.
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Known informally as Bosnia, Bosnia & Herzegovina is one of the top European destinations for travelers on a budget. The majority of visitors arriving in the country will visit either Sarajevo, the capital of the country, or Mostar, a city in the South of the country known for its iconic Stari Most (old bridge).
Day trips to both of these cities can easily be arranged from neighboring Croatia with long-term stays not often considered by fleeting tourists. However, with low accommodation costs and plenty to explore in the relatively unknown country, remote workers can find bliss in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
The cost of living in Bosnia & Herzegovina is estimated at approximately 55% lower than the cost of living in the United States. For those looking for a European workcation, this translates to living costs of approximately $460 USD (without rent) for an individual or roughly $1,550 USD (without rent) for a family of four. Rental prices in the country are also low and approach an estimated 89% lower than equivalent properties in the US.
Bordering both Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is a small country (with a population of just four million) that’s of the least expensive countries to visit in Europe. The country is best known for its wine and has a number of popular regions including the famous Nistreana, known for reds, and Codru, home to some of the largest wine cellars in the world.
Chișinău is the capital city and main hub for remote workers and digital nomads. The soviet-style architecture gives the country a unique aesthetic, feeling far away from neighboring Romania. It’s a lesser-visited country, but a great stop for a short workcation for wine-loving remote workers.
Moldova’s cost of living is estimated to be more than 58% lower than in the United States with rental prices estimated at more than 83% lower than US equivalent properties. This translates to a monthly spend for individual remote workers of approximately $440 USD (without rent) or around $1,475 USD (without rent) for a family of four.
Landlocked between Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece, North Macedonia is another inexpensive Southeastern European country perfect for a workcation. Skopje, the country’s capital, is the most popular destination among visitors to the country and offers a unique stay for digital nomads.
A must-visit in the city is the Old Bazaar, offering a vibrant selection of shops, cafes, markets, and mosques, built in the Ottoman style. Outside of the city, there’s Lake Matka, the stunning body of water just a 30-minute drive from the capital. The country is rarely visited for long stays by remote workers and may make for a fantastic trip on your next workcation.
The cost of living in North Macedonia is one of the lowest in all of Europe with estimated monthly expenses of just $410 USD (without rent) for an individual nomad or $1,400 USD (without rent) for a family of four. Compared to the United States, the cost of living in North Macedonia is an estimated 50% lower with rental prices more than 89% lower for comparable properties.
Landlocked in central Europe, Hungary is one of the most popular cheap European vacation destinations for remote workers. Hungary’s obvious nomad hub lies in Budapest, the capital city that’s famously bisected by the River Danube. The West of the river is known as Buda with Pest to the East—combining the two gives the iconic city its name. Here you can take a dip in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, shop at the enormous Central Market Hall, and drink in the famous ruin bars on your next workcation.
We would, however, always recommend that travelers venture out of the most popular destinations where possible and Hungary has plenty of relatively unknown destinations to explore. From the Balaton Uplands National Park to the elegant city of Eger in northern Hungary, there’s plenty to see, do, and explore.
The cost of living in Hungary is estimated to be more than 51% lower than in the United States with rental prices a huge 77% lower than equivalent properties in the US. For an individual nomad traveling in Hungary, estimated monthly expenses hover around the $500 USD mark (without rent) with prices for a family of four expected to reach $1,700 USD (without rent).
The fifth most populous country in Europe with more than 38 million inhabitants, Poland is far from the small country that it’s often portrayed as. Popular workcation destinations in the Central European country include the cities of Warsaw and Kraków with both cities rated equally for offering a great infrastructure for remote work. The cities are inexpensive, offer great internet, are very safe for travelers, and boast plenty of activities to keep you busy on your next workcation.
But there’s more to Poland than the major cities and the Tatra Mountain, on the border with Slovakia, is a perfect slice of adventure for a workcation. The peak of Rysy, standing at 2,500m, is the tallest in the country and a must-visit for hiking and mountaineering lovers.
The cost of living in Poland is estimated at a value of $520 USD per month (without rent) for an individual remote worker—more than 50% lower than in the United States. This figure rises to an estimated value of $1,730 USD per month (without rent) for a family of four. Unsurprisingly, rental prices are also considerably lower in Poland with prices estimated 69% lower than US properties.
Sandwiched between Croatia and Albania, Montenegro is one of the smallest Balkan countries, known for its rugged mountains and popular coastal towns. Like its neighboring Balkan countries, Montenegro is a relatively unexplored part of the world with inexpensive prices to match. The town of Budva is a top choice for a workcation with the destination known for its sandy beaches, exciting nightlife, and coastal activities perfect for a laptop-friendly break.
But it’s the town of Herceg Novi, located just East of the Croatian border, that proves to be one of the best destinations for nomads to settle. With an estimated population of 33,000, the town is small enough for an authentic experience but large enough for a good infrastructure for remote workers.
The cost of living in Montenegro is approximately 50% lower than in the United States with an individual nomad expected to spend just $490 per month (without rent). This figure increases to an estimated $1,700 per month for a family of four (without rent) with accommodation costs approximately 74% lower than in the States.
Often billed as a cheaper alternative to Italy, Croatia is rapidly becoming one of the top European destinations for global travelers. Most fly into the Croatian capital of Zagreb and dedicated a few days to exploring the Austro-Hungarian architecture. From here, it’s easy to travel to Plitvice Lakes and Krka National Park to sample some of the breathtaking scenery offered in the country. But it’s the Dalmatian coast, to the East of the Adriatic Sea, offers the most popular destinations in Croatia with the idyllic cities of Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik.
The UNESCO world heritage site of Dubrovnik’s Old City is a must-visit for all travelers to the country but is non-negotiable for Game of Thrones fans. The historic city doubles as the famous King’s Landing and the show's influence is clear in the old city streets with tourist markets and entire stores dedicated to the official merchandise of the hit HBO show.
That all-important cost of living in Croatia is approximately 40% lower than in the United States with an estimated monthly living cost of $600 USD for an individual digital nomad or $2,100 USD for a family of four (both without rent).
A small country in Southeastern Europe’s Balkan Peninsula, Albania is another inexpensive workcation destination sharing the Adriatic coastline.
Albania’s capital, Tirana, is undoubtedly the best destination for digital nomads to settle with a good infrastructure to get a taste of the country. But the hidden gems in Albania really lie along the coast with Saranda, Ksamil, and Berat all proving popular cheap European workcation destinations.
For an adventurous workcation, outdoor lovers will adore the Accursed Mountains—also known as the Albanian Alps. Sitting at 2,694m, the country's highest peak, Maja Jezercë, is the obvious goal for serious hikers, but Zla Kolata (2,534) offers a fantastic alternative.
The cost of living for a single digital nomad in Albania is estimated at $430 USD (without rent), a huge 53% lower than in the United States. This figure increases to an estimated $1,530 for a family of four (without rent) with rental prices quoted to be more than 82% lower compared to US rental prices.
Cheapest European Countries to Visit on a Workation
If you’re really wanting to keep the costs down with your next European workcation it’s Central and Southeastern Europe that should be in your goals.
From Romania and Bosnia & Herzegovina to Poland and Montenegro, there’s a plethora of inexpensive destinations perfect for roaming remote workers. Our list of inexpensive countries may not include the romanticized Europe that we see in books or movies (Paris, Rome, or Santorini) but we’d argue that the cheaper, little-known experiences are often better.
These lesser-visited destinations are packed full of unique cultures, natural hidden gems, and popularity-pending cities. Montenegro’s charming coastal towns, Romania’s jaw-dropping mountains, and Croatia’s islands will only remain a secret for so long.
Best to visit them now, before the cruise ships and coach loads catch wind of their beauty.
Adam Mace is Nurall's Lead Contributing Writer and a full-time digital nomad in search of the best hikes, unique stays, and local delicacies. When he’s not exploring far-flung places he can..
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