Best European Countries To Live in

Are you thinking of moving to a European country? So when choosing, would you like to choose the one that suits you best among the best? If the answer to these questions is yes, you are in the right place!

 

Many countries in Europe have the highest living standards and GDP per capita. These are the countries where you can live comfortably with your children or alone, where your social and business life is balanced. Some schools offer the best education, universities, or job opportunities to boost your career.

 

This article will examine the best countries to live in Europe from many perspectives. You’ll also find a lot of information about living costs, visa requirements, or house rentals.

 

It’s your turn to choose the best European country you want to live in!

11 Best Countries To Live in Europe

1. Spain

Spain is at the top of the list of the best countries to live in Europe. Spain is a popular destination for expats. Many cities in Spain are very suitable for digital nomads and retirees. You can live comfortably with low expenses in Spain, where the quality of life is high. In addition, Spain ranks first in the world’s best healthcare systems.

 

Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a more affordable city than many Western European capitals. Whether you’re a business owner or a large company employee, Madrid, as a metropolis, offers opportunities to people from all walks of life. On the other hand, rents will be high in coastal cities like San Sebastian and Malaga during the summer months. If you don’t have a business in the city center or you don’t need to be close to schools for your children, you can find affordable homes in Spain. As in many parts of the world, rents will decrease as you move away from the city center.

Best Cities To Live in Spain

  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Malaga
  • Seville
  • San Sebastian

2. Germany

 

Germany, one of the countries with the highest number of expatriates, has high living standards. Germany, which is more accessible than other European countries, is a multicultural country besides being a social center. There are many alternatives in Germany for digital nomads, employees, retirees, or families with children.

 

For example, Berlin is one of the best cities for digital nomads or company employees. In addition to being a cosmopolitan city, house rents are also very cheap. Berlin is a safe and tolerant city home to various cultures. It is a very suitable city for families with children. Many international schools stand out with their education quality. Besides Berlin, cities such as Hamburg and Munich are also popular with expats thanks to their status as finance and business centers.

Best Cities To Live in Germany

  • Munich
  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • Frankfurt
  • Düsseldorf

3. The United Kingdom

 

One of the best countries to settle in Europe, especially for native English speakers, is the United Kingdom. You can socialize comfortably without the language barrier. In addition, the UK is a developed country with high living standards and many job opportunities. It provides a high level of employment to digital nomads, self-employed and company employees.

 

If you plan to live in the UK, you should be ready for six or 12-month contracts. You will need to commit when looking for a good home as there is high competition. If you are looking for a house in the center of London, you may not have many affordable options. But you will have many options for rental or sale properties in different parts of the UK. While houses with gardens are suitable for families, young workers prefer apartments with terraces. Also, if you’re looking for a more affordable and long-term place to live, don’t forget to add Brighton to your options!

Best Cities To Live in the UK

  • Brighton
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Manchester

4. Belgium

 

Belgium ranks high on the OECD Better Living Index with employment, quality housing, and further education. Brussels is also one of the most popular European capital for foreigners. It has many positive aspects, such as quality of life, cultural diversity, and hospitality. The fact that one-third of its population is of foreign origin is a result of these positive aspects.

 

Accommodation fees in Belgium are slightly more expensive than in other European countries. On the other hand, you don’t have to live in the city center as it is a small country. Living in small towns or the countryside can be close to work and the city center. In addition, property prices vary by region.

Best Cities To Live in Belgium

  • Brussels
  • Antwerp
  • Ghent
  • Waterloo
  • Liege

5. Portugal

 

For its economic development, quality education opportunities, and high quality of life, Portugal is one of the most suitable destinations for immigrants. Less expensive than other European countries, Portugal has low living costs outside of Lisbon. Thanks to its cultural integration and hospitality, it is a country where immigrants can quickly adapt. In addition, Portugal has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and is very safe. It’s also one of the best vacation destinations in Europe.

 

House prices in Portugal can be higher for foreigners. In particular, house prices in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve are higher than in other regions. Also, foreigners relocating to Portugal pay almost twice as much as locals to buy a house. On the other hand, areas close to the countryside are much more suitable for accommodation.

Best Cities To Live in Portugal

  • Faro
  • Lisbon
  • Braga
  • Porto
  • Aveiro

6. Luxembourg

 

Luxembourg is one of the world’s wealthiest countries and one with the highest per capita income. With many of the population being foreigners, Luxembourg is one of the best European countries to move to.

 

The country with the highest salaries in Europe offers many opportunities in business life regarding technology and innovation. Most of the population speaks English well in Luxembourg, which has three official languages. You also can easily travel to different parts of Europe, as it borders France, Germany, and Belgium. However, the cost of living is much higher than in other European countries.

Best Cities To Live in Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg City
  • Echternach
  • Mamer
  • Vianden

7. Iceland

 

 

Iceland, one of the Scandinavian countries, has one of the highest GDP per capita and one of the best living standards. It is also one of the safest countries in the world. Another reason why foreigners prefer Iceland is its impressive nature.

 

As an immigrant in Iceland, you can find a job more quickly than in many other countries. Also, the salaries are pretty high, even if you have to start in an entry-level job. On the other hand, Iceland has one of the highest living expenses among European countries. Even if Icelandic citizens enjoy good standards of health care and benefits, the taxes are incredibly high. In addition, house rents in Iceland are also relatively high.

Best Cities To Live in Iceland

  • Reykjavik
  • Akureyri
  • Hafnarfjörður

8. Finland

 

Social and economic living standards are pretty high in Finland, where the happiest people in the world live. Among the Scandinavian countries, it is one of the countries where the most expats live. In addition, Finland is one of the safest countries in the world. Its high-level education system is an ideal living space for families with children. Its capital, Helsinki, is both a historic city and also amazing nature.

 

Free education and high salaries make Finland more interesting. However, there are a few essential points that those considering moving to Finland should consider. First, living in Finland is much more expensive than in most parts of the world. Even if you get high wages, you will notice that the house rents and groceries are very high. Also, Finnish is among the most challenging languages ​​to learn. At least most of the citizens speak English! Finally, taxes are very high in Finland, but you definitely get what you pay for!

Best Cities To Live in Finland

  • Helsinki
  • Rovaniemi
  • Turku
  • Tampere

9. France

 

Most of those who have chosen to live in France state that they are happy with their decision. Being one of the most preferred countries in Europe, France is also a very suitable country for raising children. In addition to many sports activities that you can do in summer and winter, national museums are free for those under 18. Also, France offers a variety of travel plans, such as the Alps, unique beaches in the south, along with an extraordinary and historical setting. 

 

Health services in France are also highly developed. Contributions paid by citizens and long-term residents cover a large part of their medical expenses. You also have state security for extraordinary situations such as natural disasters. In France, tax is levied on household earnings. So if you have a large family, your taxes will be lower. Of course, living in big cities like Paris is more expensive than in the countryside. Prices of houses for rent and sale outside Paris are relatively low. Working hours in France are also limited to 35 hours per week. Not to mention long lunches and almost a month of annual leave!

 

France is a country worth moving to for its fine cuisine, mellow wines, and high living standards. It’s a wonderful place for cultural and gastronomic discoveries. You can also find lovely city center shops at every corner.

Best Cities To Live in France

  • Paris
  • Marseille
  • Lyon
  • Bordeaux

10. Switzerland

Despite being one of the most expensive countries in Europe, Switzerland is one of the best European destinations for expats. In Switzerland, there are many opportunities to improve expatriates’ quality of life and secure their social and business life. In addition, Switzerland has an ideal location with its magnificent nature and proximity to other European countries.

 

Living in Switzerland is quite expensive. First, many people in Switzerland don’t own their own homes. Therefore, as an expat, you will probably need to rent a house. Since rents are also high, an average of 20 percent of your salary can go to rent. Also, when you have just moved to Switzerland, you will realize daily necessities are expensive, like eating or drinking in a restaurant. For this reason, people in Switzerland pay attention to grocery shopping and spending time at home. Social life and work balance are so well established in Switzerland that many expatriates are happy to live there.

Best Cities To Live in Switzerland

  • Zurich
  • Geneva
  • Bern
  • Winterthur
  • Basel

11. Ireland

 

Another country where you can live comfortably without a language barrier is Ireland if you speak English. As one of the countries with the highest per capita income, Ireland definitely deserves to be included in the list of the best countries to live in!

 

Living in Ireland will be expensive, but not as expensive as in Sweden or the UK. Even if you don’t live in luxury, you can lead a high-standard lifestyle in Ireland. Living in cities like Dublin or Galway is more expensive than in the countryside in other countries. For this reason, expats generally live on the city’s outskirts for more affordable costs. As an island country, Ireland typically imports goods. Therefore, necessities such as food, drink, and gas will be expensive, although not excessive.

Best Cities To Live in Ireland

  • Dublin
  • Limerick
  • Cork
  • Galway

Bottom Line

We have reviewed the 11 best countries to live in Europe. If you want to move to one of these European countries, the visa you need to get varies according to your purpose of going. Also, in this article, there are countries where you can get a permanent residence permit after living for a certain period.

 

As we’ve explained, there are many options, such as the friendliest, easiest to get a residence permit, or the best countries to live in with your family. You can decide according to the climate and nature you want to live in. Also, even the regions of the best European countries to live in are quite different. Don’t miss out on these countries’ best cities to live in!

Frequently Asked Questions for Best European Countries to Live in

Which European country is best for foreigners?

There are many different European options for foreigners, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Ireland, and others. The important thing is to find out which European country is good for you. You can compare work, education and living standards and choose the best European country for you.

What is the friendliest European country?

Among the best European countries, some countries stand out with their different characteristics. The friendliest country among them is Portugal! If you do not want to be a stranger when you move to a country and are looking for a wide social circle, you can be sure to find it in Portugal.

What is the easiest European country to move to?

Spain is the country where you can move easily among European countries. If you want to get a residence permit, there are many alternatives. For example, you can apply for the North American Language and Culture Assistant program if you are an American citizen. Or, if your financial situation is good, the Spain Golden Visa is another option. Freelancers and company employees can also apply for a visa.

What is the easiest European country to get a permanent residency?

Portugal is the European country that gives the easiest permanent residence permit. With the Golden Visa, you can apply for a permanent residence permit after living in Portugal for five years.

Where should I live if I only speak English in Europe?

Ireland and the United Kingdom are the best European countries where you can live just by speaking English. Although most of the population speaks English in many European countries, you need to learn the local language to get close to the locals. But you can easily mingle in Ireland and the UK without learning a new language.

What are the best places to live in Europe for families?

In the list of the best countries to live in Europe, Germany and Finland are the most suitable countries for living with family. Regarding quality education, living standards, and costs, Finland and Germany are the ideal countries to live with your children.

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