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Europe’s Top Countries for Affordable Retirement

Retiring in Europe is a dream for many but sometimes feels unattainable. Here's our list of Europe's Top Countries for Affordable Retirement.

Retiring in Europe is a dream for many but can sometimes feel unattainable. There is a common misconception that everywhere in Europe will be out of budget, however that is often not the case!

There are plenty of countries throughout Europe that offer affordable living. Even better, in all of these countries, you will live the European experience by exploring the best scenery and being surrounded by history-rich cities.

Although Europe is a small continent, it is full of diversity. Therefore, you’ll be guaranteed to find a home that’s suitable for your lifestyle, won’t break the bank, and will be ideal for retirement. The following outlines the top European countries that can offer an affordable retirement.  

green landscape

1. Italy

Known for its wine and delicious food, Italy is also a country where affordable living can be found. You may find it surprising to learn that Italy can be affordable as it is a cultural and historical hotspot for many tourists. However, even though tourism is high, it doesn’t correlate to living costs. Especially when looking to lesser-known destinations that are not flooded with tourists.

Expats in search of affordable places to retire will not need to compromise when looking into smaller, less popular cities in Italy. They will get to experience everything Italy is known for in any crevasse of the country. 

Lucca, a city in Tuscany is a perfect example of affordable living in Italy. In a city like Lucca, expats will experience the appealing Italian lifestyle and gorgeous scenery while staying on budget. In the right place, a couple can live well for less than $2,000/month.

Portugal Minho Region "Ponte da Barca" town and the Lima River, Portugal.

2. Portugal

Compared to other European countries, Portugal used to be often overlooked for tourism and for expats to make this country their home. However, in recent years more visitors have been discovering the beauty of the castles, cobblestones, and everything in-between.

The increase in visitors has turned into an increased number of expats coming into the country. This increase isn’t just because of the vast country’s offerings but also because of its affordability. You can find affordable living in almost every area of Portugal.

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city in Portugal and only has an average living expense of $2,100/month. However, smaller cities around the country have living expenses as little as $1,700/month. The city of Algarve is an example of a smaller city in Portugal that is affordable but provides stunning scenery and a great lifestyle. In fact, it was named one of the best cities for retirement in Europe.

Rural Landscape in the early Morning in the Ardeche, France

3. France

France is another country that may be surprising to be on a list that breakdowns affordable places to live as France is almost synonymous with ‘expensive.’ However, there are affordable places that expats can retire in throughout the country and live out a great lifestyle. Therefore, your budget doesn’t have to limit your French cobblestone dreams.

Hotspots such as Paris in the north or Cannes down south will probably not be budget friendly. However, beautiful little cities like Bordeaux are on the affordable end and perfect for retirement. This city is very retirement friendly as there are plenty of attractions and it’s surrounded by beautiful, picturesque scenery. As well, France has an amazing healthcare system which is a great bonus to keep in mind.

Smaller cities like Bordeaux that are less tourist-focused can offer affordable living of $2,200 per month which includes rent and food.


Greece buildings by the water

4. Greece

Full of culture and a diverse landscape with a history that’s prevalent at every corner, Greece is a great choice for retiring expats. It is not only stunning, but also a very affordable option. Depending on the type of lifestyle you want, Greece can offer it. There are affordable cities of all sizes and attractions throughout this diverse country.

Even the tourist destinations like Athens can be a great spot to find an affordable cost of living. Aside from affordability, Athens offers great weather and a laid-back lifestyle with exciting nightlife. Making it a perfect place to choose to spend your retirement.

A budget-friendly expat can essentially choose any area in Greece and have costs of living averaging around $1,830/month.

View of the sea in Baska Croatia

5. Croatia

This Mediterranean country can offer an abundance of benefits and an exciting lifestyle for retirees. The sparkling blue waters are a showstopping feature of the country. However, those who live in Croatia also enjoy the cobblestone streets and historic ruins.

There are plenty of affordable towns and cities throughout Croatia that offer affordable living, such as Split. As Croatia’s largest city, Split is highly recommended for those retiring. This beautiful city is growing in popularity because of its coastline locations and offerings that provide an exciting, active lifestyle. 

Overall, anywhere in Croatia would be a top contender for retirees. Especially those looking for budget friendly living. A couple can expect to live well here for between $2,050 and $2,840 per month.


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