Students are broke. These days it’s not just a fact of life but a cultural status and thrifty badge of honor. While most students embrace their empty-pocketedness, the novelty begins to wear off as soon as travel comes to mind. But a light wallet doesn’t have to mean light travel plans, and with an open mind, a tight budget can turn into a world of opportunity.
Without further adeu, here are the top 5 most affordable cities to live in Europe:
The city is now world famous for its never ending coasts and perfect year-round waves, yet it remains one of Europe’s cheapest and best kept secrets. Renting an apartment in Lisbon can start at around 200€ but a decent one will run about 300€. A mecca for student caffeine addicts, a good coffee can be found for just 0.50€ and if you have your Student ID, just about every price in the city will include serious discounts.
Prague, Czech Republic
The historical capital of Bohemia, Prague retains an artsy charm, apparent in its ten major museums, variety of theaters, galleries, cinemas. A decent room in Prague will run between 200-300€, and if you’re short on time or ambition, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant costs around 4€. Most surprisingly, a monthly transit pass is only 20€, so overall it won’t be hard to keep your monthly budget under 400€.
Credits photo : Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho
Party people look no further – the prices of groceries and eating out are low, and drinking and smoking are especially cheap, with a bottle of local beer under a euro, and a packet of cigarettes just 3€. Over 270, 000 students flock from all over Europe to take advantage of the many festivals, bars as well as the cheap rent. If you’re strict on quiet hours, this may not be your city, but rent prices for apartments in Warsaw start at around 200€: you’ll have plenty of money left over to live a little.
Credits photo : Gabriel Fab
The Bulgarian capital sits in a quaint valley, surrounded by mountains, and is home to 109,000 students. Consequently, you can easily rent a room for less than 200€ as long as you’re not in the market for a luxury flat. Groceries are cheap, and a transport pass costs just €35 a month. A medium range bottle of wine costs just €4 – which nearly seems expensive when compared with the cost of a bottle of local beer which will cost you less than a dollar.
Credits photo : Lauras Eye
Anyone moving to Budapest from a similarly sized city in Europe can easily cut their spending in half. About 30-50,000 expats call the city home so the thriving international community means finding a job without the native language isn’t too hard if you’re persistent. Renting a decent flat will run you between 160-240€, and in all, 350€ monthly should be plenty to live like a broke king.
These cities aren’t the first that come to mind when most people considering moving abroad, but this happens to be their greatest strength. After all, there are only so many European cities left which haven’t completely been overrun by noisy tour buses or corrupted by tourists.