Almost everybody wants to go to Europe. It’s a dream that most people have.
Often, they dream of waltzing through the dreamy streets of Paris or drinking sangria on the coasts of Spain. This is Europe that everybody seems to be talking about and most people aspire to live in.
We could be guilty of this ourselves, unconsciously even. As soon as the word “Europe” pops up, our minds instantly wander off to the more popular European destinations like Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and so on. These are undoubtedly beautiful countries with unique digital nomad communities, tourist attractions that date back for centuries, and great food.
But the truth is, they don’t make up the entirety of the European continent.
Have you ever thought about wandering outside of the European Union? Say, maybe visiting the Balkans or countries that are not included in the prized EU? You’d be surprised at how vast Europe is outside of these borders. Even more so, you’d be stunned at how beautiful it is even outside of the countries we have dreamed about.
Europe Outside of the European Union
There are places in Eastern Europe that most people shrug off. These are countries like Montenegro, Georgia, North Macedonia, Armenia, and Serbia. We might’ve already heard of these countries, but why are these places less popular?
These are countries filled with culture, historical monuments, and fantastic food. So how is it that most tourists, travelers, and digital nomads alike are purposefully ignoring these countries? Why do most people prefer to go on holidays in the more expensive and more crowded cities in Europe?
These are questions that most people ask, but is there a valid reason for this?
Don’t get us wrong, traveling through the more popular European countries can be amazing. If this is something that’s on your bucket list, then, by all means, go for it.
Countries like Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary, and so on offer many things to tourists and locals alike. And as we always say, go where you’re treated best. This is probably why they’ve become so popular over the years. However, just like we’ve previously said, they don’t make up the entirety of the continent.
Looking at Countries in Eastern Europe
One of the things that may be the reason why not many people are interested in visiting or living in Eastern Europe is that not many travel magazines cover these types of places.
You rarely see travel magazines or travel blogs urging you to go to the Balkans or through most countries in this region. All the hype is in the overcrowded beaches in Southern Europe or the more modern cities like Paris, London, or Berlin.
Everybody wants to go to Paris, but have you ever heard of Yerevan? Yes, you’ve been to Athens, but have you ever considered relocating to Tbilisi? You might’ve even spent a reasonable amount of time sunbathing on the coast of Porto, but did you know that you can do the same thing in Kotor?
Everything isn’t about money, but these are countries where you can live on $1,000 a month. Not only that, but this region is one of the cheapest and safest places to live in the world. If that’s not a total score, then we don’t know what is. Then again, you could simply look at the beauty and the other factors that most locals in these countries enjoy.
We’ve talked to some of our colleagues based in these countries to know more about the lifestyle, the people, and how well-connected these places are to the rest of the world. These are simply some of the things that locals in these regions want the whole world to know
So if you haven’t thought about living in Eastern Europe or even traveling to the region yet, then we can definitely change your mind.
Eastern Europe: Life in Tbilisi, Georgia
Georgia is probably one of the more popular countries in Eastern Europe (not to be confused with the state in the United States). This country is slowly getting more popular through the years, and the locals have seen a boom in their travel industry. Did you also know that Georgia is one of the most capitalist countries in the world?
This is something that the rest of the countries in the region aspire to become.
Its capital city is home to more than 1,100,000 people, and the Georgian market is continually growing as the years progress. This is an excellent thing. It can mean that more people are focusing on visiting or moving to smaller cities in Eastern Europe
We asked our colleague Viktoria what her favorite thing is about Tbilisi. She said, “I like how Tbilisi is mixed with old and new.”
Even if you’ve not yet been to Tbilisi, you can better grasp how culturally mixed it is. In the olden days, Tbilisi has been a background for different historical events. Today, tourists and locals alike can enjoy its beauty while being able to appreciate its historical significance.
There are a few cities all around the world that can boast of how well it mixes its old culture and new technology. Tbilisi is one of those cities.
To say that this city is beautiful would be an understatement. You need to go and experience what it has to offer for yourself.
Tbilisi’s Rich History and Beautiful Culture
Georgia, in general, is so rich in culture and history.
Today, Tbilisi boasts of its impressive architecture. These are infrastructures mixed with the old Georgia and the new ones built using the latest technological advancements. So if you’re a history buff or if you can simply appreciate great architecture, then Tbilisi could be the perfect city for you.
However, just like most cities out there, Tbilisi has a bit of a downside.
One of the things you’ll have to keep in mind is that Georgia is still home to financially needy residents.
If you ask most travelers or tourists who’ve visited Georgia, one of the things that they really recommend is getting to know the locals. Georgians are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people in the world. There’s no doubt about that.
Georgians, in general, are welcoming, and they enjoy having guests. They even make sure that their guests are well-taken care of. Not only in Tbilisi but in the rest of Georgia. Each local you’ll encounter will make sure that your stay is as comfortable as can be.
The Best Part About Life in Tbilisi
One of the best parts of traveling is getting to know the locals. You don’t have to worry if you don’t speak Georgian since most people are well-versed in English. Around the country, the English language is exponentially growing. So it makes it a whole lot easier to travel around without getting lost. Plus, the older generations are also fluent in Russian since they speak it as their second language.
When you come to Georgia, you’ll instantly notice the friendliness and warmth that most locals have. Each greeting will be met with a smile. You’ll know right then and there that there’s no place like it in the region and probably in the world. This is why most people prefer Georgia.
However, this doesn’t mean that the other counties in Eastern Europe aren’t as great. There’s just something quite whimsical about Tbilisi. You’ll have to visit to be able to experience it first hand.
Another thing that makes Georgia so popular among travelers these days is the food they offer. Traditional cuisine in the country is so good, and it’s also one of the most popular in the region.
If you’re a vegetarian, there’s also no reason to worry. Viktoria said, “Our cuisine has a lot of vegetarian and meat dishes.” So that’s one thing that you wouldn’t have to think about. There’s no reason to worry if you’re thinking of going to Georgia but are constantly wondering if it’s a country that’s vegetarian-friendly.
If you ever make it to Georgia try speaking to one person at a cafe. In the next ten minutes, you’ll have earned yourselves a friend.
This isn’t the only upside to visiting or living in Georgia. Did you know that Tbilisi is considered to be one of the safest cities in the world? Not only that, the police here can be relied on to prevent crime from happening and to help you out in your time of need.
Setting up an offshore company is also relatively easy in Georgia, and there are a bunch of reasons why you should do so.
Living in Georgia doesn’t mean that you’ll be shunned from the rest of the world. In Tbilisi’s main airport, you can catch direct flights to any European capital. There are also a lot of direct flights going to and from Doha, Istanbul, and Dubai. It’s Eastern Europe’s gateway to the wider world.
As cliché as it might sound, Georgia is one of those places that can change your life if you give it a try.
Eastern Europe: Life in Skopje, North Macedonia
Have you ever heard of Skopje in North Macedonia? If not, then you’re seriously missing out. We can’t blame you if you haven’t heard of this city. Skopje isn’t as popular as the other Eastern European cities. Although, it doesn’t mean that it’s less beautiful or less exciting.
You might’ve stumbled upon Macedonia in history class when your history teacher discussed the great Macedonian king, Alexander the Great. Aside from that, is there anything else that history teaches us about this small country in Eastern Europe?
Skopje is another “hidden” gem in Eastern Europe. As most locals said, it’s a city filled with a mixture of cultures.
Living in Skopje will be a daily adventure since it’s a relatively big city, and there are countless hotspots to go to. So if you’re that type of person who craves adventure or simply loves going around a foreign city, then you’ll surely love this place. You’ll never run out of things to do in Skopje, that’s for sure.
We asked our colleague Sadife what her favorite thing is about her city. She said, “It’s the mixture of cultures.”
That’s the thing with most cities in Eastern Europe. There’s always a mix of different cultures, and that’s something that makes people fall in love with it. The combination isn’t forced. It’s also adding to the value of life if you ever find yourselves wanting to live here in the unforeseeable future.
Lifestyle in the North Macedonian Capital City
Eastern Europe is a melting pot of the east and the west. This makes it all the more exciting to live in. As you spend more and more time in Skopje, you’ll discover that there are different influences in the city, not only Serbian.
If you’re interested in learning more about other cultures, Skopje could be the perfect city to relocate to.
Macedonians are generally welcoming and friendly. They are also some of the most approachable people you’ll ever come upon. Like most people in the region, they also have an excellent command of the English language since most Macedonians speak it.
Most Macedonians are not only bilingual. Some of them are multilingual, talking about 3 to 4 languages. For this reason alone, it’s so easy to make friends in Skopje. Languages will not be a problem or a hindrance. This makes it all the more attractive to live in this culturally rich city.
If Skopje isn’t on your bucket list, then it surely should be. Skopje is a city that beats with culture and tradition. Plus, they also love receiving tourists.
Some countries are so traditional that they don’t care much for tourists or travelers. Fortunately, North Macedonia isn’t one of those places. Macedonians love hosting people and showing tourists around their cities. You simply have to see it for yourselves.
Language isn’t an issue here since most people speak English. Most locals are always happy when foreigners come and visit. Macedonians love showing people around, and they love giving people a taste of the authentic Macedonian culture.
The food in Skopje is also considered to be one of the best in the region. As Sadife said, “It is the kind of food that makes you happy.”
Safety and Connectivity of Skopje to the World
When it comes to safety, there’s no reason for you to worry in Skopje.
North Macedonia’s capital city is relatively safe. Most locals and tourists alike can freely walk its streets in the middle of the night and not feel an inch of worry. This is why Skopje is becoming a more popular destination for most digital nomads who want to live in Europe. Especially living in the region without the trappings and the stress of living in a much bigger city in the European Union.
Although, there’s one thing that can make you lose your mind if you ever find yourselves wandering around Skopje. You have to bear in mind that public transportation in the city can sometimes put you to the test. Sadife has said, “The buses are always late, and when you take a taxi, there are always blocked roads.”
It goes to show that even the most beautiful cities also have some flaws. Then again, it doesn’t take away from Skopje’s beauty.
Skopje is also a pretty well-connected city. There are a lot of bus routes that can take you from one city to another within North Macedonia. This is perfect if you want to make a bit of a day trip. It can also be great if you want to spend a few days in neighboring cities like Bitola, Kumanovo, and more.
Then there are two main airports in the country: Skopje International Airport and St. Paul the Apostle Airport. These two airports can connect you to any country in continental Europe and even to further destinations. This makes it hassle-free to go in and out of North Macedonia.
Not only that, but if you’re looking for a way to diversify your second passport portfolio, then this country is a great place for you. North Macedonia is one of the countries that offer passports to business owners willing to hire their locals. Not only will you get a second passport, but you’ll also get more hiring opportunities overseas.
Eastern Europe: Life in Yerevan, Armenia
You might have already heard of the amazing opportunities to invest in Armenia. Although, you should also consider giving it a visit for its breathtaking landscapes, deep-rooted culture, and history dating back years and years ago. Although, there’s more to Armenia than these things.
If we were to ask you one thing about Armenia, would you be able to say a single thing?
Like most countries in this region, Armenia isn’t well-known internationally because it’s a relatively small country. Yet it’s slowly gaining buzz through the years. It’s gradually becoming a hotspot when it comes to tourists and digital nomads alike.
We’ve asked our colleague Anahit about what her city is like. She said, “Yerevan is a rosy city, and it is filled with countless cafes and beautiful people.”
The Pink City of Armenia
Did you know that Yerevan was called “the pink city” because of the color of the stones that are used to make its buildings? It’s a city that somewhat resembles the color scheme of Marrakech or Jaipur when it comes to its signature pink architecture.
So if you’re into architecture, you’re also going to love wandering around the streets of Yerevan. You’ll love being inspired by the city’s beautiful and mysterious buildings.
When it comes to the people, well, Armenians are simply some of the best people that you’ll ever meet in your life. The people of Armenia are also relatively friendly. They are people who love to smile, so it makes it easy to approach the locals should you have any questions regarding any tourist attractions or whether you’re lost and need directions.
Armenians are both open-hearted and open-minded. They also speak English, just like most people in the region. So running around the city will not be a problem.
As most young Armenians speak English, conversing with the older generations can still prove tricky since English was not well-spoken during their time. It shows how times have changed since there could be a separation between the languages spoken by the older and younger generations. Then again, it just goes to show how adaptable Armenians are.
Like we’ve said before, Armenians are open-hearted people. Making friends will never be a problem. If you’ve been living in the country for quite a while, you might be talking to a stranger in a cafe, then 10 minutes later, you’ll know that you both have a mutual connection.
It would seem that everything and everyone in Armenia, especially in Yerevan, is interconnected. That’s how small and well-connected Armenia is … in a good way.
Safety and Culture in Yerevan
If you’re wondering what safety is like when it comes to the country, you wouldn’t have to worry about it here. One of the things that make people want to visit and live in Armenia is the safety of the country. You can easily walk around in the early hours of the morning without feeling scared.
Now there are a few cities in the world that can make you feel safe while walking at 3 a.m., and Yerevan is one of them. This is why Armenia is becoming an Eastern European hotspot today.
Plus, if you’re into food, then there’ll be no shortage of good meals in the country. Armenia’s cuisine is divided into two parts: Eastern and Western.
The difference is vital since you might get various answers when you ask different locals what Armenian food is like. It’s one of those things that will vary depending on who you ask. Mostly, the difference is also in the meat. Although, no matter how different they can get, Armenian food will remain delicious and flavorful.
This is why most people come back to Armenia. They get hooked on the food. We think that food is one of the most essential parts of culture since there could be countries with amazing sceneries but food that are subpar. This makes people not want to come back for a second time around. So it’s good to know that every meal in Armenia will be your best meal yet, and it’ll make you want to come back for more.
As per its connections, Armenia is also a pretty well-connected country, just like most countries in Eastern Europe. Countless flights are coming and going in its main airports.
Also, did you know that Armenia was one of the first countries that opened its doors to international flights during the pandemic? This shows how fast-paced and global this country can be, even though it’s not as popular as most of its Eastern European counterparts.
Eastern Europe: Life in Belgrade, Serbia
If you were to ask locals what their favorite thing about living in Belgrade is, then it’s most likely that they will say it’s the view of both rivers. Belgrade is the city where two rivers meet. The Danube and the Sava meet in the city center, and it makes for a spectacular sight.
Upon your arrival in Belgrade, it’s necessary to simply sit down and just watch the sunset from the Kalemegdan. This will seriously change your life and your perspective; that’s how beautiful it is.
As our colleague, Irena, said, “My favorite place would be Kalemegdan, from where you can see all of Belgrade, both rivers, the Danube and the Sava, and it’s a perfect place to just sit down and watch the sunset from there.”
Take it from us: it’s so important to listen to a local’s recommendations. So take this bit of tip from Irena to enjoy a majestic sunset in Belgrade.
Well, just like most metropolitan cities, there’s a significant problem that Belgrade faces on a day-to-day basis. Another life-changing experience in Serbia will be its crazy traffic. Most of the highways in Belgrade are connected to its city center. This can cause the traffic to go terrible.
Well, it’s safe to say that most great cities will bother you with their crazy traffic, right?
Looking at the Lifestyle in Belgrade
Getting around Belgrade or Serbia, in general, won’t be a problem either. In Serbia, most people speak English since it’s a very well-spoken language around the country.
So it won’t be a challenging task to communicate with the locals in case you’ve got questions that only a local has the answer to.
There are also many great universities in Belgrade and the entirety of the country. This makes the people here highly educated, making conversing with a local a smooth process.
One of the easiest things that you’ll ever do in Belgrade is to make friends. Serbians are naturally friendly and open-minded, so they’re great people to talk to and be friends with. Plus, they’re relatively helpful. If a local senses that you’re troubled or lost, they’ll actively ask you where you want to go, and they’ll help you get there.
The people are a true gem in Serbia.
Serbia is a relatively small country compared to its other European counterparts. For this reason alone, the locals are always delighted to see tourists and travelers visiting their country.
Typically, people would want to go to a bigger country or a more popular city in Europe. However, when you go to Belgrade, you’ll see how welcoming Serbians are. They love seeing foreigners wandering around their cities. They also love knowing that their culture can be shared with others from different places.
Introducing Serbian Culture to the World
Serbians also like introducing their traditional food to foreigners who are interested in learning more about it. Like we’ve previously said, food is probably one of the most important aspects of a country’s culture. So it’s good to know that Serbians are so welcoming when it comes to showing foreigners the local delicacies and when it comes to hosting strangers in their homes.
This is why Serbia is such a great place to go to.
Safety is also never an issue in Belgrade. It’s one of those cities where you can simply walk in the middle of the night without fear of getting abducted nor robbed.
As Irena has said, “There aren’t any specific areas in Belgrade that you should avoid.”
Yes, there are no areas in Belgrade to avoid, unlike other cities with areas that are off-limits to tourists. So you won’t have to worry whether you’ve probably gone into the sketchy part of town because there’s no sketchy part in Belgrade. Everything is great, and safety will never be an issue here.
Not only that, but Belgrade is also a pretty well-connected city with a couple of airports that can easily take you to different countries in Europe and all around the world. This makes this city a great place to start your Eastern European journey.
Check out our nomad guide to living in Belgrade, Serbia.
Eastern Europe: Life in Kotor, Montenegro
You might’ve already heard of the country Montenegro, but you couldn’t be bothered looking at where it is. This is a relatively small country in Eastern Europe.
The locals love everything about Kotor, one of the best cities in Montenegro. It’s an excellent alternative to bigger coastal cities like Porto or even Nice. If you crave that coastal town vibe but hate the flock of tourists, then Kotor is the place to be. Like most coastal cities, Kotor has the best weather, and you can enjoy the sunshine whenever you want it.
Since Montenegro is a relatively small country, there are not many buses that can take you from city to city. There are also no tramways, so that is a bit of a downside to living in this country. Most public transportation in smaller countries is a bit tricky to navigate. Still, it’s also easy to go from one place to another since there could be other modes of transportation like taxis, or you can even rent a car for a relatively low price.
There are so many great things about Montenegro, and starting a business in the country is relatively inexpensive too! Through the years, this country has become so popular, that foreign investors triggered a property boom in the country.
Most people also speak English in Montenegro, so you will not have any problems getting around even if you don’t speak Montenegrin. There are children or younger people in Montenegro whose mother tongue is English and not Montenegrin, which is kind of interesting to know. So going around the country, making friends, and conversing with different locals will not be challenging.
Being Welcomed by Montenegrins
Montenegrins are also quite welcoming, and they love receiving tourists. Most people who have visited the country can strongly testify to this fact. Most of them even keep on coming back since they’ve fallen in love with the place, the culture, and the people.
Our colleague Anka, who’s a local Montenegrin, can testify to the fact that Montenegro is probably one of the best Eastern European countries.
It’s so interesting how this tiny country can be such a beautiful place to live in. Plus, it’s also one of the best spots to move to if you’ve wanted to relocate to a country with sunshine for most of the year. It’s basically like living in Porto or any other coastal town, but with a better way of life and one of the cheapest places to live in Europe.
Not only that, most people in Montenegro take trust and safety to a whole other level. When asked about the country’s security, Anka simply said, “I don’t lock my house.”
That’s how safe the country is. Can you even imagine not locking your doors in most of the bigger European countries? That is such a crazy thought, right? Although, this is a regular occurrence in this beautiful country.
Not only do Montenegrins boast of their stunning landscape, but their food is also excellent. You can find local food and international food around Kotor, which is great if you want to try the local delicacies or if you crave food from different parts of the world.
There are airports in the capital city of Podgorica, and another one at the seaside, which makes it a bit easy to catch flights to cities all around Europe. If you want to take long-distance flights, there are connections made in either Belgrade or Istanbul. So leaving and coming back to Montenegro is as hassle-free as can be.
Montenegro is a testament that even the smaller countries can have the biggest impact when it comes to lifestyle, value for money, and safety.
Why You Should Give Eastern Europe A Chance
There’s a certain thrill of going into the unknown, and even though this region is slowly becoming more and more popular through the years, it’s still not as talked about like most countries in the European Union.
It’s about time that you leave the trappings of the more popular European destinations in favor of the tranquil, modern, and culturally rich cities of Eastern Europe. There’s always something to try or see here, and it’s always ready to welcome the ones who are brave enough to come.
Not only that, but the cost of living in Eastern Europe is relatively better than most of its counterparts in the European Union. You can choose from a lot of Eastern European countries that have lower costs of living. Whether you’re earning a few thousand dollars or an eight-figure salary, you can get the best value for your money here. You can work, hire or even invest in these countries, and it’s going to be worth your while.
Choosing from the Best Cities in Eastern Europe
It doesn’t matter what your preference is because there are countless cities for you to choose from. You might’ve loved the rosiness of Yerevan, or the views in Belgrade, or maybe the coastal life in Kotor. It really doesn’t matter. There’s always something to love in these countries, and you can even live a quiet life in Eastern Europe if that’s what you prefer.
Suppose you’ve been wanting to move to a place or a region where the quality of life matches the lifestyle that you’ve been building for yourself. Then this region is probably one of the best places to do that. There are countless Eastern European cities for you to choose from, and every single one can provide a haven for travelers, digital nomads, and investors alike.
Each country is different, and each city boasts of its incredible architecture, amazing people, and fantastic way of life. We always say this, but there’s always something to discover in this region, and living here will give you the chance to find them for yourself. We always say it because it rings true every single time.
Some people are scared of crossing into smaller regions since they’re unsure whether the locals would speak in English. That’s also one thing that’s so vital when it comes to choosing a new place to relocate or travel to.
Although, as we’ve seen, there won’t be any problem when it comes to language barriers in Eastern Europe. Most people in the region are fluent in English, and there won’t be any problems when it comes to settling down and connecting with the locals.
Time and time again, countless tourists will visit the region. Time and time again, these tourists will simply fall in love with a particular country, then they’ll never want to live. We want you to have that same feeling.
Instead of working or living in a bigger city that doesn’t add value to your lives, why not move to one that can guarantee a better lifestyle?
Eastern Europe is a haven for tourists, digital nomads, and investors alike, and nowadays, its tourism and industry are booming because of the region’s growing popularity. I’m so excited to see how the industry will continually grow for those doing business in Eastern European cities, and I can’t wait to see it flourish as the pandemic comes to a close.
If you want to start your journey through Eastern Europe, then we’ve got some of the resources for you to read through. Traveling and moving to a different part of the world can seem daunting, but this is why we’ve provided countless resources. We want you to start living your best life, and Eastern Europe might be a great place to start. So what are you waiting for?