Cheap Countries VS Expensive Countries | Europe

We visited 37 countries of Europe on a motorhome trip. So, with this article we want to make an overview of the countries we thought were really expensive and those we considered to be cheaper compared to the lifestyle in Portugal. For this, we list some values of goods – Food, fuel and some addictions (tobacco and coffee). The years we made the trip were 2016/2017 and some prices may have already changed, especially the value of fuels.

Cheap Countries

Eastern countries, also because they have lower minimum wages than ours, tend to be the most attractive in terms of price of commodities, such as fuel and tobacco.

The ones we consider to be the cheapest: Czech Republic – Poland – Ukraine – Bulgaria – Albania – Bosnia and Herzegovina

We also highlight (being slightly lower or identical to ours): Spain – Estonia – Latvia – Lithuania – Romania – Hungary – Montenegro – Albania – Greece

#1 – Czech Republic

This is a country that we find to be particularly cheap. We have been to two cities, Krumlov and Prague – in both restaurants are affordable, souvenirs, coffee and tobacco. The cost of living is a little below ours, although foods like bread and beer are cheap. Exported products tend to be more expensive. The currency is the Czech Crown, 1 € is approximately 27 kroner.

  • Tobacco is about 3 €
  • Diesel: 1,10 € / L
  • LPG: € 0.55 / L
  • In Prague we had dinner for 20 € full menu both in a good restaurant.
  • There are many bars and restaurants with cheap beer, 33 Crowns / 0.5L.

#2 – Poland

We were in Poland about 2 weeks and got to know the capital, Warsaw, Krakow, the Tatra Mountains and Awschwitz. Prices are the cheapest we have seen, either in the supermarket or in restaurants. We eat out a few times, practically all for less than 15 € and in several à la carte restaurants for 5 euros, especially Dumplings and other typical dishes. The currency is Zloti and 1 € equals 4.20 Zlotis (approx).

  • Diesel: 1,03 € / L
  • We rented motorcycle two days: 45 €
  • Ice cream ball: 0,90 €
  • Night in a hostel: 22 €
  • In supermarkets, the products are not expensive either, especially what is produced in the country and basic necessities.
  • We even had lunch for 14 Zlotis each, drink, plate and soup.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and fuel are also cheap, more than in Portugal.

#3 – Ukraine

The minimum wage in Ukraine is 60 € and the average is 190 €. With such low wages it is natural that the prices of basic goods and services are not high. On the other hand we noticed that the imported products were almost the same value as ours. This was undoubtedly the cheapest country we have been to, at least the region we visited. We were not in the capital, Kiev. The currency is called Grivnia 1 € is about 29 UA.

We can give as some examples of supermarket prices and others:

  • Pack of tobacco: 0,50-1 €
  • 1.5kg of strawberries: 1 € / kg
  • bread: 0,30 €
  • Hello ice cream: 0,20 €
  • Coffee: € 0.30
  • orange juice: 0,50 €
  • Fuel (diesel): 0.70 € / L
  • Restaurant: 5 € for 2 people .. on the other hand the imported products were almost the same value as ours.

#4 – Bulgaria

Prices in Bulgaria are lower than in Portugal, mainly in markets and restaurants (15 €). Here we had a problem with the alternator in the camper and repaired the problem for 60 €, in Norway we were asked for 800 €. The currency is Bulgarian Lev – 1 € is 236 Bg

  • Diesel: 1,02 € / L
  • LPG: € 0.50 / l
  • Train ticket: 0,80 €

#5 – Serbia

Serbia was one of the only countries where we only stopped in one city, but we crossed almost from end to end, always along the national road, which gave us a very general idea of the country, at least the houses, and the natural surroundings.

Prices are lower than the Portuguese, although we have not gone to any hypermarkets and do not remember having to go to some more markets and street grocers. The currency is Serbian Dinar – 1 € is 118 dinars.

  • 2 person campsite, electric and mobile camper: 10 €
  • Souvenir Magnet: 0.50 €
  • 4 slices of pizza and two sodas: 5 €
  • Ice Cream: 0,50 €

#6 – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is another country that we considered to be quite cheap. We visited the town of Mostar and it was all very affordable, souvenirs (which are lovely), restaurants, cafes .. The currency is the convertible mark – 1 € is 1.95 BRL.

  • Pack of tobacco: 2 €
  • Diesel is 0.90 € / L
  • We had dinner at a good restaurant for 14 €, full meal.
  • Souvenirs are also very cheap compared to other places, we bought some lamps for example for 12.5 € which cost 50 € in Vienna.
  • The ball ice creams are 0,50 €

Expensive countries

Just as the cheapest countries are those with lower wages, the more expensive countries tend to be those with higher wages. The Nordic countries have the highest cost of living, with particular emphasis on Norway.

The ones we consider to be the most expensive: Luxembourg – Switzerland – Denmark – Sweden – Norway – Italy

Others we highlight with a lifestyle superior to Portugal: France – England – Scotland -Lietchtenstein – Finland

#1 – Luxembourg

Luxembourg is one of the most expensive countries in terms of supermarket, restaurants, accommodation and tobacco / coffee. We didn’t make large consumptions, we bought a small magnet that cost 4 €. The currency is € uro.

However the fuel was of the cheapest, equal in all pumps 1,06 € / L

#2 – Swiss

One of the big differences in Switzerland is its minimum salary 3 300 €. What makes product prices very high, for example a menu is 40 € min in a restaurant. But compared to the Portuguese minimum wage, 1/6 of the Swiss, things are not 6x more expensive, which gives people a good standard of living, however, house rents are expensive.

We saw nice, tidy houses, but without major luxuries, contrary to what we thought. The cars are also mid-level, some good, some older.

  • Tobacco Packet: 7€ 
  • Diesel: 1.65€

The currency is Swiss Franc – 1 € is 1.12 CHF



#3 – Denmark

Denmark was our first Scandinavian country. It is a country that has surprised us with the amount of green fields it has.

Something peculiar is that the territory of Denmark appears to be divided into three, because a part is linked continentally to Europe, and then there are two islands that are linked by bridges, which connect Denmark with Sweden. This is where we considered it to be an exorbitance, which we paid to cross two bridges where we have no choice. The currency is different, it is Danish Croa and 1 € is 7.5 Croas.

  • We paid 50 € on one bridge and 35 € on another (Vasco da Gama bridge size or smaller)
  • A coffee in the capital (Copenhagen) costs no less than 3 €
  • Menu at McDonalds is at least 9 €.

#4- Sweden

Sweden is the most populous country of the Nordic ones and probably the largest in its territory. Our experience in this country was a bit short and by the way, since apart from Stockholm we just stopped for sleep and little more. We made the entire western coast, from Malmo to Oslo and then from Oslo to Stockholm, which is about 500km.

Prices, as is normal in the Nordic countries, are high.

  • Diesel was at € 1.30 / L
  • The bread for example 0.50 € a very small ball.
  • We saw figs at 16 € / kg

#5- Norway

The country has only 5 million inhabitants, so there are no large cities and there are more in the south and close to the sea.

The standard of living is very high.

  • Diesel ranges from € 1.20 / L to € 1.70 / L (country with the most diversity)
  • Pack of tobacco costs 12 €
  • In supermarkets the products are much more expensive than in Portugal, we only bought half a dozen things.

#6- Italy

Italy is also a country which although not being as high as indicated above, we find that mainly for tourists it is an expensive country.

  • Diesel 1,30 €
  • Supermarkets Prices Are Higher
    At tourist sites prices go up even higher, in Florence for example they asked for 10 € for a two-ball ice cream
  • Gondola Riding in Venice costs between 80 € and 100 €
  • Boating, taxi type in Venice is at least 7 € per person.

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