These Are the Best Countries to Move to Right Now

Shannon Quinn - September 16, 2021
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Beautiful old architecture in Paris, France. Credit: Shutterstock

12. France

France has become an increasingly popular location for British people to retire, or move to start a family. An average of 20,000 British people move to France every year. This is because the countryside is filled with homes that cost much less than the average flat in London. It becomes a no-brainer for people to swap out an apartment for an entire house with a backyard. Not only is it a more affordable place to live, but many consider it to be a welcome lifestyle change. Life moves more slowly in France, where people are willing to be more relaxed compared to the fast pace of the UK or USA.

The most important thing anyone should mention about moving to France is the food. The vast majority of fine chefs study at culinary schools in Paris in order to learn how to cook the greatest food in the entire world. France is known for its fine wine, cheeses, and bread. There is no shortage of beautiful vineyards and beaches that you could visit in the South of France. And if you’re near the Pyrenees, you can enjoy your winters skiing in the mountains.

Beautiful white houses of Santorini, Greece. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Greece

Home of the world’s first democracy, Greece is a country filled with history that sculpted modern civilization. Much of its original architecture like the Pantheon is still standing, and it’s a truly special place to visit or live. The climate is a welcome change for many, since it’s mild all year long with wet winters and dry, hot summers. Since tourism is a huge part of the Greek economy, many people speak English, which makes it easier for expats to move there.

Another huge perk to living in Greece is that it’s super affordable. Estimates show that you could comfortably live there on $2,000 per month. Even in the city of Athens, rent is 85% cheaper than what you would pay in New York City. Around 40% of the country’s entire population lives in the city of Athens as well. This means that there is plenty of space in other parts of Greece, if you wanted to find a home outside of the tourist-filled city with a larger property and lower cost of living. 

Monte Carlo, Monaco streets. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Monaco

The Principality of Monaco is a city state on the French Riviera that enjoys a warm mediterranean climate all year long. It’s incredibly luxurious, and filled with amazing architecture and shopping. Monaco borders France, so French is its official language. But there are still plenty of people who know how to speak English. Some of you out there may know that the American actress Grace Kelly married the Prince of Monaco, which helped draw in even more attention to the city-state when she was alive.

The government is considered a constitutional monarchy, so it may seem like a huge difference compared to living in the United States. But if you’re looking for a tax haven, Monaco seems to be a good fit. They have zero income, capital gains, or wealth taxes. Since there is a huge international presence, it can potentially be a great place to do business. There is also plenty of opportunity for entertainment and relaxation. Monaco hosts multiple sporting events like Formula One racing, the Monte Carlo Tennis Tournament, and the Grand Prix Historique. 

It’s more affordable to move to Fiji than you might imagine. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Fiji 

The Republic of Fiji is an island nation in the South Pacific. It’s a collection of 330 islands, where 100 of them are inhabited. Since these are tropical islands, you can enjoy warm weather all year long. Fijians are known for being very friendly, and they love to celebrate the good life. Their word for hello is “bula”, which literally means “life”. Aside from the native language, most people speak English in Fiji, which makes it easy for people to go on vacation or potentially move there.

Living in Fiji isn’t necessarily cheap, and imported luxury goods are going to be more expensive. But it’s a good place to find luxury accommodations for less than other parts of the world. For example, you can rent a 4-bedroom waterfront home with its own jetty and built-in swimming pool for $3,850 a month. That’s far cheaper than many luxury beach towns in the US where you’d expect to pay at least $10,000 a month or more for somewhere like The Hamptons. 

The old city streets of Prague, Czech Republic. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Czech Republic

If you’re thinking of moving to Europe, the Czech Republic, also known as “Czechia” may be a good option. This former Soviet nation is filled with beautiful architecture and even castles. In the capital city of Prague, they have a Christmas market every year that lights up the city in a truly magical way. Since it’s a temperate climate, you will experience all four seasons, including a cold and snowy winter. Staying in Prague is significantly cheaper than living in a city like London. Luxurious AirBnB’s are only $40 per night, and it’s easy to find an apartment from $1,000 to $1,500 per month. 

There are over 150,000 expats living in Prague. Compared to other countries, it’s actually relatively easy to get a visa and live there long enough to become a permanent resident. Members of the EU can stay there without any issues. But Americans have an option to get a visa called Živnostenský úřad, which takes a few months of paperwork, and a $400 fee. But once you get that squared away, you can live in the country for an entire year. After five years of renewing that visa, you can become a permanent resident.

Red houses in Kulusuk village in eastern Greenland. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Greenland

Don’t be fooled by the name, because Greenland is actually filled with ice and snow. It’s one of the coldest places in the world, so don’t go there if you’re looking for a tropical paradise. If you enjoy skiing and bathing in natural hot springs, it could potentially be a great place to live. However, the air is fresh, and the summers are warm. There is also 24 hours of sunlight in the summertime, which means that you never have to worry about losing light when you’re having some outdoor fun.

Citizens of Greenland receive free education, health care, and dental. So if you live there, you have many of your basic needs covered. However, the main language is Greenlandic, and there aren’t many people who speak English. So if you even consider making a move there, learn the language first. It’s also best to get a job before moving there, because it can be difficult to find work if you haven’t already planned this out beforehand.

Luxembourg City, across from the Grand Ducal Palace. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Luxembourg

The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a small landlocked European country between France, Belgium, and Germany. The three official languages are French, German, and Luxembourgish (Yes, that’s a real word!) It’s one of the smallest sovereign states in all of Europe. To give you some perspective, it’s only 2,600 square kilometers, which is two-thirds the size of Rhode Island. it’s also one of the least populated with just 626,108 people. The government is a constitutional monarchy led by a man named Grand Duke Henri.

If you decided to move to Luxembourg, you would be far from the only one, because 44% of the total population are expats. There is an article called ‘What Would You Think of Living in Luxembourg?’ in the New York Times by Chris Pavone that you should read if you’re an American thinking of moving there. In this article, he explains how the country has a lot of old-world charm, and it was easy to fly to multiple countries in Europe on the weekends. But eventually, they moved back to New York City where it was comfortable and familiar. 

Colorful beach huts in Barbados. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Barbados

The Caribbean island of Barbados is located in the West Indies. It’s a tiny island with a population of 287,010 people. Everyone speaks English, and there is a huge community of expats who have moved there from other places. Even though it’s small, the island has all of the established amenities you could ever need. They have restaurants, marinas, golfing, tennis, and more. Out of every island in the Caribbean, Barbados has the lowest crime rate. So you can feel safe raising your kids there. It also has a great school system, healthcare facilities, and hospitals. 

Some of the financial perks of making a move to Barbados is that there are no entry taxes. However, if you want to become a resident, you need to qualify for one of the Special Entry Residents Permits. The different categories might require you to be a millionaire, invest in buying land worth over $300,000, have grandparents living in Barbados, or have some special skill or qualification that qualifies you for a work visa. With this criteria, there are very few people who could actually move there beyond a 6 month vacation.

A stunning view of Estonia as seen from St. Olaf’s Church. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Estonia

The Republic of Estonia is a small country with 2,200 smaller islands surrounding it in the Baltic Sea. The largest island is called Saaremaa. Since it’s on the water, most of Estonia is a bog or wetland ecosystem which is filled with beautiful forests, hiking trails, and wildlife. The main language spoken is Estonian, but many people speak English there, too. Estonia is supposed to be very technologically advanced with many opportunities in technical fields. Basically, if you’re a computer programmer, you’d have no trouble finding work in Estonia.

The capital city of Tallinn, Estonia is home to the tallest steeple in the world at St. Olaf’s Church. They still have a medieval stone tower called Kiek in de Kok, which means “peep in the kitchen” since the soldiers were so high up, they could see through citizen’s kitchen windows. Every year, they have Medieval Days in Old Town where kids can go to learn archery and go to “knight school”. So if you enjoy medieval history, Estonia is a great place to be.

The Szechenyi Baths in Budapest, Hungary. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Hungary

In recent years, Hungary has become a popular country to move to. The capital city of Budapest is the most populated city in all of Europe. It’s a popular tourist destination because of its beautiful architecture and bustling city life. You can go shopping at Great Market Hall, or sip coffee at one of the many adorable cafes. There are also plenty of museums, music festivals, monuments, gardens, a zoo, and much more. Almost every weekend in the spring and summer, there is some sort of festival going on in Budapest. When you get outside of the city, Hungary has the amazing Hortobágyi National Park and thermal baths.

If you’re a member of the EU, it would be easy to move to Hungary. However, if you live outside of the EU, it might be more difficult to get into the country. But if you can manage to obtain a visa, you might be rewarded with a low cost of living. According to Eurosender, rent on an apartment in the outskirts of the city is just €250 and €300 per month. And if you want to live in center city Budapest, it’s €1000 per month. With Hungary’s excellent public transportation system, it could be possible for you to rent a cheap apartment and commute to a job in the city.

The Church of St. Mark in Croatia. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Kingdom of Croatia

In 1999, Croatia gained its independence from Yugoslavia. So it’s actually a very young country. For thousands of years, it has been conquered as territory for Germany, Austria, the Ottoman Empire, and so much more. The country sits on the Adriatic Sea, and it has over 1,000 smaller islands that make up the country. It’s a very culturally diverse place, due to all of the traveling and trade happening along the coast line. Croatia even holds an event called Yacht Week, where it’s all about sailing and enjoying the beautiful water.  

Since the country is still young, its economy hasn’t had much time to grow yet. However, this means that it can be an attractive place for business owners to potentially create a company and have it flourish. The cost of living is also relatively low. They provide free public education to children, and there is an affordable health care system just like the rest of Europe.

If you move somewhere, it might as well be a tropical paradise. Credit: Shutterstock

1. French Polynesia

Who wouldn’t want to move to a tropical paradise? French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France made up of 118 individual islands, while only 67 are inhabited by people. One of its most popular locations is Bora Bora, which is famous for its crystal blue water and amazing beach resorts and volcanos. It’s warm all year long, and it experiences a rainy season from December through February.

As you might imagine, everyone speaks French there. So if you’re even considering moving there, it’s best to learn the language. If you’re a citizen of France, it would be fairly easy to move there, since it’s a territory which is controlled entirely by the French Government. However, being an expat is a different story. Keep in mind that Tahiti is the only island that has public transportation. So if you plan on moving there, you’re basically stuck in that location until you’re able to purchase a car. But once you do, you can experience some amazing scenic roads along the coast line. 

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