Most Expensive Countries in Europe in 2023

Let’s find out what the most expensive countries in Europe are, and what makes expats still wish to live in them despite the costs.

Many expats travel to or live in Europe regardless of the living expenses because the countries in the region offer well-developed healthcare systems, high education standards, reliable infrastructure, and social welfare programs.

It isn’t too surprising that many European countries consistently rank high in terms of quality of life indices. The focus on having a life outside of work, plus generous vacation policies, leads to happier people who are healthier and more fulfilled.

It’s like you pay to have the nice things in life and you get exactly what you paid for.

As we explore the list of expensive European countries, we’ll mainly focus on two things: costs of living and taxes. The countries on this list are not arranged in any particular order.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what I specialize in, you can email me ( or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

What are the most expensive countries in Europe?


France stands out from other countries and is a popular choice for expats for many things. Cultural attractions, museums, and historical sites draw travelers from throughout the globe to the country. France’s art, architecture, and history are easily accessible, from Versailles’ magnificence to the Louvre’s precious possessions.

French food is a major selling point for moving to France. Due to its fresh ingredients, longstanding traditions, and high-quality meals, France’s cuisine is famous worldwide. France is a paradise for those who like great cuisine, with delectable options ranging from freshly baked baguettes and creamy cheeses to delicate pastries and superb wines.

The arts and recreation are given considerable importance in French culture. The country’s many theaters, music festivals, and other cultural events make it a cultural hub. It’s easy to immerse oneself in France’s artistic culture by taking in a ballet performance at the Paris Opera or perusing the exhibits at a local gallery.

It’s often believed that French people live at a more leisurely pace, appreciating the little things in life.

All these things come at a cost, though.

What is the cost of living in France?

Without accounting for rent, you’ll need 887 euros or 965 US dollars to afford living costs in the country if you’re alone, and up to 3,150.5 euros (3,426 USD) if you’re four in the family. You have to add between 647 USD and 789 USD to your monthly living expenses for one-bedroom apartment rentals. 

For acquisitions, the cost per square meter stands at more than 4,700 and 6,100 depending on the location.

A meal starts at around 16 USD.

What about French taxes?

Unless exempted by a tax treaty, people who have their tax residence in France are subject to personal income tax on their worldwide income. Non-residents, meanwhile, are only levied on income generated inside the country.

According to PwC, personal income taxes in France are assessed at progressive rates of between 0%for lower income and 45% for those higher. People whose incomes are over specific criteria are subject to a so-called surtax. If you’re single and has an income worth more than 250,000 euros, you will be subject to a 3% surtax. Such surtax also applies to any amount that exceeds 500,000 euros for married couples.

The said surtax that’s being levied will go higher, to 4%, for individuals who make above 500,000 euros or couples who earn a million euros.


Denmark provides high quality of life and has strong emphasis on social welfare. Denmark consistently ranks among the top countries thanks to excellent healthcare, education, and public services. The Danish welfare system ensures a robust social safety net, providing citizens with security and support.

Another appealing aspect of the country is its commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness. The nation leads in renewable energy and sustainability. Denmark invests in wind energy, bike infrastructure, and green technology to become carbon-neutral by 2050. This focus on sustainability creates a clean and healthy environment for residents.

Denmark is known for its progressive social policies and inclusive society. The country prioritizes gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and social cohesion. It is known for accepting immigrants and ranking high in happiness. Danish culture encourages work-life balance with flexible working hours and extensive parental leave.

Danish design is famous for its simplicity and functionality. The country embraces its historical and architectural treasures, while also fostering a modern and innovative creative environment.

Furthermore, the Danish lifestyle encapsulates a cozy and contented way of life. It emphasizes relaxation, togetherness, and enjoying simple pleasures. Denmark promotes a thoughtful and satisfying lifestyle, from cozy fireside chats to scenic bike rides.

How much is the cost of living in Denmark?

Budget at least 7,613 Danish krone or 1,113 USD per month if you’re living alone, or up to 27,133 krone or 3,965 USD per month if you have a family of four (not including rent). Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Denmark costs an extra 822 USD per month, up to 7,524 USD. 

The current price per square meter approaches between 3,924 USD and 5,586 for buying an apartment, depending on where it’s located.

Meals start at roughly 20 USD.

How do taxes work in Denmark?

Unless an applicable tax treaty provides otherwise, Denmark residents are compelled to pay taxes on all of their income, no matter where it was earned.

Full tax residents of Denmark are liable to the standard tax rates, which may reach as high as 52.07% in 2023. However, there are a number of deductions you may claim to trim your effective tax rate.

It is possible for you to have a restricted tax obligation in Denmark if you are not fully tax liable. This implies that you will only be subject to taxation on income that you obtain from sources inside the country. The tax rate for persons under this category is the same as those with full tax liability.


One of the world’s wealthiest countries, Luxembourg has a prosperous economy and a welcoming business climate. The nation’s stability and global connectivity attract international businesses and professionals seeking career growth and financial prosperity.

Another appealing aspect of Luxembourg is its rich multiculturalism and diverse expat community that promotes an inclusive society. Expats can enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle, experiencing a blend of different languages, cuisines, and customs from around the world.

Expats can also take advantage of weekend getaways to iconic cities like Paris, Brussels, and Frankfurt, enhancing their cultural experiences and widening their horizons.

Furthermore, Luxembourg’s green initiatives, extensive parks, and dedication to renewable energy contribute to a clean and eco-friendly environment, promoting a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.

Luxembourg values work-life balance too and prioritizes the well-being of its residents. With shorter work hours, generous vacation time, and strong social support systems, expats can find a harmonious equilibrium between their professional and personal lives. The country’s focus on education, healthcare, and safety ensures a high standard of living for individuals and families relocating to it.

What does the cost of living in Luxembourg look like?

You should allot at least 939 euros or about 1,022 USD each month if you’re single, and up to 3,248 euros or 3,534 USD if you’re supporting a family of four (not counting rent). An additional 1,414 USD per month to 1,665 USD is needed for the monthly rent for a one-bedroom flat in Denmark. 

Apartments now range in price from around 8,650 USD to 11,600 USD per square meter for purchase.

A meal may be had for about 20 USD.

Do you pay tax in Luxembourg?

Residents in Luxembourg pay tax on their global income, while non-residents are levied only on income earned within the country.

The amount of tax you owe in Luxembourg depends on your family status. There are different tax classes assigned to individuals based on their circumstances. For example, single individuals are in Tax Class 1, while married couples or civil partners fall into Tax Class 2 (with certain conditions). There is also Tax Class 1a for single individuals with children or single taxpayers aged 65 and above at the start of the tax year.

Tax in Luxembourg is calculated using a progressive table. This means that the tax rate increases as your taxable income goes up. The tax rates range from 8% to 42% on taxable income that goes over 11,265 euros and 200,004 euros, respectively.

In addition to the regular tax, a solidarity tax of 7% of the taxes owed must be paid. However, if you earn more than 150,000 euros in Tax Class 1 and 1a or 300,000 euros in Tax Class 2, the solidarity tax rate increases to 9%.

United Kingdom

The UK is full with art and history, from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to world-class museums and theaters. London, Edinburgh, and Manchester provide unique experiences for expats.

UK universities and academic heritage are also appealing. The nation’s universities attract international students and faculty.

Expats also like Britain’s multiculturalism. Diverse individuals are welcome in the nation. Its many cultures, languages, and cuisines make it a dynamic and welcoming home for foreign nationals.

The UK’s position makes Europe exploration easier as well. With several airports and excellent transit networks, expats may easily take weekend vacations or longer travels to neighboring countries.

Various fields provide many work opportunities too! Expats may find competitive and exciting jobs in London’s financial sector, tech, creative arts, and healthcare.

In addition to its cultural and professional opportunities, the UK boasts picturesque landscapes and natural beauty. Expats may hike, sail, and visit ancient monuments in the English countryside, Cornwall, and the Scottish Highlands.

How much is the typical UK cost of living?

From October 2021 to October 2022, UK consumer goods and services prices rose significantly, UK’s Office for National Statistics said. This surge in prices has been recorded as the fastest rate of growth in four decades, indicating a significant and noteworthy inflationary trend.

If you’re single, budget 732 pounds or 917 USD each month, and if you’re supporting a family of four, budget 2,494 pounds or 3,126USD per month (not including rent). A one-bedroom apartment in the UK costs 880 USD to 1,133 USD per month to rent. 

Apartments cost 4,122 USD to 4,388 USD per square meter to buy.

A meal costs roughly 19 USD.

Does UK tax worldwide income?

All income and asset sales by UK residents are taxed. However, non-UK residents only pay taxes on UK-earned income. Except for UK property, property-rich corporations, and carried interest, they don’t pay taxes on asset sales earnings. Non-residents selling UK residential property pay 28% capital gains tax.

UK tax rates of 0%, 20%, 40%, or 45% vary by income. High-income taxpayers pay more. Employment and investment income are included in income tax calculations. Taxable income is calculated by subtracting deductions and allowances from total income. For tax year 2021/22, the personal allowance is 12,570 pounds.


most expensive countries in europe ireland

Ireland draws expats with its beautiful scenery, rich culture, and dynamic, inviting atmosphere. Known as the “Emerald Isle,” Ireland boasts breathtaking scenery with its rolling green hills, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque countryside. Dublin, Galway, and Cork are bustling Irish cities with a rich history, music, and literature.

Moreover, Ireland’s strong sense of community, friendly locals, and well-known hospitality create a welcoming environment for expats to integrate into Irish society. The country’s thriving job market, particularly in sectors like technology, finance, and pharmaceuticals, provides ample career opportunities.

The country’s commitment to education, high-quality healthcare, and outdoor recreational activities also contribute to an excellent quality of life. With its unique charm and diverse opportunities, Ireland continues to attract expats seeking a vibrant, culturally rich, and fulfilling lifestyle.

What’s the Irish cost of living like?

Ireland is on this list due to its sky-high booze and cigarette costs. Due to its island status, groceries and utilities are expensive too.

A monthly budget of 943 euros or 1,028 USD is recommended for a single person, while 3,301 euros or 3,598 USD is recommended for a family of four (excluding rent).

Rent for a one-bedroom apartment is between 1,358 USD and 1,544 USD on average per month. Meanwhile, the price per square meter for acquiring one is between 3,671 USD and 5,212 USD.

The average cost of a lunch is 16 USD.

How much are taxes in Ireland?

Ireland residents must pay taxes on global income. Irish income tax also applies to non-domiciled Irish residents. This comprises Irish and international employment income received in Ireland. Other overseas income will only be taxed if you bring it to the country.

On the other hand, non-residents only pay taxes on Irish income.


Sweden offers a unique combination of a high standard of living, progressive social policies, and stunning natural beauty that makes it an enticing destination for expats. The country is known for its strong commitment to sustainability, innovation, and equality. With a well-developed welfare system, healthcare and education are accessible to all residents.

Sweden’s efficient public transportation system, extensive cycle lanes, and abundance of green spaces make it an environmentally friendly and healthy place to live. The Swedish culture embraces a healthy work-life balance, with a focus on family values and ample vacation time.

Expats can enjoy a rich cultural setting, from iconic design and fashion to a vibrant music and culinary scene. Furthermore, Sweden’s breathtaking landscapes, including picturesque lakes, forests, and archipelagos, provide endless opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration.

With its progressive values, natural splendor, and high quality of life, Sweden continues to attract expats seeking a balanced and fulfilling lifestyle.

What should I expect to pay for cost of living in Sweden?

Without rent, a single person will require 9,321 kronor or 901 USD to live in the nation, while a family of four would need 34,196 kronor (3,305 USD).

Sweden’s housing prices are very expensive for such a tiny location. One-bedroom apartment rents cost 677–896 USD per month.  Acquisitions cost over 3,718 USD and 6,257 USD per square meter, depending on location.

A meal cost roughly 12 USD.

What’s the tax rate in Sweden?

The national income tax for residents in Sweden is 0% for employment incomes worth up to 613,900 kronor and 20% for any income above that. There’s also a municipal income of 32% applied to any income bracket. For non-residents who are employed in the country, the tax is a flat rate of 25%.


Expats like Belgium’s numerous cultures, historical charm, and central European position. The country has gorgeous architecture, medieval villages, and world-class museums.

Belgium is famous for its comic book heritage, with beloved characters like Tintin and The Smurfs originating from Belgian comic artists. The country celebrates this art form with comic book museums, street art murals, and an annual Comic Strip Festival in Brussels.

Moreover, Belgium is a gastronomic paradise, offering a wide range of culinary delights. From indulging in traditional Belgian fries and mussels to savoring delectable Belgian chocolates and enjoying a variety of locally brewed beers, food lovers will find themselves in gastronomic heaven.

Healthcare and education are top-notch in the nation. Belgium also provides a good level of living, work-life balance, considerable social benefits, and a family-friendly society.

How much should you budget for cost of living in Belgium?

If you live alone, you’ll need 863 euros or 940 USD, and if you have a family of four, 3,019 euros (3,289 USD). For one-bedroom apartment rents, add 727–884 USD to your monthly living expenditures. 

The cost per square meter for acquisitions ranges from 3,023 USD to 3,744 USD.

16 USD buys a meal.

How about taxes?

Like the other countries on this list, Belgium also taxes residents on all income earned globally and non-residents on income generated within its territory. The federal income tax rates in 2023 are 25%, 40%, 45%, and 50% depending on salary.

Residents of Belgium must pay community taxes in addition to income tax. The rates vary from 0% to 9%. Non-resident community taxes are 7% flat.


The stunning glaciers and geothermal hot springs of this Nordic island nation have earned it the moniker “Land of Fire and Ice.” Hiking, whale watching, and exploring volcanic landscapes are just some of the outdoor activities that expats may enjoy in Iceland’s pristine natural splendor.

Large amounts of power are produced from geothermal and hydro sources, demonstrating the country’s pledge to eco-conscious policies and practices.

There is a robust music and arts culture in Iceland, with events like the Iceland Airwaves music festival attesting to this.

Locals are known for being welcoming and kind, which is like an added bonus for the high quality of life, low crime rate, and healthy work-life balance in the country.

What are living costs like?

Without rent, a single person and a family of four would need about 165,410 kronur or 1,193 USD per month and 609,399 kronur or 4,317 USD per month, respectively. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment could cost an extra 1,306-1,551 USD to your monthly budget. 

The current purchase cost per square meter ranges from around 4,071 USD to 5,489 USD.

You need 19 USD for a meal.

How much do Iceland taxes cost?

Residents are levied on income from within Iceland as well as income from other countries. Non-residents have to pay taxes on any income earned from Iceland and will be subject to both national income tax and municipal income tax, just like the residents.

The total tax rates being assessed are 31.45%, 37.95%, or 46.25%, based on how much you earn. These rates include a municipal tax rate of 14.67%. Depending on the municipality, the ultimate assessment of municipal income tax deducted at source could be anywhere from 12.44% to 14.76%.


most expensive countries in europe norway

Norway attracts expats with its natural beauty, solid social welfare, and high level of life. Norway’s fjords, mountains, and landscapes are a dream for outdoor lovers. It is also renowned for its mesmerizing natural phenomenon known as the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. This breathtaking display of colorful lights dancing across the night sky is a major attraction for both locals and visitors.

The country’s renewable energy commitment is impressive. Norway’s social welfare system guarantees high-quality healthcare and education for everybody. Expats may also live in a secure, equitable culture that values inclusiveness.

Norwegians embrace work-life balance, giving them time to enjoy the country’s music and arts sector. Norway’s strong economy, low unemployment, and competitive pay attract professionals.

How much do you need to afford cost of living in Norway?

If you’re single, set aside 12,049 kroner or 1,131 USD per month, and up to 42,871 kroner or 4,025 USD if you’re supporting a family of four. You need to have an extra 851 USD to 1,054 USD for one-bedroom apartment rentals per month.  

Prices for apartments vary from around 4,468 USD to 6,356 USD per square meter.

You can have a meal for about 19 USD.

What are Norwegian tax rates?

All income earned inside the country must be reported and taxed. You must pay taxes on Norwegian-earned income even if you’re not a resident.

Residents and non-residents earning general income pay 22% tax. County, municipal, and state taxes comprise this tax.

Personal income tax rates are assessed at 1.7%, 4%, 13.5%, 16.5%, or 17.5%, depending on income.


Switzerland’s natural beauty, political stability, and excellent quality of life gather expats from throughout the world. The spectacular alpine vistas, crystal-clear lakes, and beautiful towns provide limitless hiking, skiing, and climbing options. Career-minded people are drawn to the nation’s robust economy, good pay, and low unemployment.

Switzerland is especially enticing to families due to its great healthcare, education, and safety. The country’s excellent public transit system, punctuality, and cleanliness make life easy and orderly. Its rich cultural legacy, celebrated via traditional festivals, world-class museums, and architectural wonders including medieval castles and contemporary monuments, offers a dynamic and diversified cultural experience.

What’s the cost of living in Switzerland?

A single person’s monthly budget is 1,469 francs or 1,643 USD, while a family of four’s is 5,365 francs or 5,998 USD (without rent).

One-bedroom apartments rent for 1,476–1,826 USD per month. They cost between 10,930 USD and 15,493 USD per square meter to purchase.

An affordable dinner costs 28 USD on average.

What about Swiss taxes?

Worldwide income and wealth are taxed for residents. Non-residents are solely taxed on Swiss income and wealth. The federal, cantonal, and local governments collect income taxes. Federal and cantonal income taxes are progressive, albeit some cantons have flat-rate taxes.

Up to 11.5% in federal income tax rates can be assessed.

Most Expensive Countries in Europe: Bottom Line

Recently, the cost of living has risen in the nations on this list and globally. One significant factor contributing to this rise is the notable increase in food and energy prices, with a particular focus on gas prices, according to the UK statistics office. Ukraine’s ongoing conflict has raised these expenditures too. Naturally, there is additional strain on prices as the global economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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