Bucharest, the best-value capital city to live in, according to new study

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Personal finance experts at Finansvalp gathered data from the cost-of-living website Numbeo in order to create their affordability index, which included every European capital city. Each city was scored out of 100 based on eight factors, which included accommodation, utility, transport and lifestyle costs.

The factors within the index included the monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre, electricity and water bills, monthly mobile phone and broadband plans, fitness club fees, a travel pass and the price of a meal out for two. These expenses were measured against the average monthly net salary for a person living in each city.

When considering these factors, Bucharest, Romania, was found to be the most affordable European capital city to live in, scoring 59.69 out of 100.

The research found that each month, residents in Bucharest take home £1,098.50 on average after tax and can expect to pay around 34% of their income on accommodation. The monthly cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre was found to be £375.15 on average.

Each month, residents can expect to spend £164.57 on household bills, as well as £120.69 on lifestyle expenses, which include dining out as well as fitness and travel passes. This means residents are left with around £438.09 each month in disposable income.

The second cheapest capital city in Europe is Chisinau, Moldova, scoring 56.40 out of 100. The ranking found that residents in the Moldovan capital earn, on average, £602.40 per month after tax and can expect to spend 51% of their income on accommodation, with a one-bedroom apartment outside of the city costing £307.99 a month.

Residents also spend approximately £246.19 per month on household bills and have costs of around £89.16 a month for lifestyle activities such as eating out, travelling and going to the gym.

The third most affordable capital city in Europe is San Marino, with a score of 54.53 out of 100.

As the capital of one of the smallest countries in the world, this city is arguably one of the most naturally beautiful, located at the top of Monte Titano in the Apennine Mountains.

The data found that each month, residents in San Marino earn, on average, £3,473.53 after tax and can expect to pay around 16% of this on a one-bedroom apartment in the city, at a cost of £565.35 a month.

Residents typically spend £109.42 on monthly utility bills, as well as £161.94 on recreational expenses such as meals out, fitness and travel.

The fourth most affordable European capital to live in is Vilnius, Lithuania, with a score of 53.68 out of 100, while Vaduz, Liechtenstein, appeared as the fifth most cost-effective, scoring 53.19 out of 100. 

The 10 most affordable European capital cities to live in 

Rank 

Capital city 

Country 

Affordability Score / 100 

1. 

Bucharest 

Romania 

59.69 

2. 

Chisinau 

Moldova 

56.40 

3. 

San Marino 

San Marino 

54.43 

4. 

Vilnius 

Lithuania 

53.68 

5. 

Vaduz 

Liechtenstein 

53.19 

6. 

Warsaw 

Poland 

53.10 

7. 

Helsinki 

Finland 

53.00 

8. 

Skopje 

North Macedonia 

52.98 

9. 

Budapest 

Hungary 

52.75 

10. 

Madrid 

Spain 

52.03 

The study also revealed the most expensive cities to live in, with London, England, proving to be the costliest for residents, scoring 41.04 out of 100. 

Those living in the English capital earn £4,169.68 after tax and can expect to pay around 49.5% of this for a one-bedroom apartment in the city at an average cost of £2,064.91. 

The second most expensive capital city is Monte Carlo, Monaco. The city is technically a district which makes up the city state of Monaco and has become a playground for the rich and famous. 

As a result, locals face some of the highest living costs in Europe, with the city scoring 41.23 out of 100. Residents earn £8,406.99 on average each month, with a one-bedroom apartment in the area costing £3,126.29 – the third highest accommodation cost of any capital city in Europe. 

The third most expensive capital city is Dublin, Ireland, which scored 42.24 out of 100. Here, locals earn approximately £3,591.95 each month and can expect to spend £1,929.82 a month for a typical one-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre. 

Luxembourg appeared as the fourth most expensive capital city, with a score of 44.18 out of 100, while Bern, Switzerland, featured fifth in the ranking, scoring 45.38 out of 100. 

The 10 most expensive European capital cities to live in 

Rank 

City 

Country 

Affordability Score / 100 

1. 

London 

United Kingdom 

41.04 

2. 

Monte Carlo 

Monaco 

41.23 

3. 

Dublin 

Ireland 

42.24 

4. 

Luxembourg 

Luxembourg 

44.18 

5. 

Bern 

Switzerland 

45.38 

6. 

Amsterdam 

Netherlands 

45.61 

7. 

Lisbon 

Portugal 

46.36 

8. 

Valletta 

Malta 

47.46 

9. 

Athens 

Greece 

47.52 

10. 

Oslo 

Norway 

47.61 

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