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11 Stunning Cities Where Living Abroad Is Cheap

See ya later, U.S.A. 👋
06/27/2017 12:26pm ET | Updated October 2, 2017

Many of us fantasize about moving abroad, but cost can be a major barrier to actually relocating.

Enter these 11 incredible destinations that make living your international dreams easier on the wallet. They’re among the last-place finishers in the annual “Cost of Living” rankings from global consulting firm Mercer. And in this case, finishing last is a good thing, as it means a city is considered an affordable place to live and work.

Mercer surveyed more than 375 cities, 209 of which are included in the final rankings, on their relative costs for more than 200 goods and services, including housing, transportation, food and entertainment, spokeswoman Miriam Siscovick told HuffPost. New York City is used as a base, and the ranking compares all currencies against the U.S. dollar. The ranking is intended mostly for business managers assessing the cost of sending their employees on projects abroad, but turns out it also makes a great personal guidebook if you’re looking for an affordable new city to call home.

We perused the bottom portion of the 209 cities in the ranking and picked some places we know to have a great balance of adventure, sights and culture. None are under a travel warning from the U.S. State Department, but you should certainly research your potential new hometown before moving to learn about its specific cultural norms and potential safety concerns.

Whether for just a few months, a year or the rest of your life, these cities make excellently affordable places to call home. Check ’em out!

1
Managua, Nicaragua
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 194 of 209With proximity to beaches, volcanoes and nature reserves, the city of Managua is a prime jumping-off point for outdoor explorers. A 900-square-foot apartment in an "expensive" part of town will set you back an average of just $441 per month, according to data from Expatistan, a site that uses international cost-of-living reports and user data to estimate average prices.
2
Nuremburg, Germany
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 168 of 209Nuremburg is among the cheapest places to move in Germany: It beat out numerous nearby hubs, including Berlin and Munich, in Mercer's rankings. InterNations, another popular source of cost-of-living info, gives the lively spot a thumbs-up, too.
3
Budapest, Hungary
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 176 of 209Hungary's capital fell significantly in Mercer's rankings this year, as the value of the Hungarian Forint depreciated against the U.S. dollar. This is good news for budget-conscious travelers, who will also enjoy the city's affordable attractions like farmers' markets and architecture tours.
4
Warsaw, Poland
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 180 of 209InterNations's recent survey on the cost of living abroad, which is similar to Mercer's, ranks Poland as one of the most affordable countries for expats to call home. In historic Warsaw, living costs and cultural activities are especially budget-friendly.
5
Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 161 of 209Slovenia's capital is downright magical, and not just because of its charming waterways and walking paths. According to Expatistan, it's the cheapest place to live out of 29 major cities in Eastern Europe.
6
Mexico City, Mexico
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 177 of 209This cosmopolitan hub is full of restaurants, parks and quaint neighborhoods that make it a culture lover's treasure trove. Food and transportation come especially cheap here, according to globetrotting budget expert Nomadic Matt.
7
Johannesburg, South Africa
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 191 of 209This city is experiencing a cultural renaissance, which means hipster 'hoods and chic hotels aplenty. Don't worry about cost, though: Expatistan estimates the average cocktail is just about $4, and the average dinner for two is $24.
8
Calgary, Canada
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 143 of 209This outdoorsy haven in the foothills beats out Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal as one of Canada's most affordable places to live, according to Mercer. Activities come cheap and include hiking, bonfires and neighborhood get-togethers.
9
Glasgow, United Kingdom
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 161 of 209Scotland's artsy port city has a historically good ratio of wages to prices, along with free gardens and galleries to explore in your spare time. The Guardian recommends the delightfully edgy Southside neighborhood for especially cheap rent.
10
Bucharest, Romania
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 181 of 209Bucharest landed the coveted number-three spot on Price of Travel's annual Backpacker Index this year, meaning it's guaranteed to have cheap eats, beer and public transportation. Rent is also some of the cheapest in Europe, CNN Money reports.
11
Bangalore, India
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Mercer Cost of Living rank: 166 of 209India boasts recent economic growth and a stable currency, according to Mercer. Over the years, tech-minded Bangalore has remained one of the most affordable cities in the country.
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