07 Sep Southern Europe or Central Europe which is right for you?
5 reasons to live in countries like Spain, Portugal and Greece
There are many reasons why people are drawn to different parts of the world. Some might want to be near the ocean, and others might just want to explore new cultures and ways of life.
Central Europe, which is most known for including countries like France, Germany and the Netherlands, has a bit of a different way of life than Southern Europe which some of its countries include Greece, Portugal and Spain.
And it’s true that both regions are great in their own ways. You might be torn between these two when deciding if you’d like to move abroad. There are many factors to consider when choosing where to live, such as cost of living, climate, and local amenities.
But more importantly, you need to think about whether or not the culture of that country aligns with your personal preferences.
Take a look at what makes the south of Europe stand out from the rest:
1. Climate differences
Depending on where you live in Europe, the climate could vary wildly. You could find yourself in a hot, humid climate (like parts of Southern Spain), or you could be in a chilly and snowy climate (like parts of Central Europe).
This matters because it can affect how much you need to invest in your health, such as purchasing air conditioning or heating for your home. It also affects how you spend your time, because you might be more or less inclined to experience certain activities depending on the climate.
Central Europe is very much a mixed bag when it comes to climate. It might be hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, leaving only a few bearable months in the year. Southern Europe is much more homogenous.
The southern region of Europe has a Mediterranean climate that’s generally great all year long. This means that you don’t have to wait for the summer to go to the beach.
2. Cost of living
The cost of living in the south of Europe is, on average, 20% cheaper than in Central Europe. Salaries are slightly lower in the southern region but it makes up for it with the amount you save in expenses.
With lower taxes and social security contributions, countries like Spain, Greece and Portugal are great places to live, especially if you find a job with a relocation package that covers most of the expenses.
If you look at the following tables you can see the differences of costs between countries in Southern Europe versus Central Europe and how much you could save each month by living in Portugal or Spain for example.
Lisbon vs Berlin:
Lisbon vs Amsterdam:
Spain vs Germany:
3. Quality of life
Southern Europe is known for its more laidback lifestyle. The sun shines more and maybe that makes people a bit happier. Things are more relaxed and less stressful. People are, in general, very open, friendly and willing to help.
These countries are also full of life and culture. There’s something for everyone. There’s a very strong football culture in countries like Portugal and Spain and they hold some of the best clubs in the world.
If football’s not for you then there’s nature all around: beaches, mountains, rivers, you name it. You can essentially get off work and go have a beer on the beach to disconnect, not too bad right?
There’s a big skater culture, music festivals, there’s art and fashion. Incredible food, wine and great nightlife. Basically there’s always something to do in these countries.
4. International connections
Cities like Barcelona, Athens and Lisbon are full of tourists, expats, students in the Erasmus program and so on. This means that you’ll probably always find people from your home country and can connect with a lot of people from different countries.
Not only is this a great chance to meet new people but also you’ll also be able to learn about different cultures and ways of thinking.
5. Full of job opportunities
If you want to live somewhere warm that is full of culture and history, and affordable, then Southern Europe is a great option for you. There’s also plenty of job opportunities in many different sectors.
There are many startups coming out of countries like Spain and Portugal who are looking for your talent. Even big companies are always looking to bring foreigners to work in languages like German, French or Dutch. They tend to offer more benefits for these types of candidates.
If you’re really interested, here are some job offers that will help you advance your career and let you live a great experience in the south of Europe.
💡The job market is only getting more competitive, so how can you catch the eye of a recruiter? Going abroad, learning new skills and advancing your career. Read more here →