The Ideal Places to Migrate to in Eastern Europe

Jacquelyn Vadnais
Last Edited Feb 27, 2023

Eastern Europe is now one of the best areas to migrate and retire. The region has been seeing robust growth, especially since 2021. This has been largely due to the return of many Eastern Europeans to their countries after the 2020 pandemic shut down many industries in the West.

Many of these countries are seeing a slight increase in their GDPs, making them ideal places for migration and retirement. They offer an affordable cost of living with infrastructure similar to that of other countries in Western Europe.

For digital nomads and those dreaming of retiring as expatriates in a country that will give them a comfortable lifestyle, Eastern Europe is the place to be. Here are five countries that are promising to be ideal places for expatriates and digital nomads.

Which Countries Are Both Employment and Foreigner Friendly?


Macedonia is a landlocked country that has seen some conflict in the past. Still, the past decade has seen the country thrive economically, with a promising GDP growth that is sustainable.

As of 2022, only a few expatriates live in the country, with less than one percent of foreigners living there. Most of them live in the capital, Skopje, where international schools and educational facilities offer bilingual education.

Many expatriates live in the capital and work for non-governmental organizations or as English language teachers. Some of those who want to settle in Northern Macedonia find the cost of living very affordable and continue to enjoy all the benefits of living in the country, including state-funded and private healthcare.

However, if you are looking for work, the wages in the country are lower than in other parts of Europe. Expatriates have to negotiate for a salary they would find comfortable enough to enjoy a good quality of life.

You could also set up a business in the country. Macedonia’s relatively less rigid regulations make it easy for foreigners to establish a business there. They receive the same rights and privileges as nationals and can choose the type of business to set up.

Most foreign nationals residing in Macedonia choose to open a limited liability company (LLC) because of the tax advantages and the simple registration process. But policies and government regulations change frequently, so business owners must continually update themselves on business requirements.

Labor costs can also be high, but most workers are proficient in English. Government subsidies have been helping businesses and industries thrive in the past few years.


This country in Eastern Europe has been attracting attention as a tourist spot and retirement place for many European nationals. The country’s simple tax regulations, relatively affordable cost of living, and hospitable people make it one of the best places to move to in Europe.

Georgia’s standing in Europe allows visa-free entry to 95 countries and allows foreign nationals to stay in the country for a year. Students, remote workers, and retirees who want to experience the country find it easy to enter it and live and work there. Dual citizenship is also allowed, making it very attractive for retirees.

Expatriate communities thrive in several cities, including Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Zugdidi, and Telavi.

Tbilisi’s expatriate community largely comprises digital nomads. These communities are not particularly large, but most people share similar lifestyles and interests in terms of travel, work, and business.

Batumi is the second most popular place among tourists and retirees, owing to its affordability and easygoing pace of life. However, communication can be challenging, as only some people here are proficient in English or any language other than Russian.

Real estate is another challenging aspect of relocating to Georgia. The market is very varied, and rates depend on where you want to live and the kind of property you want to rent or purchase. Overall, property and rent rates have gone up in recent times. But if you plan on staying in the country indefinitely, renting is the cheaper option.

If you plan to start a business in the country, you can easily do so, as there are no restrictions for foreigners when it comes to business ownership. The easy registration process, tax exemptions, and free industrial entities make Georgia an excellent choice for people who want to start a business.


Bulgaria is one of the most popular and attractive countries for expatriates and digital nomads. The country is now one of the most economically stable countries in Eastern Europe, boasting an average annual economic growth of 2% even during the turbulence of 2020.

It is known for its affordable cost of living, low property rates, safety, and thriving expatriate community in cities like Bansko, Varna, and Sofia. Most of these communities are composed of several remote workers or digital nomads.

Sofia is Europe’s most inexpensive city, and like most cities in Bulgaria, there is a noticeable lack of services in some industries, even in the capital Sofia. This makes it an ideal place for business-minded expatriates to set up a company.

The Bulgarian Commercial Code allows foreign investors to open businesses in the country. There are no special requirements for foreigners except when they want to register a joint stock company.

Bulgarians are proficient in English, with at least a million speakers in the country. Labor costs are also low in the country, but finding local labor can be hard as the population is lower than in other eastern European countries.


Serbia’s modest but steady economic growth has turned it into one of the free economies in the East. Serbia is not a conventional choice for migration, but the affordable cost of living makes it an attractive option for expatriates.

Most of the expatriate community lives in the capital, Belgrade. They are mostly diplomatic personnel or work for large international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). There are also foreign nationals working in several industries, such as mining, energy, and the automotive industry.

English is widely spoken in Serbia, though some industries require foreign nationals to work with interpreters or learn Serbian. Those with families often send their children to private international schools or boarding schools in other European countries.

Serbia still has issues with unemployment. Foreigners can start a business as an option. They can work with a local partner or set up a foreign legal entity. The registration process can take three to four days, though slow bureaucracy can affect the whole process.


The former Soviet state has been growing steadily since 1991. The booming economy boasts a thriving shipping and timber industry, while the capital, Tallinn, is quickly becoming a commercial hub in the region.

Most of the expatriate community is found in Tallinn. For now, it is still a small community that finds the low cost of living, affordable transport rates, and low cost of goods great reasons to call Estonia home.

Though there are English speakers in Estonia, Russian is the most widely spoken language in the country. Expatriates who live with their families have a choice of international schools in Tallinn where they can send their children.

Expatriates can start a business in the country on their own or through a lawyer. The government gives businesses a lot of freedom, but labor laws are strict and protect employees in most disputes.

Final Remarks on the Subject 

What is important to remember is that there are many countries in Eastern Europe that offer a great deal to Westerners. Essentially, these economies are ripe for the taking when it comes to capitalism. The reason for this is that they are ready to make a great deal of capital and quickly. Western entrepreneurs that decide to relocate to these Eastern European countries are in for a pleasant surprise in that they will not only be able to live quite well, but they will be permitted through flexible immigration laws to fully integrate themselves into society. Thus, be sure that you consider some of these Eastern European countries when trying to decide whether it is wise to relocate to Eastern Europe as an expat. What you will find are very Western and modernized economies that are open for transformation.


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