The high cost of living and working in London means it can actually be cheaper – and better – to commute in from Europe

For those who love their London job but hate the cost of living, there’s now a way to keep their career on track without the financial stress of living in London.

At least 12 major European cities are now financially and logistically commutable* from London, according to new research.

Kiwi Movers have created a European Commutability Index to help London workers find a city to commute from that suits them – the higher the index score, the better.

See full infographic and data

See the full sized image

European Commutability Index header image

Taking into account a range of lifestyle factors, such as commute time, commute cost, rent, cost per square foot and local climate, we’ve come up with the ‘commutable 12’ – Europe’s best cities for working in London.

As well as offering a financially better alternative, the cities – which include Barcelona, Zagreb, The Hague and Berlin – offer other advantages too, including better rights for renters, more sunshine and in the case of the The Hague, a commute that is actually quicker than some tube journeys.

With average rents now hitting £1,211 for a one-bedroom flat in the London and a monthly Zone 1-4 travel card adding a further £177 to your living costs, heading for mainland Europe, where rents are as much as £977** cheaper per month, can be a financially savvy decision.

In fact, one Londoner did just that in 2013. Social media manager Sam Cookney relocated to Barcelona and saved a reported £339 per month.

But some cities are even cheaper and offer more space, more luxury and far better weather to boot.

Prague’s relatively short commute time, cheap rents and affordability make it the highest scorer on the index. Budapest follows closely behind but would-be commuters should note that not everyone speaks English, so it would be necessary to learn Hungarian to get by here.

If it’s a short commute you’re after, you can get from your front door in The Hague to Bank Tube Station in approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes. That includes the commute from The Hague to Rotterdam Airport and then on to London City Airport.

Best cities overall for commuting to London

City European Commutability Index
Prague 931
Budapest 879
Warsaw 794
Barcelona 728
Berlin 673
Madrid 647
Milan 633
Lisbon 576
Vienna 533
The Hague 521
Zagreb 514
Bruges 19


How do the Commutable 12 compare to London?

Best weather – Lisbon – average temperature is 20.8 degrees celsius and an 68% annual average probability of sunshine.

Best value for money on rent – Prague – £243 per month for a 70 sq metre 2-bedroom apartment with wrap-around balcony and hardwood floors near the centre of the city.

That’s £1 cheaper than a Zone 1-7 monthly travel card

Shortest commute – 1 hour and 17 minutes The Hague. 22 minute commute from The Hague to Rotterdam Airport, followed by a flight time of 55 minutes straight into London City Airport.

This commute is six minutes shorter than a Central Line journey across London from West Ruislip to Epping!

Cheapest commutes

You can fly to London from Warsaw, Barcelona, Berlin and Milan for under £40 return. Compared to the £316 cost of a monthly rail pass to get from the Buckinghamshire commuter town of Gerrards Cross to London, we’ve calculated how many journeys people living in the Commutable 12 could make.

Warsaw and Barcelona are cheap enough that a commuter could feasibly travel to London ten times a month, almost equivalent to half of the working days in a month.

City Commute Cost (Return flights) Number of monthly journeys for price of commuting from outside London
Warsaw £34 9.3
Barcelona £36 8.8
Berlin £39 8.1
Milan £39 8.1
Prague £42 7.5
Lisbon £46 6.9
Madrid £50 6.3
Budapest £51 6.2
Vienna £54 5.9
Bruges £83 3.8
The Hague £87 3.6
Zagreb £121 2.6


Shortest commutes

City Flight time
The Hague 55 minutes
Berlin 2 hours
Prague 2 hours
Milan 2 hours 10 minutes
Bruges 2 hours 17 minutes
Vienna  2 hours 30
Zagreb 2 hours 30 minutes
Barcelona 2 hours 30 minutes
Madrid 2 hours 40 minutes
Budapest 2 hours 45 minutes
Warsaw 2 hours 45 minutes
Lisbon 3


*assuming one weekly commute, returning on the same day so no hotel expenses.

**Based on living in Prague.