the tiny house guide to europe

QUICK FACTS:

Are Tiny Houses Legal In Europe: YES*

Tiny House Costs In Europe: €50,000 to €180,000

Tiny House-Friendly Countries in Europe: England, Scotland

NAVIGATION

Click A Flag To Jump Directly To A Country

austriaAustria
belgiumBelgium
denmarkDenmark
englandEngland
finlandFinland
france France
germanyGermany
greeceGreece
icelandIceland
irelandIreland
italyItaly
luxembourgLuxembourg
monacoMonaco
netherlandsNetherlands
norwayNorway
portugalPortugal
romaniaRomania
scotlandScotland
sloveniaSlovenia
spainSpain
swedenSweden
switzerlandSwitzerland
walesWales

A Future In European Tiny House Life

A Future In European Tiny House Life

There are many countries throughout Europe where you can live and travel in a tiny house at your leisure. While the modern tiny house trend originated in the United States, several countries across Europe have begun to adopt the movement as well, each in their own way.

european villageThe modern genesis of tiny homes originated as a reaction to the large home sizes in the U.S., but Europeans have been living in smaller footprints for way longer. The average American home is around 240 square meters, while the average European home is 130 square meters; that’s a big difference!

Tiny house culture takes on a different meaning for each European country. For some countries like Iceland or Scotland, the idea of micro homes or small houses has been innate to their culture for centuries in the form of earth bermed turf homes or Romani vardo wagons.

Other countries like England, France, Ireland, Romania, and Slovenia have followed in the United States’ footsteps and taken to the modern tiny house movement. There are so many forms of tiny homes throughout Europe, each with their own country-specific character and charm.

what is the tiny house movement

Tiny House Building Laws In Europe

Tiny House Building Laws In Europe

The latest data from the United Nations shows that Europe is comprised of 44 total countries, with only 27 countries being part of the European Union. Furthermore, each of these countries are grouped according to their geographical regions and subregions, each with its own respective building codes at the national level as well as all the way down to the city level.

european building lawsFor countries in the European Union, there’s a regulatory framework that includes an overarching technical standard, health and safety standard, and the right to free movement for workers and construction products.

However, this baseline is not an end-all-be-all as far as regulations go. Each country has the ability to create its own standards that must comply with the EU framework, but can also include additional rules. Countries that are outside of the European Union do not have to abide by the same standards and can create whatever building laws they desire.

To give it to you straight, when it comes to tiny house building laws in Europe, it can get pretty complex and is super dependent on the country, region, and city you choose to live or travel in.

Are Tiny Houses Legal In Europe?

Are Tiny Houses Legal In Europe

So, what does this mean when it comes to owning or traveling in a tiny home in Europe? Below, I’ve gone into brief descriptions of each country and the way its building laws impact tiny homes to hopefully give you a bird’s eye view of which countries will be easier to live tiny in.

However, the best way to ensure that you are legal and up to code in your tiny house in Europe is to talk to local representatives from the country or region you want to live in. This mapping tool from the International Code Council is one of the best ways to quickly access building codes by country.

Can I Travel Throughout Europe In A Tiny House?

Can I Travel Throughout Europe In A Tiny House

A huge pull of the tiny house life for most tiny home enthusiasts is the mobility. There is really nothing more idyllic than the idea of galivanting across Europe in a custom-designed van or tiny house on wheels. So, is it legal to travel throughout Europe in a tiny home?

travel around europe in a tiny house.jpgThere are tons of resources out there to help you understand what’s legal when it comes to an international trip like this in a tiny home. Within many countries, traveling around in a tiny house on wheels should not be a problem. In some, however, you may run into pushback.

You’ll need to be aware of specific legal regulations within the countries that you choose to make a part of your route — I’ve laid out several of these countries below. Decide exactly where you plan to travel beforehand so you know where you can legally park and stay the night to keep you from running into any trouble.

My best advice when planning a trip like this is to strike up a conversation with someone who has done it. There is an abundance of YouTube videos, travel blogs, podcasts, and more about traveling through Europe in a trailer, van, or mobile home that would be great references if you’re new to this kind of travel.

I haven’t done this myself yet, but my best wisdom when you get the travel bug is to listen to the stories of others who have and learn form their mistakes. You can even reach out and ask to chat with them in person or over Zoom to be even more prepared for your own adventure!

Tiny House Social Groups In Europe

Tiny House Social Groups In Europe

With the tiny house movement becoming more popular worldwide every year, one of the best ways to get plugged in and learn more is by joining a social group.

There are several groups throughout Europe where you can join with others who live the tiny life and share information and experiences regarding tiny living. Social groups are a great way to learn more about tiny houses throughout Europe and everything the tiny house lifestyle comes with.

Tiny House Europe

One of the most popular tiny house social groups in Europe is the Tiny House Europe Facebook page. This page is devoted to inviting tiny house enthusiasts from all over Europe to come together and discuss their experiences about tiny house living and building.

Members post photos, advice, personal experiences, and other info on their tiny house experience in Europe. The group currently has 4,500 members but anyone is welcome to join.

Tiny House Community UK

The Tiny House Community UK Facebook page is primarily focused on those in the United Kingdom who want to advocate for the legalization of tiny homes and tiny house communities. Members discuss both the legalization of tiny homes and tips for living in them in the United Kingdom.

It is a place for tiny home enthusiasts to connect with other like-minded people who are looking for help, support, and in-depth information on living in a tiny house. The group is open to the public and anyone is allowed to join.

Tiny Houses Europe Financially Free

Tiny Houses Europe Financially Free is a Facebook group dedicated to those in countries throughout Europe who are dedicated to living a more simplistic and minimalistic lifestyle.

Members can converse about ways to reduce their living costs and spend more time with family, passions, and personal interests. The page encompasses the idea of a “small life” by giving tips to gain financial independence and focus on what truly matters, and anyone can join.

Tiny House Communities In Europe

Tiny House Communities In Europe

Tiny living communities have grown in popularity over the past 10 years all around the world. In Europe, tiny house communities come in many forms.

Some villages are intentional living communities that facilitate an intimate social connection between members and encourage thoughtful practices like self-sufficiency, stewarding resources, minimalism, environmentalism, and personal growth. Other communities are meant for vacations and are chock full of tiny lodging for you and your family to rent.

Whichever kind of tiny house village you seek, there are several throughout Europe that will satisfy your wants and needs.

Pionierskwartier Gemeenschap

Located in the city of Delft in the South Holland providence of the Netherlands, the Pionierskwartier Gemeenschap which translates to Pioneers Quarters Community, is a tiny house village with residents of all ages who are devoted to a more intentional lifestyle. They value themes of connection, innovation, inspiration, circularity, sustainability, responsibility, and being content with what you have.

Each resident has built their own self-sufficient tiny house on the community’s shared land. Residents represent a vast array of jobs and lifestyles, including designers, builders, entrepreneurs, artists, technicians, builders, programmers, architects, and activists. The community is hoping to expand substantially in the coming years. Check out their website to learn about their current residents and inquire about living at Pioneer Quarters.

Social Bite Homeless Tiny House Village

Social Bite is a tiny house homeless village that is being created by Tiny House Scotland. This tiny house village is currently in the fundraising stage, with plans to build accommodation for 20 individuals to live full time.

The homes will be created by Jonathan Avery and will be made from innovative, low cost, and movable building materials. Within this community, homeless residents will be housed around 12 months each, with an option to extend depending on the individual’s needs.

During those 12 months, Social Bite will provide programming and services to residents including cooking lessons, budgeting, counselling, volunteer opportunities, employment opportunities, sport and meditation facilities, support in applying for permanent accommodation, and more.

The community will also include a vegetable garden, chicken coop, and furniture workshop on the land so residents can work on construction projects and sell and tend to food produce. You can learn more about donations and sponsorships on the website.

Campingplatz Bad Stuer

Located in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state in North Germany, Campingplatz Bad Stuer is a campsite that houses vacationers in several Avant Garde small houses including traditional tiny homes, barrel houses, and one spooky witch house for a unique vacation experience.

Nights on the campsite range from €25–40 per night. The houses have anywhere from one bedroom to four bedrooms and are located within a gorgeous forested sanctuary. Check out their website to book a stay in Germany.

European Tiny House Community Resources

tiny houses in europe

Guide To Tiny House Life And Laws In The British Isles

Guide To Tiny House Life And Laws In The British Isles

If you’re considering living or vacationing in a tiny house in the British Isles, there are several wonderful countries to consider. The British Isles of Europe consist of a cluster of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean that consist of Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland, as well as over 6,000 smaller islands.

british islesThere are many reasons families, retirees, expatriates, and single travelers choose to move to one of the British Isles. For starters, Great Britain and Ireland are chock full of career opportunities and easy access to education. There’s also the draw of free healthcare and an abundance of paid time off in all fields.

The British Isles are a vibrant spot for tourists. All five countries have their fair share of historical monuments, gorgeous natural landscapes, quaint and charming towns, big cities, museums, restaurants, and nightlife. It’s a great start for American expatriates considering venturing to Europe, as these countries are largely English speaking.

Some areas have a more developed tiny house culture, while others haven’t really hopped on board the trend. Check out the tiny house regulations throughout the British Isles.

Are Tiny Homes Legal Throughout The United Kingdom?

Are Tiny Homes Legal Throughout The United Kingdom
Yes! Laws for tiny houses are centralized throughout the UK, which applies to Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. The tiny house movement has grown significantly in recent years throughout the United Kingdom seen through rental properties, backyard ADUs, and permanent homes. Building laws have been adjusted to accommodate this newfound interest in tiny homes across the United Kingdom.

All said and done, tiny houses are legal in the United Kingdom! The UK creates different specifications for tiny houses on wheels and tiny houses on foundation. Mobile tiny houses are considered caravans.

united kingdom

Dimensions For THOW In The UK:

  • Must be no larger than 2.55 m wide
  • No larger than 7 m in length
  • No more than 8,250 kg in weight

If you are hoping to build a tiny house larger than this, you could consider choosing a more permanent location or changing your license to category C1E (medium-sized goods vehicles with trailers) which can easily be obtained with lessons and a standard vehicle test.

Parking laws for mobile tiny homes are fairly accessible, with many types of land available to legally park a tiny home.

In The UK, You Can Park A THOW:

  • On your own land.
  • On a plot of land, such as farmland for a period of 28 days or less.
  • On a caravan site.
  • On a park home or residential home site.
  • On land where you’ve applied for planning permission within a residential area.
  • On a glamping site for holiday let purposes.
  • On a certified site, offered as a site management building via “freedom camping.”
  • On farmland, stables, or equestrian land.

Tiny houses on foundation are in a different legal class in the United Kingdom and should follow the same building laws as traditional dwellings, which vary between Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. Full descriptions of UK building codes by country are available through the UK legislation website.

England Tiny House Guide

England Tiny House Guide

If you’re looking to live in a tiny house in England, you can defer to the United Kingdom building laws which apply to Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. You can find tiny house builders, social groups, and tiny home rentals throughout England that are worth exploring. Check out Tiny House South West England on Facebook for more ways to get plugged in!

England Tiny House Featured Builder

Tiny Eco Homes UK Riding Mill, England

Tiny Eco Homes UK

Contact for pricing

Located in Riding Mill, a village near Hexham in Northumberland, England, Tiny Eco Homes UK has lots of high-quality tiny house options. Their prefabricated designs include the Hazel, Britt, Holly, Claire, and Bobbi, several of which are named after people that matter to the owners. Each model has its own unique features and aesthetic.

In addition to selling tiny homes, the company also offers road legal trailers, tiny house add ons, educational courses, and consultations to its customers.

Tiny Houses For Rent In England

tiny houses in europe

Scotland Tiny House Guide

Scotland Tiny House Guide

In Scotland, tiny house lovers should defer to the building laws that are centralized throughout the United Kingdom to see if their tiny house is legal in the area they reside in. Overall, tiny houses are becoming more and more popular in the country.

Scotland is home to several tiny house builders, the Social Bite tiny house community, and several tiny home-centric social groups. Check out these tiny home builders and rental properties throughout Scotland.

Scotland Tiny House Featured Builder

Tiny House Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland

Tiny House Scotland

£40,000–£60,000

Tiny House Scotland was created by builder and architect Jonathan Avery in February of 2014. After creating the NestHouse micro home on his own accord, Jonathan was asked to create a two-bedroom version of his design for the Social Bite village in Edinburgh, Scotland. From there, he created the NestPod, and the business was born.

Customers can purchase several versions of the NestHouse and NestPod on foundation or mobile depending on their specific desires. Both can be bought as tiny house shells or as turn key builds.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Scotland

tiny houses in europe

Wales Tiny House Guide

Wales Tiny House Guide

For those who want to live in a tiny house in Wales, defer to the building laws that are centralized throughout the UK.

There isn’t a ton of information or camaraderie out there when it comes to the tiny house movement in Wales, but there are a few tiny house builders and rentals worth perusing.

You can also check out the Tiny House Wales Facebook page to learn more about the tiny life in Wales.

wales united kingdom

Wales Tiny House Featured Builder

The Tiny Housing Co Bridgend, Wales

The Tiny Housing Co

£50,000–£150,000

Located in Bridgend, Wales, The Tiny Housing Co has a plethora of prefabricated tiny homes available for purchase, including the Nomad, the Avon, the Darween, the Betula, the Tyne, and the Eden. Additionally, the company offers a consultation program where customers can design their own tiny houses alongside The Tiny Housing Co staff. They also incorporate environmentally friendly products into all of their designs.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Wales

tiny houses in europe

Ireland Tiny House Guide

Ireland Tiny House Guide

The Republic of Ireland has its own set of building laws, separate from the centralized laws within the United Kingdom (which includes Northern Ireland). Tiny house enthusiasts in the Republic of Ireland should defer to the building laws from the Ireland Department of Housing for information on their government website.

ireland landscapeWhen it comes to living in a tiny house on foundation in Ireland, it is legal for residents to have a non-habitable home under 25 square meters without having to ask for any explicit planning permissions from authorities. These are usually for spaces such as a garden studio, shed, or separate office space.

However, if you would like to inhabit a larger space than this as your permanent tiny home, you can request an “alteration” to one of the structures mentioned above to build a tiny house. When an alteration is requested, it will take a while for it to be officially approved, but when it is, you should be good to build your own tiny house on foundation.

If you are hoping to live full time in a tiny house on wheels in Ireland, it will be considered a temporary dwelling in the same category as a bus, houseboat, mobile home, vardo home, and yurt. There are several rules for these types of dwelling in the Republic of Ireland that do not require planning permissions.

THOW Laws In Ireland:

  • You cannot reside in the home for more than six months
  • The home cannot be connected to public services
  • The house must comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) laws
  • The tiny house must be on approved land

If all of these credentials are met, you will not need to seek planning permission for your mobile tiny home. However, if one or more of these regulations do not apply, you will need to apply for the planning permission process with local authorities.

There are also several tiny house builders, rentals, and social groups to join throughout the Emerald Isle. Be sure to check out Tiny Homes Ireland if you are seeking a virtual social community of Irish tiny homeowners to get involved with.

Ireland Tiny House Featured Builder

Big Man Tiny Homes Cork, Ireland

Big Man Tiny Homes

Contact for pricing

Based in Cork, Ireland, Big Man Tiny Homes specializes in custom-built tiny houses that are fully certified and meet Ireland’s modern housing regulations. Their units are fully certified as houses, not cabins, and customers are able to choose between tiny homes, offices, studios, mobile homes, and modular housing. They use eco-friendly sip panels on all designs.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Ireland

tiny houses in europe

Guide To Tiny House Life And Laws In Northern Europe

Guide To Tiny House Life And Laws In Northern Europe

Living in a tiny house in Northern Europe can be a marvelous experience. Northern Europe traditionally includes Iceland, Finland, and the three Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Often referred to as the Nordic countries, this part of Europe is chock-full of new experiences to indulge in. All countries within Northern Europe have their fair share of gorgeous natural landscapes, historical monuments, quaint cities, arts and culture, and friendly locals. It’s a great experience for American expatriates seeking a change of pace.

northern europe

Iceland Tiny House Guide

Iceland Tiny House Guide

Icelanders have been into the tiny house craze for much longer than most Americans — it just hasn’t been as commercialized in the way they are today. In Iceland, homes just tend to be smaller in general.

iceland landscapeThis is due to Iceland’s long history with micro structures. Most Icelanders now live in modern homes, but up until the 1940s, most Icelanders lived in small houses called turf homes. Wood was a luxury, so Iceland natives had to work around their barren lands.

Additionally, houses in Iceland are built to specifically preserve heat for long, dark winters as well as to conserve materials. Even as construction technology has improved over time, many of the homes in Iceland are still extremely small due to the sense of tradition found throughout the country.

When it comes to the legality of tiny homes in Iceland, it’s worth noting that planning permissions will be needed for any type of home in the country. You can learn more about regulations on tiny houses in Iceland by reading over Iceland Building and Alterations Laws.

Iceland is also home to several gorgeous tiny house rental properties that allow you to experience the elements in a small, minimalistic space. Some of Iceland’s most famous tiny houses are the Panorama Glass Lodge properties, located in south and west Iceland.

These luxury micro homes are Scandinavian architectural glass cabins that provide guests with a panoramic view of Iceland skies. The cabins include a cozy bed and private hot tub. You can also check out these other tiny house rental properties that Iceland has to offer.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Iceland

Norway Tiny House Guide

Norway Tiny House Guide

In Norway, tiny house living has become incredibly popular amongst both expats and locals alike. The naturalistic simplicity of the tiny lifestyle is attractive to many Norwegians and American expats, as the country is often characterized by its lush green summers, breathtakingly brisk winters, and nature-loving residents.

norway landscapeWhen it comes to whether or not tiny houses are legal in Norway, it can get fairly complex. Norway is divided into 429 small kommunes, each with their own jurisdictional laws. In some areas, it’s easy to build a tiny house and live in it full time, while other areas are more restrictive.

It all depends on which Norwegian kommune you choose to live in. The best way to decipher if your tiny house on wheels or foundation is legal in Norway is to reach out to the representative within the kommune you are living in or visiting. They should be able to give you the insight you need.

Overall, residents throughout the land of Viking ships and brown cheese have become obsessed with the idea of a mobile, minimalist micro home. There are several tiny house builders and rentals throughout the country that can provide you with a life of simple luxury within majestic mountains, between deep fjords, and under the scintillating Northern Lights.

Norway Tiny House Featured Builder

Norske Mikrohus Oslo, Norway

Norske Mikrohus

NOK 109 000–NOK 189 000

Norwegian designer and architect Norske Mikrohus has created The Nordic; a multifunctional tiny house that can be used as a backyard office, getaway cabin, art studio, guest house, or ADU. The Nordic is available in two different sizes and is only available on wheels. One of the most valuable aspects of Norske’s tiny house design is the way it’s intentionally built to adapt to the harsh climates of winters in Norway.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Norway

Sweden Tiny House Guide

Sweden Tiny House Guide

While the country of Sweden is full of wonderful attributes like gorgeous greenery, a bustling pop music scene, intricate architecture, and the famous Ice Hotel, tiny house culture is pretty slim. Tiny house laws in Sweden are a tad restrictive for those hoping to live in a tiny house full time.

sweden landscapeSince 2014, Swedish homeowners have been able to build a tiny house on their property as an accessory dwelling unit, but are not able to have one or more tiny houses on a single plot of land without the tiny house being accompanied by a traditional home.

While it is true that the Swedish National Building law is more restrictive than some other European countries, there are still several tiny house builders in Sweden that are able to help Swedes and expats live in a tiny house legally.

There are also many tiny house rentals in Sweden as well as a Swedish catalog of tiny house rental properties you can search through to prepare for your next vacation in Sweden.

Sweden Tiny House Featured Builder

Treesign Tiny Homes Of Sweden Tidaholm, Sweden

Treesign Tiny Homes Of Sweden

SEK 600 000–SEK 950 000

Located in the Tidaholm municipality of Sweden, Treesign Tiny Homes offers nine different prefabricated tiny house designs to their customers. You can buy a tiny house on wheels from Treesign entirely prefabricated, partially finished, or by a trailer or shell only to build a tiny home to your liking. Treesign works with customers every step of the way from consultation to refining the design to its most ideal form.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Sweden

Finland Tiny House Guide

Finland Tiny House Guide

Finland is commonly known as one of the happiest places to live in the world. Finnish citizens are given free education, free healthcare, and a safe and secure environment to live in.

finland lakeside landscapeFinland is also renowned for having some of the most natural and environmentally friendly food, as well as the purest, cleanest water in the world. Finland is home to natives as well as American expats who are in school, have a job, or a family member in the country.

Tiny house culture in Finland is certainly expanding. A growing concern over the impact of climate change in recent years amongst Finnish locals and Finnish government has greatly increased the interest in tiny homes and minimalist lifestyles across the country.

The tiny house movement is gaining a lot of ground in Finland as tiny house builders and rental properties continue to pop up throughout the country. However, Finnish building laws still do not explicitly accommodate tiny houses. Check in with local representatives for each of Finland’s 19 regions to see if tiny homes are allowed in the area.

Finland Tiny House Featured Builder

Minihouse Helsinki, Finland

Minihouse

See website for pricing

Minihouse is a Helsinki, Finland based builder who focuses on prefabricated scandinavian designed small homes. Their houses are built in a factory then transported to your site and can be set up to use in one day.

Tiny Houses For Rent In Finland

Denmark Tiny House Guide

Denmark Tiny House Guide

Despite all the allures of life in Denmark like a low crime rate, exquisite foodie culture, and an extremely high quality of life, there isn’t a ton out there regarding Denmark and the tiny house movement. As far as Northern European countries go, Denmark is one of the furthest behind when it comes to the presence of tiny homes throughout the country.

However, that does not mean you can’t get a taste of the tiny life in Denmark! The movement is actively growing due to several activist groups and budding intentional living communities. There are also several tiny houses for rent throughout Denmark for the traveler or expatriate to consider staying in!

denmark waterfront

Tiny Houses For Rent In Denmark