Cost of Living in Utrecht

The cost of living in Utrecht is fairly similar to what one would expect in other major Dutch cities like Eindhoven and Rotterdam. Expats will find that accommodation is their biggest expense. As some types of housing are in short supply, landlords are able to charge more rent. Similarly to most places, living further away from the city centre of Utrecht will save expats quite a bit on rental costs.

Cost of accommodation in Utrecht

Accommodation is likely to take up a substantial amount of an expat’s budget. Utrecht is a rapidly expanding city and the supply of housing has not been able to keep up with demand. As a result, competition for certain types of housing, especially in sought-after locations in the city, is high and rental costs can also be pretty pricey.

Cost of transport in Utrecht

Cycling is probably the most popular mode of transport amongst locals in Utrecht. Expats who decide to follow this lead and invest in a bike will find the transport costs are significantly reduced.

If cycling isn’t a viable option, then Utrecht’s public transport network made up of buses and trams connects commuters to most parts of the city at reasonable prices. Single tickets can be expensive, but investing in longer-term options will save money.

Owning a car in Utrecht, as in much of the Netherlands, is expensive. Local authorities have taken steps to discourage people from driving into the city centre and as such parking is very expensive. Taxi fares in the city are also pretty pricey.

Cost of education in Utrecht

The cost of education in Utrecht is fairly cheap, especially if expats choose to send their children to a local school. Public education in the Netherlands is available at little or no cost. Some public schools even offer bilingual classes to accommodate expat students.

However, many expats still prefer to send their children to international schools. Fees at these schools are high and additional expenses such as the cost of uniforms, books and excursions can mount up. Expats who intend to send their children to an international school should try to negotiate an allowance into their expat relocation package.

Cost of healthcare in Utrecht

Expats moving to Utrecht can rest assured that they’ll have access to good quality healthcare. However, healthcare costs in the Netherlands are much higher than those in other European countries. Once an expat starts working in the Netherlands and registers at their local municipality, they will be obliged to take out a Dutch health insurance policy within the next four months. The cost of health insurance varies according to how extensive the policy is.

Cost of living chart for Utrecht 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Utrecht in October 2019.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

1,200 EUR 

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

750 EUR

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

1,900 EUR 

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

1,300 EUR


Milk (1 litre)


Loaf of white bread

1.10 EUR

Rice (1kg)

1.90 EUR

Dozen eggs


Chicken breasts (1kg)

8.50 EUR

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)



Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

0.15 EUR

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

40 EUR

Utilities (monthly for average size home)

185 EUR

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

65 EUR

Big Mac meal




Local beer (500ml)


Coca-Cola (330ml)



Taxi rate (per km)

2.20 EUR

City-centre bus fare



1.70 EUR