The cost of living in Utrecht is similar to what one would expect in other major Dutch cities such as Eindhoven and Rotterdam. Expats will find that accommodation – as is often the case in a major city – is their biggest expense. As some types of housing are in short supply, landlords are able to charge more rent. Another similarity to other big cities is that 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 as a result.

Cost of transport in Utrecht

True to Dutch culture, cycling is probably the most popular mode of transport among locals in Utrecht. Expats who decide to follow this lead and invest in a bike will find that their transport costs are significantly reduced.

If cycling isn’t a viable option, then Utrecht’s public transport network (buses and trams) connects commuters to most parts of the city at reasonable prices. Single tickets can be expensive, but paying for 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 on the pricey side.

Cost of education in Utrecht

The cost of education in Utrecht is fairly affordable, 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 working in Utrecht who intend to send their children to an international school should try to negotiate an allowance into their 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. The cost of medical 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 April 2021.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,100 - 1,400

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

EUR 800 - 1,100

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,800 - 2,200 

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

EUR 1,200 - 1,600


Milk (1 litre)


Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.75

Rice (1kg)


Dozen eggs

EUR 2.30

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 7.90

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)



Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.15

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 35

Utilities (monthly for average size home)

EUR 200

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

EUR 70

Big Mac meal



EUR 3.20

Local beer (500ml)


Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.80


Taxi rate (per km)

EUR 2.35

City-centre bus fare

EUR 2.80


EUR 1.70