Cost of Living in Milan: An Accessible Overview

Bas Teunissen

Updated on May 14 • 4 minute read

Milan is a city that speaks to the imagination due to its reputation as a centrepiece of fashion, luxury and European economic power. So how much does it cost, not to visit, but to actually live in Milan? We’ve done the research for you, so you know if Milan is going to be your new Mediterranean home.

We’ve broken down the cost of living into 4 categories:

  • The average rental prices
  • Food & Groceries
  • Entertainment & Leisure
  • Public transportation

So how expensive is Milan?

Here’s our easy overview of your cost of living in Milan. Curious how we got there? Keep reading!

All in all, you’ll be spending around 900-1000 euros on top of your rent. That means you need quite a decent income of around €1700 to €2500 to live comfortably in Milan.

Estimate cost of living in Milan for 1 person

Cost typeEstimated amount
Rent€ 500-1500
Food€ 200
Lunch (2x per week)€ 65
Dinner out (2x per month)€ 170
Public transport pass€40
Going out for a beer (4x per month)€ 100
Other (clothes,utilities,local taxes ,etc)€ 500
Total€ ~950 + rent

Average rent in Milan

Milan is known as the most expensive city in Italy, and that’s certainly true for its rental prices! The impact of the Corona crisis has seen average rental prices in Milan drop slightly.

According to the HousingAnywhere Rent Index, the drop is slight for studio’s and one-bedroom apartments, but more significant for the rooms segment. So, if you’re looking to study in Milan, now is the time to rent a room!

Here’s an overview of the average rental prices in Milan

Type of AccomodationAverage Rental price 2021Yearly change (in %)
Rooms€ 561- 12 %
Studios€ 871- 4.16 %
Apartments€ 1145- 3.6 %

These rental prices are based on the HousingAnywhere Rent index, which in turn is based on data of housing that was actually rented on our platform. This means these prices are for the housing available to us regular mortals, not the penthouses and super villas that Milan is known for as the capital of luxury.

Milan compared to London

While Milan is the most expensive city in Italy, it’s only at #10 in the list of most expensive cities in Europe (based on average rental price for 1-bedroom apartments).

So how does Milan hold up against another economic powerhouse of equal stature: London.

Here’s how the cost of living in Milan is compared to London:

Type of AccomodationMilanLondon% difference
Rooms€ 561€ 678+20.8 %
Studios€ 871€ 1.118+28.3 %
Apartments€ 1145€ 1.745+52.4 %

As you can see, Milan isn’t actually that bad in terms of living expenses!

In the end, it all depends on what you’re used to and how much you’ll be earning at your new Italian job! If you’re not sure which area of Milan is best for you, definitely check out our comprehensive Milan Neighbourhoods guide.

The cost of food and groceries

Milan is an expensive city overall, not to mention a tourist hotspot. That means prices for food in the city are also higher than average.

The prices are higher than the capital over Rome (+4.5%) and much more expensive than Florence (+6.5%).

Here’s an idea of what you’ll encounter when filling your cart in a Milanese supermarket.

DrinksAverage price in Milan
Milk (1L)€ 1.30
Water (1.5L)€ 0.5
Wine (1 bottle, medium quality)€ 6
Imported beer (0.33L)€ 2.27
Local beer (0.5L)€ 1.47
Coca Cola (2L)€ 2.6

The more luxury products, such as chicken breast, cheese and beef are especially pricey compared to other areas in Italy.

FoodAverage price in Milan
Rice (1 KG)€ 2.35
Bread (1 loaf)€ 1.70
Chickenbreast (1 KG)€ 9.75
Eggs (12x, regular)€ 2.97
Cheese (500g)€ 7
Beef rounds (1KG)€ 17.30
Tomatoes (1 KG)€ 2.45
Potatoes(1 KG)€ 1.50
Lettuce (1x)€ 1.00
Onions (1 KG)€ 1.36
Apples (1 KG)€ 2.00
Bananas (1 KG)€ 1.89

The cost of a day and night out in Milan

Whether you’re into visiting Milan’s pulsing night clubs or simply looking for a bite of Italy’s famous delicacies. I highly recommend trying risotto alla Milanese or Ossobucco, if you’re a meat-lover.

Whether you get a kick out of its fashion or prefer to take in the beautiful galleries and the most incredible shops, exploring is how you’ll get to breathe in the special energy that you find only in Milan.

Going out to eatAverage price in Milan
Going out for lunch - inexpensive restaurant€ 15-17 p.p
Three course dinner for 2 - mid-range restaurant€ 75
A basic meal out for 2 - Local’s place€ 45
Beer (0.5L)€ 5.25
1 Cocktail€ 12
Cappuccino€ 2.03
Entertainment & CultureAverage price in Milan
2 tickets to the movies€ 20
2 tickets to the Theatre (good seats)€ 100
Cappuccino€ 2.50

The Cost of Transportation in Milan

Milan is a bustling metropolis. That means you’ll have access to an extensive and affordable public transport network.

As a city of business, taxis are also very popular, but a little pricey. Also, make sure you confirm the price with the driver beforehand to avoid a pricey surprise when you arrive at your destination.

TransportAverage price in Milan
One-way ticket (90 minutes on bus/tram/metro)€ 1.5
Regular Monthly pass (per month)€ 40
Taxi Starting fare€ 3.30 / holidays € 5.4 / night fare €6.5
Taxi far per KM€ ~1.09
Petrol (1L)€ 1.52

There you go! An easy overview of some of the most common expenses you’ll run into when you start your new life in Milan!

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