Cost of living in Rotterdam: What you can expect

Wondering which neighbourhood in Rotterdam is best for you? This guide ranks them based on the quality of life, internationally and safety.


6 minute read
Updated on 6 Mar 2024

Rotterdam, home to the largest European port and the 2nd largest city in the Netherlands, attracts thousands of people annually who choose it as their new home. If you, too, are eyeing the city on the Maas River, you’re probably wondering what’s the cost of living in Rotterdam.

To help you come up with the right budget before you start exploring homes for rent in Rotterdam, we’ll walk you through your monthly living expenses and give you money-saving tips.

Is it expensive to live in Rotterdam?

With an average monthly cost of living of €1,758, Rotterdam is one of the more expensive cities in The Netherlands. This is mainly attributed to the rental prices, which take up the largest chunk of your monthly expenses.

Yet, considering the fact that the average salary in Rotterdam is €3,486 after tax, living a comfortable lifestyle in the port city is possible. All you need to do is budget your expenses. The table below breaks them in the 5 main categories:

TypeAverage cost
Public transport€59
Health insurance€132
Leisure activities€200

Rental prices in Rotterdam

Based on the HousingAnywhere’s Rent Index, Rotterdam has the lowest rental prices compared to Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. How much you pay for accommodation depends mainly on 2 factors: the location and the type of property.

The table below breaks down the average rent in Rotterdam based on accommodation type:

TypeAverage cost
Private Room€778

If you’re renting on a budget, check out some of the neighbourhoods in Rotterdam’s southern or western parts since they’re generally more affordable. Don’t forget to start searching for homes for rent in Rotterdam ahead of your move, as the rental market in the city is competitive, and it might take time to find the perfect fit for you.

Grocery costs

Your second biggest expense in Rotterdam is the cost of groceries. On average, you can budget between €350 and €450 monthly for grocery shopping. The following list should give you a good idea of what to expect to pay for food in Rotterdam:

TypeAverage cost
Water (1.5 l)€0.74
Wine (mid-range)€5.99
Local Beer (0.5 l)€1.36
Milk (1 l)€1.08
Bread (500 g)€1.69
Rice (1 kg)€3.23
Eggs (12)€4.08
Local cheese (1 kg)€ 10.66
Beef (1 kg)€14.68
Bananas (1 kg)€2.07
Oranges (1 kg)€1.69
Tomatoes (1 kg)€2.72
Potatoes (1 kg)€1.84

Buying your produce from markets or stores like Lidl and Aldi will help you save quite a bit since the prices there are lower.

Cost of public transport

Although Rotterdam’s main means of transport are bikes, the tram, metro and bus lines are always clean and can get you from one side of the city to the other in a breeze. The table below should give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to the pricing of transport in Rotterdam:_

RET 2-hour ticket€4.50
Monthly subscription€59 — €284
Starting taxi fare (regular fare)€4.00
1 km taxi (standard fare)€2.00
Petrol (1 litre)€1.90

How much you pay for the monthly subscription varies depending on how many zones you'll be travelling in. You can save on public transport in Rotterdam by purchasing an Altijd Korting (always discount) or RET MaandKorting (monthly discount).

Altijd Korting provides discounts on all Dutch public transport (excluding trains) with options for either a €21.55 monthly subscription or a €215.50 annual subscription.

With the RET MaandKorting you get discount on public transport in Rotterdam. You can choose between 20% discount, costing €7.60, or 40% discount for €27.70 monthly.

Cost of health insurance

Basic health insurance coverage (basisverzekering) in the Netherlands is mandatory for everyone. But it's up to you to choose the provider, the personal risk you want to cover, and any extra packages you may want, e.g. dental coverage.

Prices for health insurance in the Netherlands can vary depending on your package but overall, you can expect costs between €100 and €250 monthly for basic health insurance coverage.

While health insurance is expensive, you can apply for a healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag) from the Dutch government and get reimbursed for a portion of the costs, depending on your income.

Prices for leisure activities

You should budget around €200 monthly for leisure in Rotterdam as leisure activities are another thing Rotterdam has in abundance. Feel like clubbing? Rotterdam has a club for any music taste! Bars? Don’t even get us started! When it comes to dining, Rotterdam has an infinite amount of food trucks and restaurants offering cuisine from all over the world. Not that much into partying? Rotterdam’s cultural scene is rich in museums, alternative spaces and even amateur theatres.

The table below should give you a good impression of the cost of leisure activities in Rotterdam:

A meal in an inexpensive restaurant€15
Three-course meal for two in a middle-class restaurant€65
Cinema ticket€13
Gym membership€35
Rental fee for a tennis court (1 hour on weekends)€12.11

What is the cost of living in Rotterdam?

At €1,758 mothly the cost of living in Rotterdam is relatively high but still lower than in cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht. Your living expenses will be mainly driven up by your rent, followed by groceries and healthcare.

Still, there are plenty of ways you can save on monthly expenses in Rotterdam from living in one of the more affordable neighbourhoods to getting a public transport subscription and healthcare allowance.

Now that you have a better idea of what you can expect your monthly costs to be like, you’re all set to focus on exploring rental homes in Rotterdam that’ll fit your budget.

Please reach out to if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

Share this article
Read more about renting in Rotterdam
Browse other articles about the renting experience in Rotterdam

Find your home in Rotterdam

Browse hundreds of verified rental properties across Rotterdam's neighbourhoods. Search smart, search safe.

Search Now