Cost of living in Utrecht

The cost of living in the Netherlands is generally higher than a lot of Central Europe. Though less pricey than the Scandinavian nations, you’re probably looking over €1000 per month all in, without living a particularly extravagant lifestyle.

Housing and Food Costs

Monthly rent is the big hitter. Since you can spend anywhere from €350 to over €800-900 on your room alone, this is what will define your cost of living compared to anyone else, or any average. If you manage to get a room for around €500, you should be safely below that €1000-a-month figure, However, with food costs taking up €200-250 (assuming a bit of social eating and drinking), it will still be tight!

There are food markets on the weekend (all-day Saturday, usually) where you can buy fresh food like fruit, vegetables and meat much more cheaply than in supermarkets. If you’re cooking for yourself, and preparing most of your meals at home, expect to pay €150-200 per month for groceries, unless you’re exceptionally organized with a fairly simple diet. Drinks in town will be a few euros each, and a lunch menu is always over €10.

Transportation Costs

Honestly these are very low inside Utrecht itself - most people just cycle everywhere! That might sound like an exaggeration or over-generalization, but it’s true. There are buses which you can use to navigate the suburban areas of Utrecht extremely well, but there’s no driving in large parts of the city centre, it’s all about cycling. In a city of 330,000, over 90,000 cycle to work every single day.

You’ll probably get an OV-Chipkaart for when you need to take a bus, or travel anywhere else in the country, but the cost of each journey is simply calculated based on the distance you travel. If you wanted, your transportation costs could be zero, other than the €40-100 you’ll spend on getting a decent bike.

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