The cost of living in Utrecht is similar to 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 can 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 will likely take up a substantial amount of an expat’s budget. Utrecht is a rapidly expanding city, and the housing supply has not kept up with demand. As a result, competition for certain types of housing, especially in sought-after city locations, is notoriously high. Therefore, rental costs can be pretty steep.


Cost of transport in Utrecht

True to Dutch culture, cycling is probably the most popular mode of transport among locals in Utrecht. Expats who follow this lead and invest in a bike will see a significant reduction in their transport costs.

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 expats money.

As in much of the Netherlands, owning a car in Utrecht is expensive. Local authorities have taken steps to discourage people from driving into the city centre and, as such, parking costs a pretty penny. Taxi fares in the city are also quite hefty.


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 uniforms, books and excursions can quickly mount. 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 healthcare. However, healthcare costs in the Netherlands are much higher than in other European countries. Once an expat starts working in the Netherlands and registers at their local municipality, they are legally obligated to take out a Dutch health insurance policy. The cost of medical insurance varies according to how comprehensive the policy is.


Cost of living chart for Utrecht

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Utrecht in October 2022.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,300

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 970

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,990

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 1,680

Groceries

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.02

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.92

Rice (1kg)

EUR 1.68

Dozen eggs

EUR 2.58

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 8.16

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 8

Household

Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.17

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 43

Utilities (monthly for average size home)

EUR 235

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

EUR 60

Big Mac meal

EUR 9.15

Cappuccino

EUR 3.39

Local beer (500ml)

EUR 5.25

Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.88

Transport

Taxi rate (per km)

EUR 2.44

City-centre bus fare

EUR 2.50

Petrol/gasoline

EUR 2.12