The cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City is relatively cheap when compared to many countries in the West. Ho Chi Minh City placed 164th out of 227 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2023, slightly below the country's capital, Hanoi, which ranked 156th.

Expats from North America or Western Europe, in particular, will be able to maintain their standard of living here if not increase some luxuries. That said, an expat's lifestyle will highly influence their monthly expenditure.

Cost of accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City

The cost of accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City is a fraction of what it is in the United States or Europe, although housing does tend to be less spacious in Vietnam. There are several budget-friendly options, but those earning high expat salaries will be able to afford the most elite housing, which often takes the form of luxury apartment complexes.

Cost of food and eating out in Ho Chi Minh City

When grocery shopping, the most expensive goods are those that are imported. To save money, expats should try to buy local produce from street vendors. This tends to be fresher than what is available at supermarkets and is a great way to support the local economy.

Many expats dine out often as it isn't expensive, provided they are eating at local restaurants. In fact, some would say it's cheaper to eat out than cook at home in Ho Chi Minh City. This is particularly true of the city's street food, which can be extremely affordable. Those looking to splash out can try the upmarket bars, restaurants and shops of the city centre or District 1.

Cost of education in Ho Chi Minh City

Expat parents planning to send their children to a local school won't have a lot of school-related expenses. Public schooling in Vietnam is either free or for a small fee. Extra costs such as uniforms, school transport, lunches and stationery should also be taken into account, but these are minor costs compared to the ones paid by those sending their children to international schools. These schools command extremely high fees along with numerous additional costs, contributions and charges.

Cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City chart

Note that prices may vary depending on location and service provider, and the table below is based on average prices for February 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

VND 29,000,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

VND 15,000,000

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

VND 11,900,000

One-bedroom apartment outside city centre

VND 7,200,000


Milk (1 litre)

VND 34,000

Dozen eggs

VND 32,000

Loaf of white bread

VND 29,000

Chicken breasts (1kg)

VND 72,000

Pack of cigarettes 

VND 29,000

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

VND 95,000


VND 49,000

Local beer (500ml)

VND 22,000

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

VND 600,000


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile) 

VND 1,750

Internet (uncapped – average per month) 

VND 193,000

Utilities (average per month for standard household)

VND 1,580,000

Transport and driving

City-centre bus fare

VND 7,000

Taxi (rate per km)

VND 15,500

Petrol (per litre) 

VND 22,000

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