Though the cost of living in Belgium is far from cheap, it's generally not as expensive as other prominent European destinations. Brussels ranked 39th out of 227 countries in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey for 2022. 

The Belgian tax and social security systems are well developed. This ensures that incomes are distributed evenly across most industries. Still, for many non-EU nationals, living in Belgium is particularly expensive in the initial transition stages due to the disparity between the Euro and weaker currencies.


Cost of accommodation in Belgium

Rent payments usually account for a large percentage of a person's monthly expenditure in Belgium. Accommodation in Belgium’s cities is generally quite expensive. Expats who are willing to venture outside major urban centres will find that their rental costs are substantially lower.

Energy prices in Belgium are steep, so expats moving here should not expect utilities to be a minor cost.


Cost of entertainment in Belgium

There are a number of entertainment options in Belgium to suit every budget. Museum and gallery entrance fees are generally low. Expats can also visit most of Belgium’s many public parks and historic buildings free of charge.

High-end clubs and restaurants are available in all major urban centres, as are smaller bars and cafes. Brussels is significantly more expensive than other cities in Belgium like Antwerp and Ghent.


Cost of transport in Belgium

The public transport system in Belgium is efficient and affordable. Its extensive network of bus, tram and metro routes makes getting around major cities a relatively hassle-free experience. There are also a number of bicycle hire schemes available for those who prefer to avoid public transport. Transport between major urban centres is often available at a relatively low cost. 

Owning a car is not a necessity as long as one lives within easy access of public transport. This should save new arrivals some money when moving to Belgium. For the unlucky ones who can't avoid buying a car, it's likely to be a major expense.


Cost of living in Belgium

Prices vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Brussels in August 2022.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

 One-bedroom apartment in city centre

 EUR 920

 One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

 EUR 770

 Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

 EUR 1,610

 Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

 EUR 1,400

Groceries

 Dozen eggs

 EUR 2.90

 Milk (1 litre)

 EUR 1

 Loaf of bread (white)

 EUR 1.80

 Chicken breasts (1kg)

 EUR 9.70

 Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

 EUR 7.50

Utilities/household

 Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

 EUR 0.27

 Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

 EUR 50

 Electricity, heating, water (average per month for a standard household)

 EUR 190

Eating out and entertainment

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

 EUR 65

 Big Mac Meal

 EUR 9

 Cappuccino

 EUR 3.20

 Coca-Cola (330ml)

 EUR 2.50

 Local beer (500ml)

 EUR 5

Transportation

 Taxi (rate per km)

 EUR 2

 City centre public transport

 EUR 2.40

 Petrol (per litre)

 EUR 1.90

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