While the cost of living in The Hague is significantly less than in Amsterdam and other major European capitals, certain costs, such as rent, are still surprisingly expensive. Mercer's 2024 Cost of Living Survey ranks it 44th out of 226 expat destinations, putting it in the ballpark of Brussels in Belgium (37th) and Luxembourg (47th).

Although The Hague might be considered pricey by some, the city offers an exceptionally high standard of living. There are also ways in which expats can decrease their living costs, such as by choosing to cycle around the city rather than driving or using public transport.

Cost of accommodation in The Hague

Although cheaper than in the country's capital, accommodation costs in The Hague are relatively expensive. Living outside the city centre will dramatically decrease the price. Still, when selecting this option, expats should take into consideration the transport costs involved if working in the centre, as these could be significant.

Cost of transport in The Hague

The public transport system in The Hague is efficient and extensive but costly. Many locals opt to cycle around the city, as it is compact enough to do so and is equipped with bicycle lanes. Those living outside the city centre may not have this option, however, and may therefore need to invest in transport passes.

Cost of groceries in The Hague

Prices for groceries in The Hague can be steep, especially if one favours international brands. Expats can, however, keep their food shopping costs down by opting for local or store brands, shopping at discount supermarkets or visiting local markets for fresh produce. There's also a range of organic and speciality stores in the city, although these tend to be pricier.

Buying groceries online is an increasingly popular option in The Hague. It offers the convenience of delivery to one's doorstep and often a wider range of products than in physical stores. However, this might come with slightly higher prices and delivery charges.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in The Hague

The cost of entertainment and dining out in The Hague is relatively moderate. The city boasts a vibrant food scene with an array of restaurants to suit various budgets. From fine dining to cheap eats, there's something for everyone. Similarly, pubs, bars and coffee shops offer a range of prices depending on the area and type of establishment.

The city also offers a wide range of entertainment options, from museums and art galleries to cinemas and theatre performances. Entry costs for these attractions vary, but there are typically discounts for students, seniors and families. Likewise, there are plenty of free or low-cost events and attractions around the city, making it possible for residents to enjoy a rich cultural life without breaking the bank.

Cost of education in The Hague

While public education in The Hague is free, expats who decide to send their children to a private or international school will pay handsomely. The quality of education at these schools is excellent though, and expat children can learn an international curriculum in an international language, usually English. If choosing this option, expats should try to negotiate a school allowance into their salary to reduce costs.

Cost of healthcare in The Hague

Healthcare in The Hague is of high quality but comes at a cost. Every resident in the Netherlands is legally required to have at least basic health insurance. Premiums can be costly, and while these do cover most treatments, certain services such as dental care or physiotherapy may be excluded. Many people opt to purchase additional insurance to cover these services.

Prescription medicines, while typically covered by basic insurance, often have a personal contribution attached, meaning that individuals will have to pay a portion of the cost out of pocket. Doctor's appointments are generally covered by insurance, but patients may have to pay a deductible first. On the upside, the Netherlands' healthcare system is widely regarded as one of the best in Europe, ensuring excellent care and treatment for those who need it.

Cost of living in The Hague chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for The Hague in July 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centreEUR 1,730
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centreEUR 1,410
One-bedroom apartment in the city centreEUR 1,080
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centreEUR 880
Food and drink
Dozen eggsEUR 3.54
Milk (1 litre)EUR 1.06
Rice (1kg)EUR 1.42
Loaf of white breadEUR 1.45
Chicken breasts (1kg)EUR 4.65
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)EUR 8
Eating out
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantEUR 70
Big Mac mealEUR 9
Coca-Cola (330ml)EUR 2.37
CappuccinoEUR 2.85
Bottle of beer (local)EUR 1.42
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)EUR 0.15
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)EUR 34
Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)EUR 230
Taxi rate/kmEUR 2.40
City-centre public transport fareEUR 4
Gasoline (per litre)EUR 2.21

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