Cost of Living in Rotterdam

The Netherlands is, generally, on the lower end of the price scale compared to neighbouring Western European countries. While some parts of the country can be expensive, Rotterdam's cost of living is relatively low, and the city offers a good quality of life without the high price tag attached to cities such as Amsterdam.

Cost of accommodation in Rotterdam

Accommodation is likely to take up the biggest portion of an expat's income – that said, rental prices in Rotterdam are reasonable and are generally lower than those in other major Dutch cities such as Amsterdam and The Hague. As Rotterdam grows, though, prices are rising, and it's a good idea for expats to do some research to find a suitable deal.

Cost of transport in Rotterdam

Cars in the Netherlands are expensive but with cycling being such a popular form of transport, most expats find driving unnecessary. Apart from the one-off expense of purchasing a reliable bicycle, costs are minimal. Rotterdam is a small city and, like most of the Netherlands, has extensive cycling infrastructure in place.

On rainy days, expats can make use of Rotterdam's well-integrated public transport system, comprised of the metro, trams and buses. Buying individual tickets can be expensive, but using a travel card lowers the costs considerably.

Cost of education in Rotterdam

Public education in the Netherlands is largely free, and some government schools even offer services for foreign students such as bilingual classes, language integration programmes or international sections. This does come at an extra cost for parents, but fees are subsidised by the Dutch government and are therefore still well below those charged by private international schools. However, if private international schooling is preferred, parents should ensure that their budget has ample space for the extra expense.

Cost of healthcare in Rotterdam 

While the quality of healthcare in the Netherlands is excellent, costs are fairly high in comparison to other Western European countries. Once an expat starts working in the Netherlands and registers at their local municipality, they will have to take out a Dutch health-insurance policy. Monthly payments vary based on how comprehensive one's insurance package is, though it's recommended that expats prioritise this in their budget, otherwise they may pay more in the long run.

Cost of living in Rotterdam chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Rotterdam in May 2020.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 900 - 1,100

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

EUR 700 - 900

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,500 - 2,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

EUR 1,000 - 1,300


Milk (1 litre)


Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.20

Rice (1kg)

EUR 1.80

Dozen eggs

EUR 2.30

Chicken breasts (1kg)


Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)



Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.15

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 35

Utilities (monthly for average-size home)

EUR 140

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

EUR 50

Big Mac Meal




Local beer (500ml)


Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.20


Taxi rate (per km)

EUR 2.20

City centre public transport



EUR 1.65

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Aetna International

Aetna offers award-winning international health insurance plans to more than 55 million members worldwide. Their plans are tailored to meet the individual needs of you and your family while you are away from your home country, living and working abroad. Get peace of mind knowing you and your family will be protected and have access to quality health care wherever you are, where you need it.

* For a limited time, there is a discount of up to 20% on new multi-member policies and up to 10% on single member policies. This offer is valid until 19 June 2020. See website for details.

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Cigna Global

With 86 million customer relationships in over 200 countries, Cigna Global has unrivalled experience in dealing with varied and unique medical situations and delivering high standards of service wherever you live in the world.

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