Generally speaking, the Netherlands is 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 comparatively 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, so 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 once-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 April 2021.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 900 - 1,200

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 700 - 1,000

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,600 - 2,100

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 1,000 - 1,500


Milk (1 litre)

EUR 0.95

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.80

Rice (1kg)

EUR 1.90

Dozen eggs


Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 7.60

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)



Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.18

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 40

Utilities (monthly for average-size home)

EUR 160

Eating out

Three-course meal at mid-range restaurant for two

EUR 50

Big Mac Meal



EUR 2.90

Local beer (500ml)


Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.40


Taxi rate (per km)

EUR 2.20

City centre public transport



EUR 1.65

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