Cost of Living in Geneva

As is the case throughout Switzerland, the cost of living in Geneva is high. The city regularly features in the top 15 most expensive cities to live in Mercer's annual Cost of Living Survey, coming in at number 11 for 2018. 

Luckily, most expats are lured to the city for work and receive a salary that offsets the expenses they're likely to incur.

Cost of accommodation in Geneva

Accommodation is likely to be an expat's biggest expense in this Swiss city. There's a serious shortage of accommodation in Geneva, and landlords can charge a premium. Rentals can be high, even for a one-bedroom apartment on the city's outskirts. Landlords can also request up to three months' rent as a security deposit.

Expats moving to Geneva with a family and looking for a larger home may need to consider investigating housing options across the border in France. Here they will find more options with slightly better value rental rates.

Cost of public transport in Geneva

While Geneva's public transportation infrastructure is extensive and efficient, it is by no means cheap. However, it still remains cheaper than owning and maintaining a car in the city, and there are various discount passes to combat the expense of public travel.

The cheapest way to get around in Geneva would be by bicycle. The city is well-equipped to cater for cyclists and this is a quick, efficient and cost-effective way to get about. 

Cost of education in Geneva

Education is another large expense for expats with families. The city has a large number of international schools but places are hard to come by and fees are accordingly high. International school fees easily add up as parents will often also need to pay for additional costs like text books, uniforms and field trips.

Cost of eating out and entertainment in Geneva

The amount an expat spends on leisure activities will depend on their personal preferences. Geneva has some excellent restaurants, but eating out, bars and clubs aren't cheap. Skiing can be quite pricey too, but there are numerous free trails for those who enjoy hiking and biking. 

Cost of living in Geneva chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Geneva for April 2019.

Accommodation (monthly rental in a good area)

Furnished two bedroom house

CHF 7,000

Unfurnished two bedroom house

CHF 5,500

Furnished two bedroom apartment

CHF 3,500

Unfurnished two bedroom apartment

CHF 2,300


Eggs (dozen)

CHF 5.50

Milk (1 litre)

CHF 1.75

Rice (1kg)

CHF 4.25

Loaf of white bread (500g)

CHF 3.50

Chicken breasts (1kg)

CHF 24

Pack of cigarettes 

CHF 8.50

Eating Out

Big Mac Meal

CHF 14

Coca Cola (330ml)



CHF 4.25

Bottle of beer (local, 500ml)


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

CHF 100


Mobile to mobile call rate (per minute)

CHF 0.50

Internet (Uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

CHF 68.50

Basic utilities per month for standard household

CHF 201


Taxi rate (per kilometre)


Bus/train fare to the city centre


Petrol/Gasoline (per litre)

CHF 1.75

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