The cost of living in Iran is fairly low, and expats moving to the country can live a comfortable life. Expat packages in the country are generally lucrative, even though Western comforts will set new arrivals back quite a bit.

The biggest expense for most expats will be housing. International school fees, which are high, will be another major cost for expat parents. Public transport is generally cheap, as are many other everyday expenses.

Cost of accommodation in Iran

The cost of accommodation in Iran is low when compared to countries like the US but is considered average in comparison to other countries in the Middle East. That said, housing prices in Iran are rising due to low supply. 

Wherever possible, expats should negotiate with their employer for an accommodation allowance. If that isn't possible, they should inquire whether the company has any relationships with landlords or agents that can assist in finding affordable housing. Additional costs when renting property in Iran typically include utilities such as electricity, water and internet.

Cost of groceries in Iran

Much of an expat's food expenses in Iran will depend on individual choices. Generally, the cost of everyday groceries is fairly cheap, and many supermarkets offer a wide array of quality produce and staples. Expats who opt to cook at home will therefore save a fair amount of money.

Cost of eating out and entertainment in Iran

Eating out can be fairly affordable, although prices between restaurants can vary widely. Regularly eating out at gourmet restaurants will put a dent in expats' budgets. Restaurants serving local cuisine will be more reasonable. 

Compared to other Middle Eastern destinations, the cost of entertainment, such as visiting historical sites and movie tickets, can add up. While entrance fees for museums and other historical attractions are fairly priced, the cost can add up when expats visit a fair few. That said, there are also plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in the country. Expats can visit Artist's Park or hike through the Darband and Darakeh Recreational Areas at absolutely no cost. 

Cost of transportation in Iran

The cost of travelling in Iran is generally inexpensive as public transport is affordable. Some expats opt to use taxis or hire a private driver to take them around. Buying or hiring a car in Iran is expensive, but maintenance and fuel are both cheap.

Cost of healthcare in Iran

Generally, the standard of public healthcare in Iran is good, and doctors are highly qualified. That said, most expats prefer going to private hospitals, which offer a higher standard of facilities and more expeditious treatment. It is essential that expats ensure they have a fully comprehensive international health insurance policy. In most cases, this will be arranged by employers.

Cost of education in Iran

Expats relocating to Iran with children will need to factor in the cost of schooling. Most expats send their children to one of the international schools in Iran. Facilities and standards of teaching at these tend to be excellent. Fees tend to be high, though. They vary between schools and increase with each grade. Expats should contact the school directly to make enquiries.

Parents should note that fees usually don't include the cost of uniforms, textbooks and school excursions, so parents will also need to account for this. Luckily for most expats, companies relocating them to Iran typically offer allowances for children's school fees. If this isn't automatically included in their contract, expats should bring it up during negotiations.

Cost of living in Iran chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Tehran in September 2023.


One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

IRR 20,000,000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

IRR 13,000,000

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

IRR 40,500,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

IRR 28,070,000


Eggs (dozen)

IRR 48,000

Milk (1 litre)

IRR 27,000

Rice (1kg)

IRR 109,000

Loaf of white bread

IRR 23,000

Chicken breasts (1kg)

IRR 131,145

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

IRR 119,115

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

IRR 169,000

Coca-Cola (330ml)

IRR 32,581


IRR 55,500

Bottle of non-alcoholic local beer

IRR 34,000

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

IRR 1,056,000


Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and data

IRR 117,000

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

IRR 411,112

Basic utilities per month for a small apartment

IRR 734,000


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

IRR 12,671

Monthly bus/train pass

IRR 531,000

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

IRR 34,238

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