What Is the Cost of Living in Melbourne?

Written by Christina & reviewed by Shveta
cost of living in Melbourne
The average cost of living in Melbourne, Australia per month is around $2,500 for a single person. This includes expenses for housing, food, rent, transportation, entertainment, and other amenities.

Given that Melbourne is such a popular destination for people worldwide, it is only natural to wonder what the cost of living in Melbourne is. After all, it is essential to know how much you would need to live comfortably before you decide to move to a new place.

Many people want to know what they can expect to pay for accommodation and other daily necessities. If you’re considering moving to Melbourne, you’ll want to do a bit of research ahead of time to avoid any nasty surprises when you arrive. If you’re intending to relocate to Melbourne, hiring a reputable removalist Melbourne service can make the process stress-free. Experienced movers can handle everything from packing to safely delivering your goods, saving you time and energy.

This article will give you a detailed breakdown of what it costs on average to live in Melbourne, including housing, food, travel expenses, and even entertainment.

Overview of the living expenses in Melbourne

Australia carries one of the largest and enviable living style for the urban dwellers, right from the food in the fine dining restaurants to art, culture, environment and history. Walking through the streets of Melbourne gives you a feeling that mixes your senses as well as emotions as the city heaves as well as breathes with fine food and a strong aroma of coffee, the view of the famous Yarra River and the great Victorian grandeur in its architecture. The big question that comes is,’ Are you in a position to manage the cost of living in Melbourne with the average salary for the ultimate lifestyle experience?’ Let’s explore it further on cost of living in Melbourne in comparison to other major cities.

Let’s explore how it is like living in Melbourne in terms of cost

Is living in Melbourne expensive and is Melbourne affordable to live?

The ultimate cost of living in a city like Melbourne totally depends upon your personal circumstances and the type of lifestyle you wish to explore and live. As with any city, the closer you live to the center and suburbs such as Brighton or St Kilda, the expensive is the monthly rent of accommodations, however, the same can be offset by taking rental accommodation in outer areas where rent costs low. If you are a single person or a student, it is best to take student accommodation that comes at a discounted rental.

Melbourne Cost of Living comparison

Let’s take a look at the cost of living in other cities in comparison to Melbourne

Average salary in Melbourne

The average net salary i.e. the monthly salary in Melbourne is comparatively more than any other city in Australia. However, being the city centre, the cost of living here is more in comparison to other captial cities. The average prices of goods are on a higher side. So, the entire salary gets spent in just maintaining the living expenses with nothing left for saving.

Four Estimated Monthly Costs of Living in Melbourne

Melbourne is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Although you can enjoy an excellent quality of life on an average net salary in Melbourne, it is a fairly expensive city, as most of Australia’s major cities are. The living cost in Melbourne varies greatly depending on your lifestyle and where you come from.

Melbourne is consistently ranked as one of the world’s best cities. In terms of quality of life, it ranks highly on lists of education, health care, research and development, tourism, and economic freedom. But how expensive is it to live there? Let’s find out.

Housing and Rent

Melbourne is an expensive city when it comes to housing. The price varies depending on whether you live in the city center or suburbs, what type of accommodation you want (house, apartment, etc.), how close to public transport, how many people you share with, etc. Though there are many places where you can get cheaper rent, finding a decent place is a challenge. The average cost of monthly rent for a room in the city center is around 1000 AUD per month.

Cost of Living in the City Centre

The most expensive part of the city is the CBD and inner suburbs, which are also the best places to live in Melbourne.

To be precise, in the city center, a one-bedroom apartment can cost you between AUD 2,000 – AUD 3,000 per month. If you prefer to stay away from the busy city life, the prices drop to around AUD 1,200 – AUD 2,000 per month.

Cost of Living in the Suburbs

The suburbs are always cheaper than staying in the city center. For instance, if you choose to live in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, such as Fitzroy or South Yarra, it’s going to be more expensive than if you decide somewhere further out like Box Hill or Croydon.

The average rent in the Melbourne suburbs starts from AUD 800 and goes up to AUD 1,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. You will also have easy access to public transport as trains and trams run through these areas. The only downside is that you will need more time to commute to work.

However, if you are looking for lower rent prices and want to live in an apartment, Box Hill and Bundoora are nice suburbs close enough to Melbourne city center.


Cost at Restaurants

Melbourne’s multiculturalism means that there are literally thousands of restaurants worldwide, from high-end to cheap and cheerful. Whether it’s a night out with friends or a romantic dinner for two, your tastebuds will be satisfied.

Food costs vary depending on what kind of food you like to eat. A meal at an inexpensive mid-range restaurant costs around 13 AUD per person, whereas if you prefer to have your meal at a mid-range restaurant, you should be prepared to shell out around 80 AUD per person.

Cost at Grocery Stores

If you want to save money and cut down restaurant prices, you can always go to the nearest supermarket, buy groceries, and prepare your own meals. The grocery prices are much cheaper prices than restaurant prices in Melbourne.

The average cost of food items at supermarkets is around 200 AUD per week, including meat, eggs, milk, cheese, fruits, vegetables, etc. If you are on a budget and if you can survive on less, you can opt for low-range food items at discounts in the grocery stores near you.

Plenty of supermarkets around has good deals on fruit and vegetables. Each supermarket in Melbourne has weekly catalogs that advertise their latest specials, so it’s worth looking out for these. You can also get discounts if you use their loyalty card.


At the moment, there are two main modes of public transport in Melbourne; trains and trams. The third mode of public transport, the bus, is available but less frequent and not as convenient as the tram and train.

The tram is one of the best modes of transportation in Melbourne, especially when you’re living in suburban areas. You can get a Myki card to travel by tram.

The Myki Card is a smart card that allows you to travel on trains, trams, and buses across the city. It can be used on all modes of public transport in Melbourne, including trains, buses, and trams. The Myki system is divided into two zones: Zone 1 and Zone 2. Zone 1 covers Melbourne’s CBD and inner suburbs, while Zone 2 covers the outer suburbs.

Melbourne’s tram system is the largest tram network in the world! There are currently 24 tram routes running throughout the city, making trams a very convenient transport for getting around Melbourne. Most trams run from early morning until midnight or 1 am every day of the week. The cost of using a tram is $4.10 if you use a Myki card (a reusable ticket) or $4.50 if you buy a paper ticket from a machine onboard. There are options for unlimited daily, weekly and monthly travel with Myki cards.


This is where Melbourne really comes into its own as one of Australia’s most exciting cities! This city prides itself on its theatre and art scene, its coffee culture, its nightlife, festivals, and much more. It’s also home to Australia’s most famous sporting venues, such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Australian Open Tennis Centre.

The many attractions of this city can be expensive if you want to see them all in one go. But there are plenty of ways around when you book in advance or make use of coupons and discounts to visit places at a fraction of the original price.

The standard price of a movie ticket in Melbourne is about AUD$20 per person, with 3D movies being more expensive at AUD$25 per person.

Similarly, if you’re a fan of nature and want to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, you can do so at any time for free. Sometimes, there can be entry fees for special exhibits, costing $3 to AUD 4 per hour.

Apart from these, you can watch the local plays at the theatres, visit the zoo, the aquarium, the Penguin Parade at the Philip Island Nature, go out for live music concerts and comedy festivals in Melbourne city center.

Cost of Living for an International Student

Melbourne is famous for its great food, vibrant nightlife, and an extensive array of restaurants and cafés. The city center also has a vibrant culture with a variety of music venues and festivals throughout the year, not to mention the global standard of education — which is why it attracts lots of international students.

If you’re moving to Melbourne from another Australian city for education, you’re likely to find that the living expenses in Melbourne are around the same as your current city. However, if you’re moving from overseas or another country, you may find that you have to adjust your budget when you move to Melbourne. This is because the cost of living in Melbourne can be high compared to other cities.

Many international students who live close to universities in Melbourne, such as La Trobe University and RMIT University, benefit from the lower cost of living. So you can find better accommodations at budget monthly rent around that area. You can expect to pay anywhere from $160-$500 as a weekly rent for a shared house or apartment.

According to Wise, the total cost of living in Melbourne is broken down as follows:

  • 1 person, per month (without rent): $1,432 AUD
  • 4 person family, per month (without rent): $5,185 AUD
  • Utilities basic, for 85m² apartment: $210.25 AUD

Wrapping Up

From monthly rent to the grocery prices and movie tickets, the living expenses in Melbourne compared to other places in Victoria are slightly higher. However, by choosing an inexpensive restaurant to eat in and inexpensive housing to stay in, you can significantly cut down the cost and save more money. You may find cost of living in Melbourne slightly higher than other Australian cities, but the benefits of living in this dynamic and diverse city makes it an appealing option. Melbourne has a great quality of life and higher opportunities with many advantages, including diverse food, outstanding education system, public transit, parks and open spaces. This city of dreams provides something for everyone, whether you’re single, couple, family or just an international student. Make sure to consider the cost of all these basic necessities before you move to Melbourne. Our team at Move My Stuff not only offers reliable furniture delivery but provides you with 3PL Melbourne warehousing solutions as well.

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writer's bio

Picture of Christina

Christina, a highly productive writer with a half-decade of experience in the realms of moving, transportation, and logistics, stands out for her ability to create content that goes beyond mere information—it genuinely helps! Her writing not only delves into the complexities of the industry but also serves as a valuable resource for readers seeking accurate and insightful perspectives. With a commitment to staying current on industry trends, her versatile portfolio includes blog posts, articles, and technical guides, showcasing a passion for bringing the dynamic world of logistics to life through words.

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