Cost of Living in Melbourne

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Melbourne is the third most expensive city in Australia after Sydney and Perth; but for expats who need to stick to a budget and a low cost of living, here are plenty of opportunities to save money, especially when it comes to life’s 'non-essentials'. 

Melbourne is ranked as the world's 71st most expensive city out of the 209 cities surveyed for Mercer's 2016 Cost of Living Survey. It ranks as cheaper than Sydney and Perth but more expensive than Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra.

Cost of accommodation in Melbourne

The biggest outlay in Melbourne will be the cost of accommodation. Rental prices near the city centre can be especially high. As with most cities, the further out of the city one is, the more money one can save – but there are nonetheless some "hotspots" with high prices even an hour or more outside of this main epicentre of activity. 

Cost of public transport in Melbourne

To get around, most people in Melbourne find public transport to be the cheapest and most convenient option. To avoid traffic jams, high parking fees and fluctuating fuel prices, it’s not uncommon for city-dwelling Melbournians to avoid owning a car altogether. 

Cost of food in Melbourne

While it's home to several fine dining restaurants, Melbourne also has an assortment of great places to eat without breaking the bank. In the city centre and the suburbs, diners will find restaurants where they can eat fantastic food for little more than the cost of a fast food meal. Melbournians are very proud of the local "cheap eats", and will probably be very happy to provide recommendations.

Grocery prices in Melbourne are largely in line with Australia’s average pricing, but for expats who want great fresh produce, a lively atmosphere and lower prices, visiting the markets will be the best option. Fresh food markets can be found in the city centre and suburbs all around Melbourne, and it’s well worth taking the time to explore these bustling food centres.

Cost of living in Melbourne chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for April 2017.


One-bedroom apartment in city centre

AUD 2,000

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

AUD 1,300

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

AUD 3,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

AUD 2,200


Eggs (dozen)


Milk (1 litre)

AUD 1.30

Rice (1kg)

AUD 2.70

Loaf of white bread

AUD 2.60

Chicken breasts (1kg)

AUD 10.40

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)  

AUD 26

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

AUD 10

Coca-Cola (330ml)

AUD 3.30



Bottle of local beer


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

AUD 85


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

AUD 0.40

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

AUD 70

Basic utilities (per month for small apartment)

AUD 180


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

AUD 1.65

Bus/train fare in the city centre

AUD 3.90

Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

AUD 1.25

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Our Melbourne Expert

RenAtkins's picture
Ren Atkins
Sydney, Australia. Melbourne, Australia
Ren Atkins is a freelance copywriter who specialises in helping small businesses and start-ups find their marketing voice... more

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