April 17, 2024
cost of living in Canberra

cost of living in Canberra

Are you considering a move to Canberra or planning to study in the Australian capital? Understanding the cost of living in Canberra is crucial for making informed financial decisions. Canberra, known for its political significance, offers a unique blend of culture, education, and career opportunities. However, like any major city, it comes with its own set of expenses. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the cost of living in Canberra, including insights into expenses for students, a detailed table of living costs, frequently asked questions, and average costs for singles and families.

Table of Living Costs in Canberra

Let’s start by breaking down the costs into various categories, providing you with a clear picture of what to expect when living in Canberra. Below is a table outlining the cost of living in Canberra for various essential expenses:

Restaurants in Canberra

Expense Average Cost in A$
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 48.25
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 199.00
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 15.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 13.50
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 12.65
Cappuccino (regular) 5.84
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 4.26
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 3.39


Expense Average Cost in A$
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 2.51
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 3.46
Rice (white), (1kg) 3.14
Eggs (regular) (12) 6.41
Local Cheese (1kg) 17.41
Chicken Fillets (1kg) 12.67
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 24.86
Apples (1kg) 4.90
Banana (1kg) 3.90
Oranges (1kg) 5.04
Tomato (1kg) 8.51
Potato (1kg) 3.77


Expense Average Cost in A$
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 4.50
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 171.30
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 6.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 2.50
Taxi 1-hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 60.00
Gasoline (1 liter) 2.21
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 34,250.00
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 30,277.86

Utilities (Monthly)

Expense Average Cost in A$
Basic Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for an 85m² Apartment 379.84
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data 50.00
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 107.43


Expense Average Cost in A$
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 2,845.71
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 24,506.25

Clothing and Shoes

Expense Average Cost in A$
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 151.68
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 121.65
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 217.57
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 275.05

Rent in Canberra

Expense Average Cost in A$
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 2,749.62
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 2,212.38
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 4,216.62
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 3,299.18

Apartment Price in Canberra

Expense Average Cost in A$
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 11,231.14
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 9,232.17

Salaries and Financing

Expense Average Cost in A$
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 4,464.98
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 5.49

Frequently Asked Questions about the Cost of Living in Canberra

1. Is Canberra an expensive city to live in?

While Canberra offers many opportunities, it can be relatively expensive compared to some other Australian cities. However, the cost of living can vary based on your lifestyle and personal choices.

2. How much does accommodation cost in Canberra?

Accommodation costs in Canberra vary depending on the location and type of housing. On average, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around A$2,749.62 per month.

3. What about transportation costs in Canberra?

Transportation costs are reasonable in Canberra. A one-way local transport ticket costs about A$4.50, and a monthly pass can be obtained for approximately A$171.30.

4. Are there affordable dining options in Canberra?

Yes, you can find inexpensive dining options in Canberra, such as local restaurants and fast-food outlets. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant typically costs around A$48.25.

5. How much should students budget for living in Canberra?

the cost of living in Canberra for students can vary, but a rough estimate would be around A$21,000 to A$35,000 per year, covering accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses.

Summary of the Average Living cost in Canberra

Now, let’s calculate the average cost of living in Canberra for both a single person and a family of four, considering a basic lifestyle:

  • Cost of living in Canberra for a single person is around A$2,200 per month. This estimate covers accommodation, groceries, transportation, and basic utilities.
  • Cost of living in Canberra for a family of four is around A$4,900 per month. This estimate includes housing expenses, groceries, transportation, schooling (if applicable), and other essential costs.

Please note that these figures are approximate and can vary based on individual circumstances and lifestyle choices. Canberra offers a range of housing options, and the cost of accommodation can significantly impact your overall expenses. Also see the Living cost in Sydney.


Understanding the cost of living in Canberra is essential when planning to move or study in Australia’s capital city. While Canberra can be relatively expensive, it also offers excellent education opportunities, a high quality of life, and numerous job prospects.

To manage your finances effectively, it’s crucial to create a detailed budget tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. By considering the cost of accommodation, transportation, food, and other essentials, you can make informed financial decisions and enjoy a comfortable life in Canberra.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into the cost of living in Canberra. Remember that financial planning and budgeting are key to a successful and enjoyable stay in this vibrant city.

If you have any more questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to local authorities or consult with experienced residents to get a better understanding of the cost of living in Canberra.

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