How Much Does It Cost to Live Comfortably in Melbourne?

November 28, 2023
How Much Does It Cost to Live Comfortably in Melbourne?

Key takeaways:

    • Living comfortably in Melbourne costs around $2,500 per month for a single person.

    • Housing and rent are major expenses in Melbourne, with prices varying depending on location.

    • Public transport, such as trains and trams, is a popular and convenient way to get around the city.

    • Food and transportation costs can be managed with proper budgeting and planning.

Considering a move to Melbourne? You can join the 22,000 newcomers every quarter. But before you take your next step, it’s important to plan your finances and understand the cost of living in this beautiful Australian city. So, how much exactly does it cost to live in Melbourne?

Of course, this depends entirely on your lifestyle, but a single person can usually get away with around AUD 2,500 per month including housing and food.

Need more info? From housing and rent to transportation and monthly expenses, let’s explore what you need to know about the cost of living in Melbourne.

Housing and Rent in Melbourne

Housing and rent are significant factors in the cost of living in Melbourne. The price of housing in Melbourne can vary depending on the location and type of accommodation.

In the city centre or Melbourne CBD, a one-bedroom apartment can cost between AUD 2,000 – AUD 3,000 per month, while in the suburbs, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around AUD 800 – AUD 1,200 per month.

The suburbs generally offer lower rent prices compared to the city center. For more insights on the best rental locations, check Where is the best place to rent in Melbourne Australia?

The suburbs generally offer lower rent prices compared to the city center. Popular suburbs like Fitzroy or South Yarra may have higher rent costs than areas further out like Box Hill or Croydon. It’s important to consider your budget and lifestyle preferences when searching for accommodation in Melbourne.

To give you a better understanding of the cost of housing in Melbourne, here is a table showing the average monthly rent for different types of accommodation:

Type of AccommodationAverage Monthly Rent (AUD)
One-Bedroom Apartment (City Center)2,000 – 3,000
One-Bedroom Apartment (Suburbs)800 – 1,200
Two-Bedroom Apartment (City Center)2,800 – 4,000
Two-Bedroom Apartment (Suburbs)1,200 – 1,800
Source: Numbeo

As you can see, the cost of housing in Melbourne can vary significantly depending on the location and the size of the accommodation.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are average prices, and actual prices may vary. Whether you choose to live in the city centre or the suburbs, it’s essential to find a rental property that fits your budget and lifestyle. To explore more about the affordability of rentals, visit Is it cheaper to rent in Melbourne?

Cost of Living in Melbourne: Food and Transportation

How much does it cost to live comfortably in Melbourne?

The cost of living in Melbourne encompasses various expenses, including food and transportation. Melbourne is known as the coffee capital of Australia, boasting a vibrant coffee culture that caters to all tastes.

A cup of cappuccino in a local café typically costs around AU$ 4.50, allowing you to indulge in Melbourne’s renowned coffee scene.

When dining out, the average cost of a meal at an inexpensive mid-range restaurant is approximately AU$ 13 per person, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can range from AU$ 70 to AU$ 120.

These prices provide an excellent opportunity to explore Melbourne’s diverse culinary offerings.

In terms of groceries, Melbourne offers a range of supermarkets where you can purchase your essentials. On average, basic food items for a week cost around AU$200, making it affordable to cook at home and enjoy homemade meals.

Getting around Melbourne is made easy by the city’s extensive tram network. A one-way tram ride costs AU$ 4.10 with a Myki card, a smart card that serves as a public transport ticket in Melbourne. With the Myki card, you can explore the city and its surroundings conveniently.

Comparison Table: Food and Beverage Prices in Melbourne

ItemAverage Price
Local Cheese (1kg)AU$ 10.50
Chicken Fillets (1kg)AU$ 8.50
Water (1.5L bottle)AU$ 2.00
Domestic Beer (0.5L bottle)AU$ 7.00
Imported Beer (0.33L bottle)AU$ 8.00
Source: Numbeo

By budgeting wisely and taking advantage of Melbourne’s food and transportation options, you can comfortably navigate the city and enjoy its culinary delights without breaking the bank.


Living comfortably in Melbourne comes with its costs, but the benefits of residing in this vibrant city are well worth it. The estimated monthly costs of living in Melbourne, including housing, food, transportation, and entertainment, average around $2,500 for a single person.

While this may seem high, Melbourne offers a high quality of life and a range of amenities and opportunities that make it a desirable place to live. For a wider selection of living options, explore Melbourne rentals.

For international students or those new to living in a city, Melbourne provides a supportive and welcoming environment. The city’s lower cost of living compared to other major cities, such as Sydney or Melbourne, makes it an attractive option.

Additionally, Melbourne is known for its excellent public transport system, managed by Public Transport Victoria. With an extensive tram network and the convenience of the Myki card, getting around the city is both efficient and affordable.

When considering the cost of living in Melbourne, it’s important to weigh it against the average net salary in the city. Salaries in Melbourne tend to be higher compared to other Australian cities, allowing for a better financial balance.

As you estimate your living expenses, keep in mind that Melbourne offers a diverse and vibrant lifestyle, with a thriving arts and culture scene, world-class dining options, and beautiful outdoor spaces to explore.

Suggested reading: Expand your understanding of the property market by reading our expert analysis: Is there a shortage of rental properties in Melbourne? right after you finish here.

FAQs on ‘How much does it cost to live comfortably in Melbourne?’

Is Sydney or Melbourne More Expensive?

According to a comparison of living costs between the two cities, Melbourne is approximately 10% less expensive than Sydney. In terms of global rankings, Melbourne is placed 420th, while Sydney stands at 240th among the world’s most expensive cities.

Within Australia, Melbourne and Sydney rank 5th and 1st, respectively, in terms of living costs.

What is Considered a Good Salary to Live Comfortably in Melbourne?

Based on information from, a livable salary in Melbourne ranges between $66,000 and $100,000 per year, or $5,500 to $8,300 per month.

For a family of four, a monthly income of $3,067 is needed to live comfortably but not lavishly in Melbourne. For a single person, the required monthly income for a comfortable living is around $1,500.

Is Living in Melbourne Cheaper Than Living in Adelaide?

Comparing the cost of living in Melbourne with Adelaide reveals that Adelaide is more cost-effective. Living in Adelaide is approximately 16% cheaper than in Sydney and 13% less expensive than in Melbourne.

Are Property Prices in Melbourne Expected to Fall?

According to a forecast by Louis Christopher, managing director of SQM Research, property prices in Melbourne (and Sydney) are likely to fall. This prediction comes after the cash rate hit a 12-year high, with an anticipated decrease in house prices by up to 4% in 2024.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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