Cost of Living in Belgium: Is Belgium Expensive?

Cost of Living in Belgium: Is Belgium Expensive?

Belgium is a small country in northwest Europe. It belongs to the most industrialized countries in the world. Every year thousands of foreigners come to live and work in Belgium. A lot of people want to live in Belgium because of the quality of life, but also for the economic outlook, especially for the younger population. It is a very open country and its people are friendly and tolerant toward other cultures.

Belgium is a country in Europe. It’s next to France and the Netherlands. People do speak French or Dutch as a first language and most people would at least understand if spoken to in English but it is best to learn one of the local languages if staying for long periods. Despite being a small country, Belgium has an array of job opportunities for foreigners. Many people are attracted to the charming Brussels and the historically rich Wallonia.

Belgium is a member of the European Union and has well-developed road, rail, air, and sea transport networks, and also a modern telecommunications network. Belgium has highly developed administrative and technological capacities, but its judicial and criminal justice systems are comparatively underdeveloped.

Is Belgium Expensive To Live In?

The cost of living in Belgium is relatively high. The country’s GDP per capita is among the highest in the world, but this does not necessarily translate into lower prices for goods and services.


The cost of living in Belgium is higher than the EU average. According to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, consumer prices in Belgium were 6.3% higher than average in 2014 and have been rising steadily since then. Inflation has been higher than in other European countries due to the economic crisis, but it’s not just about inflation: here are some things that might surprise you on cost of living in Belgium:

CategoryAmount in USD
Transportation495.01 $
Clothing and Shoes114.3 $
Entertainment188.66 $
Markets1,167.33 $
Utilities (Monthly)291.95 $
Rent Per Month908.57 $
Restaurants666.11 $

The average cost of living in Belgium is around €35,000 per year. This includes housing, food and other expenses. The average monthly rent for a bedroom apartment in Belgium is around €600 per month. If you want to buy a house, expect to spend at least €200,000 for a standard three-bedroom house in Belgium.

  • Belgium has a high cost of living compared with many other countries in Western Europe as well as a high tax rate (30% for residents).
  • Food and drink costs more than in most other countries (except Denmark and Finland). However, eating out is cheaper than most other countries and Belgian beer is much cheaper than German beer!
  • Furnishing an apartment can be very expensive because of high import taxes on furniture and appliances. However, interior decoration services are cheaper than elsewhere so it’s worth considering buying second-hand items or hiring professional help if you’re on a budget!
  • House prices are generally lower than elsewhere

The average net salary in Belgium was just $2,324 per month. The average cost of living in Belgium is about €1,803 ($1.818.50) per month for a single person. That number goes up substantially if you have children or a spouse — the site estimates that families (4 individuals) spend €3,657 ($3,703.41) per month on average.


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The most expensive cities in Belgium are Brussels, Antwerp, Leuven and Ghent, where the average cost of living is more than twice as high as the national average. The lowest costs of living are found in Charleroi and Liège, where the average price of a loaf of bread is less than half that of Luxembourg.

The cost of living varies widely across Belgium. Most people will find Brussels to be more expensive than other cities because it’s home to many high-paying jobs and it’s served by an international airport. It also has a vibrant nightlife scene and plenty of cultural events that draw people from all over Europe. In contrast, Antwerp is known more for its historic buildings than its modern attractions.

The cost of living in Belgium is higher than other countries in Europe due to its high minimum wage laws and social security contributions paid by employers. Belgium is one of the few countries in Europe where workers can retire at age 65 with full benefits.


The cost of living in Belgium is 85% higher than in India and 45% higher than in Thailand. However, it is only 12% more expensive than in France and 24% more expensive than in Spain.

The cost of living in Brussels is higher than in most other Belgian cities, including Antwerp and Leuven. The high cost of rent and transport are the main factors influencing this. For example, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Brussels is €1,402 (US$1,646), while a similar property costs around €900 (US$1,050) in Liège or Mons. You can expect to pay around €10 (US$11) for a meal at McDonald’s or Pizza Hut and around €7 (US$8) for a beer at a bar.

Cost Of Living: What Are the Living Expenses Like In Belgium?

Living costs in Belgium are the recommended amount for an individual living in Belgium, including expenses for food, housing, transportation, clothing, etc. This recommended amount changes depending on the city that you are currently living in. It should include all of your necessary expenses.

It’s a well-known fact that moving abroad will change your life in many ways, including what you’re used to paying for living expenses. To help you out with this, below you will find a comprehensive guide to Belgian living expenses, including rent, utilities, transport, and food costs. Keep reading to get your answers!

Cost Of A Meal & Restaurants Food Prices In Belgium

Food and drinks represent a major share of household expenses in Belgium. While the overall cost of living is lower in Belgium than in neighboring countries, food prices are usually the same or higher due to social security payments.

Eating OutPrice in Euros (€)
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant25.00 €
Three-course Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant80.00 €
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)10.00 €
Domestic Beer (0.5 L)5.00 €
Imported Beer (0.33L)8.00 €
Regular Cappuccino4.95 €
Coke/Pepsi (0.33L)3.45 €
Water (0.33L)3.20 €

Cost Of Groceries & Consumer Goods In Belgium

Belgium produces a wide variety of wheaten products such as breads, biscuits, cakes and pastries. The country has also been known for its chocolate products, like pralines, for centuries. Belgian cuisine is characterized by its rich diversity in taste and style. The main features are the abundance of spices that can be found in almost every dish on the menu from soup to dessert.

Here’s a rundown of groceries cost in Belguim.

Food ItemPrice in Euros (€)
Regular Milk, (1L)1.00 €
Loaf of Fresh Bread (500g)2.72 €
White Rice, (1Kg)3.90 €
Regular Eggs (12)3.63 €
Local Cheese (1Kg)15.17 €
Chicken Fillets (1Kg)10.07 €
Beef Round (1Kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)15.81 €
Apples (1Kg)5.28 €
Banana (1Kg)2.59 €
Oranges (1Kg)3.28 €
Tomato (1Kg)4.35 €
Potato (1Kg)2.37 €
Onion (1Kg)2.19 €
Lettuce (1 head)2.09 €
Water (1.5L)1.78 €
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)8.64 €
Domestic Beer (0.5L)2.64 €
Imported Beer (0.33L)4.00 €
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)8.50 €

Cost Of Transportation and Commuting In Belgium

The medium of transportation in Belgium is considered to be of very good quality and not expensive compared to other European countries. The low prices and quality of transportation in Belgium make it a very convenient country for tourists. Since 1980, the rail network has been upgraded with new high-speed lines for both passengers and freight traffic. Buses are very well organized, with services running on time, comfortable seats and an air-conditioning system.

Transportation in Belgium for foreigners only becomes problematic when you venture out of the major cities. For example, transportation in Brussels is fairly efficient and easy to use. Anyone visiting this city will find it easy to get around its public transportation system.

Nevertheless, Transportation in Belgium is great if you compare it with the rest of the countries in Europe. You can travel from one to other cities within a day by train, which is a wonderful facility for those who are planning to visit Belgium. Some information on basic transport fares in Belgium.

TransportationPrice in Euros (€)
One-way Ticket3.50 €
Monthly Pass (Local Transport)60.00 €
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)5.98 €
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)4.00 €
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)40.00 €
Gasoline (1L)2.86 €
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)35,000.00 €
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)35,075.24 €

Cost Of Basic Utilities In Belgium

Utility bills often make up a high percentage of your monthly expat budget, especially if you reside in Belgium. For instance, a foreigner will usually pay more for their electricity bill than a Belgian. That’s why we want to give you an overview of the average cost of utility bills in Belgium and how it differs from one person to the next.

The cost of utilities in Belgium is pretty low. The average electricity, heating and water bills for a one-bedroom apartment in Brussels are just €82 per month. Water and heating are both included in this price.

If you’re renting an apartment or house, it’s likely that your landlord will take care of all these expenses directly. If you have a mortgage on your home, you may be responsible for paying for these costs yourself.

UtilitiesPrice in Euros (€)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 45m2 Apartment90.28 €
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment170.03 €
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)2.22 €
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)50.30 €

Cost Of Entertainment In Belgium

The cost of living in Belgium is high, but it’s not as expensive as you might imagine. The euro is strong against the pound, and this means that although prices are higher, they’re not as bad as they could be.

If you want to live the high life, Belgium is the place for you. The country’s capital Brussels is known for its world-class museums and art galleries, as well as its excellent restaurants and nightlife. The average monthly expenditure on entertainment is €295. This includes going out for a meal, cinema and theatre visits, as well as going to bars and clubs

You can also expect to pay between 5-10 euros for a glass of wine in most bars and restaurants across Belgium. For those who like to go out dancing, there are plenty of nightclubs and bars where you can dance all night long without spending too much money. On average, it will cost about 10-15 euros per person to get into these types of venues on any given night.

 Wondering what this country has in store? How about some museums, cathedrals, and palaces? A few castles, lighthouses, gardens? What about relaxation hubs, thermal baths, and parks? Yes, well… that’s Belgium. It is small but it’s a great place to be on vacation. It has something for everyone, right? Perhaps it is the beer you are looking for, or maybe a nice place to visit: Bruges, Antwerp, Ghent, and Leuven. Belgium has plenty to offer.

Well, there are many wonderful things to see and do around these parts – from historical landmarks to fun activities for kids of all ages. And the best part about visiting the country is knowing you’re in good hands — no matter where you go, there will always be someone who speaks your language.

LeisurePrice in Euros (€)
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult30.20 €
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)20.54 €
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat25.00 €
iPad, Wi-Fi, 128Gb500 €

Cost Of Childcare and Education In Belgium

Coming to Belgium for a study program is an exciting time for both students and their parents. Apart from the social life and its pleasures, studying in Belgium brings with it a number of challenges to be overcome. It’s no small feat to move thousands of miles from home, into a foreign country, with a different language, culture, and education system. Yet this can be one of the most rewarding experiences in your life.

The cost of childcare and education in Belgium is high, but not as high as in other European countries. The average monthly cost of a daycare center for a child under the age of two starts from €510 (US$569), while the average monthly cost of an international school is around €2,200 (US$2,489).

TuitionsPrice in Euros (€)
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child600.16 €
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child18,450.00 €
International High School, Yearly for 1 Child15,250.00 €
Universities and Colleges8,000.00 €
Monthly expenses (rent, groceries, commuting…) for a Student3,000.00 €

Cost Of Clothing, Wears & Accessories In Belgium

The average price of clothing in Belgium is higher than in most other European countries, but not as high as in the UK or France. However, in some areas of Europe, such as Italy, it may be cheaper to buy clothing there. In general, prices for clothing are about the same for both men and women in Belgium.

Even so, it is still possible to buy fashionable clothes without breaking the bank. There are many budget shops and outlets where you can find good quality garments at reasonable prices. Clothing prices vary considerably depending on what type of clothing you are buying and where you shop. Prices are highest in department stores and boutiques, while street markets and discount shops offer lower prices on casual wear.

ClothingPrice in Euros (€)
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)90.99 €
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)40.84 €
1 Pair of Running Shoes (Adidas, Nike…)94.40 €
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes200.55 €

Cost Of Personal and Health Care In Belgium

The healthcare system in Belgium is financed through compulsory health insurance. This means that almost every Belgian resident has to insure himself with a health insurance company. The funds are allocated by the central government to both GPs (general practitioners) and hospitals.

The Belgian healthcare system is the model for much of western Europe’s public healthcare. It is one of the best in the world. It offers universal coverage to all residents, regardless of their income or employment status. The system is funded by a combination of private and public funds and covers most medical expenses, including prescription drugs, hospital stays and even dental care.

The only exception to this rule is for people who are not eligible for public insurance due to their immigration status. These individuals must first find private insurance before receiving treatment at a public facility. Belgian law requires every resident to have medical insurance. People do not want to be left without a medical plan when they are ill, and Belgian health insurance companies (mutual societies) offer various forms of policies to satisfy the requirements of Belgian residents.      

The cost of personal care in Belgium is moderate. A haircut costs around €20, a visit to the hairdresser will set you back €50, and a manicure and pedicure will set you back €40. A mani-pedi at a beauty salon costs around €25. Personal care products are also relatively expensive compared with those sold stateside; a tube of toothpaste might cost less than $5 or more and an 8 oz bottle of shampoo could set you back $10 or more.

Care ProductsPrice in Euros (€)
Cold Medicine (tylenol, frenadol, coldrex, or equivalent brands) 10.00 €
 Box of Antibiotics (12 doses)15.00 €
15 minutes to Private Doctor40.00 €
 Box of 32 Tampons (tampax, ob, …)6.15 €
Deodorant, Roll-on (50ml – 1.5 oz.)5.67 €
Hair Shampoo 2-in-1 (400 ml – 12 oz.)4.77 €
4 rolls of Toilet Paper3.90 €
A Tube of Toothpaste2.17 €
Standard Men’s Haircut in the City25.00 €
Standard Men’s Haircut in the Suburb25.00 €

Cost Of Housing and Accommodation In Belgium

The housing market in Belgium is similar to that of other European countries. There are many different types of accommodation available for sale or for rent: houses, apartments, duplexes, townhouses and bungalows.

Prices vary depending on location and condition. Depending on where in Belgium you are thinking of moving to, this can vary massively. It can be tricky to find accommodation no matter how prepared you think you are. Particularly if you are new in the area.

For a lot of ex-pats and immigrants, the financial aspect is probably their main concern. They want to know how to find an affordable flat at the very beginning. A quality place in a good location that won’t break the bank.

Brussels is the most expensive city in Belgium with an average price of €1,902 per month. The cost of living in Brussels is higher than other Belgian cities, but it has its own charm that makes it worth visiting. The average cost of living in Brussels is €1,902 per month. This includes rent, food, transportation and entertainment expenses like going out at night or seeing a movie. You may also need to buy things like toiletries or cleaning supplies if you don’t have access to these things at home.


If you are looking for a place to live in Belgium, you will find a wide range of options at different prices. The average rent for an unfurnished apartment is €600 – €800 per month for a single person; this figure increases to about €850 – €1200 if there are two people living together. The cost of buying a house or apartment depends on its size and location – the further from Brussels you go, the cheaper it gets!

How much is rent in Belgium for foreigners? The rents in Belgium are usually quite expensive, yet sometimes it is nice to live alone so you do not have to deal with roommates every month. So how much is rent really in Belgium? That depends on the city and where you want to live. The costs can fluctuate a lot, but if you are a foreigner from Europe or America, maybe you can get cheaper rent.

RentsPrice in Euros (€)
Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment in City900.06 €
Monthly Rent for a 1-bedroom Apartment in Suburb744.73 €
Monthly Rent for a 2-bedroom Apartment in City1,400.08 €
Monthly Rent for a 2-bedroom Apartment in Suburb1,000,000.87 €
Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment in City2,555.12 €
   Monthly Rent for a 3-bedroom Apartment in Suburb1,500,000.25 €

The average price of a property in Belgium is about € 2,900 per square metre. The average price for a flat is around € 2,500 per square metre. If you are looking for a house, then this will cost you around € 3,500 per square metre.

Apartments Price in Euros (€)
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre3,340.72 €
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in Suburb2,702.08 €

There are several job opportunities in Belgium. While the job market in Belgium isn’t as big as it is in the USA or Belgium that doesn’t mean that you can’t find good jobs and make money. With the right knowledge and a little search effort, you can easily find jobs in Belgium.

The current state of the economy is pretty solid, the unemployment rate has hit an all-time low. Due to the financial crisis and foreign investments, many companies are planning to expand their business in Belgium. For this reason, there are quite a lot of job opportunities on offer.

Job opportunities in a range of industries are available in Belgium, but there are jobs for those with specific qualifications and proficiencies, including language proficiency.

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