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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Leiden 2024
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Cost of Living in Leiden

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Leiden helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Cost of Living in Leiden - Cost of Living in Leiden

Apartment Rentals The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Leiden is €890 per month. For a two-bedroom apartment, the average rent is €1,100 per month.
Apartment Purchases The average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Leiden is €200,000. For a two-bedroom apartment, the average price is €250,000.
Transportation Public transportation in Leiden is relatively inexpensive. A single ticket costs €2.90, and a day pass costs €7.50.
Groceries The cost of groceries in Leiden is comparable to other cities in the Netherlands. A loaf of bread costs €2.50, a liter of milk costs €1.20, and a dozen eggs costs €2.50.
Restaurants The cost of eating out in Leiden is also comparable to other cities in the Netherlands. A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around €20 per person.
Utilities The cost of utilities in Leiden is relatively low. The average monthly cost for electricity, gas, water, and internet is €150.
Private School Tuition The cost of private school tuition in Leiden varies depending on the school. Preschool tuition is typically around €1,000 per year, elementary school tuition is around €2,000 per year, middle school tuition is around €3,000 per year, and high school tuition is around €4,000 per year.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Leiden

"The cost of living in Leiden is generally considered to be quite reasonable. Rent prices are relatively low compared to other cities in the Netherlands, and groceries and other everyday items are also reasonably priced. Eating out can be a bit more expensive, but there are plenty of affordable restaurants and cafes to choose from. Transportation costs are also quite reasonable, with public transport being the most popular option," said one expat living in Leiden.

Can I live in Leiden on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Leiden for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find a place to live that's affordable. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods in Leiden are the city center and the areas around the canals, so you might want to avoid those. Instead, consider looking for a place in neighborhoods like Stevenshof, Merenwijk, or Zuidwest. These areas are more affordable and still have good access to public transportation.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your spending on groceries and eating out. Shopping at discount supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi can help you save on groceries, and cooking at home more often will also help keep your costs down. When you do eat out, try to stick to more affordable options like kebab shops or snack bars instead of fancier restaurants.Transportation can also be a significant expense, so consider getting a bike to get around the city. Leiden is very bike-friendly, and you'll save money on public transportation or parking fees if you cycle instead. If you do need to use public transportation, look into getting an OV-chipkaart, which can save you money on fares.Finally, be mindful of your spending on entertainment and leisure activities. There are plenty of free or low-cost things to do in Leiden, like visiting parks, museums, or attending local events. You might also want to consider getting a Museumkaart, which gives you free access to many museums in the Netherlands for a yearly fee.In summary, living on $1,500 a month in Leiden is possible, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing a more affordable neighborhood, being conscious of your grocery and dining expenses, using a bike for transportation, and finding low-cost entertainment options, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Leiden.

Can I live in Leiden on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Leiden for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find a more affordable neighborhood to live in. I'd recommend looking into areas like Stevenshof, Merenwijk, or Zuidwest. These neighborhoods are a bit further from the city center, but they're still well-connected by public transportation, and you can find more affordable housing options there. On the other hand, I'd avoid neighborhoods like Pieterswijk, Rapenburg, or the city center, as they tend to be more expensive.When it comes to transportation, I'd recommend getting a bike and using public transportation instead of owning a car. Parking can be quite expensive in Leiden, and the city is very bike-friendly. Plus, public transportation is quite efficient and can get you to most places you need to go.For groceries and other daily expenses, you'll need to be mindful of where you shop. I usually go to discount supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi, which offer good quality products at lower prices. Also, try to cook at home as much as possible, as eating out can quickly add up.In terms of entertainment and socializing, you'll have to be selective about the activities you choose. Going out for drinks or dinner can be quite expensive, so try to find more affordable options like picnics in the park, free events, or hosting potlucks with friends. There are also many beautiful parks and nature areas around Leiden that you can explore for free.Overall, living in Leiden on $3,000 a month is doable, but you'll have to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing a more affordable neighborhood, using public transportation, shopping smart, and finding budget-friendly activities, you can make it work and still enjoy your time in this beautiful city," said one expat living in Leiden.

Can I live in Leiden on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Leiden for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make some sacrifices in terms of housing and entertainment expenses. Leiden is a beautiful city with a rich history, and it offers a great quality of life, but it's not the cheapest place to live in the Netherlands.When it comes to housing, you'll want to avoid the city center, as it can be quite expensive. Instead, consider looking for a place in neighborhoods like Stevenshof, Merenwijk, or Hoge Mors. These areas are more affordable and still offer good access to public transportation, shops, and other amenities. You can expect to pay around €1,200 to €1,500 per month for a decent two-bedroom apartment in these neighborhoods.Groceries and eating out can also be a bit pricey in Leiden, but if you're smart about where you shop and eat, you can keep your costs down. For groceries, try shopping at discount supermarkets like Lidl or Aldi, and for eating out, look for local cafes and restaurants that offer daily specials or affordable lunch menus.Transportation costs can also add up, especially if you're commuting to work every day. However, if you live close to your workplace or choose to bike instead of using public transportation, you can save a significant amount of money. Leiden is a very bike-friendly city, and many people choose to cycle as their primary mode of transportation.As for entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Leiden. You can visit the city's many parks, museums, and historical sites, or take advantage of the numerous cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year. If you're a fan of nightlife, you might have to cut back on going out to bars and clubs, as these can be quite expensive. Instead, consider hosting gatherings at your home or attending events with friends where you can split the costs.Overall, living in Leiden on $5,000 a month is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices in terms of housing and entertainment. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, shopping smart, and taking advantage of the city's many free and low-cost activities, you can enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling life in this beautiful Dutch city," commented an expat living in Leiden.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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