San Jose is an expensive place to live, with the overall cost of living sitting at around 53 percent higher than the national average. That said, most residents say it’s well worth the cost for the gorgeous weather, safe neighbourhoods and endless activities the city offers.

Cost of accommodation in San Jose

Accommodation is incredibly expensive in San Jose, as are utilities. Attracted by Silicon Valley, the city’s population is growing, causing the demand for housing to increase and prices to skyrocket.

New arrivals in San Jose should therefore be prepared to pay high prices for accommodation throughout the city. That said, there are neighbourhoods that, while they may not be considered cheap, are more affordable than others.

Cost of transport in San Jose

Although San Jose has an extensive public transport system that will get new arrivals anywhere they need to go in the city, fares are relatively expensive. Owning a car is also expensive in San Jose if taking into account all the costs involved, such as fuel, insurance and maintenance. Parking is also costly in the city and, in some cases, it may actually be cheaper to use Uber instead of driving and paying for parking for an entire day.

Cost of eating out in San Jose

While new arrivals will certainly find fine dining restaurants that charge a fortune for a meal in San Jose, eating out is something that can be done on a budget. Some restaurants in San Jose tend to offer similar or even somewhat lower prices to many major global cities. There are also tons of different types of food on offer, with some restaurants being more budget-friendly than others.

Cost of living in the USA chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for San Jose in February 2023.

Accommodation (monthly)

One-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 2,450

One-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 2,200

Three-bedroom apartment in city centre

USD 4,300

Three-bedroom apartment outside of city centre

USD 3,800


Eggs (dozen)

USD 5.75

Milk (1 litre)

USD 1.27

Rice (1kg)

USD 4.19

Loaf of white bread

USD 4.33

Chicken breasts (1kg)

USD 13.50

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

USD 11

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

USD 10

Coca-Cola (330ml)

USD 2.56


USD 5.10

Local beer (500ml)


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

USD 80


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

USD 0.23

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month) 

USD 81

Basic monthly utilities (includes electricity, water and refuse)

USD 237


Taxi rate per km

USD 1.86

Public transport ticket

USD 2.75

Gasoline/petrol (per litre)

USD 1.33

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