Cost of Living in Brisbane

While the cost of living in Brisbane is not yet quite as high as in other Australian cities such as Melbourne or Sydney, the cost of expat life in the heart of Australia’s ‘Sunshine State’ is by no means cheap.

The growth in Brisbane’s population and its popularity as an expat destination has contributed to the cost of living in the city increasing steadily over the years. In 2019, Mercer's Cost of Living Survey ranked Brisbane as the world's 103rd most expensive city out of the 209 cities surveyed. Though Brisbane is ranked as cheaper than Sydney, Perth and Melbourne, it is more expensive than Adelaide.

Even though Brisbane is slowly becoming a more expensive place for expat life, there are always ways to save money. It's possible to enjoy what the city has to offer on a budget. 

Cost of accommodation in Brisbane

Renting a home is often the biggest expense for expats living in Brisbane. The attractive expat areas and suburbs tend to be expensive. In most cases, utilities will need to be paid for separately in addition to rental costs. 

Cost of transportation in Brisbane

Transport in Brisbane is expensive. The city has extensive bus and train networks which make getting around the city very convenient. However, Brisbane is one of the most expensive cities in Australia when it comes to public transport.

Luckily, for those who plan on regular commuting, investing in a Go Card can save some money.

Cost of entertainment in Brisbane

The costs of entertainment in Brisbane are in line with the average costs in most Australian cities. 

For expats who want to have a good time without spending a fortune, the great weather in Brisbane means that there are always lots of opportunities to spend time outdoors – enjoying a picnic in the park, taking a drive out to one of the little seaside towns, or indulging in an afternoon outdoors enjoying an Australian barbecue.

The independent shopping scene in Brisbane is also growing and expats who are keen to explore the markets popping up all over the city are sure to find some great bargains.

Cost of living in Brisbane chart 

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for February 2020.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

AUD 1,700

One-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

AUD 1,300

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

AUD 2,900

Three-bedroom apartment outside of the city centre

AUD 1,900


Eggs (dozen)


Milk (1 litre)

AUD 1.50

Rice (1kg)

AUD 2.50

Loaf of white bread

AUD 2.85

Chicken breasts (1kg)

AUD 10

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

AUD 30

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

AUD 12

Coca-Cola (330ml)

AUD 3.50


AUD 4.60

Bottle of local beer


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

AUD 80


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

AUD 0.30

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

AUD 77

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)

AUD 200


Taxi rate (per kilometre)

AUD 2.20

Bus/train fare in the city centre


Petrol/gasoline (per litre)

AUD 1.50

Expat Health Insurance


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