Two outstretched women's hands holding gelato cones in front of the Trevi fountain in Rome, Italy.

what does it cost to live in rome?

(Last Updated On: April 1, 2021)

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Many Americans I’ve spoken with about my time in Rome always assume that the cost-of-living is roughly equivalent to living in NYC – nope! This is certainly not the case. Not only is Rome not near as expensive as NYC, it’s one of the most affordable major European cities to live. While it’s certainly more expensive than cost of living in Romania, the cost of living in Rome is completely affordable. This makes it an excellent destination for digital nomads or other remote workers who get paid in USD or EUR. So, what does it cost to live in Rome?

rome compared to other major cities

There were so many factors that appealed to me when I set out on my adventure to live in Rome – the traditional Italian food, the history, the beautiful places, the unforgettable experiences to have in Italy, etc. But one of the biggest draws was the cost of living in Rome. So, how does the cost of living in Rome stack up to other cities?

Here’s an overview of the cost of living in Rome compared to other popular cities. All data sourced from 2020 Numbeo estimates.

nyc


Consumer prices in Rome are 23.91% lower than in NYC.

Rent prices in Rome are 63.53% lower than in NYC.

paris


Consumer prices in Rome are 16.20% lower than in Paris.

Rent prices in Rome are 29.74% lower than in Paris.

barcelona


Consumer prices in Rome are 18.54% higher than in Barcelona.

Rent prices in Rome are 8.30% higher than in Barcelona.

london


Consumer prices in Rome are 12.21% lower than in London.

Rent prices in Rome are 51.96% lower than in London.

tokyo


Consumer prices in Rome are 10.68% lower than in Tokyo.

Rent prices in Rome are 16.51% lower than in Tokyo.

berlin


Consumer prices in Rome are 9.34% higher than in Berlin.

Rent prices in Rome are 1.00% higher than in Berlin.


what currency is used in rome?

Different denominations of euros scattered in a pile.

Italy, like most of the European Union, uses the Euro (EUR). One US dollar is equal to 0.85 EUR, so if two items cost the same number amount, you will spend a little more.


what does it cost to live in rome?

monthly rent

Monthly rent in Rome will mostly depend on how much space you require and the neighborhood you choose. The best neighborhoods to live in Rome are Trastevere, Ponte Milvio, Monti, Testaccio, Monteverde, and Aventino. To live in these neighborhoods, lean toward the higher price in the range for a more accurate picture.

Outer facade of an apartment in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome with a moped parked out front.
TYPE OF APARTMENTAVERAGERANGE
Studio in City Center900 EUR700-1200 EUR
Studio Outside City Center630 EUR500-800 EUR
3 Room in City Center1900 EUR1400-3000 EUR
3 Room Outside City Center1200 EUR900-1700 EUR

purchase apartment

TYPE OF APARTMENTAVERAGERANGE
Price per Square Meter in City Center6900 EUR4700-10,000 EUR
Price per Square Meter outside City Center3300 EUR2500-4100 EUR

utilities

Woman sitting on wall outside the Colosseum looking at it during sunset.

Depending on the apartment, you may find some apartments have the cost of utilities already included in the rent. General utilities are largely on par with prices in the US, but as you can see below, cell phone prices and cable/internet prices are both much more affordable.

UTILITYAVERAGERANGE
General Utilities (Electric, Gas, Water)180 EUR100-350 EUR
Pre-Paid Cell Phone25 EUR20-30 EUR
Cable & Internet (60 mbps or more)30 EUR25-40 USD

groceries

The trick to keeping grocery costs low in Italy (as an American) is to buy local products – you’re in Italy! Enjoy the superb-quality ingredients and treats that are made in the country, and avoid trying to recreate your cupboards or refrigerator back in the States. Forget the peanut butter and grab a jar of Nutella instead!

For my fellow Americans – 1 kg = 2.2 lbs

ITEMAVERAGE COST
1 Loaf Bread1,88 EUR
1.5 L Bottled Water1 EUR
1 Bottle Mid-Range Wine8 EUR
6 Pack Domestic Beer6 EUR
6 Pack Imported Beer8 EUR
1 kg Onions1,45 EUR
1 kg Potatos1,36 EUR
1 kg Apples1,90 EUR
1 kg Bananas1,67 EUR
1 Dozen Eggs3,64 EUR
1 kg Local Cheese13,50 EUR
1 kg Chicken Breast8,75 EUR
1 kg Beef Round15,64 EUR
1 L Milk1,46 EUR

transportation

Having a car in Rome is just a bad, bad idea. Public transportation in the city is widely used and reliable, but, you will have to keep your wits about you. I had my wallet stolen out of my purse one evening without ever noticing until I reached my destination.

Another thing worth noting about public transportation in Rome – rideshare services aren’t very widely used. Most taxi drivers will tell you Uber is illegal (it’s not, but it’s not too common). Download the MyTaxi app that will connect you with local drivers. You can also use this app to book a taxi in advance.

Be sure to validate your tickets! You WILL be fined. When riding a bus or tram, stamp your new ticket in one of the machines near the doors immediately after boarding. Be sure to keep your ticket with you until your ride has ended in case you need to show it to someone.

Average Cost
1-Way Bus Ride1,50 EUR
Monthly Bus Pass35 EUR
Taxi Start4,00 EUR
Taxi Fare per 1km1,30 EUR
Gasoline per Liter1,47 EUR

leisure

Woman looking up in a galleria in Rome with a hat on, facing the ceiling.

Going out to eat in Rome is a fairly expensive activity, considering the city’s tourist nature. You can find some hidden gems, however, if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. I used to frequent Galeassi in Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere a few times a week with my roommate. A big bowl of their delicious penne all’arrabiata was only 9 EUR, and there’s a delicious gelateria next door.

Walk it off afterwards, or find an outdoor exercise source on one of Rome’s seven hills, because the gym prices are a little excessive for my liking!

Activity / ItemAverage Price
Monthly Gym Membership70 EUR
Movie Theatre Ticket9 EUR
Museum Admission10 EUR
Meal for 2 at Mid-Range Restaurant (with drinks)75 EUR
Fast Food Meal9 EUR
Cappuccino1,50 EUR

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Pinterest graphic - cost of living in Rome, Italy with street in Trastevere in background.
Pinterest graphic - cost of living in Rome, Italy

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