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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

Live well without the cost

With well-paid work and excellent community facilities, you’ll find it easier to get by.

Moving to Canberra means enjoying a better life while spending less than you would in other cities.


How much you spend on your home depends on whether you:

  • buy or rent
  • live close to the city or further out in the suburbs
  • commute or use public transport
  • want to be close to work, schools and shops. 

Even if you choose to live in an outer suburb, it should still only take 30 minutes or less to commute. 


On average, electricity, gas, heating and water cost about $230 per month for a person living in their own one-bedroom apartment.

Internet is about $70 per month. Or you can access free Wi-Fi in the city centre and in Canberra’s galleries, libraries and cafes.


With a MyWay card, you can travel on Canberra’s buses and the light rail service.

If you drive a car, you’ll need to factor in licence, registration and regular service costs.

There are taxi and rideshare services available.

If you live in the city centre, you can easily walk or ride your bike on the cycle paths.


Canberra restaurants, cafes and bars range from budget options to fine dining.

Eating out in Canberra costs around $15 for breakfast (plus coffee), $16 for lunch and $25 for dinner.

Friendly suburban cafes are found all over the city.

Friendly suburban cafes are found all over the city


There’s plenty of entertainment to suit all budgets.


Canberra has a great variety of bars, clubs and pubs with free entry. You may have to pay a cover charge for music or other live entertainment – usually up to $10.

At most pubs and bars you’ll pay $10 to $12 for a beer, wine or cider, or $12 to $25 for spirits and cocktails.

Shows and festivals

Canberra’s calendar has many free events including Enlighten Festival, Floriade and the Multicultural Festival.

For other events, you’ll pay around:

  • $80 for a ticket to live music events and sporting matches
  • $100 or more for larger acts in stadiums
  • $45 or more for dance and theatre performances.


Going to a movie in Canberra costs around $13 – cheaper than most Australian capital cities.

You may get discounts on tickets and snacks if you join the cinema’s loyalty club.


You’ll pay around $14 a week for membership to a gym in Canberra, depending on location and services.

Canberrans are active. We have the highest participation in physical activity and sport in Australia. There are plenty of club teams always looking for new players.

Some seasonal sports have a price per year to cover games and coaches. Some casual sports, like indoor netball, charge an amount per game.

Cost of living calculator

Like any city, costs vary depending on your location and lifestyle choices. This handy calculator will help you to estimate your cost of living.

Related Pages


From inner city apartments, to traditional 3/4 acre suburban blocks, you’ll find your dream home in Canberra.

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Living in Canberra

Our quality of life is among the best in the world. We are one of Australia’s most inclusive cities and we boast a jam-packed events calendar of arts, entertainment, night life and sport.

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Working in Canberra

Private industry, government and education intersect in Canberra, giving you a host of career opportunities. We have the highest average income and lowest unemployment rate in the country.

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Already Living in Canberra?

Find services and information for local residents and businesses.