Live well without spending a fortune

Canberra is one of the most liveable cities in the world. We are also one of Australia’s most affordable.

Moving to Canberra means a higher standard of living and lower living costs than other big cities.

Housing

Housing costs differ. This depends on:

  • whether you buy or rent
  • whether you live close to the city or further out in the suburbs
  • lifestyle factors such as commuting, public transport, access to work, schools and shops 

Even if you choose to live in one of the outer suburbs, the commute will still only take about 30 minutes. 

Utilities

For electricity, gas, heating and water, you’ll pay about $230 per month. Internet is about $70 per month.  Or you can access free wi fi in the city centre, as well as galleries, libraries and cafes.

Transport

Purchase a MyWay card and you can travel on Canberra’s public transport. This includes:

Many Canberrans drive in private cars. These require registration and servicing. There are taxi and ride share services available. 

If you live in the CBD, you can easily get around on foot or ride your bike on our network of cycle paths.

Food

Foodies love the Canberra restaurant scene. You’ll find cafes, restaurants and bars from cheap eats through to fine dining. If you’re eating out in Canberra, you can expect to pay around $15 for breakfast (plus coffee), $16 for lunch and $25 for dinner.

Friendly suburban cafes are found all over the city

Entertainment

No matter what your interests are, there’s plenty of entertainment.

Nightlife

There’s a great variety of bars, clubs and pubs in Canberra. You may have to pay a cover charge for music or other live entertainment. This is usually no more than $10. At most pubs and bars you’ll pay $10-12 for a glass of beer or wine or cider or $12-$25 for spirits or cocktails.

Shows and festivals

Immerse yourself in our free festivals such as the Enlighten FestivalFloriade and the Multicultural Festival. For other entertainment, you’ll pay around: 

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

Movies

If you want to watch a movie at any of our cinemas, it will cost around $13. This is less than in most Australian capital cities. You may get discounted tickets and snacks if you join the cinema’s loyalty program.

Fitness

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

We have the highest participation in physical activity and sport in Australia. There are plenty of club teams always looking for new players in various sports. Prices vary with some sports having seasonal payments that include coaching and games. Others, like indoor netball, are more casual, where you pay an amount per game. 

Cost of living calculator

Like any city, costs vary depending on where you choose to live and other lifestyle choices. Check out this handy cost of living calculator to estimate your costs.

Related Pages

Housing

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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