Cost of Living in Russia

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Cost of Living in Russia

Expats in Russia generally have a good quality of life, with groceries and utility bills reasonably priced even in major cities like Moscow. Prices are much lower outside metropolitan areas, with lower food and transportation costs.

The cost of living in Russia is determined mainly by your way of life. Even though Moscow is the most expensive city in Europe regarding wages, it is still feasible to live comfortably as an ex-pat there. Living in Russia is relatively inexpensive, with a monthly budget of $150 to $200 sufficing for a single student. The most expensive cities to live in are St. Petersburg and Moscow.

However, there are a few crucial considerations while looking for student housing in Russia. Finding the most acceptable option within your budget is critical, as the location you choose directly impacts your academic performance.

Is it Expensive to Live in Russia?

According to the OECD Better Life Index, the Russian Federation has improved its quality of life over the last decade. However, while it outperforms the OECD average in terms of work-life balance, it falls short in other areas.

According to the Russian government, the minimal cost of living in Russia is 11,653 rubles per month, which includes housing, food, and other services. This jumps to 20,195 p. in Moscow. In reality, you’ll need to set aside more money.

According to official statistics, 12.3 percent of the Russian population lives in poverty. However, some estimates contradict this, claiming that the minimum cost of living is substantially greater.

Rent in Moscow’s capital ranges between three and four hundred dollars per month. This, however, will be determined by where you live and the city in which you intend to live. In some regions, a one-bedroom apartment can cost up to $5000 per month. The cost of living is substantially lower in rural locations. You may even see a movie for less than four bucks at your local theatre.

Is the Cost of Living Reasonably in Russia?

The cost of living in Moscow, the capital, is 3,000 to 4,000 rubles a day, and a thousand rubles can be spent on a single lunch in a cafe. In addition, you’ll spend between twenty-five and thirty thousand rubles every month on groceries. In Russia, the average annual salary is roughly $3,500. This is significantly more expensive than in many other nations, yet you can live comfortably with that type of money.

In Russia, the cost of living is low. Individual students can make ends meet on $150 to $200 each month. Although Moscow and St. Petersburg are the most expensive cities, university dorms are reasonably priced. These services often cost between $700 and $800 per month. These rooms can be found on campus. Dormitory living is popular among international students. While this may save you money in the long term, you may find it more convenient to meet new people and engage in more social engagement with your neighbors.

Russia’s cost of living is very reasonable. In Moscow, the average daily cost of living is three to four thousand rubles, and you should expect to pay up to a thousand rubles in a cafe. Every month, you will spend between 20,000 and 30,000 rubles on food.
Nonetheless, in some places in Russia, living costs are meager. You will be able to make ends meet in other parts of the country if you have a regular salary.

In comparison to the United States, the cost of living in Russia is relatively low. A single room costs between 20,000 and 30,000 rubles in a two-bedroom apartment, and a one-room apartment can be found for as little as ten to twelve thousand rubles. The average monthly food budget is between 20,000 and 30,000 rubles in Russia. These expenditures should be considered if you plan to live in a tiny flat in the country.

The average cost of living in Russia is between $600 and $800. In contrast, the average monthly pay in the United States is little more than 350 thousand rubles. It’s worth noting that food prices in Russia aren’t as exorbitant as they are in the United States, and you can dine out at any restaurant for one to three dollars per day. In Russia, rent is the second most expensive item.

The average daily cost of living in Moscow is between three and four hundred rubles, and you can expect to pay up to a thousand rubles for lunch in a cafe. Food prices in Russia are generally twenty to thirty dollars higher than in the United States. Even so, these expenses are still relatively low. With a few hundred dollars per month, one can live comfortably in the Russian capital.

Are Our Basic Expenses Like Food and Drinks Cheap in Russia?

If you’re preparing your food, it’s only natural to use ingredients from your local markets. The costs in supermarkets are nearly identical to those at home.

Even if you have a large budget, you will be dissatisfied with restaurants. Even if you receive something tasty, there won’t be much of it. And the costs are pretty costly for such a small amount of food. A mini-plate of 4 pelmenis (Russian ravioli) can set you at least RUB 760 (£7.80). You’ll leave the restaurant with a considerably lighter purse but an empty stomach!

Similarly, if you are thirsty and want to buy water (because it is strongly advised not to drink tap water), it is expensive (a tiny bottle costs almost £1). It’s less expensive to change your habits and try some inexpensive Russian thirst-quenchers like kvass (made from fermented bread)

Although there are many inexpensive supermarkets in Russia, the quality varies. Vegetable counters in stores are noticeably empty throughout the winter months, and imported goods might be prohibitively pricey.

Russia’s most significant cities provide a diverse range of dining options. You can sample traditional Russian, Ukrainian, and Caucasian cuisines and Central Asian and Korean fare.

Lunch for one person in a modest restaurant costs around 800 p., whereas a three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant can cost up to 3,000 p.

In a restaurant, a half-liter of domestic beer costs around 250 p. Meanwhile, buying beer in a store will save you money – domestic beer costs 65 pence per bottle, whereas imported beers cost roughly 125 pence per bottle. Wine in the mid-range ranges from 350 p. to 1,000 p.

While Russians are known for their vodka consumption, they consume significantly more beer. The lowest price for vodka is 203 pence per half a liter. However, it’s usually a good idea to pay a little more.

Coffee shops abound in Russia, particularly in the larger cities. A cappuccino in Moscow costs around 180 p., significantly less than in Western Europe but more than in neighboring Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia.

What Are Housing and Rental Costs in Russia?

Depending on the region, type, and location of the lodging, the cost of rental student housing in Russia ranges from 500 to 35,000 roubles (USD 7-500) per month (dormitory, rented room, or apartment). In Russia, you may eat as much as you want of excellent food at a reasonable price. Nothing beats going to the stolovayas (student or worker cafeterias), where you can enjoy traditional Russian cuisine for around RUB 316 (£3.25) per.

In Russia, the average daily cost of living is between two and three hundred and fifty dollars. A typical café check can set you back around a thousand rubles, and a month’s supply of meals will set you back around two to three thousand rubles. Property in the capital costs almost $20,000 per square foot, and this is the world’s cheapest country to live in. However, to live comfortably, you’ll have to spend a lot of money on basics.

In Russia, the cost of living is relatively high. The average wage in Russia is around 20,000 rubles. In Moscow, a month might cost up to 3,000 rubles. A minimum of $150 each day is required. You can expect to spend tens of thousands of rubles every month in other cities. You’ll need more than that if you want to live a happy life. At the very least, you’ll need a thousand dollars.

There are two types of lodging options in Russia: apartments in the city and houses outside of the city. Renting in Russia, especially in Moscow, can be difficult and costly.

Many metropolitan flats are located in high-rise buildings with a shared entrance, stairwell, and an elevator if you’re lucky. According to Numbeo, a one-bedroom apartment in Moscow’s downtown costs between 50,000 and 100,000 p. Meanwhile, prices outside of the city core average 40,000 p. You can expect to pay around 145,000 for a three-bedroom flat in Moscow city center or 75,000 in the suburbs.

What Is the Cost of Domestic Bills Like Transport, Utilities in Russia?

The cost of power in Russia is among the lowest in the world. According to Numbeo, an 85 square meter apartment will cost roughly $8,500 per month in utilities. Electricity, water, heating, and rubbish are all included in these prices.

Most heating in Russia is centralized, which means it is switched on in apartment blocks in the fall and shut off in the spring. You won’t be able to manage the temperature in your flat because there are usually no thermostats. A small price is added to your utility bills for this heating.

In principle, a television in Russia is free, but if you want a more comprehensive selection of channels, you’ll need to subscribe to a cable or satellite subscription. Packages start at 1,500 p. per year and go up to 7,000 p. per year with one provider.
Most Russian cities have a well-developed public transportation system, including trams, trolleybuses, marshrutka (routed taxis or minibusses), and buses. Metro systems are also available in major cities.

Marshrutka is unique because they are operated by private enterprises in certain cities and integrated into the municipal transportation network in others. They are common in most cities and may be found stopping practically anywhere along predetermined routes. Fares are typically one and a half times what you would pay on a regular bus route.

In Russia, there are a few options for getting a taxi. The cheapest alternative is to hail one down on the street, but it’s also the riskiest because strange automobiles or illegal cabs may offer you a ride.


Taxes are paid by all employees, including self-employed people. In Russia, residents pay a personal income tax of 13 percent or 15 percent; residency is anyone who spends at least 183 days in the country during a tax year, and non-residents are charged 30%.

Even if you earn money outside of Russia, you must pay taxes in Russia if you live there. Non-residents, on the other hand, only pay taxes on income generated in Russia, and residents must also pay tax on income earned outside of the country. Russia’s social welfare system allows people to obtain cash assistance in some instances. A list of services can be found here (in Russian). Maternity benefits are negotiated with your employer and based on your service length and earnings.

There are several recreational opportunities in Moscow and St. Petersburg. However, if you want to go to the theatre, ballet, cinema, or concerts, bring a lot of money because they are all pricey! Cultural activities, such as going to the movies, are likewise pricey in other Russian cities. On the other hand, museums are not very expensive, especially in small towns.

Russia is the world’s largest country, spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia and accounting for more than one-eighth of the planet’s inhabited land area.

Of course, because the country is so large, the cost of living varies tremendously depending on where and how you wish to live.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.

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