Luxembourg is a desirable country to live in for many reasons. From the beautiful green landscapes to the best fortresses in the world, casemates, the soothing view of cozy towns, as well as a thriving culture with friendly, hospitable, and tolerant Luxembourgers. Despite its tiny size, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the richest and most prosperous nations. This, together with the high quality of living makes it a top destination for expatriation. Are you looking to make a move to Luxembourg? Well, given that over 40% of the country’s population consists of foreigners and expats, you can rest assured that you’ll receive a good mixture of international and local experience. Now comes the difficult part –affordability.
Can you afford to live in Luxembourg in 2020? First off, this is a relatively expensive country to live in. Research shows that a single person needs about €1,923/month, while €3,935/month should be enough for a couple with two kids to live comfortably. Ultimately, it all depends on where you choose to live, your lifestyle, and the size of the household.
Despite having a high cost of living, this Grand Duchy ranks top in wealth, income, work-life balance, civic engagement, safety, health status, housing, environmental quality, and much more. The minimum wage in Luxembourg is €2,071/month, which is the highest in Europe, while the average net salary is €47,580. With such good salaries, residents are assured of a decent life. Most expats live in Luxembourg City, which is the country’s capital. But you can spend less by living in the southern cities. This text provides expatriates with a detailed overview of the cost of living in Luxembourg. Read on for more information!
Monthly Cost of Living in Luxembourg for a Family
There are several considerations to take into account when moving abroad with your family. From childcare to access to quality and affordable education, healthcare, safety, family well-being, and availability of family-friendly leisure activities, just to name a few. Luxembourg is pretty much family-friendly and performs well in most of these areas. On average, a couple without kids need to make €2,707/month, while a couple with two kids need about €4,079/month to get by. These hypothetical figures will only work if the families live outside the capital and use public transport for most of their trips.
Here’s some useful information in terms of living costs for two different households to guide you in your planning.
|Expenses||Monthly costs for 2 (€)||Monthly costs for 2 + 2 kids (€)|
In addition to these general costs, those with kids need to factor in the following costs as well:
Like any other country with a high cost of living, childcare is quite costly in Luxembourg. Families with kids have a wide range of solutions to look after their kids, including daycare/nursery, a crèche, an au pair, or an independent baby sitter. Daycare/nursery fees are around 1,400–1,600/month. Low-income families with one or more children accommodated in daycare/nursery can get help with childcare costs from Chèque Service Accueil (CSA). A crèche accepts kids from 3 months to four years, and this can cost you up to 1,280 per month. Professional childminders provide a cost-effective solution to after-school care. They typically charge from €8-12/hour. Should you require full-time childcare, the best solution is to hire an au pair. You’ll be required to pay at least €500/month, plus accommodation and food.
Cost of education
Luxembourg is one of the few countries in the world with 100% literacy rate for kids aged 15 and above. The education system is not as costly as childcare. State schools are free for all residents, including expatriates registered with Luxembourgish social security. Of course, lessons are taught in one or all the three official languages: Luxembourgish, German, or French. Those who want their kids educated under their respective countries’ curricula will have to choose private or international schools, which can be quite costly. Fees range from 3,000/year for preschool and 18,500/year for teenage years. This will increase as the child progresses to the next grade.
Monthly Cost of Living in Luxembourg for Single Person
There are so many tips online on how to cope in a foreign land, but I can’t stress enough the importance of embracing your new environment and the new experiences it has to offer. Are you planning to relocate to Luxembourg alone? Just so you know more than a third of all households in Luxembourg are people living alone? In other words, you’re not alone. Since money is a huge determinant in most major decisions, like moving to a foreign land, let’s see how much you’re likely to spend monthly.
Let’s start with your paycheck. As I mentioned earlier, the minimum wage is 2,071/month and 11.97/hour. The average salary, on the other hand, is 47,580/year. Income taxes are calculated annually, which could go up to 40%.
Now that you know what you can expect to bring home, we can dive into the monthly expenses. Research shows that a single person needs about 1,923/month to live decently. With such figures, it’s safe to say that you are not far from a better life if you make anything above the minimum wage. But if you want to enjoy and be part of everything the country has to offer, you’ll have to dig deeper into your pocket.
That being said, let’s simplify some of the common monthly expenses for a single person. Note that these are estimates to guide you; the exact amounts will depend on your lifestyle and where you choose to stay.
|Expenses||Average costs per month (€)|
|Rent + utilities||1101|
While some of these expenses like rent are fixed, there are a few areas that you can make adjustments, for instance:
From gasoline costs to budgeting for maintenance and repairs to monthly car loan repayments, owning a car can be quite expensive. The good news is Luxembourg is pretty easy to live in without a car due to the excellent public transportation and bike paths. You can purchase the monthly network ticket, which allows for an unlimited number of journeys on all routes on all modes of public transport. This ticket goes for about €40/month. As you can see, this will significantly reduce your monthly transport costs.
Everybody needs some fun and a relaxing time to balance the stress of work and life. You can save significantly by looking for free things to do in Luxembourg like a walk through the park. The lakes are also true leisure centers. I’ll discuss the costs of dining out, and possibly having a drink later on, so stay with me!
Monthly Cost of Living in Luxembourg for Students
Luxembourg offers a chance to study in a multicultural, multilingual environment with plenty of top-ranked higher learning institutions. Over the past couple of years, over 6,000 students have traveled from over 100 different countries to take their bachelor’s or master’s degree in Luxembourg.
The cost of living for students is relatively affordable. International students need between 800 and 1,120 Euros per month to cover common monthly costs such as accommodation, food, transport, leisure, and shopping. The estimate can, however, go lower or higher depending on your spending habits. To help students plan better, here’s what they should expect to spend while studying in this Grand Duchy.
Tuition fees will vary depending on the course you choose to study and at what level. However, university fees in this country are in line with the EU average, which is between 400 and 800 Euros per year for a bachelor’s degree. Business-related courses are a bit more expensive, costing around 4,000-5,000/year. In addition to the fees, students must factor in study books and supplies, which could add up to €400/year.
As a student, you can stay on campus or rent a private apartment off-campus. Student halls are the cheapest form of accommodation, costing around 360/month, but they are quite limited and they’re not granted automatically. Private accommodation, on the other hand, costs between 400 and 800 per month. Accommodation is the most expensive expense for students, which is why you must do enough research to ensure you find the cheapest possible option.
Owning a car can significantly increase your monthly expenses. Luckily, the public transport system in Luxembourg is excellent and the most cost-effective way to get around. In fact, students up to 30 years can benefit from the mKaart card. This card entitles you to unlimited travel on all the Luxembourg public transport networks: TICE, AVL, CFL, LUXTRAM, and RGTR.
Being able to unwind after a day or week of studying is an important aspect of the student experience. University canteens offer good value meals at around €5/meal. Some restaurants and bars also offer student deals. Be sure to check with the venue beforehand if they offer student discounts. Eating out, together with other free-time activities like sports and cinema will cost you around €150/month.
Luxembourg is surrounded by France, Germany, and Belgium. The cost of more expensive items like clothes are a bit lower in these countries and the choice is bigger. You can go there by road and still come back.
It’s a bit difficult to assess the exact cost of living for students. Some expenses are directly linked to studies, making them a necessity for all, while others depend on each student’s situation/lifestyle. Living comfortably is only possible if there’s money coming in. There are plenty of part-time jobs within the universities and the local private sectors, where students can work and earn some extra cash. Of course, you have to balance to ensure your studies aren’t affected.
Average Monthly Costs of Living in Luxembourg
Monthly Rent for an Apartment
The cost of housing is quite high, which is why renting is the best option. The country has a wide selection of accommodation for expatriates to choose from. House prices in the city center are the most expensive, while those in the south and east are slightly more affordable. Ultimately, the exact cost of renting will depend on the location and the size of the apartment/house you’re getting. Rental contracts are usually for a year, but others go up to 2-3 years. In light of this, let’s see what you should expect to spend on rental costs:
|Number of Bedrooms||Average rental cost/month (south and east €)||Average rental cost/month (expensive cities €)|
Even though renting is the best housing option, especially for those planning to stay for a short while, expatriates are not restricted from being homeowners. The real estate market is, however, very expensive and has little to offer given the country’s size. The average cost of buying a home in Luxembourg is €450,000, €650,000, and €1.5 million for a 2, 3, and 5-bedroom apartment respectively. Buyers will need 20-25% deposit to get a mortgage, and mortgage rates are around 2% per year.
Now that you have a roof over your head, it’s time to factor in utility bills. Basic utilities include electricity, gas, water, and garbage. This will cost you about €150–€300/month.
Monthly Cost for Internet Provider
The internet has become part of everyday life. Virtually everyone uses it on a general basis like for email and social media. You can also use it for streaming videos, gaming, and even staying in contact with your loved one, which is a huge plus when you move abroad alone.
Luxembourg offers all types of connections, from the traditional dial-up to the more common ADSL, Wi-Fi, and so on. Internet costs vary depending on the connection, package, speed, and provider. Most providers offer bundled packages, which include internet access, phone services, and cable/satellite TV. Such offers start from €28/month and can rise to €50/month.
The available broadband competition is high with most homes having three to four internet providers to choose from. Here’s a look at the main internet providers plus their average rates for different subscriptions:
- 24mbps down/1mbps up (ADSL): 34.90/month
- 100mbps down/50mbps up (100% fibre): 14.95/month
- Internet @ home: €34/month
- 500mbps download speed (fiber internet): €54/month
- 20mbps download speed: €39.99/month
- 150mbps download speed: €44.99/month
Most rentals in Luxembourg have internet, and chances are internet costs may already be included in the rent. Wireless internet is also available in most parts of Luxembourg. Feel free to connect to Wi-Fi networks like HotCity. You’ll have free internet access in major hotspots for a limited time, or get a premium connection at a low cost of €4.90/month.
Monthly Cost for Mobile Phone Provider
Finding the right mobile phone provider is, obviously, one of the most important things to do once you move to Luxembourg. Since living abroad comes with the need to make international calls, see who offers the most unlimited services and minutes. There are two options when it comes to choosing phone plans:
Contract: With this, you get monthly call/text/internet plans on your phone at a fixed monthly rate. Contracts usually run for 1-3 years and have strict cancellation fees. Pay close attention to the contract and ensure it fits your lifestyle.
Pay-as-you-go schemes: This plan requires you to purchase a SIM card with Luxembourg phone number (or the entire phone), as well as purchase credit to be used for calls, texts, and internet. When you run out, you can top up your card with additional credit through the service provider or from affiliated phone stores.
With that said, here are three main phone providers in Luxembourg, together with some of the packages they offer:
Get the SCOUBIDO package and make calls in Luxembourg, Europe and beyond for as low as €17.99/month.
For unlimited call and texts to over 60 destinations, get the maxi package for only €97.99/month.
Make calls in Luxembourg and Europe at €0.20/min.
Calling aboard will cost you between €2- 4/min, depending on where you’re making the call to.
Their mobile plans cost as low as €2.25/month and can go as high as €87.00/month, depending on the minutes you want.
Make prepaid calls to a mobile in Luxembourg at €0.1933/min.
Get unlimited calls and SMS in Luxembourg and within Europe for just €39/month.
Monthly Cost for Health Insurance
The healthcare system in this Grand Duchy is one of the best qualities in Europe. A health cover is recommended for everyone living in Luxembourg. The healthcare system consists of both public and private sectors. The public sector provides free basic healthcare for permanent residents. EU/EFTA nationals making social security contributions also have the same healthcare rights. Non-EU/EEA nationals coming to work in Luxembourg will probably be covered by their employer’s healthcare plan.
Both the employees and employers contribute to the public healthcare cover. The average contribution is about 2.8% of gross income from each party, up to a maximum of €6,225. Self-employed individuals have to make the full percentage contribution, and the amount varies depending on their profession and income. Public health insurance covers over 90% of healthcare services. Payments must, however, be made upfront and recovered later so long as you’ve made sufficient contributions. Children below 18 years receive free medical care and confined patients may spend around €12 per day.
Those who are coming to live without work will have to consider a private health cover. Even with public health cover, it’s beneficial to take out a private policy. This covers any medical costs not covered by the state.
The Monthly Cost for Groceries
Grocery shopping in Luxembourg is higher than in most places. A lot of people who want to buy in bulk prefer traveling to Belgium or Germany where these costs are a bit cheaper. A single person can spend 300 EUR on monthly groceries, while a family of four will require about 700 EUR for the same.
Here’s a list of the main products on everyone’s basic grocery shopping list with their prices in Luxembourg:
|Product||Average cost (€)|
|1kg of potatoes||1.83|
|A loaf of bread (500g)||2.17|
|A bottle of good quality red wine||9.00|
|1 kg of tomatoes||2.12|
|1 kg of onions||2.86|
|Chicken breasts (1kg)||11.00|
|1kg of white rice||1.53|
|1kg of local cheese||17.83|
|1kg of oranges||2.75|
These are just estimates; the exact cost will depend on where you shop. Local foods are generally less costly than imported ones. Luxembourg-owned supermarkets such as Alima and Cactus offer high-end quality foods but are also the most expensive. For cheaper options, consider Lidl and Aldi as they offer decent quality for a fraction of the costs at home-grown markets.
The Monthly Cost for Eating Out
Dining out is just as expensive as most things in this country. That’s why it’s often left to special occasions. This doesn’t mean you can’t get a treat after a long day/week of work or school. You can still enjoy a quality meal in a cheap restaurant for €9–17 per person. The same will cost you €30 or more in a mid to high-end restaurant. A combo meal in a fast-food restaurant cost €9, while sandwiches and other snacks cost €5.50-10.
Apart from eating out, there are several other things you can do for leisure. For starters, a trip to the national museum costs 5 EUR each, a cinema ticket is 10 Euros, a theatre ticket is 20, and a rock/pop/electro concert ticket costs 15-35 Euros.
Having fun doesn’t have to cost much or anything at all. There are several free forms of entertainment such as festivals that take place along the streets, open-air cinema, and much more. Ultimately, entertainment costs will depend on the kind of experience you’re looking to have in Luxembourg.
Monthly Cost of Public Transport
The public transport system is well-organized in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and it consists of trains and buses. Due to the country’s small size, it doesn’t cost much to travel across the country and even cross over to the neighboring countries. You can purchase a ticket for €2 and use it to travel unlimitedly for up to 2 hours. You can also choose a day ticket for just €4. The most practical option for daily commuters is to get a monthly travel pass, which costs €40/month. Taxis are much more expensive, costing €3 per kilometer.
Note that public transport is free for children younger than 12 and students below 30 years can take advantage of the mKaart card. Some networks may also be free on Saturdays and Sundays during special events like the Mantelsonndeg. As if that’s not enough, the government announced that public transport would be free from March 2020.
While public transport is the best way to get around Luxembourg, those who live in one of the villages outside Luxembourg City will probably need a car to get around. If that’s the case for you, note that a liter of gas goes for 1.22 EUR.
Cost of Living in Luxembourg Compared To London
Although the cost of living is relatively high in Luxembourg City, it’s outpriced by London. Research shows that living in Luxembourg is 20% cheaper than living in London. If you lived in Luxembourg instead of London, expect to pay less for housing. For example, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs 1,496/month in Luxembourg and 1,900/month in London. A 3-bedroom apartment in the same area goes for 2,743/month in Luxembourg and 3,574/month in London.
Transportation is also cheaper in Luxembourg than in London. A monthly travel pass is €40 in Luxembourg and €168 in London, while gas costs 1.22 per liter and 1.44 per liter in Luxembourg and London respectively.
London also has its perks. Food items are cheaper in London. This includes groceries and the cost of eating out. You can also expect to pay less for basic utilities in London, which costs 190/month as opposed to 225/month in Luxembourg. Clothing is also cheaper in London; luckily, Luxembourg is just a few hours away from Germany and France where there are cheaper clothes with a wider selection.
Cost Of Living in Luxembourg VS the USA
Living in Luxembourg costs 8.8% more than it does in the US. Consumer prices are 14.66% lower in the US than in Luxembourg.
To help you understand this better, let’s start with housing. Renting costs more in Luxembourg than it does in the US. For instance, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs €1,432 in Luxembourg but €1,166 in the US. As for owning an apartment in the same area, you’ll need to budget for €8,698/square meter in Luxembourg and €2,350/square meter in the US. Every form of housing comes with utility bills. Be prepared to spend €216/month for basic utilities in Luxembourg, while the same costs €138 in the US.
Other costly expenses in Luxembourg include restaurants, entertainment & sports, clothing, as well as gasoline.
On the cheaper end, we have groceries, childcare, and public transport.
Cost Of Living in Luxembourg Compared To UK
The cost of living in Luxembourg is fairly high compared to its EU neighbors –the UK included. This is partly because some of the major expenses in every household like housing and food aren’t exactly cheap in this country. Research shows that it would cost you 11.2% more to live in Luxembourg than it would in the UK. If you live in Luxembourg instead of the UK, you’ll pay more for groceries, restaurants, entertainment & sports, housing, clothing, and even buying a car. On the other hand, public transport, gasoline, and childcare cost less in Luxembourg than in the UK. Here’s an in-depth look at the difference in living costs between these two countries
|Expenses||Average costs: Luxembourg (€)||Average costs: UK (€)|
|Summer dress in a chain store||40||32|
|International Primary School||14,121/year/child||14,362/year/child|
|A meal in an inexpensive restaurant||16.80||13.41|
What Is A Good Salary In Luxembourg?
We’ve already seen that Luxembourg certainly isn’t one of the cheapest countries in the world. Now let’s see the income needed to attain different standards of living. A good life means different things to different people. For some, it’s being able to live within or near the city, take a vacation once a year, and eat out once a week. For others, it’s driving a posh car, taking multiple vacations within the year, and living in the city center. Ultimately, a good salary will depend on the kind of life and experience you’re looking to lead in Luxembourg.
With that said, a single person will need to earn €1,923 Euros a month to get by. A salary of €3,500/month, while living in the suburbs and driving a regular car, should earn you a pretty decent life. Anything above €6,000/month is excellent for a very high living standard. A couple with two kids, on the other hand, will need 3,935 Euros a month to get by, and way more than that to live luxuriously.
Salaries in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg are known to be one of the highest in the EU. As stated earlier, the minimum wage in Luxembourg is currently at €2,071 per month, while the average disposable income per household is approximately €5,900/month. These figures only goes to show that pretty much everyone in Luxembourg can afford to live a comfortable life.