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How Much Does it Cost to Live in Perth?

Australia’s westernmost capital city, Perth, has a growing global reputation as a great study destination for international students thanks to institutions like The University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, the University of Notre Dame, Murdoch University, and Curtin University. The city is also gaining in popularity for its more affordable, yet cosmopolitan, lifestyle.

If you’re thinking about studying in the city and want to get an idea of what it’ll cost you, we’ve put together a guide to the cost of living in Perth.


Inner city

A room for rent in Perth’s inner city can cost between $265-$310 a week in a sharehouse (living with professionals or other students). This number will vary depending on whether you’re looking at a unit or a house, how many bedrooms are at the property, and how many occupants. A one-bedroom unit all to yourself will set you back between $450-$495 a week. Accommodation in Perth CBD can range between $200-$325 a week for a room.


In the suburbs, units for rent in Perth range between $510-$750 a week for three bedrooms. A one-bedroom unit costs roughly $300, while a room in a sharehouse can range anywhere from $175 a week to upwards of $400. 

Student accommodation

Managed student accommodation is a convenient option if you want utilities and extra features included in your weekly rent. At Campus Perth fees start at $224 per week for a bed in a four-person bunk bed apartment or $539 for a private studio. The rooms are fully furnished and the cost of things like Wi-Fi, utilities and gym access are included in the cost. 


Homestays are another option for students where you can live with local families. The Australian Homestay Network features packages that start from $265 a week for a shared room with no meals included, up to $385 for a private room with three meals a day. 

Which one to pick?

It’s important to think about your priorities when weighing up these options. Living further away from the city is often cheaper and can offer more living space. However, it can potentially mean more money and time being spent on public transport and taxi or ride-sharing services. Living closer to the city can be a little more expensive, but you’ll be closer to restaurants, nightlife, and major cultural institutions. Living in student accommodation on or near campus can be hugely convenient, as all costs are included in the weekly price and you’ll have a minimal commute to class.

Public Transport

Most of the city’s university campuses are located along the picturesque Swan River and are easily accessible thanks to the bus, train and ferry services. Perth’s public transport network is called Transperth. You should purchase a SmartRider card for all travel purposes, as the card works on trains, trams, ferries and buses. The city of Perth has a free transit zone for both buses and trains meaning all rides within this zone are free of charge. You can also travel for free on the first Sunday of each month. 

Concession rate

Tertiary students enrolled in full-time studies at participating universities or TAFE in Western Australia are eligible to travel at a discounted rate. You must apply for your student card online before travelling to obtain a Tertiary SmartRider.


Eating in

The price of groceries will vary depending on a number of things including whether you eat meat, choose organic produce, buy imported products and more. A kilo of chicken breast will set you back $14, a packet of chips is around $4, cheese can be upwards of $10, in-season strawberries are roughly $3 a punnet, and sweet potatoes are $3 per kilo. 

Eating out

If you truly want to experience everything Perth has to offer, you’ll need to immerse yourself in the city’s food culture. There are plenty of fantastic restaurants, cafes, bars and hole-in-the-wall eateries serving up delicious food, with quite a few affordable options available.

It’s important to remember that in Australia, waiters and servers get paid a liveable minimum wage. This means that your sandwich or salad may cost a little bit more than you expect, but it also means the staff are being paid fairly for their time. 

Australia is famous around the world for its coffee and fresh produce, so you can expect to get a high-quality meal for the price you pay. On average, a cup of coffee is going to cost you around $5, $15-$20 for a lunchtime meal in the CBD and roughly $30 for dinner in a restaurant.



Depending on your circumstances, it’s always worth planning ahead for a night out. You don’t want to accidentally splurge your weekly savings just by walking into an expensive venue! Some bars that feature music, burlesque or other live entertainment will likely enforce a cover charge. While there, you can expect a glass of wine, beer or cider to cost between $10-$15, with cocktails hovering between $20-$25 depending. 


Concerts and live music can be more expensive in Australia. Performers have to spend more to travel here, and the costs associated with paying bar and security staff add up. International artists can charge anywhere between $70 to over $1,000 for a VIP ticket with an enhanced experience. Sporting matches can start from as low as $10. Pricing for a theatre show can range from $70-$200. Always make sure you investigate the weekly city guides, as there are plenty of regular free events taking place around Perth.


A movie at any of the city’s cinemas will likely cost around $22 for a student card, which may sound like a lot compared to Netflix at home. But, you don’t get the big screen experience that way! Make sure you take advantage of any cinema membership programs that will get you discounted tickets and free food.


If you prefer to spend your downtime at the gym, a membership at one of the more common gym franchises like SnapFitness, Plus Fitness and Anytime Fitness, will cost around $20 per week for a basic plan. The cost will vary depending on your type of plan, what you’re hoping to get out of it and the amenities offered. Make sure to ask about any student discounts or introductory offers on memberships and classes. If you opt to live in student accommodation, access to a designated fitness space is usually included in the weekly price.

For more information on the cost of living, make sure to check out our Perth Cost of Living Calculator.