India’s commercial centre, Mumbai is a city of contrasts with old-world architecture next to modern skyscrapers and opulent neighbourhoods juxtaposed with poorer areas. The cost of living in Mumbai is surprisingly steep, but expats will likely be able to enjoy life here thanks to lucrative employment packages.
Mercer’s 2023 Cost of Living Survey ranks Mumbai as 147th out of 227 cities worldwide, making it the most expensive Indian city, followed by New Delhi at 169th, Chennai at 184th and Bengaluru at 189th.
Cost of accommodation in Mumbai
As is usually the case in most cities, accommodation in the city centre of Mumbai will set expats back far more than housing in the outlying areas and suburbs of the city. Competition in the rental market is also quite fierce, further adding to the sky-high costs of housing in Mumbai. Expats may also find the size of apartments in the city jarring, as space in Mumbai is quite limited.
Cost of healthcare in Mumbai
Generally speaking, India has an adequate public healthcare system. Hospitals in Mumbai have varying standards, ranging from excellent to poor. For this reason, most expats choose to access private healthcare, and as a budding medical tourism destination, Mumbai boasts exceptional and affordable private healthcare. Still, costs can add up, and most expats elect to secure health insurance for ease of access and peace of mind.
Cost of education in Mumbai
Expat parents will be glad to know that most public schools in Mumbai teach in English and offer a rigorous curriculum, making them a viable option for their children. That said, the standard of the facilities and class sizes at public schools may not be quite what many expats are used to, so they prefer to send their children to private or international schools. These are significantly pricier but offer a range of curricula and facilities. Fortunately, many expat parents working in Mumbai receive an educational allowance to subsidise tuition fees.
Cost of groceries and eating out in Mumbai
As the home of the Bollywood scene, the lifestyle in Mumbai is sure to be one for the books. The city has eateries and street food spots to suit every palate and budget, with different types of Indian cuisine as well as Asian and European fare on offer.
The cost of groceries in Mumbai will largely depend on an expat’s preferences. Local seasonal produce and brands are inexpensive, while imported Western goods will drive the grocery bill up.
Cost of transport in Mumbai
Expats content to get around on public transport in Mumbai will find transportation costs fairly cheap. Most expats prefer to opt for private transport, though driving in the city can be a frustrating experience due to heavy traffic. Those who can afford it will often hire a local driver with knowledge and experience of driving in Mumbai.
Cost of living in Mumbai chart
Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Mumbai in November 2022.
|Accommodation (monthly rent)
|Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre
|Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre
|One-bedroom apartment in the city centre
|One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre
|Milk (1 litre)
|Loaf of white bread
|Chicken breasts (1kg)
|Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)
|Big Mac Meal
|Bottle of local beer
|Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant
|Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)
|Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)
|Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)
|City-centre bus/train fare
|Taxi (rate per km)
|Petrol/gasoline per litre
►For more on managing your finances in the country, see Banking, Money and Taxes in India
What's the cost of living like in Mumbai?
"Property prices/rents are huge in Mumbai compared to the UK. We are probably paying Knightsbridge levels of rent for our own apartment in Bandra. However, everything else is very cheap – especially food, transport and internal travel in India. I was shocked by how expensive everything is in London last time I visited and it is something I have complained about on my blog."
Learn more about British expat BombayJules's expat experience in Mumbai in our interview.
Are you an expat living in Mumbai?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Mumbai. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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