Cost of Living in Montevideo

Summary about cost of living in Montevideo, Uruguay:

Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 400.00 $U 300.00-650.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 1,800.00 $U 1,300.00-2,800.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 350.00 $U 300.00-400.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 120.00 $U 70.00-200.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 145.00 $U 90.00-200.00
Cappuccino (regular) 119.76 $U 70.00-170.00
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 62.71 $U 40.00-109.52
Water (12 oz small bottle) 50.95 $U 40.00-90.00
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 137.79 $U 113.56-185.49
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 81.77 $U 40.82-117.93
Rice (white), (1 lb) 21.56 $U 15.88-26.31
Eggs (regular) (12) 110.93 $U 72.00-130.00
Local Cheese (1 lb) 169.44 $U 113.40-254.01
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 148.53 $U 77.11-195.04
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 167.72 $U 136.08-204.12
Apples (1 lb) 36.90 $U 22.68-48.08
Banana (1 lb) 39.46 $U 22.68-58.97
Oranges (1 lb) 21.63 $U 13.61-36.29
Tomato (1 lb) 37.06 $U 22.68-54.43
Potato (1 lb) 27.65 $U 13.61-34.47
Onion (1 lb) 28.35 $U 18.14-40.82
Lettuce (1 head) 37.48 $U 25.00-50.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 50.46 $U 38.00-60.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 250.00 $U 197.00-400.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 72.82 $U 50.00-120.00
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 86.14 $U 60.00-130.00
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 170.00 $U 165.00-200.00
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 40.00 $U 38.00-44.00
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 1,700.00 $U 1,400.00-2,040.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 48.00 $U 44.30-70.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 80.47 $U 41.36-112.65
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 382.60 $U 300.00-700.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 218.38 $U 204.41-257.41
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 1,400,000.00 $U 1,200,000.00-1,528,635.66
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 1,416,265.92 $U 1,400,000.00-1,511,365.55
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 5,613.21 $U 3,269.23-12,000.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 9.92 $U 5.00-12.00
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 1,447.29 $U 1,200.00-1,800.00
Sports And Leisure
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 1,815.01 $U 1,000.00-2,800.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 985.71 $U 400.00-1,500.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 330.00 $U 250.00-380.00
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 11,007.99 $U 8,000.00-17,523.08
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 239,877.63 $U 168,000.00-394,269.27
Clothing And Shoes
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 3,213.85 $U 1,500.00-4,980.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 1,601.90 $U 800.00-2,800.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 3,873.34 $U 2,000.00-6,000.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 3,716.85 $U 2,500.00-5,475.96
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 19,358.43 $U 15,000.00-28,000.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 15,335.06 $U 12,000.00-20,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 34,050.31 $U 26,000.00-52,569.24
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 29,215.20 $U 20,000.00-40,000.00
Buy Apartment Price
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 10,031.24 $U 7,432.18-13,023.47
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 9,520.64 $U 6,918.72-14,244.42
Salaries And Financing
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 28,574.69 $U
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 8.50 6.00-15.00

Prices in Montevideo

This city had 1579 entries in the past 12 months by 113 different contributors.
Last update: July 2021
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15 Comments so far
Milo on Jul 26, 2021:
I posted here on May 5th, 2018. I came back today as this site popped up in a conversation with a colleague. I still live in Montevideo.

I will say this again, in hopes it may help anyone coming down here on a budget, the prices on this site are ridiculously low. I have no idea where these people are going to restaurants and paying under a dollar for soda. Not even at a grocery store are the prices so low.

Whoever is spending just $15,000 on rent for a one bedroom in a central neghborhood, please hit me up because I need your landlord's contact information. There is nothing under 21k in any of the local classifieds or rental sites; not even in the less nice parts of central neighborhoods. Not going to ask the guy paying 27k for a three bedroom apartment, because frankly that seems like witchcraft and I want nothing to do with whatever dark magic is keeping their rent stuck in 1991 prices.

Joking aside, please budget for at least twice as much as what you see here. This is a nice country with nice people and a very relaxed way of life, but it is expensive. After living here I've found my home state of TX to feel cheap in comparison. If you come here expecting to pay these prices you will be absolutely disillusioned and I wouldn't want that for anyone.
Anthony F Buono on Apr 07, 2021:
I was seriously considering Uruguay as a possible retirement destination; that is, until I read the comments below. If you only watched YouTube videos about this country, you might believe it was paradise. Apparently, it is far more sinister a place than one would believe. The crime factor is a major issue. I am 71 and am not willing to live in a place where my personal safety is questionable. I will continue to look for safer and more welcoming destinations. Thank you to the brave authors of the posts below for telling the truth.
Anonymous on Mar 25, 2021:
Brazil and Argentina sandwich Uruguay. With the 3rd wave of covid19 there they won't last long.
Anonymous on Jan 08, 2021:
We were thinking about visiting Montevideo but after reading many negative reviews on other vacation spots including on here we changed our plans.
Anonymus on Jan 01, 2020:
Over all Uruguay is a peaceful country especially the coast side small villages. But (negative side:) if somebody came from europe or united states the lifestyle in Uruguay will be a big drawback even if having a good income. The prices and the quality are far unproportional. There is a lot of international goods which prices are double or triple as the price in Europe or US. Car, electric stuff, cell phone, clothes, households stuff, etc. are insanely expensive. The restaurants not much expensive than the regular in the western world, but the quality of the service of the decoration, furnitures, plates, dinner set etc., and the quality of food is significant lower. and it seems they don't really care of the customer. They don't care if you would come back or not.There are not much inexpensive or fast food places and if you find some the prices are the same as in the price of the normal restaurant.The Uruguayan people are very humble and nice, when they are a buyer side, they don't like to complain, they accept what they get. But when they are the seller side they ask very cheeky price for their products or services.They try sell things as high price as possible but the quality as low as possible. Which is counterproductive, I think.There are some honorable exceptions.The positive side: They are really peaceful. They don't bother each other. They respect others private sphere. I am living here for years and I enjoy the life here. Despite of the drawbacks of the commercial anomaly's. I never feel as much safe myself then here in Urugay ( I mean out of Montevideo). If you like to cook, if you enjoy the clear and peaceful beaches,if you don't want to use car, if you have an income of abroad, if you fed up with the stressful westworld lifestyle and if you don't have an addiction of the shopping centers then you will enjoy to live here. I advise to go at the local food fair - feria -. There are a good quality fruits and vegetables, and cheese etc, for reasonable price. Watch out the prices at the supermarkets. There could be a significant difference in the prices. Even could be difference in the same supermarket but at the next day.
Anonymous on Mar 17, 2019:
Read the post by ANONYMOUS on January 11.I'm also a native Uruguayan and yes I live outside of Montevideo.The Brits and the Uruguayan government make alot of money from selling Marijuana truth be known.Not only is it legal in Uruguay the government branched out and is exporting it too.I've lived in Uruguay all of my life and I cannot afford a million dollar house nor can I afford to send my daughter to a private school either.The majority of Uruguayans can't.Brits and government make their money selling weed, that's how it really is.
Anonymous on Mar 17, 2019:
I'm always intrigued to know how so many in carrasco and other areas live so well. Kids in the British schools at 40-50000 pesos a month each child. Million dollar houses everywhere and top cars. I'm assuming they are business owners or are vp's of banks but still can't be many positions to support that kind of lifestyle here. Just doesn't add up. Even the best professional jobs don't pay much here. My wife and I are always asking ourselves where do they earn this kind of money when we're out and about in those neighbourhoods.
Bob. on Feb 11, 2019:
Hi All!
Bob & Karen here. We are going for 10 days to Buenas Aires for & then to Montevideo for 6-8 weeks. We are from Minnesota in the US & ate retired, in good health, and active. We are also on limited income & require only modest accommodations. Efficiency apartment preferred within walking distance to
Activities. We will either bike or use public transport.
Any suggestion for us two old adventurers?
Anonymous on Jan 27, 2019:
Montevideo is the most expensive city in Uruguay since it's the capitol obviously.However there's nothing really cheap in Uruguay as a rule.Expect to pay minimum $500 USD and up to $700 USD for an efficiency apartment and that doesn't include utilities which normally range between $40 to $85 per month.A single person would need at least $2,000 per month to live comfortably and a couple $3,000 per month.
Anonymous on Jan 11, 2019:
" TO THE POST JULY 7, 2018 ". As everyone knows Uruguay is a tiny country sandwiched between Brazil and Argentina obviously.I agree that Uruguayans aren't taking jobs in Brazil and Argentina because yes it's unconstitutional and neither country would allow it.Its a no brainier to shop for vegetables and fruits in the open markets verses standardized markets.You as a visitor to my country and others who visit or decide to stay in my country think you have all the answers, reality being you have none.In general Uruguayans are very resourceful,as a rule.Buying fresh vegetables and fruits including meats directly from farms isn't against the law as of yet,and yes I own a large farm near Montevideo.The farm has been in my family for over 125 years.Everything farmers sell the government takes a 33% cut off the top and revenues from all farms that produce vegetables fruits and meats go to the government yard near Montevideo for weighins before being delivered to standardized markets.Open markets are the same.Farmers have been approached including myself promoting a new cash crop known as marijuana.Theres 127 farmers in Uruguay and so far 93 farmers have caved into the government's demands to grow mj commercially however I'll walk away from my farm before I'd ever grow dope.Read my post Dec.22,2018.It falls inline with this post.
Anonymous on Dec 22, 2018:
The Uruguayan government is very corrupt overall.Legalizing marijuana allowing 93 commercial growers to distribute it to 17 pharmacies in Montevideo to be sold while the higher ups in government line their pockets privately including the past and current presidents who decided to legalize it in the first place.Want to know why everything's so pricey in Uruguay? They get under the table kickbacks as well.Meanwhile normal citizens bear the brunt.I should know lived here all of my life.
Anonymous on Jul 07, 2018:
Regarding the comment form april 4th 2018: this Post clearly describes one singular point of view and is not an analysis on what is going on at the moment in Uruguay or Montevideo and I can only guess about the writers motivations...

Just to pick one example: it’s simply not true that 10% of the population is employed in a government position and in addition most people who are employed by the government work as teachers... another example: nobody goes to Argentina or Brasil for work purposes as both countries are currently in deep crisis and absolutely never have I heard about businesses being encouraged to hire someone with a special nationality. That would go heavily against the constitution! By the way, criticism of the government is everywhere! Just the same as in other democratic countries.

We’ve been living here since 2015 and my experiences reagarding grocery shopping are: if you want to get nice fresh vegetables you best visit the markets in the “better” and more expensive neighborhoods like Punta Carretas, if you want to get the best prices go to the local markets in other areas, you might need a little bit more time to pick (but you can always choose which pieces you want to buy). The supermarkets are always more expensive, but again, there are different kinds of supermarkets with different prices.
And there are many small producers who offer hand made amazing products (mostly organic) and sell them at very reasonable prices. You won’t get these products in the supermarkets but it’s worth to search for them (you can mostly find them on the special markets like Feria Camino verde etc). Once you have the contacts they deliver the products directly to your home.

Regarding the overall cost of living: like everywhere else in the world you pay the highest prices (rent, food, fitness club) in the nicest neighborhoods. If you don’t want to (or can) spend much, adapt to a - maybe new style - of shopping and instead of buying everything at the same place, look for alternatives.
Milo on May 05, 2018:
I would advise to anyone checking out these prices to make a travel budget to stick to the higher end of the average. Most of these are either outdated or showing sale prices in the market category. Restaurant prices are greatly understated.

For current market prices, you can always check the websites of the major supermarkets: Devoto, Disco or Tienda Inglesa. If you find that tedious, note that prices are significantly higher than what is listed here on average for most produce, meat and poultry, alcohol and groceries, at least as of May 2018. I would also avoid neighborhood convenience stores if you want to stay close to the average listed, since they tend to charge a premium. Expect to pay even more than what is at the higher end of the scale at restaurants.
Anonymous on Apr 04, 2018:
I've been living in Uruguay for a year now and I can attest that the country's politics are driving its competent population away, and the nation's prosperity spiraling down. I can detail a couple of problems off the top of my head in a few paragraphs:

There's a low perception of security and recurring complex coordinated delinquency. In February and March 2018, more than 4 heavily armed robberies occurred. They've happened at currency exchange tellers in shopping malls in Montevideo in broad daylight, and another happened in the Conrad hotel in Punta del Este, the country's flagship private hotel and defacto tourist city for the summer, also in broad daylight and wiped clean the hotel's jewelry store. All these robberies were perpetrated quicky, with large two-handed assault rifles, and none were captured by the police because they always arrived 15min after the incident. Videos are shared via WhatsApp, but not shown on television.

It's an inhospitable country for work opportunities. The government census may claim that the population is of 3.5million people, but effectively there are more likely 2.5million because the Uruguayans seeking opportunity leave the country and head to Argentina, Brazil, or further away. Family members may stay behind, either non-working relatives or elders, or individuals already working in safely settled job positions.

The population is in love with politics. What happens usually is that most populations around the globe train its citizens to aspire to solvency, independence, a healthy degree of wealth, contribute to the nation, and repeat, and all these are meant to be achieved through the private jobs market. In Uruguay, instead, the average productive citizen aspires a role in government. Government officials are the most well paid in the country and have the safest job positions. This is because their position as a government servant is protected by the country's constitution; they cannot be removed once placed. This means that the country as of now has an enormous overhead in government beaurocracy that cannot be remedied, and all those government wages are being paid for from the pockets of the private individuals. Roughly, 10% of the country's population is employed in a government position.

YoY prices of electricity, telecoms, and gas rise by small percentages, and rise throughout the year without public notification. Current sales tax is 22% (2018).

The government also plays an active role in the private sector, participating with wholly state-owned companies that are the leading or the only suppliers of these goods/services:
- Leading fuel company ANCAP holds monopoly on fuel prices, and resells to private fuel companies (also went bankrupt, and was bailed out, officially money still unaccounted for)
- ‎Leading telecoms company ANTEL owns the physical infrastructure for all landlines, competitors may rent but not motivated to at all. Also offers mobile telephony, home internet, corporate internet, etc.
- ‎Pluna was a state-owned airline that went bankrupt
- ‎Alas Uy was another state-owned airline created after Pluna, that also went bankrupt
- ‎Casinos del Estado is a state-owned casino chain with many locales installed in various places per city, in many cities
- ‎Water and Electricity utilities are wholly state-owned

Government criticism is non-existant. News channels and newspapers are entirely aligned with the government and political party in power. Small radio programs exist that offer criticism, but it is not given a platform and is often portrayed as "guerilla" opinions, individuals without support acting on their own.

The government is choking the population's non-government workers. In January, in the town of Durazno, a collective of landowners, workers in the agroindustry sector, and other economically active individuals in the private jobs market came together to protest the government's treatment of them. Organized and peacefully, they laid and argued their claims with crowds of support. Certain difficulties were met with during the event: for example, on many routes to the meeting place, police patrols were placed to inspect drivers' documents. Also, news channels started reporting the event live, but after a few minutes without warning cut the transmission and aired a talk-show from Argentina. Many people went to social networks to protest this, and a few minutes later the transmission was restored. At the end of the television program's report, they estimated roughly 10,000 people attended, but pictures shared in social networks not shown on TV lead to an informal but more accurate estimation of 30,000 attendees. The event led to the formation of a movement called "Un Solo Uruguay". Attempts have been made to coordinate with government officials, to sit down and formulate long term solutions, but the response was simply negative; instead of "mesas the planeación" the government only offered "mesas de diálogo". The situation continues and no solution has been placed as of this post's writing.

Migrants from communist dictatorships are arriving in large groups. Uruguay is a political ally of Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador and Brazil's left-wing political groups. Currently, many Venezuelans are migrating to Uruguay and are fast-tracked to be naturalized as Uruguayan citizens (at least 4,000 Venezuelans have obtained legal residency). Alarmingly, unlike other countries in the continent, there is a large amount of Cubans migrating to Uruguay, and obtain citizenship without much scrutiny. Finally, and moreso, there are laboral incentives for business owners to hire Venezuelans and Cubans over native Uruguayans.
Anonymous on Sep 30, 2017:
I lived in montevideo and another 6 citys and montevideo is the safest!

THIS IS NOT TRUE!!:"Montevideo, Uruguay and in general is absurdly expensive, very expensive. the high level of crime must be taken into account, anyone can shoot you and kill you to steal your shoes."