Friday, September 26, 2008

Uruguay cost of life updated 9/2008

Uruguayan moneyLong time no see, here I come again with an updated list of what's the cost of life in Uruguay these days, when the american dollar is cheaper and cheaper, and uruguayan peso stronger. I've recently moved,..again, still with my girlfriend, and making plans to get married this summer, so my budget is in crisis...again (it's been almost three years already since the cost of life post... im getting old). It turned out that the info about how much does it cost to live in Uruguay did seem to help, and it even got mentioned in a book, or so I've been told.

 Let's start by the beginning, right now the exchange rate is about 20 pesos for 1 american dollar, and rates are expressed per month. So without further ado, here is the table:

Item Peso UY USD Comment
Lunch at restaurant from 100 to 200 from 5 to 10 Places where you sit, and there's a waiter
Dinner for two in a fancy restaurant from around 500 to 1200 from around 25 to 60 appetizer, main course, dessert, good wine for both
Lunch at Mac Donald's 120 6 MD is not considered a cheap meal
Movie Theatre/Cinema from 50 to 105 from 2.5 to 5 105 weekend price
Theater around 300 around 15 expensive
20km taxi drive in Montevideo around 350 around 15 from carrasco to ciudad vieja
Urban bus ticket 13.5 0.675 government is making it cheaper
1 lt of gasoline 32 1.6 got a car now
Renting a one bedroom apartment in a fancy neighborhood from around 6000 to 8000 plus common expenses from around 300 to 400 neighborhood being pocitos or punta carretas
Renting a two bedroom apartment in a fancy neighborhood from around 7000 to 12000 plus common expenses from around 350 to 600 for some reason real state bubble hasnt burst here, again this is per month.
Electricity bill around 1000 around 50
Phone bill from around 1500 to 3000 from around 75 to 150 five person house, one teenager
Water bill around 300 around 15
cable tv bill around 600 around 30
internet broadband (256k download) from 200 to 600 from 10 to 30 at least some things are less expensive
Kilo of Potatoes around 20 around 1
Kilo of apples around 30 aroundaround 1.5
Kilo of bananas around 25 around 1.25
1 lettucearound 12 around 0.6
Kilo of fatless grinded meataround 138 around 6.9
Kilo of beef loinsaround 170 around 8.5
1 lt milk 18 0.9
1 loaf of bread 18 0.9

As you can appreciate everything is much more expensive than 3 years ago, specially if you rely on dollars (which I dont). The perspective of moving to Uruguay might not seem as cost effective as it used to be, at least not to americans.

I don't have the mean income info, but if i have to guess it, i'd say for 70% of the population it's below 1000 usd/month.
SmartUnits unit convertor, exchange currency calculator


Anonymous said...

Hi gabouy., Regards your cost of living table; Thank you; Some great insights; Oddly the price of housing dictates much else: If you are able to edit your posts? Is it possible to state the periods the values relate to, example> Incomes> "70% of the population it's below 1000 usd" is that per week or per month ?, similarly you quote rental costs: but do not state per day per week or per month; I suspect you'd be quite amused if you knew how little quality info there is outside Uruguay., I read your older post a while ago; interesting that things should have changed so much in so short a while.,Very best wishes and thanks again :)) John Perth Australia

Rick said...

Thank you for sharing the cost of life in UY.
i did made the same thing with my country(austria/central europe):

Lunch at restaurant 10-15 EUR / 14-21 USD
Dinner for two in a fancy restaurant 50-70 EUR / 72-100 USD
Lunch at Mac Donald's 6 EUR / 8,85 USD
Cinema 6-9 EUR / 8,65-13 USD
20 km Taxi drive in Vienna: 40 EUR / 60 USD
bus/metro ticket in Vienna: 1,60 EUR / 2,31 USD
1 lt of gasoline: 1,25 EUR / 1,80 USD
Renting a one room apartment(fancy) Vienna: 300-400 EUR / 432-576 USD
Renting a one bedroom apartment(fancy) Vienna: 400-700 EUR / 576-1000 USD
Electricity bill: 30 EUR / 43 USD
Mobile Phone Bill (flatrate): 20-30 EUR / 28-43 USD
Cable TV: 10-15 EUR / 14-21 USD
Internet Broadband: 10-30 EUR / 14-43
1l Milk: 1 EUR / 1,44 USD
1 loaf of bread: 1-2 EUR / 1,44-2,88 USD
Kilo of Apples: 2-3 EUR / 2,88-4,33 USD
Kilo of Potatoes: 0,40 - 2,00 EUR / 0,58-2,88 USD
Kilo of Banans: 1,50 EUR / 2,16

inluding 20% VAT

Anonymous said...

Hello gabouy, It was so good to read your information at least now I have a better idea of what is life there, now. I left the Country in 1970 so you can imagine how little do I know or even imagine life in Uruguay on this century! To clarify the questions that John from Australia have.... even when I haven't been in Uruguay for ages, I can tell you that the salaries, rent, etc are per month. We learn about being pay per week or every two weeks once we are working outside of Uruguay!!! Same apply for rent. Hope this help! If you ever want to visit, will love the beaches specially Punta del Este!!!

Mat said...

I think it is important to mention that the rental prices quoted by gabo are "local prices" for UY people. Also to consider is the standard of the apartments, which is generally much lower in UY compared to the one in Europe or the US. For example heating in every room or double glass windows are more the exception. If you would like to get the actual prices you can visit a popular rental website in UY:

As gabo mentioned rental prices in UY are highly inflated. Also from my experience rents for an apartment in "popular" areas in Montevideo (Pocitos and Punta Carretas) compared to rents in Southern California for an "equal" apartment (considering standard, location, area, etc) are about the same. This is certainly correlated to the depreciation of the USD.

If you are planning to come to Uruguay and your income is in USD and with the expectation to have the same standard of living as you have, your cost of living will be about the same as well.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hello Gabouy,
I'm doing my research before visiting Uruguay from the U.S. and I want to clarify the rental costs. Matt said this "f you are planning to come to Uruguay and your income is in USD and with the expectation to have the same standard of living as you have, your cost of living will be about the same as well."

Southern California as Matt mentioned is expensive by any standards.

My question is this: Should I expect your US $650 per month is only a starting rent if you already live in Uruguay?

Also, where can one find an agent to help with finding a rental?

Thanks, you are definitely helping me in moving.

gabouy said...

>Should I expect your US $650 per month is only a starting rent if you already live in Uruguay?

There are three things I'd like to observe to answer this question.

First, some uruguayan real estate agents will try to overcharge foreigners, period. So you should have to find the right agent to deal with, if possible have a local deal for you.

Second, a uruguayan standard two bedroom apartment stands for a 60m2 place, without heating, double glass windows, or even parking for that matter (you should take care of those issues apart). It depends on your expectations whether living on UY middle-class standard conditions is good enough for you or not.

Third, prices for bigger, better places maybe comparable to what you might be used to in the states are more expensive, probably on the range of 1000-1500 usd a month.

Tubbytat said...

Thanks for the info. This was very handy indeed.

suira said...

if you want to know about the current prices of real estate in Uruguay, check out this site:

rafighi said...

These are the average prices in IRAN::

Item USD
Lunch at restaurant from 6 to 12
Dinner for two in a fancy restaurant from around 25 to 50
Lunch at Mac Donald's 10
Movie Theatre/Cinema from 2 to 3
Theater 5
20km taxi drive in Montevideo around 10
Urban bus ticket 0.02
1 lt of gasoline 0.4
Renting a one bedroom apartment in a fancy neighborhood from around 300 to 400
Renting a two bedroom apartment in a fancy neighborhood from around 350 to 600
Electricity bill around 15
Phone bill from around 10 to 30
Water bill around 2
cable tv bill ---
internet broadband (256k download) from 5 to 30
Kilo of Potatoes around 0.5
Kilo of apples aroundaround 0.8
Kilo of bananas around 1
1 lettuce around 0.5
Kilo of fatless grinded meat around 8
Kilo of beef loins around 10
1 lt milk 0.85
1 loaf of bread 0.1

Anonymous said...

Would the rental prices outside of the cities run the same as the prices in the city?

gabouy said...

I'm not acquainted first hand with rental prices in more rural areas of the country, but from what I've heard prices are much lower, or for the same price you might get twice the square meters.

suira said...

Here you can find rental prices of apartments in Uruguay depending on the size and location of the property:

BrianJUY said...

We are from San Diego and if we were to rent the same apartment in San Diego that we have here in Pocitos (fully furnished, 5 blocks to the beach) we would be paying in the U$S 3,500 per month range.

Living here in Uruguay is not comparable to living in Southern California.

We live a lifestyle that is comparable to the lifestyle we lived in San Diego... And we are paying a fraction of the same cost...

Click on my name to check out our Uruguay blog. This blog post was about us renting an apartment here in Pocitos.

navneet said...

I found this web site to know more about Uruguay. I hope it will help you.

Henrique Abrantes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hola gabouy - Are you still maintaining this blog? I just discovered it and wonder what the current cost of living is - since my country (guess which one) tanked the world economy.

The post I liked best was from somebody who said Uruguay had a more "innocent" state of mind than the ones that only care about money. Is that still true or is it becoming unsafe unless you are very rich?


gabouy said...

hola belita,

Are you still maintaining this blog?
mmm, not really, unless someone comments :)

at the moment the cost of life is much higher since the dollar exchange rate has dropped considerably, and the UY economy has been doing v good for the past five years.

Uruguay still remains a safe place for the most part, while crime is rising if compared to Uruguay 10 or 20 years ago, it remains a safe place when compared to the rest of southamerica, also the rise in crime is worldwide.

it´s still bearable and security is more the rule than the exception.

Russ Slater said...

I take it you've finished posting on this blog then. It's a real shame, I was just reading some of your content and thought it was really good. All the best with your future endeavours!

Brian said...

Wow, this is really interesting. I live in Kentucky, USA. It is cheap to live here, as far as the USA is concerned. Your prices look somewhat like our prices (except double-pane windows and all rooms heated is the norm). For me, it would not save me any money to move there, but I still hope to when I retire. :)

uruprops said...

If you want to know property prices, for sale or rent, I recommend going to
They have an english version of the site and several properties in Uruguay.

Fadhilah MPA Online said...

your blog is good. visit my blog too

David TTT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ABG SEMOK said...

good blog

good contents

i am from indonesia

mowichum said...

Thanks for your share! very impressive!

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vikupeck said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ERP Systems said...

Cost are increasing day by day

Maestro Pascal said...


There is a lot of information for consumers in Uruguay (in spanish, sorry) at:

There is also a site with a directory of official sites with information in english:

Anonymous said...

for enjoying your next vacations on the best Uruguayan beaches, visit

Oj said...

Please this is very useful but update please. Im planing on traveling to montevideo.