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Cost of living in Adelaide for a Couple & International Students 2021

Can you believe that as an international student you can live in Adelaide for about $1200 a month? How about when I say a couple can live in Adelaide with the cost of living of around $1600 a month?
Possibly not!

You will believe this after you finish reading this blog post in full.
Here in this blog post, I have tried to list and calculate the weekly and monthly expenses for international student and a couple. Several factors are considered including housing, food, utilities and transportation.

If you are planning to be in Adelaide for your higher education or if you are thinking of being here to give your partner a company while s/he is doing a course here then this blog will be your ultimate guide.

Before I take you to the cost of living in Adelaide, let us talk a little about Adelaide and the lifestyle here.

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About Adelaide

Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia. South Australia is one of the seven states of Australia. SA considered a regional state is famous for wineries, festivals, food and tourist destinations.

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Adelaide has been consistently listed in the world’s top 10 most liveable cities through the 2010s by The Economist Intelligence Unit, in the world. It was ranked the most liveable city in Australia by the Property Council of Australia, based on surveys of residents’ views of their own city, between 2010 and 2013. 

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Even though relatively small in size in comparison to other cities, Adelaide is rich with 29 large public parks, a botanical garden, a zoo, a state of the art infrastructure and reliable public transport. 

Rich with cultural diversity, It is also becoming the preferred destination for thousands of immigrants and international students

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Living cost in Adelaide

Information presented here is for international student’s cost of living for a couple and single student, but is almost the same for everyone, hence this information can be equally helpful for all.

Costs are divided on weekly basis (and total calculated at monthly) living costs for a couple in Adelaide metropolitan with an average expense. 

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One major factor to consider here is if you are living on your own or living in shared accommodation.
You will find this post divided into two sections one for student and another for couples.

If you enjoy watching a video, then here’s a video that Sonisha and I published a while ago on YouTube, video is in Nepali with English captions.

Renting in Adelaide

Comparing to other cities in Australia, Adelaide metropolitan (including CBD and surrounding suburbs) is one of the most affordable and cheapest in terms of housing and property market. 

The cost of renting around the CBD might be higher than living in the outer suburbs. It also depends on which suburbs you live in and the market scenario in that particular suburb. Rent is usually higher in wealthier suburbs. 

rundle mall adelaide nepali
Rundle Mall, Adelaide

Even though the rental market has noticed significant rise in rental demands in Adelaide, still Adelaide’s rentals are relatively affordable than other cities in Australia.

According to realestate.com.au, the average cost for renting a one-bedroom unit in Adelaide costs around $250 per week and for the two-bedroom unit, it would be around $300. Prices will differ according to suburbs, housing types (flat, unit, apartment, house).

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also read: 7 Most helpful websites to use in Australia

If you are living in a shared scenario with other housemates, your rent would be around and above $170/ week for a couple exclusive of bills.

Accommodation in AdelaideShared (in AUD)Rental (in AUD) for 1 BR
Single Student150around and above 250
Couple 170around and above 250


Talking about grocery, it is almost similar to other states as the supermarket and grocery store are almost common across Australia, Coles, Aldi, Woolworth, Drakes Supermarket are famous supermarkets for grocery shopping.

You can find good bargains in the Sunday Markets like in Gepps Cross (map), Morphettville. Adelaide Central Market is also one of the popular destinations for fresh produce located at the heart of the city.

Gepps Cross Sunday Market, Adelaide

Grocery shopping would depend on the food habit of an individual so the average $100 groceries might be enough for you for a week.

Grocery in Adelaidein AUD
Single Student~ 80
Couple ~ 110

Adelaide’s Public Transportation

Adelaide Metro is the public transport system in Adelaide comprising an interconnecting bus, tram and train services under the same brand.

Adelaide metro tram in glenelg
Adelaide Metro’s tram service in Glenelg

You can use the same MetroCard (electronic smart magnetic card) and metro ticket across all public transportation.
Once validated, you can board/ transfer to the next service for free for 2 hours of first validation, be it on bus, train or tram.
Tram service is free to use inside the core CBD and in Glenelg. 

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A 28-day pass costs $103 and you can get a student concession at $51.50. Find more about tickets and fares at https://adelaidemetro.com.au/Tickets-Fares.

Public transportation in Adelaide28 day pass (AUD)MetroCard charge/ tripMetroTicket charge/ trip
Student concession51.501.91 peak trip
1.02 interpeak trip
2.9 peak trip
1.4 interpeak trip
Regular 1033.84 peak trip
2.11 interpeak trip
5.7 peak trip
3.8 interpeak trip
peak trips: before 9.01am and after 3pm Monday to Friday,  all-day Saturday
interpeak trips: 9.01am to 3pm Monday to Friday , all day Sunday and public holidays


Electricity, water and gas usages are generally charged quarterly (once in 3 months). Mobile bill and internet bill are generally monthly.

It depends on the nature of the mobile service provider you subscribe to, prepaid/ postpaid and type of internet connection.

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The following table gives you an estimate scenario for your utilities monthly.

utilities (bills per month)single studentcouple
phone – sim only$40$80


Eating out, movies, online and offline subscriptions, etc depends on individual needs and we have estimated the rough roundabouts for different extras here.

adelaide living cost couple student addons

also read: All About Nepal and Nepali in Adelaide

Total – Cost of living in Adelaide for couple and international students

Adding all, the Cost of living in Adelaide for a couple can be estimated to be above $1800, while if a couple lives in a shared accommodation scenario it would be around $1500.

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single studentcouple
accommodation$600 (~$150/wk, shared)
$1000 (~$250/wk)

$680 (~$170/wk, shared)
$1000 (~$250/wk)
public transportation$51.50
for 28 day pass
$154.5, 28-day pass
utility bills$238$318
Total$1209.5 in shared accommodation
$1609.5 when rented on own
$1592.5 in shared accommodation
$1912.5 when rented on own


In 2021, one international student can live a good lifestyle in Adelaide with an average cost of $1200 per month which is $300 per week. This includes rent, groceries, transportation, utilities and more. Likewise, a couple when renting on their own the average living cost can be around and above $400 a week.

Before we wrap up, there are few things to be aware of in this blog post.
Here while calculating the average living cost in Adelaide for international students, I have taken average for most items.
I have only divided the rent when in shared scenarios but not utilities and groceries. If you are living or planning to live in a shared scenario where you will be splitting the grocery and utility bills the total cost of living would be even lower. Also, the add-ons explained here aren’t added to the total bill as it would differ on the individual need and choices.

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Thanks for your time and have a wonderful time ahead. 🙂

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About the Author
Lakshman Basnet
Digital Media Marketer from Nepal currently based in Adelaide, South Australia who apart from playing with his cat - Eleven, also enjoys developing web content, publishing blogs and YouTube videos in his free time.

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