Culturally and religiously diverse, India's capital New Delhi is also one of its most affordable cities. Expats moving to Delhi can expect to live a comfortable life at a cost much lower than what they paid back home.

Mercer’s 2023 Cost of Living Survey ranks New Delhi as the 169th most expensive city out of the 227 cities surveyed, making it more affordable than Mumbai but pricier than Chennai and Bengaluru.

Cost of accommodation in Delhi

Depending on an individual expat’s preferences, accommodation in Delhi can be one of their biggest expenses. Housing in the city centre or in one of the sought-after areas and suburbs can be quite steep, owing to the demand in these neighbourhoods.

The further out of the centre one moves, the more reasonable rental prices become. Expats will also need to budget for utilities such as electricity, water and building maintenance.

Cost of transportation in Delhi

Getting around in Delhi is fairly easy and affordable, thanks to a comprehensive bus and metro system. Buses may not always be a viable option as they tend to get crowded and some may not be air-conditioned. The Delhi Metro is accessible using single tickets or travel cards, which offer regular discounts and cheaper off-peak prices.

Expats who are looking for a little adventure can get around using a cycle or auto rickshaw. These are slightly more reasonable than taxis and will be faster as they are smaller. Expats will have to haggle with the driver to determine the fare.

Cost of education in Delhi

One of the biggest expenses for expat parents will be private or international school fees. Expats typically choose these options as the language of instruction is English and international schools allow children to continue their studies.

Tuition fees at these institutions can be exorbitant and exclusive of uniforms, extra-curricular activities and textbooks. Expats who are moving to Delhi for work should negotiate for an education allowance in their relocation package.

Cost of eating out and entertainment in Delhi

As India’s capital, Delhi offers an eclectic yet highly affordable nightlife entertainment scene. Paharganj is known for its ridiculously cheap and fun bars, while the Greater Kailash area has a thriving but more expensive nightclub scene.

Expats will also be delighted to find that Delhi’s street food culture is alive and kicking, which may help bring the grocery bill down. For expats who prefer a fine dining experience, there are also high-end restaurants serving world-class cuisine at a premium.

Cost of healthcare in Delhi

India’s public healthcare system is generally considered inadequate by most expats, so private health insurance is a necessity when moving to Delhi. That said, health insurance premiums for comprehensive coverage can be exorbitant, therefore expats should account for this cost in their monthly budget.

Cost of living in Delhi chart

Prices may vary depending on product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for Delhi in November 2022.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

INR 48,000

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

INR 26,000

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

INR 18,000

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

INR 10,800


Eggs (dozen)

INR 83

Milk (1 litre)

INR 60

Rice (1kg)

INR 72

Loaf of white bread 

INR 42

Chicken breasts (1kg)

INR 311

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

INR 350

Eating out

Big Mac Meal

INR 350

Coca-Cola (330ml)

INR 40


INR 147

Bottle of local beer

INR 150

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

INR 1,800


Mobile-to-mobile call rate (per minute)

INR 0.93

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

INR 659

Basic utilities (per month for a small apartment)

INR 4,700


City-centre bus/train fare

INR 40

Taxi (rate per km)

INR 18

Petrol/gasoline per litre

INR 101.33