Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur: Updated Prices, Comparison with Other Cities

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Kuala Lumpur, the dynamic capital of Malaysia, is renowned for its unique mix of historic landmarks, modern attractions, a rich culinary scene and well-known Universities, making it an exciting destination for both tourists and students. Students going to Kuala Lumpur for their higher education should plan a budget to effectively manage their cost of living in Kuala Lumpur. 


Kuala Lumpur offers an outstanding quality of life along with an affordable cost of living that won’t break the bank compared to other big cities in Malaysia. Students in Kuala Lumpur enjoy the benefit of a high quality of life and excellent educational opportunities, which makes it an attractive destination for scholars. If you’re curious about the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to get all the details!

Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur Overview

The average cost of living in Kuala Lumpur for one person, excluding rent, is approximately MYR 2,609 per month according to Numbeo. When factoring in rent, apartment costs typically range from MYR 1,600 to MYR 3585 per month. However, these expenses can vary significantly based on one’s lifestyle, the specific area of Kuala Lumpur, and personal preferences.

The cost of living in Kuala Lumpur encompasses a range of expenses such as housing rent, grocery prices, transportation fares, utility bills, and entertainment costs. Here, we offer a detailed breakdown of average expenses in these categories for those contemplating a move to Kuala Lumpur. Take a look for a comprehensive understanding:

Also Read: Cost of Living in Hamilton: Overall Expenses Guide

Costs of Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur

When calculating the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, the biggest expense is usually accommodation. The price depends on where it is, how big it is, and what type it is. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre generally costs around MYR 2,356.

It’s essential to carefully research and compare housing options that suit your needs and budget before relocating to Kuala Lumpur. To help you, we’ve gathered information on the average cost of apartments both in the city centre and in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur.

Apartment LocationApprox. Monthly Cost 
Apartment of One-bedroom in the City CentreMYR 2,356
Apartment of One-bedroom Outside of CentreMYR 1,607
Apartment of Three-bedroom in the City CentreMYR 4,964
Apartment of Three-bedroom Outside of CentreMYR 2,712

Cost of a Utility in Kuala Lumpur 

Monthly utility costs for a one-bedroom apartment in Kuala Lumpur are around MYR 283, although this can fluctuate based on usage and the size of the apartment. Including utility expenses in your monthly budget is crucial, as they significantly contribute to the overall cost of living in Kuala Lumpur. The table below highlights the average utility bills in the city:

Utility TypeUtility NameApprox. Cost 
Basic Utility BillsWater, Electricity, Heating, Cooling, and GarbageMYR 283
InternetUnlimited Data, Cable/ADSL monthlyMYR 120
Monthly Plan Mobile Phoneincluding Calls and 10GB+ DataMYR 51

By considering these estimated costs, you can skillfully manage your finances and ensure you account for all necessary living expenses.

Cost of Grocery in Kuala Lumpur

Groceries in Kuala Lumpur are typically more affordable compared to many Western cities, providing good value for both locals and expatriates. As a daily expense, grocery costs significantly impact the overall cost of living in Kuala Lumpur.

Grocery prices in Kuala Lumpur can fluctuate depending on the store, product quality, and dietary choices. To maximize your budget, it’s essential to compare prices. Here is a table showing the average grocery costs in Kuala Lumpur:

Grocery ItemApprox Cost 
1 litre of Regular MilkMYR 8.22
500g Bread (White) MYR 4.24
1kg white RiceMYR 6.49
1kg Apples MYR 11.99
1kg Banana MYR 6.41
1kg OrangesMYR 11.92
1kg TomatoMYR 6.63
1kg PotatoMYR 4.32
1kg OnionMYR 4.30
Lettuce (1 head)MYR 4.66
1 litre Water bottle MYR 2.98

Overall, the cost of groceries in Kuala Lumpur is quite reasonable, and shopping at local markets and supermarkets can help you manage expenses. Additionally, Kuala Lumpur boasts a diverse grocery market that accommodates various dietary needs and preferences.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Dijon, France: A Guide

Restaurant Food Costs in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a culinary paradise, offering a diverse range of flavours and dishes that reflect its rich cultural heritage. It is famous for its street food, best dishes and food Stalls making it a top destination for food lovers.

Dining out in Kuala Lumpur can range in cost depending on various factors, including the type of restaurant, its location, and the cuisine served. Generally, eating out is pricier than cooking at home and can substantially affect your overall living expenses in the city. Here is an approximate breakdown of average meal prices at different types of restaurants in Kuala Lumpur:

Type of Restaurant Approx Cost of Meal in Restaurant 
Meal at an inexpensive restaurantMYR 19.73
Meal for 2 person (in a Mid-range Restaurant)MYR 130.00
Equal meal. to McDonald’sMYR 20.00
CappuccinoMYR 12.97

These estimates provide a general idea of what you might spend dining out in Kuala Lumpur. It will help you plan your budget accordingly for the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur.

Transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur

Getting around Kuala Lumpur is convenient and diverse, with various options available to suit different preferences and budgets. The city’s effective public transportation network includes Bus, Taxi, LRT, MRT and Monorail, offering efficient and affordable ways to navigate its bustling streets.

Evaluating transportation costs in Kuala Lumpur is crucial, as they significantly influence the overall cost of living in Kuala Lumpur city. Refer to the table below for a detailed breakdown of transportation expenses in the Kuala Lumpur area:

Mode of TransportApprox Cost
Ticket for Local Public transport MYR 3.00
Ticket for Monthly Pass in a Public transportMYR 50.00
Local tariff for the Taxi Ride of 1 km MYR 5
Normal Tariff of taxi for 1 hour Waiting MYR 15.00
1 L or 0.26 gal Gas / PetrolMYR 2.06

Also Read: Cost of Living in Auckland: A Guide on 2024 Expense

Miscellaneous Costs in Kuala Lumpur

Beyond the basic cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, there are additional expenses to consider, such as going to the movies, joining a fitness club, purchasing clothing like jeans or a summer dress, buying new sports shoes, or visiting a doctor.

These incidental costs are part of daily life and will inevitably arise. Planning your budget to include these expenses is crucial to ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality in Kuala Lumpur. Refer to the table below for a detailed breakdown of these miscellaneous expenses:

Miscellaneous Approx Cost 
Movie TicketMYR 20
Fitness ClubMYR 206
Pair of Jeans MYR 238
Summer DressMYR 160
Pair of Sports shoesMYR 327
Doctor’s visitMYR 73.67
Source:numbeo, livingcost

To effectively manage your finances in Kuala Lumpur, it is important to consider not only the major expenses but also these miscellaneous costs that can affect your budget. By budgeting wisely and planning, you can ensure that you are prepared for any expenses that come your way.

In Kuala Lumpur, managing your money effectively means not only thinking about major expenses but also considering those miscellaneous and unexpected costs that can affect your budget. By planning your budget smartly, you can be ready for any surprise expenses that come your way.

The Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur Compared to Other Cities

Kuala Lumpur is often thought of as a budget-friendly place to live in Malaysia, especially when compared to other cities. But why is that? Well, if you take a closer look at the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur compared to other near by cities, you’ll find several reasons. These include the relatively lower prices for housing, transportation, food, and entertainment.

To help you understand how the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur stacks up against other cities like Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, Dubai, and, London. we’ve provided a comparison of living expenses (excluding rent) in these places. Take a look:

Cost of Living City WiseAverage Cost of livingComparison with Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur
Cost of Living in SingaporeMYR 5,221Higher than Kuala Lumpur
Cost of living in BangkokMYR 2,994Higher than Kuala Lumpur
Cost of Living in ManilaMYR 2,929Higher than Kuala Lumpur
Cost of Living in JakartaMYR 2,377Lower than Kuala Lumpur
Cost of Living in DubaiMYR 5,103Higher than Kuala Lumpur
Cost of Living in LondonMYR 6,624Higher than Kuala Lumpur

Average Tuition Fees in Kuala Lumpur

In addition to handling the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, students can better manage their budgets by researching the average tuition fees at universities in the area. It’s important to keep in mind that tuition fees vary depending on the university, program, and level of study in Malaysia

Generally, public universities in Malaysia offer lower tuition fees than private institutions. It is important to research and compare tuition fees at different universities in Kuala Lumpur. Below is a summary table showing tuition fees at some selected universities in Kuala Lumpur:

Name of UniversityApprox Tuition fees per year 
University of MalayaMYR 32700 – MYR 56800
University Kuala LumpurMYR 12500 – MYR 88400
UCSI UniversityMYR 11480 – MYR 43760
Asia Pacific University of Technology & InnovationMYR 20250 – MYR 38800
Manipal International UniversityMYR 10920 – MYR 20880
HELP UniversityMYR 11200 – MYR 32600

In conclusion, the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur offers a range of options that cater to different budgets and lifestyles. Certain areas of the city also provide many affordable resources, particularly in terms of housing, food, and transportation. Kuala Lumpur’s rich cultural heritage and diverse culinary offerings make it an attractive place to live. Whether you are a student, expatriate, or resident, Kuala Lumpur presents a dynamic and accessible living experience that balances modern conveniences.

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FAQs on Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur

Q.1 What is the Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur?

Answer: The monthly average cost of living in Kuala Lumpur for an individual is approximately MYR 2,609, excluding rent. However, when factoring in rent, which can range from MYR 1,600 to MYR 3,585, the overall monthly expenses can vary significantly.

Q 2. Is Kuala Lumpur expensive for Indians?

Answer: The average cost of living for one person in Kuala Lumpur excluding rent is around MYR 2,609. Yes, it may be a bit expensive for Indians, but you can still enjoy a high quality of life and access to advanced education in Kuala Lumpur.

Q 3. What is the average rent in Kuala Lumpur?

Ans: The monthly average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Kuala Lumpur ranges from MYR 1600 to MYR 3585, depending on the location and type of property. Rents in the city centre are generally higher compared to those in the outskirts.

Q 4. How much salary to live in Kuala Lumpur?

Answer: The monthly average monthly net salary in Kuala Lumpur after tax is around MYR 6,175. However, the average cost of living for a single person in Kuala Lumpur is around MYR 2,609 without rent. This means you can live a comfortable life in Kuala Lumpur and save extra money for the future.

So, this was all about the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur. Many Indian students dream of pursuing education in foreign nations due to the exposure and career growth they offer. Consider joining a free counselling session with Leverage Edu if you plan to study abroad.

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