As an international student, choosing the right city to pursue your studies can be a challenging decision, especially when it comes to budgeting for your living expenses. Toulouse, with its rich cultural heritage, picturesque streets, and bustling student life, is a popular destination for international students. However, before you make the move to this city, it’s important to understand the cost of living in Toulouse

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various aspects of living in Toulouse, including accommodation, transportation, food, and entertainment, and provide you with a detailed breakdown of the costs you can expect to incur. 

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea of whether Toulouse is an affordable city for your studies and how you can manage your expenses as an international student.


Accommodation cost in Toulouse

As a student, accommodation is a significant expense to consider when studying in Toulouse. The cost of accommodation in Toulouse varies depending on the location, size, and type of accommodation

However, there are many options available for students including on-campus housing, private apartments, and shared accommodation.
The cost of rent for a private studio or a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €500 to €700 per month, while the rent for a similar apartment in the suburbs is usually lower, ranging from €400 to €600 per month

According to a survey by Numbeo, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is €609.17 and the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center is €481.43

It is essential to factor in additional expenses like utilities and internet which typically cost between €100 to €150 per month. Students should explore different accommodation options and plan their budget accordingly to ensure they have a comfortable living arrangement during their studies in Toulouse.

Transportation costs in Toulouse

Types of transportation available in Toulouse

Getting around a new city can be challenging, especially for international students who may not be familiar with the local transportation system.
Fortunately, Toulouse has a comprehensive public transportation network that is affordable and easy to use. In this section, we’ll explore the various transportation options available in Toulouse, including buses, trams, and metro lines

We’ll also provide a breakdown of the costs associated with using public transportation, as well as alternative transportation options such as bike rental and car sharing 

Public transportation options in Toulouse

Toulouse has an extensive public transportation network that includes buses, trams, and metro lines. The Tisséo network covers the entire city and its suburbs, making it easy for students to get around. 

  • A single ticket for any mode of transportation costs €1.70, and a pack of ten tickets is available for €14.10. 
  • Monthly and annual passes are available for frequent users. 

As of April 2023, the monthly pass costs €49.30, and the annual pass costs €496.70.

Students who are under 26 years old and studying in Toulouse can purchase a monthly pass for €28.20, and an annual pass for €282.60. The Tisséo website provides a comprehensive guide to the public transportation network, including route maps, schedules, and ticket information.

Bike rental and car sharing options in Toulouse

In addition to public transportation, Toulouse also offers alternative transportation options such as bike rental and car sharing

VélôToulouse is the city’s bike-sharing service, with over 280 stations and 2,400 bikes available for rent. 

  • The first 30 minutes of each ride are free, and each additional half-hour costs €1. 
  • After four hours, the price increases to €5 per hour. 

Another option is car sharing, which allows users to rent cars for short periods of time. BlaBlaCar and Drivy are popular car-sharing services in Toulouse, with prices ranging from €4 to €10 per hour, depending on the vehicle type and rental duration.
These alternative transportation options can be more cost-effective for short-term use, especially if you only need to travel short distances.

Food and grocery costs in Toulouse

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Food is an essential part of daily life for students, and it’s important to know the cost of groceries and meals in Toulouse.

In this section, we’ll explore the different food and grocery options available, including supermarkets, grocery stores, and restaurants, and provide an overview of the average cost of food in Toulouse. 

Supermarkets and grocery stores in Toulouse

The city has a variety of supermarkets and grocery stores that offer a range of options for students. Carrefour, Auchan, and Leclerc are some of the popular supermarkets in Toulouse. 

These supermarkets offer a wide range of products, from fresh produce to household items, at reasonable prices. Lidl and Aldi are discount supermarket chains that offer even lower prices, but with a more limited selection. In addition to supermarkets, Toulouse has numerous open-air markets that sell fresh produce, cheese, meat, and other local specialties. 

On average, a student can expect to spend on average between €50 and €70 per week on groceries in Toulouse, depending on their food preferences and dietary requirements. Prices may vary depending on the supermarket and the location.

Restaurants and cafe in Toulouse

Toulouse offers a vibrant food scene with a variety of restaurants and cafes to choose from. The cost of dining out in Toulouse varies depending on the type of cuisine and the restaurant’s location. 

A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost between €15 to €25, while a meal at a fast-food restaurant can cost between €7 to €10. (according to

For a more budget-friendly option, many cafes and bakeries offer sandwiches, pastries, and drinks for under €5. Toulouse is also known for its street food, with various food trucks and stalls selling crepes, sandwiches, and other snacks for under €10. 

Prices may vary depending on the restaurant or cafe and the location. TripAdvisor and TheFork are useful resources for finding and comparing restaurants in Toulouse.

Entertainment and leisure costs in Toulouse

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The city has a vibrant entertainment scene with plenty of options for students to explore. The cost of entertainment and leisure activities in Toulouse varies depending on the activity and the location. For example, a ticket to the cinema will cost you on average €11.50, while a ticket to a museum like the Musée des Augustins costs €5 for students. 

There are also numerous festivals throughout the year, including the Printemps de Septembre and the Rio Loco Festival, which offer free and ticketed events. 

In terms of nightlife, Toulouse has a range of bars and clubs, with drinks costing around €6-€8 per drink.
For budget-friendly options, students can explore the city’s parks, like the Jardin des Plantes or the Prairie des Filtres, which are free to enter.
The cost of entertainment and leisure activities in Toulouse is generally affordable, and students can enjoy a variety of options on a budget.

Is Toulouse affordable for international students?

Affordability is a major concern for international students, and Toulouse offers a good balance between quality of life and cost of living.

According to Numbeo, the cost of living in Toulouse is 20% lower than in Paris, with the average monthly cost of living for a student estimated at €750-€1000.

– Accommodation is one of the most significant expenses for students, but there are various affordable options available, ranging from €400 to €700 per month. Public transportation is also affordable, with a single ticket costing €1.70 and monthly passes available for €49.30. 

– Food and entertainment options are reasonably priced, with many affordable supermarkets, restaurants, and leisure activities available throughout the city. Additionally, students can take advantage of discounts and special offers by presenting their student ID card.

While there are certainly expenses to consider, Toulouse offers a more affordable option for international students compared to other major cities in France.

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