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Regular version of the site

Living Costs in Moscow

For Students
For international staff

The cost of Living in Moscow for students

The cost of living in Moscow as a student depends on the personal lifestyle and the activities a student engages in. However, the average amount of the basic expenses varies between 15 000 and 20 000 RUB per month.


At the HSE cafeteria breakfast/lunch will cost you approximately 150-200 RUB. Moscow has a huge variety of restaurants and cafes for every taste. Normally, it is possible to have a good dinner for about 800-1200 RUB per person. However, fast-food restaurants are much cheaper: KFC – approximately 300 RUB per meal; McDonalds – approximately 250 RUB per meal; canteen-type dining facility or a lunch offer in a restaurant – 300-500 per meal.

The expenses for buying food and beverages and cooking at home are approximately 2 000 RUB a week, where the prices for fruits and vegetables differ according to the season.


15 000 RUB per month

An annual medical insurance policy for $15 000 costs about 5500 RUB. This is approximately equivalent to a medical insurance for $50 000 abroad (medical fees in Moscow are less than abroad). However, private medical centres also offer more expensive insurance policies (around 60 000 - 100 000 RUB a year).


6 500-10 000 RUB per year

Students transport cards offer substantial discounts on underground transport; buses, trolleybuses etc. Average taxi trip inside Moscow: 300 - 1000 RUB, depending on the distance travelled and the trafic jams.

Information about transport fares is available here 


700 RUB per month (with the student transport card)
about 2700 RUB per month without a student transport card


Russian Mobile SIM card. One minute of an outward call inside Russia: RUB 2-4. Receiving a call is free. Free internet in all HSE buildings makes Skype calls easier!


500-800 RUB per month

On-the-campus Internet is available for free (study rooms, library, etc). There is free Wi-Fi in all Moscow campuses of HSE. Mobile internet might cost from 300 to 1000 roubles a month.

500-1000 RUB per month

(or free)
Visa Registration, Visa Prolongation

Every foreigner coming to Russia should have his/her Russian visa registered within 72 hours upon arrival, excluding holidays and weekends. All students first obtain their entrance visa for 90 days. Visa prolongation costs RUB 1000.

1600 RUB (once per stay)
Leisure Activities

A ticket to the Bolshoi theater costs from 5000 RUB. Going to any other theater would cost from 1500 RUB. A movie ticket costs about 300 RUB. Admission to Moscow's museums and exhibition halls costs from 200 RUB. However, there are a lot of discounts for students upon presentation of student ID.

Going to a club might cost between 1 000 to 4 000 RUB per night. Of course, the prices vary depending on the entry fees and clubs’ pricelists. Average cost of a pint of beer in a bar is 300-400 RUB

ESN offers many different activities and trips to various destinations. Ticket prices can reach 700 RUB for weekly activities and 3 000 for major trips


around 5000 RUB a month or more

Accommodation in HSE Student Dormitory

If a student prefers to live in a separate room outside of a dormitory, the prices for renting a room are influenced by the market prices and factors such as proximity to metro stations, location etc.; usually the cost for renting a single room in an apartment is around 25 000 RUB per month, excluding the public utilities costs.

1000 - 1500 RUB per month (for student dormitory)

Clothing and other purchases

Winter clothes and shoes vary in price too: from 4 000 to 20 000 RUB. It depends on student’s personal style and brand preferences. A good winter coat could cost 5 000-8 000 RUB. Mid-level chains like Decathlon or Sportmaster usually have a good selection of casual style clothing suitable for Russian climate.

Dormitories are not equipped to satisfy every student's need for kitchen tools, so they should have their own kitchen equipment (pots - around 400 RUB, pans - 200 to 500 RUB, plates, etc.; a kettle will cost around 1 000 RUB). Additionally, a good option for cooking at the dormitories will be a rice cooker or an electric pan, which can be found for 2 500 RUB to 5 000 RUB.

Learning the language: if learning Russian language is a priority, and a student wants to visit Russian language classes outside of the university, a tutor will charge around 1 500 per hour. However, regular communication with Russian friends and classmates usually helps to improve his/her language skills.

Books: prices vary from 400 to 1000 RUB for a book. Usually every bookstore has a section with books in languages other than Russian.


around 4000 RUB a month (could be more or less depending on a person's lifestyle)


Information about official exchange rates available here.
More information about living costs in Moscow available here.

The cost of living in Moscow for international staff

It is obviously somewhat difficult to estimate how much it might take to cover one’s living expenses, as it depends on many things, including needs and habits. The average cost of living in Moscow also varies on the district one resides in, as this will significantly affect the rent, use of transport, types of local shops and supermarkets, cafes and restaurants.

To help you understand Moscow prices we have outlined the average costs of goods and services in Russia’s capital.

We also strongly recommend that you refer to http://ifaculty.hse.ru/ in the first place for most of the questions regarding contract issuestaxescompensations and bank account details.

HousingTransportLeisure activities and entertainment
Mobile tariffsMotoring costsClothing and footwear


Private rented accommodation costs are likely to be the main expense and will vary considerably depending on the district and the type, size and standard of accommodation. The city centre is generally more expensive in all respects including apartments. Flats are usually leased fully furnished.

Average monthly rent for a furnished apartment is as follows: 

Type of apartmentPrice per month
One-room apartment35 000 – 50 000 RUB
Two-room apartment45 000 – 70 000 RUB
Three-room apartment55 000 – 85 000 RUB

One will normally have to pay a deposit of one month’s rent which will be refunded at the end of the tenancy.

Utilities (water, electricity, gas, heating, etc.)

Payment for utilities may be included in the rental price, by agreement with the landlord. If you pay separately, the average cost of utilities per month is 4000 RUB – 8000 RUB.


Almost all rental apartments have Internet accesses and Wi-Fi. The average fee for an internet service is 350 RUB – 500 RUBper month.

Mobile tariffs

There are three nationwide mobile service providers in Russia: MTS Mobile, Beeline and MegaFon.

Tariffs offered by them are pretty similar and cost about 500 to 800 RUB per month.


More information here

In addition to local stores there are a few supermarket chains in Moscow, from low- and mid-budget Pyaterochka (Пятерочка), Perekrestok (Перекресток), Magnolia (Магнолия), Billa (Билла) and the international chain Auchan to upscale Azbuka Vkusa (Азбука вкуса) and Globus Gourmet specialising in high-quality food and alcohol. Depending on the type of products, the price discrepancy may be considerable, however these supermarkets chains have many locations so one can almost always find an affordable option.

Here is a price list of some of the most frequently used foodstuff


FoodPrice in RUB
Beef (1 kg)450 – 600 RUB
Pork (1 kg)300 – 500 RUB
Chicken (1 kg)150 – 300 RUB
Salmon (1 kg)600 – 1000 RUB
Milk (1liter)70 – 90 RUB
Eggs (12)70 – 100 RUB
Potatoes (1 kg)30 – 60 RUB
Tomatoes (1 kg)200 – 250 RUB
Water (1,5 liter bottle)50 – 60 RUB
500 gr of local cheese350 – 400 RUB
Apples (1 kg)130 – 200 RUB
Oranges (1 kg)70 – 130 RUB
Rice (1 kg)60 – 90 RUB
Pasta (0.5 kg)60 – 100 RUB


There are also several online supermarkets that sell a wide range of products with varying terms of delivery and prices. Some of the most popular include Utkonos, Lavkalavka (organic food) and SFerm (From Farms).

Food prices in Moscow are quite moderate, particularly for domestic products, whereas imported brands and organic produce are more expensive.


More information here.

Transport in Moscow can be considered quite reasonable as there is no zoning and no time limits for a trip.

As of August 2019, the price for tickets in Moscow Metro (also valid for ground transport):

single fare ticket (valid 5 days)30-day ticket (unlimited rides)60 trips (valid 45 days from the purchase date)
55 RUB2170 RUB1900 RUB


Prices for overground transport:

 single fare ticket30 days
45 RUB 1140 RUB

Note that the minimum number of rides you can purchase is 60 so it's better to buy a card valid on all means of public transport (for instance, 60 rides for 1900 RUB).

There is also an option of purchasing a top-up 'Troika' card for public transport. In this case, every ride will set you back 38 RUB. For more options, please, visit the webpage.


There are both registered and unlicensed taxis in Moscow. The average tariff for registered taxis is 300 RUB - 800 RUB.  The prices of unlicensed taxis may vary greatly, so it is highly recommended to avoid using their services. There are several taxi aggregator services, which you can use, for instance Uber, Yandex.Taxi, Gettaxi. You can download the necessary app for your smartphone in AppStore or Google Play.


There are currently 5 car-sharing operators in Moscow. Typically, you have to be over 21 and have at least 2.5 years of driver's experience. The rates vary from 8 to 11 roubles / per minute. More information available on Moscow transport website (in Russian).

Clothing and footwear

Nowadays Moscow offers shops to suit every budget and taste. Several shopping malls like Mega, Evropeyskiy, Metropolis, Atrium contain such popular mass market international brands as H&M, Marks & Spencer, Zara, Levi’s, Adidas, Mexx, New Look.

The average price in these shops:

  • a pair of jeans – 2000-5000 RUB
  • a shirt – 1500-4000 RUB
  • a jumper – 1500-4000 RUB
  • a jacket – 3000-9000 RUB
  • a pair of shoes – 2500-8000 RUB

Alongside them, you can also find such recognised brands as Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, and Banana Republic.

As well as these, luxury and premium shops and boutiques as D&G, Burberry, Chanel, and Armani also have a presence in the Moscow retail market. They can be found in central locations and prestigious shopping centres (TSUM, Petrovsky Passage). However the price in their Moscow stores may be higher than that in most European countries. Thus a pair of Armani jeans in Moscow TSUM is 25000 RUB, and a leather handbag by Yves Saint Laurent is 150000 RUB.

Leisure activities and entertainment

More information here.

Moscow is the major cultural centre of Russia and offers a wide choice of places and events to attend.

 Ticket price in RUB
Cinemas250-450 RUB
Theatres1000-3000 RUB
Museums400-700 RUB

Café and Restaurants

More information here.

The average cost of a business lunch in a café or a combomeal in a fast food restaurant costs about 300 to 500 RUB.

The average total bill in a mid-range restaurant for one person is 800 RUB – 1300 RUB.

Motoring costs

Owning a car in Russia is no longer considered a privilege. Unfortunately, because of constant traffic jams it is often more convenient to use the Metro. However, driving a car still has its benefits. Here is a typical list of car related expenses (as of 2016):

  • Average car insurance Kasko+Osago (per year) – 79 000 + 4650 RUB
  • Planned maintenance – 5500  – 8500 RUB
  • Vehicle inspection – 720 RUB
  • Parking fees (per hour) – 40-80 RUB (depending on a Moscow district)
  • Petrol 92 (per 1 litre) – 29-35 RUB, 95 (per 1 litre) – 34-38 RUB
  • Taxes and duties – 840-10000 RUB (depending on car power) and 2850 RUB (applies to any car)


Russian citizens mostly send their children to state nurseries and kindergartens which charge fees of 2500-4000 RUB per month. However, recently there has been a rise in the number of private day-care centres, including those offering English speaking staff, which are more expensive. The average monthly fee for a private kindergarten is 35 000-50 000 RUB.

Russian state comprehensive schools provide free of charge, high quality education, although the curriculum is different from the Western model. Also the language of instruction there is Russian.

Besides state schools, Moscow nowadays has a wide selection of private international schools offering British and American style education with a worldwide reputation for quality. The cost of education in other top international schools in Moscow such as the International School of MoscowAnglo-American School of Moscow and the British International School depends on the grade level, the time of enrolment, and whether or not a child requires any additional support programmes. The exact fees charged by these schools can be found out after filling out an online application form on the relevant websites.