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How much does it cost to live in Lyon

By Aline
Reading Time: 5 minutes
cost of living lyon

Lyon is celebrated for its vibrant culture and rich history, often seen as a more affordable alternative to Paris. This makes it an attractive option for students seeking a high-quality education experience without the high cost of living associated with France’s capital.

To get an understanding of the cost of living in Lyon as a student, we broke down the typical expenses into different categories that students usually tend to spend money on.

Please note that the costs in this article are based on averages, and your actual cost of living will vary depending on factors such as your location in France, the school you attend, the duration of your studies, your accommodation, lifestyle, and spending habits.

cost of living lyon

Tuition

France is known for its relatively affordable higher education system, especially in comparison to countries like the USA or the UK. Tuition fees for higher education are designed to be affordable, with significant subsidies for European students and reasonable fees for non-European students:

European Students:
– Bachelor: €170
– Master: €243
– Engineering: €601
– Doctoral: €380
Non-European Students:
– Bachelor: €2,770
– Master: €3,770

Source Campus France: https://www.campusfrance.org/en/tuition-fees-France

Studying French in a language school in Lyon will cost you roughly 720€ per month. See our programs here: https://gogofrance.com/en/language-schools-in-france/lyon/

This structure makes France an appealing destination for students seeking high-quality, affordable education, regardless of their nationality.

You can read more about the comparison of education costs between France, the USA, and the UK here:
https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/education-costs-in-france-and-the-usa/
https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/education-costs-in-france-vs-the-uk/

Accommodation

Accommodation is likely the most significant monthly expense for students. Costs vary widely depending on location, type of housing, and whether you’re willing to have roommates.

On average:

  • Rent for a studio apartment: €600 – €900
  • Room in a shared apartment: €300 – €600
  • University residence room: €250 – €500

Utilities and internet may add an additional €150 to monthly expenses, though many student accommodations include these in the rent.

Learn how to find accommodation in Lyon here: https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/how-to-find-accommodation-in-lyon/

Financial Aids

International students in France with a long-term visa may qualify for housing assistance from the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales), potentially reducing housing costs significantly. Financial aid types include APL, ALS, or ALF, with the average monthly APL for a single person in standard rentals about €150.

Make a simulation here: https://wwwd.caf.fr/mesdemarches/faireunesimulation/lelogement

cost of living lyon

Transportation

Lyon boasts an efficient public transportation system, managed by TCL (Transports en Commun Lyonnais), which is both reliable and accommodating for students. For those aged 18 to 27, the TCL offers a specially priced monthly pass at €25, granting unlimited travel across the city’s buses, trams, metro, and funicular services.

Groceries

Groceries can cost around €200 – €300 per month, depending on dietary preferences. Lyon offers a range of shopping options from local outdoor markets to international supermarkets, allowing students to manage their food expenses according to their budgets.

Some of the items students regularly cost:

  • Soy Milk: €1.50 – €2.50 per liter
  • Eggs (pack of 10): €2.50 – €4.00
  • Lettuce: €1.00 – €1.50 per head
  • Avocado: €1.00 – €2.00 each
  • Pasta (500g): €0.90 – €2.00
  • Coffee (filter, pack of 10): €2.00 – €4.00
  • Tomatoes: €2.00 – €3.00 per kg
  • Bananas: €1.50 – €2.50

Eating out in Lyon, renowned for its culinary heritage, can also be budget-friendly, especially for students. The city’s bountiful bistros, cafes, and university canteens often have special deals, with meals priced between €10 – €12.

cost of living lyon

Internet and Phone

Staying connected is a key part of student life, and operators in France offer various options for mobile phone plans and home internet, catering to different needs and budgets.

Students can choose from prepaid or monthly contracts starting at €10-€15 for basic 20G data, calls, and texts. Monthly rates for reliable internet suitable for streaming and online classes begin at €20-€30. Faster fiber optic connections cost about €30-€50.

Promotions and student discounts are common, offering ways to save on these essential services.

Leisure

Lyon offers numerous affordable cultural and leisure activities for students. Here’s a snapshot of potential expenses:

  • Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts): Reduced entry for students at around €4.
  • Confluences Museum (Musée des Confluences): Student price approximately €5.
  • Lyon City Card: Special rates for students, offering free access to public transport and discounts on various attractions, starting at €20 for 1 day.
  • Outdoor Cinema Events: During summer, free or around €5 for special screenings in parks.
  • Vélo’v Bike Share: First 30 minutes free, then affordable rates for longer rentals, ideal for exploring the city, subscription fee around €1.50 per day for students.

With these examples, a modest monthly leisure budget of €100 to €200 can cover a variety of experiences, blending cultural immersion with social life.

Health

Health insurance is mandatory for students in France under a long-term visa. Non-European students need to register to the national health system (Sécurité Sociale), which is free and covers the majority of health care costs. However, you may still need to contribute a modest amount to a mutuelle (supplementary health insurance), although this is optional. This additional coverage can further reduce any out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare services not fully covered by the Sécurité Sociale.

Here you can learn more about the French healthcare system:
https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/how-the-french-healthcare-system-works/
https://gogofrance.com/en/blog/securite-sociale-faq/

Income

In France, student visas typically allow you to work up to 964 hours per year, equivalent to 60% of the full legal work year.

Many students successfully find jobs teaching their native language to French locals. Other part-time opportunities include working in restaurants, cafés, hotels, local stores, and more. The minimum wage (SMIC) is €9.22 (net amount) as of January 2024.

Working 15 hours a week at the minimum wage in a café, a student could earn around €550 per month net of taxes and contributions, aiding in covering expenses and gaining valuable work experience.

cost of living lyon

Get an Estimate

Wondering how much does it cost to live and study in Lyon? Use our cost of living calculator to find out! Get an estimate here: https://gogofrance.com/en/cost-of-living-in-france-calculator/

Use our cost of living calculator to estimate how much money you will need during your stay in France. Please note that these figures are estimates based on averages, and your actual cost of living will vary depending on your location in France, the school you attend, the duration of your studies, your accommodation, lifestyle, and spending habits.

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