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What Things Cost In Uruguay


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Andrei Doty



Welcome to Uruguay, a country known for its rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant communities. Located in South America, Uruguay offers a unique blend of traditional charm and modern amenities. But before you embark on your journey to this captivating country, it’s essential to understand the cost of living in Uruguay.


Uruguay is often considered one of the most expensive countries in Latin America. However, it still offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many developed nations. The currency used in Uruguay is the Uruguayan peso (UYU), and it is important to keep in mind the exchange rate when budgeting your expenses.


The cost of living in Uruguay can vary depending on factors such as location, lifestyle choices, and personal preferences. In this article, we will explore the average costs of various aspects of life in Uruguay, including food, housing, transportation, utilities, healthcare, education, entertainment, personal care, and miscellaneous expenses. This comprehensive guide will give you a better understanding of what to expect when it comes to expenses in Uruguay.


Whether you’re planning a short visit or considering making Uruguay your new home, understanding the cost of living is crucial for effective financial planning. So, let’s dive into the details and discover what things cost in Uruguay!


Food and Groceries

When it comes to food and groceries, Uruguay offers a wide variety of options to suit different budgets and tastes. The cost of food in Uruguay can vary depending on whether you choose to eat out at restaurants or cook your own meals at home.


On average, a meal at a mid-range restaurant in Uruguay can cost between 450-600 UYU ($10-14 USD), while a three-course meal for two at a higher-end restaurant can range from 1,200-2,000 UYU ($27-45 USD). For those on a tighter budget, there are many affordable eateries and food trucks where you can enjoy a delicious meal for around 300 UYU ($7 USD).


If you prefer to cook at home, grocery prices in Uruguay are relatively affordable. Basic items such as bread, milk, eggs, and vegetables can be found at reasonable prices in local markets. A loaf of bread costs around 60 UYU ($1.35 USD), a liter of milk costs approximately 50 UYU ($1.12 USD), a dozen eggs can be bought for 80-100 UYU ($1.80-2.25 USD), and fresh produce is generally reasonably priced.


For meat lovers, Uruguay is renowned for its high-quality beef. The price of beef can vary depending on the cut and quality, but on average, you can expect to pay around 500-600 UYU ($11-14 USD) per kilogram. Other types of meat, such as chicken and pork, are also available at affordable prices.


When dining out or grocery shopping, it’s worth noting that prices may be slightly higher in popular tourist areas compared to local neighborhoods. Additionally, if you choose to indulge in imported goods or luxury food items, the prices may be higher.


Overall, whether you choose to dine out or cook at home, Uruguay offers a range of affordable options for food and groceries. By exploring local markets and embracing the Uruguayan culinary scene, you can enjoy delicious meals without breaking the bank.


Housing and Accommodation

Finding suitable housing and accommodation is an important aspect of living in Uruguay. The cost of housing can vary significantly depending on the location, size, and type of property you choose.


In major cities like Montevideo, rental prices tend to be higher compared to smaller towns. On average, you can expect to pay around 15,000-25,000 UYU ($340-565 USD) per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. If you’re looking for something larger, a three-bedroom apartment in a prime location can range from 30,000-45,000 UYU ($680-1,015 USD) per month.


If you prefer to purchase a property, the average price per square meter in the city center is around 65,000-100,000 UYU ($1,470-2,250 USD), depending on the neighborhood and condition of the property.


For those on a tighter budget, there are more affordable housing options available outside the city center. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the outskirts of Montevideo can cost around 10,000-15,000 UYU ($225-340 USD) per month.


Keep in mind that additional expenses such as utilities, internet, and maintenance fees are not usually included in the rental price and should be factored into your budget. On average, utilities for a small apartment can cost around 3,500-5,000 UYU ($80-115 USD) per month.


If you’re looking for alternative accommodation options, Uruguay has a range of hotels, hostels, and guesthouses available for both short-term and long-term stays. Prices vary depending on the location and level of luxury desired.


Overall, while housing and accommodation in Uruguay can be relatively expensive, there are options available to suit different budgets. It’s important to consider your priorities, location preferences, and lifestyle when making decisions about where to live in Uruguay.



Getting around in Uruguay is relatively convenient, thanks to its well-developed transportation system. Whether you prefer public transportation or owning a vehicle, there are options available to suit different preferences and budgets.


Public transportation in Uruguay includes buses and taxis. Buses are a popular mode of transportation, with an extensive network that covers most major cities and towns. The cost of a bus ticket within the city ranges from 40-70 UYU ($0.90-1.60 USD), making it an affordable option for daily commuting.


Taxis are also widely available in urban areas, and the fares are relatively reasonable. The starting fare for a taxi ride is around 70-90 UYU ($1.60-2.00 USD), with additional charges for distance traveled.


If you prefer to have more flexibility and independence, owning a vehicle in Uruguay is another option to consider. The cost of purchasing a car in Uruguay can vary significantly depending on the make, model, and condition of the vehicle. Second-hand cars can be found at prices ranging from 150,000-400,000 UYU ($3,400-9,000 USD).


It’s important to note that owning a car in Uruguay also entails additional expenses such as insurance, fuel, and maintenance. Fuel prices in Uruguay are relatively high, with gasoline costing around 63 UYU ($1.42 USD) per liter.


Overall, public transportation is a cost-effective option for getting around in Uruguay, especially in urban areas. However, if you prefer the convenience and flexibility of owning a vehicle, it’s essential to factor in the associated costs into your budget.


Additionally, Uruguay is known for its bike-friendly infrastructure, making cycling a popular mode of transportation, particularly in cities like Montevideo. Bike rental services are available for both residents and tourists, providing a convenient and environmentally friendly way to explore the country.



When it comes to utilities, Uruguay provides reliable and essential services to its residents. The cost of utilities can vary depending on factors such as the size of your accommodation and your consumption habits.


Electricity is one of the key utilities in Uruguay, and the average monthly cost for a small apartment is around 2,000-3,500 UYU ($45-80 USD). This cost may increase if you use air conditioning or electric heating extensively.


Water and sewage services are another important consideration. The average monthly cost for water in Uruguay is around 500-1,000 UYU ($11-23 USD), depending on your usage. Sewage costs are usually included in this monthly fee.


Internet and telecommunications services are widely available in Uruguay, with various providers offering different packages. The average monthly cost for a basic internet plan is around 1,000-1,500 UYU ($23-34 USD). If you require higher internet speeds or additional services, the cost may increase accordingly.


It’s worth noting that these are average costs, and prices can vary depending on your location and the service providers available in your area. It’s advisable to compare different providers and packages to find the most suitable and cost-effective option for your needs.


Furthermore, if you choose to live in a gated community or a shared residential complex, there may be additional fees for security, maintenance, and communal amenities such as swimming pools or gyms. These costs vary depending on the facilities offered and can range from a few hundred UYU to several thousand UYU per month.


Overall, utilities in Uruguay are generally affordable and of good quality. It’s important to consider your specific needs and consumption patterns when budgeting for utility expenses.



Uruguay is known for its excellent healthcare system, providing accessible and high-quality medical services to its residents. Whether you’re a citizen, permanent resident, or a temporary visitor, you can access healthcare services in Uruguay.


The healthcare system in Uruguay is a combination of both public and private sectors. The public healthcare system, known as the National Integrated Health System (SNIS), offers comprehensive coverage to all residents. This system is funded through taxes and provides free or low-cost medical services.


To access public healthcare services, residents are required to register with a specific healthcare provider called a Complementary Medicine Provider (Prestador de Salud Complementario). This registration allows individuals to choose a primary care doctor and access a network of public healthcare facilities.


Private healthcare services are also available in Uruguay, offering a higher level of comfort and shorter waiting times. Private healthcare providers usually require health insurance coverage. It’s important to note that private medical expenses can be more expensive compared to public options.


Regarding costs, the overall healthcare expenses in Uruguay are relatively lower compared to many developed countries. However, it’s always advisable to have health insurance or travel insurance that covers medical expenses to ensure financial peace of mind.


Pharmacies are easily accessible throughout the country, and over-the-counter medications are widely available. Prescription medications can be obtained from pharmacies with a valid doctor’s prescription.


In terms of emergency services, Uruguay has a well-equipped emergency response system. In case of a medical emergency, you can dial 911 for immediate assistance.


Overall, healthcare in Uruguay is highly regarded, and residents can expect quality medical services. Whether accessing public or private healthcare, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the system and have appropriate insurance coverage for peace of mind.



Uruguay is committed to providing quality education to its citizens, and the country has a well-developed education system. Education in Uruguay is free and compulsory from ages 4 to 14, covering primary and lower secondary education.


The education system in Uruguay consists of three levels: primary education (ages 4-12), lower secondary education (ages 12-15), and upper secondary education (ages 15-18). The Ministry of Education and Culture oversees the education system and ensures a standardized curriculum across the country.


Public schools are the most common choice for primary and secondary education in Uruguay. These schools are funded by the government and provide free education to all students. Private schools are also available, offering different educational approaches and sometimes bilingual or international curricula. However, private schools typically charge tuition fees.


Uruguay has a high literacy rate, and the quality of education is generally considered good. Teachers are well-trained, and classrooms are equipped with modern teaching aids.


For higher education, Uruguay has several universities and institutes offering a wide range of academic programs. The University of the Republic, located in Montevideo, is the largest and oldest university in the country. Other prestigious institutions include the Catholic University of Uruguay and ORT University.


It’s worth noting that higher education in Uruguay is not free, and tuition fees vary depending on the institution and program of study. Scholarships and financial aid options are available for eligible students.


In recent years, Uruguay has made efforts to integrate technology into education. Many schools now have computer labs, and students have access to digital resources and online tools.


Overall, education in Uruguay is accessible and of good quality. The government’s emphasis on providing free education ensures that all citizens have equal opportunities for education and personal development.



Uruguay offers a diverse range of entertainment options, catering to different interests and preferences. From cultural activities to outdoor adventures, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


In major cities like Montevideo and Punta del Este, you’ll find a vibrant arts and culture scene. Theaters, museums, art galleries, and music venues showcase a rich array of local and international talent. Attending a theater performance or visiting a museum can cost between 200-600 UYU ($4.50-13.50 USD) depending on the event or exhibition.


If you appreciate the outdoors, Uruguay’s natural beauty won’t disappoint. The country has stunning beaches along its coastline where you can swim, surf, or simply relax. Entrance to public beaches is free, while some private beaches may charge a small fee for access to their facilities. Additionally, Uruguay has beautiful national parks and reserves, where you can hike, birdwatch, or partake in wildlife spotting activities.


Sports enthusiasts can indulge in Uruguay’s national passion, football (soccer). Attending a football match is a thrilling experience, and ticket prices range from 400-1,500 UYU ($9-34 USD), depending on the teams playing and the seating category.


When it comes to dining out and nightlife, Uruguay offers a diverse range of options. From traditional Uruguayan barbecue (asado) to international cuisine, there are plenty of restaurants and eateries to choose from. Prices can vary depending on the restaurant’s location and level of luxury, but expect to pay around 400-1,000 UYU ($9-23 USD) for a mid-range meal for one person.


Nightlife in Uruguay is lively, with bars, clubs, and live music venues. You can enjoy an evening out with friends, dance to live music, or listen to renowned DJs. Entrance fees to clubs typically range from 100-400 UYU ($2-9 USD) depending on the venue and any special events taking place.


For movie lovers, Uruguay has modern cinemas screening both local and international films. Ticket prices start at around 150 UYU ($3.40 USD) and may vary for 3D screenings or premium theaters.


Overall, Uruguay offers a vibrant and diverse entertainment scene, ensuring there is always something to do and enjoy. Whether you’re seeking cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, or vibrant nightlife, Uruguay has it all.


Personal Care and Clothing

When it comes to personal care and clothing, Uruguay offers a range of options to suit different styles and budgets. From local markets to luxury boutiques, you can find everything you need to maintain your personal style.


Personal care items such as toiletries, skincare products, and grooming essentials are readily available in supermarkets, pharmacies, and specialized stores. Prices can vary depending on the brand and product, but overall, personal care items are affordable in Uruguay.


When it comes to clothing, Uruguay has a diverse retail landscape. You can find international fast-fashion brands, local designer boutiques, as well as second-hand and vintage stores. Shopping malls and department stores offer a wide range of clothing options for different budgets.


Prices for clothing in Uruguay vary depending on the brand, style, and quality. Basic clothing items such as t-shirts, jeans, and skirts can range from 500-1,500 UYU ($11-34 USD) in popular stores. Designer clothing and luxury brands will have higher price points.


If you prefer more budget-friendly options, there are second-hand clothing stores and local markets where you can find unique and affordable pieces. These offer a more sustainable approach to fashion and allow you to explore Uruguay’s local fashion scene.


It’s important to note that during the sales seasons, typically held in July and January, you can find significant discounts on clothing and accessories. This is a great opportunity to update your wardrobe at more affordable prices.


Regarding personal care services, Uruguay has a range of beauty salons and spas where you can indulge in treatments such as haircuts, manicures, pedicures, massages, and facials. The cost of these services can vary depending on the salon or spa’s location and reputation.


Overall, personal care and clothing expenses in Uruguay can be affordable, especially if you explore different stores and take advantage of sales and second-hand options. With a bit of savvy shopping, you can maintain your personal style without exceeding your budget.


Miscellaneous Expenses

Aside from the major categories of expenses, there are additional miscellaneous expenses to consider when living in Uruguay. These expenses can vary depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and personal circumstances.


One such expense is communication. Whether it’s a mobile phone plan or a landline service, telecommunications costs should be factored into your budget. The average monthly cost for a mobile phone plan with basic services starts at around 300-500 UYU ($7-11 USD), but prices can increase depending on additional features and data usage.


Another potential expense is insurance. While healthcare is accessible and generally affordable in Uruguay, having additional health insurance or travel insurance might be advisable to cover any unforeseen medical expenses. The cost of insurance can vary depending on factors such as age, coverage, and pre-existing conditions.


If you have a vehicle, it’s important to consider the cost of fuel, maintenance, and parking. Fuel prices in Uruguay are relatively high, with gasoline costing around 63 UYU ($1.42 USD) per liter. Additionally, parking fees in urban areas may apply, and occasional maintenance or repairs are a possibility.


Entertainment expenses, such as going to the cinema, attending concerts, or participating in recreational activities, should also be considered. The cost of these activities can vary depending on the event, venue, and any special offers or promotions available.


Travel and transportation expenses can add to your miscellaneous expenses as well. Whether it’s taking a domestic trip to explore different parts of Uruguay or planning international travel, transportation costs, accommodation, meals, and activities should be taken into account.


Other miscellaneous expenses can include pet costs (such as food, veterinary care, and grooming), memberships to clubs or organizations, hobbies, and personal hobbies or interests. These expenses will vary greatly depending on individual preferences and lifestyle choices.


It’s important to track your personal expenses and budget accordingly to ensure that miscellaneous expenses are accounted for. Creating a monthly budget and monitoring your spending can help you keep track of these variable costs and make informed financial decisions.



Living in Uruguay offers a unique blend of culture, natural beauty, and a relatively affordable cost of living. While certain expenses may be higher compared to other countries in the region, Uruguay provides a high quality of life and access to essential services.


When budgeting for life in Uruguay, it’s important to consider your individual lifestyle, preferences, and priorities. Understanding the costs of food, housing, transportation, utilities, healthcare, education, entertainment, personal care, and miscellaneous expenses are key to effective financial planning.


Uruguay provides a range of options to suit different budgets and tastes. From local markets for affordable food and groceries to luxury boutiques for fashion enthusiasts, there is something for everyone in Uruguay.


The well-developed healthcare system ensures accessible and quality medical services for residents, though having appropriate health insurance is advisable for peace of mind. The education system offers free schooling for primary and secondary education, and there are options for higher education as well.


Uruguay’s entertainment scene is vibrant, with cultural activities, outdoor adventures, and a diverse culinary landscape. Whether you prefer exploring museums and theaters, enjoying the beach, or indulging in the vibrant nightlife, there are numerous options for entertainment in Uruguay.


Ultimately, understanding the cost of living in Uruguay allows you to make informed choices and enjoy the best that this captivating country has to offer. By considering your own lifestyle, priorities, and budget, you can make the most of your time in Uruguay and embrace the unique experiences it has in store.