How is life in Vietnam 1

Cost of Living Vietnam

While it is difficult in many places to secure a long-term visa without much effort, the situation in Vietnam is relaxed.

There is no problem with a Visa on Arrival with a term of up to one year (multiple entry).

The cost of living in Vietnam is also attractive.

If you live outside of, for example, the comparatively expensive Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City, you can live very cheaply in Vietnam.

Contents at a glance

What is recorded here?

Lifestyle and Cost of Living Vietnam

First of all: This is about longer stays in Vietnam (one month and more) and not about typical costs for a Vietnam vacation.

The cost overview is based on the needs of long-term vacationers or emigrants who want to live in Vietnam for a longer period of time.

If you want, you can live really cheap in Vietnam.

The average income of a Vietnamese is somewhere around US $ 200. A cheap room is available for under US $ 100 a month.

However, it depends on which lifestyle you want to maintain.

This is not about the "cheapest Vietnam cost of living". It's not about getting by with as little money as possible.

Rather, the following overview is intended to help you keep an eye on the typical cost of living as a German abroad in Vietnam.

  • What are the common monthly expenses in Vietnam?
  • What does the typical price level look like (e.g. supermarket prices)?
  • What is the cost of living in Vietnam?
  • What tips are there for living in Vietnam?

Of course, a lot depends on the well-kept lifestyle in Vietnam.

There are luxury condo projects in central Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City. Those who stay here don't pay much less rent than at home.

However, outside of the metropolitan areas and in “tier B cities” there are many interesting options for renting cheap but also comfortable living.

Otherwise, of course, leisure activities also play a major role.

Fine restaurants, long evenings in expat bars or shopping in luxury malls - all of this is possible in Vietnam, but it is just as straining on the wallet as it is elsewhere.

Life in Vietnam is cheap if you live in the suburbs of big cities or in rural Vietnam.

How do I track my monthly expenses

It is true that “cost of living Vietnam” has no scientific claim.

Nevertheless, I would like to show realistic data on monthly expenses. That is my claim.

That's why I used a smartphone app in Vietnam to compile the monthly expenses including statistics and then evaluate them here.

There are many apps for recording monthly expenses. Some can even scan receipts or have an interface to the checking account or credit card in order to automatically record ongoing expenses.

The app I use (Expense Tracker for Android), on the other hand, is comparatively simple.

That's enough for me - I need about 5 minutes to record my daily expenses in Vietnam.

Current exchange rate EUR / VND (or Euro / Vietnamese dong)

First, a look at the Euro / Vietnamese Dong (or EUR / VND) exchange rate.

As before any other long stay abroad, it is advisable to compare in advance how cash and card payments can be processed at the cheapest price.

Exchange rates can fluctuate and banks sometimes charge surcharges such as foreign currency fees.

Here is a look at the euro / Vietnamese dong (EUR / VND) exchange rate based on the “raw” exchange rate data, before we turn to the actual cost of living in Vietnam.

Current Exchange Rate EUR (Euro) / VND (Vietnamese Dong)
1 EUR (Euro) = 28.002.42 VND (Vietnamese Dong)
Common amounts EUR (Euro) / VND (Vietnamese Dong) in the exchange rate table
  • 5 EUR (Euro) = 140,012.09 VND (Vietnamese Dong)
  • 10 EUR (Euro) = 280,024.17 VND (Vietnamese Dong)
  • 50 EUR (Euro) = 1.4 million VND (Vietnamese Dong)
  • 100 EUR (Euro) = 2.8 million VND (Vietnamese Dong)
  • 500 EUR (Euro) = 14 million VND (Vietnamese Dong)
  • 1,000 EUR (Euro) = 28 million VND (Vietnamese Dong)

The EUR (Euro) / VND (Vietnamese Dong) exchange rate was last accessed on May 19, 2021.

No guarantee.

How much money do you need to live in Vietnam?

Rent for apartment or other accommodation or hotel

For many Germans living abroad in Vietnam, rent is certainly one of the most important cost components.

As in principle everywhere else in the world, rents vary depending on the location and equipment of the apartment or house.

In a central location in the big cities it can be relatively more expensive. Outskirts (suburbs) or smaller cities have significantly cheaper rents.

Long term rental in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam

Type of accommodationRent / costs
Studio Apartment (1 BR) - expensive area10 million VND
Studio apartment (1 BR) - outskirtsVND 5 million
1 BR apartment - expensive areaVND 12 million
1 BR apartment - outskirts7 million VND
2 BR apartment - expensive area17.5 million VND
2 BR apartment - outskirts8.5 million VND
House (3 BR ++)VND 12.5 million

Exemplary long-term rentals (30 days ++) in Vietnam (Saigon) are shown.

The representation in euros is at the exchange rate 1 EUR = 28,002.4172 VND.

The rents in Vietnam (Saigon) were last updated in August 2019.

Prices for rental apartments and rental houses elsewhere in Vietnam

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is one of the most expensive cities in Vietnam.

The same applies here: Those who settle a little outside the center will find cheaper apartments and houses.

The rest of Vietnam tends to be cheaper than Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for rental apartments and houses.

Prices for restaurants

Going out in restaurants is also cheap in Vietnam.

Even those who eat out in restaurants every day don't have to plan a large block in the cost of living here.

Local restaurants are very cheap. A meal with a drink is available here for the equivalent of significantly less than € 5.

International restaurants and upscale restaurants are slightly more expensive. Compared to other countries, however, the food here is also cheap.

positionCosts (approx.)
Meal (cheap restaurant)75,000 VND
Meal (fine dining)200,000 VND
Tea or water15,000 VND
beer20,000 VND
Coffee specialty25,000 VND

Exemplary, everyday costs in Vietnam are shown - here for restaurants.

The representation in euros is at the exchange rate 1 EUR = 28,002.4172 VND.

Prices in Vietnam were last updated in August 2019.

Supermarket prices

Shopping in the supermarket in Vietnam is cheap - at least if you stick to local products.

Vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs, travel and local dairy products are all cheap.

On the other hand, those who buy imported or western food (e.g. muesli) tend to pay a little more than in Europe. It is similar with the supermarket prices in Thailand.

Contribution to the cost of living in Vietnam - the bottom line is that supermarket prices in Vietnam are cheap.

positionCosts (approx.)
Milk (1 l)31,000 VND
Cheese (100 g)28,000 VND
Yogurt (500 g)26,000 VND
Eggs (6 pieces)15,000 VND
Bread (500 g)16,000 VND
Muesli (750 g)90,000 VND
Pasta (500 g)30,000 VND
Olive oil (0.5 l)50,000 VND
Apples (1 kg)60,000 VND
Bananas (1 kg)22,000 VND
Oranges (1 kg)38,000 VND
Water (1.5 l)7,000 VND
Lettuce (1 head)VND 12,000
Tomatoes (1 kg)22,000 VND
Cucumber (1 piece)VND 12,000
Paprika (1 kg)48,000 VND
Carrots (1 kg)37,000 VND
Chicken breast (1 kg)70,000 VND
Fillet of beef (1 kg)175,000 VND
Beer (0.33 l / local)13,000 VND
Cigarettes (Marlboro Red)25,000 VND

Exemplary, everyday costs in Vietnam are shown - here for the supermarket.

The representation in euros is at the exchange rate 1 EUR = 28,002.4172 VND.

Prices in Vietnam were last updated in August 2019.

Transport and traffic

Road traffic is hectic, especially in big cities.

On the other hand, the prices for local public transport and taxis in Vietnam are very cheap.

The ride-hailing service Grab (similar to Uber) tends to be cheaper than a regular taxi.

You can also rent a moped cheaply.

positionCosts (approx.)
Single ticket (local transport)8,000 VND
Taxi (30 min.)120,000 VND
Ride-hailing (30 min.)80,000 VND
Rental motorcycle (monthly)1.3 million VND
Rental car (per day)380,000 VND

Exemplary, everyday costs in Vietnam are shown - here for transport.

The representation in euros is at the exchange rate 1 EUR = 28,002.4172 VND.

Prices in Vietnam were last updated in August 2019.

leisure

I didn't have a lot of expenses in this category.

Gyms in Vietnam can be more expensive than listed below (if you want a modern gym). But I used the Condo-Gym and didn't have any monthly expenses here.

There are no surprises when it comes to the prices for cinema tickets.

positionCosts (approx.)
Cinema ticket (adult)180,000 VND
Gym (monthly membership)500,000 VND

Exemplary, everyday costs in Vietnam are shown - here for leisure.

The representation in euros is at the exchange rate 1 EUR = 28,002.4172 VND.

Prices in Vietnam were last updated in August 2019.

Communication and internet

Internet access does not cost a lot in Vietnam.

This applies to both DSL and mobile Internet (“Data SIM”).

For the mobile Internet, the speeds are not exactly high. 4G / LTE has only recently been introduced in Vietnam. Even when there is 4G network coverage, the speeds are moderate.

However, it is sufficient for mobile surfing.

However, DSL access can be pleasantly quick in Vietnam - at least if the undersea cable is not damaged again 🙂

positionCosts (approx.)
Internet connection (min. 10 Mbit / s, monthly)220,000 VND
SIM card with data plan (monthly)70,000 VND

Exemplary, everyday costs in Vietnam are shown - here for communication.

The representation in euros is at the exchange rate 1 EUR = 28,002.4172 VND.

Prices in Vietnam were last updated in August 2019.

My expenses for a month in Vietnam

Cost of Living Saigon / Ho Chi Minh City

It's always cheaper - but I had a good time on my last stay.

On the one hand, I had a beautiful apartment with a panoramic view on the 17th floor and well-equipped.

On the other hand, however, I chose an apartment outside the city center.

So this is my cost of living in Vietnam for a month:

categoryexpenditureRemarks
Housing / accommodation7.8 million VND1 BR apartment D9, condo with pool / gym, incl. Electricity / water / WiFi
Restaurants / bars5.2 million VNDapprox. 5x / week restaurant, occasionally bar
transport2 million VNDMainly grave, no own vehicle
leisure180,000 VND1x cinema / otherwise no noteworthy issues
communication120,000 VNDSIM card with unlimited data
Supermarket / purchases4.5 million VNDVarious small purchases in the mini-market and about twice a week in the hyper-market

Examples of cost of living in Vietnam (Saigon) or costs for 1 month of Vietnam are shown.

The representation in euros is at the exchange rate 1 EUR = 28,002.4172 VND.

The prices in Vietnam (Saigon) were determined during a stay in September 2018.

There were hardly any additional costs because the condo apartment was well equipped (good kitchen, washing machine) and I used the gym and the pool of the condo complex.

Since I drove to the center several times (D1) and didn't have my own vehicle, the transport costs are comparatively high.

I also had comparatively little desire to eat out in restaurants.

The restaurant costs are therefore comparatively low. I spent more time shopping in the supermarket for that.