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How much does it cost to live in Germany?


Compared to other European countries, Germany is not overly expensive. The price of food, accommodation, clothing, cultural activities, etc. is equivalent to the EU average. In fact, the cost of living is relatively low compared to Scandinavian countries.

Be it the room in a dormitory, the pizza in a restaurant or the bottle of beer in a student club – everything costs money. Prices differ a lot not only in the big cities but all across Germany. While life and study in Munich is rather expensive, staying in Leipzig for example is much cheaper.

On Facebook we asked our fans, how much money they need every month. On our map you can see, where they live and how high their monthly expenses are:

Budget per Month (Click on the map)

Landkarte von StepMap

“In Heidelberg I survived on 600 a month, with subsidized rent. BW also requires 600 a month to get a visa. that’s keeping a very strict budget and not allowing much travel and extra stuff”, explains Donna Nicholls.

It’s almost the same with Kaushik Narasimhan from Mannheim: “As any help forum would say, largely depends on individual lifestyles. But if one can cook a bit by themselves, with reasonable recreation and leisure activities, 550 – 600 Euros is a lot.. Eat out once a day – Add 100-125 Euros approx. Always eating out – 750 – 800 Euros a month overall.. That is estimated with a rent of 250 Euros and health insurance of 75 Euros plus all other costs. I eat out occasionally and it usually doesn’t exceed 630-640 Euros for me personally..

For Shankar Nero from Aachen life is a little cheaper: “Well, need to take note that i am sharing my room with another person.. so … the break down of the expenses would be as following: Rental 175 Euros, Insurance 80 Euros, Mobile Phone: 10 Euros, Foods: ca. 100 – 150 Euros (Its even more cheaper sometimes since i cook together with some other friends), Misc.: 50€ (inclusive occasional entertainment). Like most students in the state of Northrhine Westfalia he owns a semester ticket, which allows him to use the public transport system all across the state.

Way up North Nareendran Raja studies in Emden for his masters. “I pay 150 Euros for my rent and 75 Euros for my insurance. and 80 Euros for cooking and 20 Euros for other expenses like phone and voip and 30 Euros for leisure time. Totally my expenses are 350 per month.”

Usman Ilyas, who studies at the University of Kiel needs a bit more cash in his pocket: “Here is a little break down of monthly expenses: Rent 167 € (depending on dormitory may be up to 240 Euros), Health Insurance ca. 67 Euros, Mobile phone 15 Euros, Food 100-150 Euros enough (with sometimes eating out) in case of self cooking, Misc. (medicines, occasional entertainment, Deutsche book) 50 Euros. So overall 450 € are enough to spend an average life.”

Monthly expenses
Rent (incl. additional charges) 170,- or 281,- Euro
Food 50,- or 159,- Euro
Clothing 10,- or 51,- Euro
Transport (car/public transport) Nil or 81,- Euro
Health insurance 79,- or 59,- Euro
Telephone/internet/radio & TV licence 20,- or 35,- Euro
Work/study materials 10,- or 33,- Euro
Leisure activities 10,- or 63,- Euro
Total 349,- or 762,- Euro

So, students can also live spending 350 Euro to 500 Euro as well.

Video: How much does it cost to live in Germany?

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Linktipps: – guides you to the bargains at the supermarkets in your city – Compare prices easily

How much does it cost on average?

Spaghetti, Bild: Wenzel

1 loaf of bread € 1.50 – € 3.00
1 kg of apples € 2.00
1 kg of potatoes € 1.00
1 liter of milk € 0.50 – € 1.00
1 bottle of mineral water (0.75 liter) € 0.30

1 cup of coffee at a café € 2.50
1 glass of beer at a pub (0.3 liter) € 2.00 – € 3.00

1 pair of shoes € 30 to € 100
1 t-shirt € 7 to € 50
1 pair of trousers € 30 to € 100

1 cinema ticket (concessions price) € 4 to € 8
1 theater ticket (concessions price) € 6 to € 30
1 ticket to the museum (concessions price) € 2 to € 8

It is difficult to say exactly how much money a student in Germany needs per month. The cost of living varies from city to city. Generally students can live on less money in smaller cities than in large cities. And, of course, the amount of money you will need greatly depends on how economically you live.

Paying the rent

Renting a flat comprises the largest portion of one’s monthly expenditures. However, the rental prices in Germany vary greatly. Depending on the city in which you live, you will likely pay between 185 and 345 euro per month for accommodation. The rental prices in some large cities like Hamburg, Munich, Cologne or Frankfurt am Main are much higher in comparison. If you are looking to live cheaply, it might be a good idea to take a room in a student hall of residence or a shared flat

Average monthly expenses for rent and utilities

Room in a student hall of residence: € 200
Room in a shared flat: € 245
Flat by yourself: € 315

Source: Deutsches Studentenwerk, 18th Social Survey

Students are eligible for numerous price concessions. With your student ID, you can receive concessions on tickets and entrance fees to theaters, opera houses, cinemas, museums, public swimming pools and other cultural venues.

The cheapest cities in Germany

Chemnitz is the city with the lowest rents. Following suit on ranks two and three are Dresden and Jena – two more East German cities. This is one of the results of the 19. social survey of the German student union.

Chemnitz Innenstadt, Foto: Graff/DAADA student in Chemnitz has to pay approximately 210 Euros for rent and running costs. Very striking: Among the Top 10 of the cheapest cities in Germany, eight of them are in East Germany – except for Oldenburg and Bamberg.

In contrast to that the biggest cities are with Berlin as the only exception – the most expensive ones. Up front is Munich, where you have to pay a whopping 138 Euros more every month for a room of approx. the same size as in Chemnitz. Almost the same amount as in the Bavarian capital is charged in Cologne, Hamburg and Frankfurt/Main.

Overview of all 54 cities evaluated:

Rank Destination* Costs for rent incl. running costs Rank Destination Costs for rent incl. running costs
1 Chemnitz 210 28 Marburg 279
2 Dresden 223 29 Augsburg 280
3 Jena 233 30 Kiel 280
4 Magdeburg 236 31 Mannheim 281
5 Leipzig 236 32 Münster 281
6 Oldenburg 242 33 Saarbrücken 282
7 Halle (Saale) 243 34 Hannover 285
8 Erfurt 249 35 Tübingen 288
9 Bamberg 250 36 Lüneburg 288
10 Greifswald 252 37 Duisburg 289
11 Passau 254 38 Aachen 293
12 Bochum 258 39 Freiburg 294
13 Osnabrück 259 40 Wuppertal 297
14 Paderborn 259 41 Bonn 298
15 Kassel 260 42 Ulm 298
16 Göttingen 261 43 Berlin 298
17 Gießen 266 44 Bremen 300
18 Bielefeld 267 45 Heidelberg 301
19 Würzburg 268 46 Konstanz 305
20 Erlangen-Nürnberg 272 47 Stuttgart 306
21 Braunschweig 273 48 Mainz 308
22 Dortmund 274 49 Darmstadt 321
23 Potsdam 274 50 Frankfurt/Main 328
24 Regensburg 275 51 Düsseldorf 330
25 Karlsruhe 276 52 Köln 333
26 Trier 278 53 Hamburg 345
27 Rostock 279 54 München 348

* Only those destinations were considered, which were based on data of at least 50 students.

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