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. On average a student needs aprox. 670 Euro per month in Germany. 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. 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.

How much does it cost on average?

Spaghetti, Bild: Wenzel
Spaghetti, Bild: Wenzel

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

1 cup of coffee at a café € 2.50
1 glass of beer at a pub (0.3 litre) € 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 theatre ticket (concessions price) € 6 to € 30
1 ticket to the museum (concessions price) € 2 to € 8

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

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


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

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 montly expenses are:

"In Heidelberg I survived on 600 a month, with subsidised 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.. Thats estimated with a rent of 250 Euros and health insurance of 75 Euros plus all other costs. I eat out occassionally and it usually doesnt 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 systeme 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 domitory may be upto 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, deutsch book) 50 Euros. So overall 450 € are enough to spend an average life."

Budget per Month (Click on the map)

Landkarte von StepMap
StepMap Deutschland

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The cheapest cities in Germany

Chemnitz Innenstadt, Foto: Graff/DAADWhat are the less expensive cities in Germany? The latest evaluation of the German student unions tell you the results: Chemnitz, Dresden and Jena.