Cost of Living in Germany

April 25 , 2021 by: Amanda Goh

As compared to other countries in Europe, the cost of living in Germany is fairly low. While Germany is known as one of the richest countries in the world, Germany has an average cost of living, similar to other EU countries.

Germany is ranked having the 15th highest cost of living in the EU, with UK, Italy, Denmark, France and the Netherlands above it.

If you are thinking of moving to Germany, read more to find out how much it would cost to live there.

What is the average cost of living in Germany?

The average monthly living expense in Germany is around €1,200. However, note that this cost may change depending on various factors such as location.

The cost of living in Germany varies greatly, depending on cities and towns. Major cities such as Berlin, Hamburg and Munich has a higher cost of living than other cities and smaller towns.

Berlin is known as one of the best value capital cities in Europe. This means that it is getting increasingly difficult to find reasonably priced housing in central Berlin. If you are considering living in Berlin for less, you can look at Berlin’s suburbs to find cheaper housing.

Berlin, by Noel on Pixabay

Cost of housing in Germany

As mentioned, housing costs are fairly expensive in Germany and varies according to location. Some areas, such as the suburbs, may offer cheaper housing than in the cities.

Expats moving to Germany have the choice of either buying or renting a home. Some of the most expensive cities to rent in Germany are Munich Frankfurt and Berlin. While the cheapest cities to rent are Bremen and Leipzig.

Whether you are renting or buying a home in Germany, it is important to understand some advertising terminology. When an apartment is advertised, note that living rooms and dining rooms are considered ‘rooms’, while kitchens and bathrooms are not. This means that if an apartment is advertised as 4 rooms, the apartment consists of 2 bedrooms, 1 living room and 1 dining room.

Utility in Germany

As Germany uses energy-efficient appliances to reduce its gas and electricity consumption, those living in Germany pay less overall in utility bills. These bills can average out between €95 to €120 a month. Additionally, internet can cost up to €40 a month, depending on your package.

Food costs in Germany

Depending on which supermarket you opt for, your food costs per month will vary. If you are looking for cheaper alternatives, you can check out Lidl and Aldi. These supermarkets can save up to 15% of your grocery bills.

Eating out in Germany is fairly affordable, depending on your preferences. Cheaper meals can start at €5 for lunch and €10 for dinner. Do note that tips are not included in bills and will typically be around 15%.

Healthcare in Germany

Expats who living in Germany are required to have a basic German health insurance. The cost of a German health insurance ranges depending on your age and company you pick. These insurances can start from €160.

If you are employed by a company, you can arrange to pay through a subsidized company insurer. If you are self-employed, you will need to organize a private health insurance.


Berlin by Martin Ulrich on Pixabay

Public Transport in Germany

Germany’s public transport system is of high standard and reasonably priced. Depending on which city you decide to reside in, the cost of public transport can range starting from €60 a month. A one-way ticket can start from €2.70 and increase to €4.

Alternatively, you can purchase a BahnCard which offers reduced rates. This card is useful for those that needs to commute to work every day.

Hof, Germany by Jonathan Schmer on Pexels

Owning a car in Germany

It is fairly expensive to own a car in Germany. As public transportation in Germany is reliable and efficient, there is no need to own a car other than for convenience. If you are thinking of owning a car in Germany, fuel prices can cost around €1.22 for diesel.

Overall Thoughts

Overall, living in Germany is not as expensive as one might think. You can expect to spend up to 40% of your pay on rent. While main cities in Germany are popular, it remains affordable as compared to other European countries.


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