Cost of living in Germany in 2024

Updated on

16-05-2024

Cost of living in Germany in 2024

Get Germany Admission Counselling by Experts

The average cost of living in Germany is approx. 867 EUR per month, adding up to a total of around 10,368 Euros per year for students. Individuals planning to move to Germany should have a clear understanding of the country's cost of living. It's worth noting that nearly 40% of international students prefer student residences due to their affordability, with monthly costs typically around 300 EUR. In general, the average monthly expenses in Germany is approx. 1,698 EUR for an individual or 3,561 EUR for a family of four.

However, the above rates can vary based on the city you choose to live in Germany and the lifestyle you prefer to live in. For instance, living in more expensive cities like Munich or Frankfurt could mean monthly rents of around 900 EUR, while opting for more budget-friendly cities like Berlin may bring the cost down to approximately 825 EUR per month. This article aims to provide insights into the average cost of living in Germany, along with comparisons to other nations, and it will also offer money-saving tips for those residing in Germany.

What is the cost of living in Germany for Indian Students?

For Indian students considering higher education in Germany, the annual cost of living typically ranges from 10,200 to 12,000 EUR. However, living expenses may vary based on the location of the university. Cities like Berlin and Munich are slightly more expensive than other German cities.

Most state-run universities do not impose tuition fees for bachelor's and master's programs. This change was brought about by a 2014 vote and is applicable to both national and international students. Instead, students are required to cover semester-related expenses, which include administrative fees.

Which city has the highest cost of living in Germany?

In Germany, the southern part is the most expensive to live in. Cities in the southern part of Germany, such as Munich and Stuttgart, experience a high cost of living. For instance, the average rent in Munich is 1398 EUR, while cities like Leipzig have a more affordable cost of around 636 EUR.

There are cities where people can live at an affordable cost of living in Germany too.  Frankfurt, for instance, has relatively lower average rental rates of 1156 EUR.
Cities in the western parts of Germany, such as Bochum and Aachen, are even more budget-friendly when compared to the southern regions. The primary expenses, including rental costs, are approximately 600 EUR in Bochum and 567 EUR in Aachen.

Average cost of living in Germany for international students

Germany's cost of living has been continuously rising. Since 2007, the cost of food and drink has climbed by 23%, petrol has increased by 30% since 2010, and electricity has increased by about 63%. However, earnings and salaries have yet to keep up with these rises, forcing an increasing number of people to lead simple lives as they get older.

Accommodation in Germany

For international students in Germany, accommodation stands out as the priciest aspect of living. Your expenses as a student can fluctuate based on the housing type and the region you select. Munich and Stuttgart rank as the most expensive cities for living in Germany, whereas Dortmund offers a more budget-friendly option.
On average, the monthly cost of rented accommodation in Germany is given below.

Cities in Germany Average rent in EUR Average rent in INR
Bochum 400 EUR 35,299 INR
Dresden 500 EUR 44,123.74 INR
Leipzig 500 EUR 44,123.74 INR
Aachen 535 EUR 47,212 INR
Augsburg 613.57 EUR 54,146 INR
Bonn 650 EUR 57,360.86 INR
Mainz 650 EUR 57,360.86 INR
Cologne 700 EUR- 800 EUR 61,773 INR – 70,597.98 INR
Berlin 790 EUR 69,715.50 INR
Hamburg 800 EUR – 868 EUR 70,597.98 INR – 76,598.80 INR
Stuttgart 850 EUR 75,010.35 INR
Frankfurt 860 EUR – 870 EUR 75,892.83 INR – 76,775.30 INR
Munich 1000 EUR – 1200 EUR 88,247.47 INR – 1,05,896.97 INR

Transportation Costs

Transportation costs should be considered mainly while planning to move to Germany. The country is known for its well-organized and interconnected public transportation systems, including trains and buses. Know the different modes of transport and its costs that are mentioned below.

Mode of transport Cost in EUR Cost in INR
Bus 70 EUR per month 6,177.32 INR per month
Train 19 – 50 EUR per month 1,676.70 EUR – 4,412.37 EUR per month
Taxi From 3 EUR increasing up to 50 EUR From 264.74 INR increasing up to 4,412.37 INR
Monthly transport Pass 60 EUR per month 5357.00 INR per month

Utilities and bills

Water, electricity, heating, and garbage are some of the utility costs included in the monthly bills of Germany. In certain situations, these utility bills may already be incorporated into the rent, eliminating the need for additional payments.

Bills Cost in EUR Cost in INR
Basic (Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage) for 915 sq. ft apartment 272.19 EUR 24,020.08 INR
Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data) 43.21 EUR 3,813.17 INR
Mobile phone monthly plan with calls and 10GB + Data 33.55 EUR 2,960.70 INR

Shoes & Clothing

Whether for professional or personal purposes, it is often said that one's attire plays a significant role in shaping one's identity. The costs of clothing and shoes in various brands are listed below.

Clothes & Shoes Cost in EUR Cost in INR
1 Dress for summer wear (Zara, H&M) 36.82 EUR 3237.55 INR
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 78.31 EUR 6885.72 INR
1 pair of men's leather shoes 108.01 EUR 9497.21 INR
1 pair of Nike running shoes (Mid-Range) 84.09 EUR 7393.95 INR

Food & Groceries

Food and grocery expenses come second in the list of monthly living costs, following rent. In recent years, it's also noted that the rates have been consistently rising.

Food & Groceries Cost in EUR Cost in INR
Milk (1 litre) 4.09 EUR 359.63 INR
Eggs (12) regular 3.04 EUR 267.30 INR
Water (1.5 litre) 0.61 EUR 53.64 INR
Local cheese (1 kg) 5.52 EUR 485.37 INR
Apples (1kg) 1.07 EUR 94.08 INR
Banana (1kg) 0.67 EUR 58.91 INR
Oranges (1kg) 0.94 EUR 82.65 INR
Tomato (1kg) 0.77 EUR 67.71 INR
Potato (1kg) 0.68 EUR 59.79 INR
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre bottle) 0.88 EUR 77.38 INR
Imported Beer (12oz or small bottle) 1.60 EUR 140.69 INR

Leisure

Leisure activities are a significant aspect of everyone's life, especially compared to studies and work. Let's explore the costs connected to different forms of entertainment for people in Germany.

Leisure activities Cost in EUR Cost in INR
Cinema, International Release, 1 seat 12 EUR 1055.15 INR
Tennis Court rent (1 hour on weekend) 20.83 EUR 1831.56 INR
Fitness fee for 1 person per month 34.03 EUR 2992.22 INR

Health Insurance in Germany

In Germany, the public healthcare insurance system (GKV) requires both employees and employers to contribute 7.3% of the employee's gross salary, which is 14.6% of gross salary towards health insurance. For instance, if an employee earns €3,000 per month, they and their employer each contribute €219 towards healthcare insurance. Additionally, employers may pay up to an extra 1.7% of the salary.

Private health insurance costs vary based on factors like age, health status, coverage options, and income level. It's typically for those with higher incomes, such as those earning over €66,600 annually, as well as self-employed individuals and civil servants.

Cost of Living in Major German Cities

Cost of living in Berlin

Berlin, as the capital and largest city in Germany, is one of the cheapest cities compared to cities like Munich and Frankfurt. On average, monthly living expenses in Berlin come to approximately 825 EUR. The city's multicultural atmosphere provides easy access to affordable street food options like kebabs and the renowned Currywurst, along with open-air markets featuring fresh produce and street food.

Type of expenses Average monthly cost in EUR Average monthly cost in INR
Rent 825 EUR 72000 INR
Food 355 EUR 31000 INR
Transportation 255 EUR 22,000 INR
Utilities (electricity, water, garbage, heating) 250 EUR 21,000 INR

Cost of living in Munich

Munich tops the list for the highest cost of living in Germany for individuals. The average monthly expenses in Munich are approximately 890 EUR. It is a country known for its relatively high rent. Munich's abundance of listed companies and prestigious universities makes it an attractive destination for both academic pursuits and well-paying employment. If you're a student moving to Munich, it's a good idea to find student housing early because it's in high demand, which can help you save on costs.

Type of expenses Average monthly cost in EUR Average monthly cost in INR
Rent 890 EUR 78,000 INR
Food 400 EUR 35,000 INR
Transportation 180 EUR 15,000 INR
Utilities (electricity, water, garbage, heating) 265 EUR 23,000 INR

Cost of living in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is the second most expensive city in Germany to live in, after Munich. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Frankfurt can set you back approximately €900 per month. Despite the higher costs, Frankfurt provides numerous job opportunities, given its industrial focus.

Type of expenses Average monthly cost in EUR Average monthly cost in INR
Rent 880 EUR 77,000 INR
Food 360 EUR 31,000 INR
Transportation 169 EUR 15,000 INR
Utilities (electricity, water, garbage, heating) 275 EUR 24,000 INR

Cost of living in Cologne

Cologne is not as costly as Frankfurt or Munich, but it's still more expensive than Berlin. You can find one-bedroom apartments in Cologne starting at around €800. Cologne boasts a sizable student community and, like Berlin, offers a diverse range of international cuisine options. This means that while rents may be on the higher side, you can still enjoy affordable socializing and dining out if you explore your options.

Type of expenses Approximate monthly cost in EUR Approximate monthly cost in INR
Rent 881 EUR 77536 INR
Meal for 2 people – 3 course 60 EUR 5280 INR
Transportation (monthly pass) 100 EUR 8800 INR
Utilities (electricity, water, garbage, heating) 292 EUR 25000 INR

Cost of living in Hamburg

Comparable to Cologne, Hamburg has slightly higher living and rental costs than Berlin. Typically, a one-bedroom flat would cost about €900 a month. This city is well-liked by young professionals and students, which results in high demand for apartments and housing, much like what's experienced in Berlin.

Type of expenses Average monthly cost in EUR Average monthly cost in INR
Rent 900 EUR 79,000 INR
Meal for 2 people – 3 course 70 EUR 6160 INR
Transportation (monthly pass) 50 EUR 4400 INR
Utilities (electricity, water, garbage, heating) 267 EUR 23000 INR

Cost of living in Germany compared to other countries

Cost of living in Germany VS India

Cost of living in Germany vs India

When considering the exchange rate of the rupee to the euro, the cost of living in Germany is approximately 243% higher than in India. This cost differential is influenced by various factors, including expenses for food, transportation, rent, and amenities. Nevertheless, Germany provides a high standard of living, with earnings that are around six times higher and access to dependable and reasonably priced healthcare. 

The below comparative table will provide insights into the differences between the cost of living in Germany and that in India.

Expenses Average monthly cost in Germany Average monthly cost in India
Cost of living for one person 967 EUR 27,737 INR
Rent (one-bedroom apartment) 820 EUR 14,778 INR
Meal for 2 people mid mid-range restaurant - three-course 70 EUR 1,000 INR
Monthly public transport pass 60 EUR 900 INR
Basic utilities (electricity, water, cooling, garbage) 272 EUR 3,385 INR
Internet charges 43 EUR 694 INR
Monthly gym fee 33 EUR 1,420 INR
Pre-school, full day, monthly for 1 child 368.62 EUR 5,534 INR
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12.00 EUR 300 INR
Water(1.5 litre) 0.61 EUR 28 INR

Cost of living in Germany VS USA

Cost of living in Germany vs USA

The cost of living in Germany is roughly 35% less than in the USA, which should benefit US citizens relocating there. This is due to the fact that food, rent, utilities, and educational expenses are substantially cheaper in Germany than they are in the USA.

The below comparative table will provide insights into the differences between the cost of living in Germany and that in the USA.

Expenses Average monthly cost in Germany Average monthly cost in the USA
Cost of living for one person 967 EUR 1,163.60$
Rent (one-bedroom apartment) 820 EUR 1,852.68$
Meal for 2 people mid-range restaurant - three-course 70 EUR 75$
Monthly public transport pass 60 EUR 70$
Basic utilities (electricity, water, cooling, garbage) 272 EUR 210$
Internet charges 43 EUR 71$
Monthly gym fee 33 EUR 47$
Pre-school, full day, monthly for 1 child 368.62 EUR 1,231$
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12.00 EUR 13.00$
Water(1.5 litre) 0.61 EUR 2.15$

Check: USA vs Germany

Cost of living in Germany VS the UK

Cost of living in Germany vs UK

Germany has a lower cost of living than the UK and many British nationals are relocating due to affordability. It’s important to keep in mind that tuition costs are nil in Germany and about £10,000 (€11,700) in the UK. Germany has relatively lower tuition fees, rent, childcare, and public transport passes.

The below comparative table will provide insights into the differences between the cost of living in Germany and that in the UK.

Expenses Average monthly cost in Germany Average monthly cost in UK
Cost of living for one person without rent 967 EUR 759.8 GBP
Rent (one-bedroom apartment) 820 EUR 930 GBP
Meal for 2 people mid mid-range restaurant - three-course 70 EUR 60 GBP
Monthly public transport pass 60 EUR 68 GBP
Basic utilities (electricity, water, cooling, garbage) 272 EUR 212 GBP
Internet charges 43 EUR 30 GBP
Monthly gym fee 33 EUR 31 GBP
Pre-school, full day, monthly for 1 child 368.62 EUR 1,116.44 GBP
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12.00 EUR 10 GBP
Water(1.5 litre) 0.61 EUR 1.03 GBP

Cost of living in Germany VS Australia

Cost of living in Germany vs Australia

The cost of living in Germany is, on average, 46% more affordable than in Australia. The most significant difference can be seen in the costs of rent, which is 48% higher in Australia, and childcare, which is a substantial 304% more expensive in Australia.

The below comparative table will provide insights into the differences between the cost of living in Germany and that in Australia.

Expenses Average monthly cost in Germany Average monthly cost in Australia
Cost of living for one person without rent 967 EUR 1,681.6 A$
Rent (one-bedroom apartment) 820 EUR 2,318.31 A$
Meal for 2 people mid-range restaurant - three-course 70 EUR 120 A$
Monthly public transport pass 60 EUR 170 A$
Basic utilities (electricity, water, cooling, garbage) 272 EUR 333 A$
Internet charges 43 EUR 87 A$
Monthly gym fee 33 EUR 80 A$
Pre-school, full day, monthly for 1 child 368.62 EUR 2,411.85 A$
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12.00 EUR 21.25 A$
Water(1.5 litre) 0.61 EUR 2.69 A$

Tips to save money in Germany

Living affordably in Germany is achievable when you're familiar with money-saving strategies. Discover the below tips on how to manage your finances effectively.

  • Sharing a flat or house

Opting for shared accommodation is significantly more budget-friendly than renting your own apartment. In Germany, flatmates often team up to sign their rental agreements, resulting in substantial savings of EUR 100-200 per person in many cases.

  • Student discounts

Students can enjoy fantastic discounts at various establishments, such as restaurants, cinemas, and clothing stores. It's essential to carry your student ID with you at all times to make the most of these offers.

  • Accommodations

If you're considering studying in Germany, the most budget-friendly housing option is typically student accommodation. Student rents are generally lower than the average, often around €300 per month, even in larger cities.

  • Discount in Supermarkets

To find fresh and reasonably priced items, consider seeking advice from locals or fellow students about nearby farmers' markets. Keep an eye out for supermarket promotions and bulk purchase opportunities to maximize savings.

  • Transportation

To find the best deals, students should visit their local transportation provider's website, where they'll often discover significantly cheaper student fares compared to regular ones.

  • Use Sim only

Reduce your mobile phone expenses by opting for a SIM-only plan and using internet-based messaging services like WhatsApp for texting. Just make sure you have access to reliable Wi-Fi if you decide to go with a SIM-only plan.

  • Taking up part-time jobs

International students are allowed to work for up to 120 full days or 240 half days per year. These jobs might not always pay a lot or be directly related to their studies, but they can provide some additional cash for savings or personal expenses.

What is the average salary in Germany?

According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) the annual gross salary in Germany is around €44,074. As of January 1st 2024, the minimum wage in Germany is €12.41 per hour. For students working  40-hour weeks, that’s around €2,159 gross a month. Part-time employees working  on average 19.5 hours a week, make their minimum wage €1,053 gross per month. However the above salary can vary based on the location, work experience, and the industry you work in. 

The highest paying job in Germany includes software engineers, architects, doctors, data scientists, pilots, legal consultants, project manager, actuary etc. 

People earning in Germany have to pay taxes that are usually deductible from your salary by the employer. The tax rate ranges from 14% to 45% based on the earnings. For an income earned by an individual above EUR 277,825 and a married couple earning above EUR 555,650 has to pay a tax rate of 45%. The net salary is the salary you receive after the tax is deducted.

Conclusion

Germany is the best-preferred country for work-life balance and the generous time off for its workers makes it an attractive destination. To enhance your financial stability and identify budget-friendly destinations, make use of the information provided in the article on the cost of living in Germany and cost differentials with other countries along with the cost-saving tips.

FAQ

1. Is living in Germany expensive for international students

According to DAAD statistics, the average cost of living in Germany for a student per month is 867 EUR which is around 10,368 EUR per year. This cost is much lower than in other countries like the UK, Switzerland, and Denmark etc.

2. How much money do you need to live comfortably in Germany?

Students can manage their living expenses with around 850 EUR per month. In the cities where rent is higher, living on a budget of less than €1,000 per month in Germany can be challenging. The expenses can range from 1,500 EUR to 2000 EUR per month.

3. Is 2000 euro a good salary in Germany?

A net salary of €2,000 after taxes is considered a reasonable starting income for a single person.

4. What is the rent in Germany for Indian students?

The average rental expenses for Indian students in Germany typically span from €300 to €800 per month for a room in shared housing and from €500 to €1,346 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

5. What is the cost of living in Germany in INR?

The cost of living in Germany in Indian Rupees is approximately 77,146.20 INR per month which is around 9,22,551.11 INR per year. 

6.  How much can an Indian student earn in Germany?

Income can range from 450 to 1,300 euros per month for regular part-time employees. These individuals have the right to take holidays, receive ongoing wage payments during sickness, and make pension contributions. For students, there is a limit of 850 euros per month to maintain their student health insurance.

7. Is 1500 euros enough in Germany?

The monthly net salary of 1,500 euros is typically earned by a single individual working full-time at the minimum wage rate, which equates to 40 hours per week. This income should generally be sufficient for the basic needs of most people.

About Author Sruthi Krishnan

Sruthi Krishnan, an accomplished MBA graduate with an unwavering passion for writing is a recognized expert in Study Abroad Services. With years of experience in the overseas education industry, she specializes in preparing test materials for a wide range of exams, including IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, SAT, PTE, and more. Her expertise extends to providing comprehensive guidance on crafting Statements of Purpose (SOPs), Letters of Recommendation (LORs), and various aspects of study abroad, from exam preparation to admissions procedures. She's an expert in helping study-abroad aspirants through informative articles for study destinations like Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and more. Her passion for writing has led to the creation of numerous articles that serve as valuable resources for students making critical decisions about their international education journeys. 

Kanan International is a study abroad consultancy that offers reliable services, products, and solutions for students and education institutions. We support students throughout their study abroad journey, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to partner for expanding global horizons. The company provides coaching for IELTS, GRE, TOEFL, and SAT exams and services like visa consultation, accommodation, scholarship assistance, and education loans.