German Cities

Cost of Living as a Student in Hamburg Germany

How much does it cost for a student to live in Germany?

Hamburg is a financially empowering region and modern living trends of people of Hamburg have risen since the last decade. Of course, most of the Hamburgers can afford a normal or average living there because of their good paychecks but it may still be challenging for international students to manage their expenses in Hamburg city. Most of the Universities in Hamburg does not have any tuition fee but with that students need to manage their living expenses that may come heavy if a student considers living in the city center.

Managing your monthly expenses depends upon the lifestyle you adopt. However, If you don’t sacrifice several pleasures then it will be very difficult for you to manage your monthly expenses.

Student’s cost of living in Hamburg

Students do not have to pay tuition fees if they are studying in the public sector Universities of Germany. However, the amount of 300 euros is needed to be paid by the students as a semester contribution which will allow them to use German university facilities and public transport all year. International students also need to open a blocked bank account prior to their arrival in Germany for study purposes. There are German Scholarships available to international students that will provide them with free accommodation, living expense and free education and one of these awards are called DAAD Scholarship.

How much it cost to buy basic groceries and food in Hamburg?

Eating at restaurants can be costly as a two-person meal in a restaurant can cost 30-60 euros. So, if you cook at home and make your daily meals then, of course, you can save a lot of money. As the prices of basic food items are very low then eating a meal at the restaurant. 

Following are the prices of some basic food items for daily use in Hamburg 

  • Water costs 50 cents a bottle
  • Milk costs less than 1 euro
  • Apples and other fruits costs around 3 euro per kg
  • Bread (ordinary, white) costs around 1.5 euro
  • Eggs, a dozen costs 2.5 euros
  • Domestic beer costs less than 1 euro
  • Cigarettes cost 5 euro a pack
  • Beer in the random pub costs 3 euros 

Housing and Accommodation in Hamburg

If you want to settle in Hamburg then, of course, you need a place to live in. Let us tell you what you need to know when you want to have an accommodation place in Hamburg. 

How much does it cost to rent an apartment in Hamburg?

Renting a living place in Hamburg is the most expensive thing a student has to do. Rents of apartments and flats in Hamburg depend on the location, as apartments in the city center are more expensive than peripheral areas. However, student dormitories are cheaper and better than private accommodations when you have limited money to manage your monthly expenses. 

Apartment Rental Price in the Hamburg City center

  • A one-bedroom apartment costs 500-800 euros
  • Three-bedrooms apartment costs 1500-2000 euros

Apartment Rental Price in Suburbs of Hamburg

  • A one-bedroom apartment costs 400-600 euros
  • Three-bedrooms apartment costs 800-1400 euros

However, if you are good at sharing your place with other people then a three-bedroom apartment costs less. Sharing your place can save a lot of money as you also have to pay utility bills for electricity, garbage, heating, and water which may cost up to 200€. Additionally, an internet connection can cost 20-30 euros.

The easiest and the quickest way to find a place of living in Hamburg is by a real estate agent also known as Immobilienhändler in the German language. But there is a problem, that you may have to pay more money. If the real state agent gets a place for you to reside in then you have to pay two to three months’ rent for deposit. So, if you find an accommodation place by this method then you may end up paying money for up to 6 months’ rent before you even move in. Moreover, depending upon how much your rent is, it can be a lot of money which you have to pay. 

How to find an apartment for rent in Hamburg Germany?

However, there are many other methods by which you can find the place of accommodation for yourself in Hamburg. But this all needs to be done ahead of time. You can always search for newspapers to find apartments to rent or can get guidance from other local people. Moreover, you can always search the internet as there are many websites which help the students with their accommodation problems. Additionally, these websites also give a virtual tour of the place and help you connect with the right people.

While finding a place to live in Hamburg, knowledge of terminology is very important. For example, in most countries an apartment is referred to as the place with two bedrooms, however, the same apartment in Germany can be referred as a four-bedroom apartment. In Germany living rooms, dining rooms, den and bedrooms are included in room count. However, bathrooms, hallways, and kitchens are not included in room count.

Furnished Apartments in Hamburg

It is very difficult to find furnished apartments in Hamburg. However, if you do find one then it would be very expensive than unfurnished ones. Now you need to know that unfurnished means unfurnished. There would be no cabinets, cupboards or closets, lighting fixtures, stoves or refrigerators in the unfurnished apartments. Unlike the American rented apartments having all these things which people take for granted.

Moreover, if you are considering having an apartment in Hamburg then you must consider hiring a lawyer or a legal advisor that speaks the good German language. In case you are good at understanding German, even then the leases will be difficult for you to comprehend. German lease agreements, however, may contain clauses similar to the American lease contracts, such as annual rent increment or responsibilities towards lessee and owner, which you may not want to accept. Moreover, the termination is difficult unless you have extraordinary circumstances.

The average rental price of an apartment in Hamburg

A three-room apartment with one-bedroom cost €650 per month in the city center. If you go outside the city center then it will cost €475 monthly. However, if you are looking for a five-room apartment then it may cost you €1900 per month in the city center which is very expensive but in contrast, you can get the same apartment in €850 in the peripheral area. Additionally, the prices may still vary depending upon your landlord and location. 

How to pay monthly rental fees in Germany?

For monthly rent payment, there are two parts, the actual rent, and the Umlagen or Nebenkosten. For the whole of the lease, actual rent cannot be changed but Umlagen can be changed. Umlagen is for the costs that vary such as heat, property tax, cleaning, water, rubbish disposal, and sewerage. Moreover, sometimes it may include gas and electricity. So, these details are needed to be worked out at the time when the lease is signed.

So, in Germany, the apartment leasing process is similar to the other parts of the world. It is not difficult unless and until you know how to work with it and what’s going on. However, you should do proper research about the rent of places and all other things before renting an apartment in Hamburg.

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Yousaf Saeed

(Editor) I am a 3 times winner of a fully funded scholarship and studied abroad in top Universities without paying any single penny. I hold a Ph.D. degree in engineering and enjoyed the benefit of studying in most prestigious institutes. It is my passion to write on topics that help students to understand how they can find and apply for scholarships abroad and how they can conduct their academic research work effectively. It is my hobby to write for the students who are interested to inquire about what is it like to study in German Universities. There are various scholarships offered by the German education system to international students and I think it is a good thing to share easy tips that students may adapt to win those scholarships to get a chance to study in Germany.

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