Life in Germany

Student’s Cost of living in Germany Analysis

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

We carried out an analysis of the cost of living in Germany for an international student and here in this article, we share our analysis. Many students are considering to study abroad nowadays and the main problem they are facing is the problem of expenses. When considering living in a European country at an affordable rate, Germany is the best option you have. It is quite cheaper if you compare it to other European countries. According to one survey as of 2020, you need a minimum of 850 euros per month for your living expenses which are around approximately 10,236 euros per year.

In Germany, your biggest expense is the rent of your apartment or any place you are going to live in. Apart from this, the cost of bills, clothes, food, and entertainment have an average cost like other EU countries. You may win DaadScholarship but still, you need to know how much an average student spends every month in Germany.

So, if you are an international student and considering to study and live in Germany than this article is for you, so that you have an idea of what will be the possible expenses you will going to face.

University Tuition Fees in Germany

The majority of German Universities do not charge tuition fee however some of the universities have introduced tuition fees for international students. So, most of the time you do not need to worry about the tuition fees but you have to pay a certain amount of money known as a semester contribution. It is a fixed amount of money that covers sports facilities, bus traveling, administrative assistance, etc.

Though tuition-free education in German universities does not put a tight constraint on the international students living costs are still there which you have to manage on your own. So, if you manage the living expenses well then living in Germany is not a problem.

The cost of living in Germany depends on many factors such as the place you would like to settle in and the kind of lifestyle you adopt. As, the big cities are expensive in terms of food, rent, clothes, etc as compared to the cities that are small and less populated. So, choosing the best place to live can save you a lot of money and you will not be stressed by the financial burdens. Additionally, by saving money from extra expenses from extracurricular activities can also help you live in less money.

So, if you are good and confident at managing the three big issues of housing, traveling and food then other problems will be easy for you to take care of.

South Germany is the Most Expensive in Germany

In Germany, South Germany is an expensive area to live in. It has the two popular cities of Stuttgart and Munich which are very expensive for living.

The cost of living in these two cities are way too high as compared to other cities in Germany:

  • Munich
  • Stuttgart

According to one estimate, one-bedroom apartments cost nearly 846.43 euros in southern Germany as compared to 560 euros of a one-bedroom apartment in less popular cities in northern Germany. So, it means that southern Germany is 30% more expensive.

Berlin is cheaper as compared to other capitals of European countries. The highest cost you have to pay is of the rent which is nearly 795 euros per month of just a small one-bedroom apartment. On the other hand, the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in other cities is very affordable such as Leipzig is the most affordable city to live in Germany. As Leipzig is 40% cheaper than Stuttgart and Dusseldorf is 20% cheaper from Stuttgart.

For reader convenience, we have compared the cost of different things in different cities as follows.

 MunichHamburgFrankfurt
Rent1,094.30€838.94€868.91€
Restaurant meal12.25€10€12€
Milk (1liter)0.84€0.71€0.77€
Beer (0.5liter)3.80€4.00€4.00€
Taxi 1km1.90€2.00€2.00€
Rice (1kg, white)2.14€2.15€1.97€
Eggs (12)1.71€1.78€1.61€
White bread (500g)1.43€1.27€1.29€

Which German city is the most expensive to live in?

So, from the above table, we can conclude that south Germany is the most expensive area and east Germany is the cheapest area in Germany to live in. Germany offers different prices of things in different areas. To compare the most expensive things to cheapest we have compared an expensive and a cheaper city. Darmstadt being expensive and Frankfurt (Oder) being cheaper.

 DarmstadtFrankfurt (Oder)
Rent707.50€333.33€
Restaurant meal14 €8.00€
Milk (1liter)0.71€0.77€
Beer (0.5liter)0.53€0.60€
Cheese (1kg)7.10€4.63€
Eggs (12)1.63€1.10€
White bread (500g)1.25€0.62€
Internet (60 Mbps)30.00€20.00€
One-way ticket (Public transport)2.40€1.65€
Utilities193.36€466.67€
Beef (1kg)12.24€6.50€

Which Germany city is most in-expensive to live in?

As per our cost of living in Germany analysis, Frankfurt is a very cheap town in Germany sharing the border with Poland. The town is very affordable as a one-bedroom apartment in Frankfurt costs nearly 250 euros only which is very cheap as compared to the other cities in Germany.  On the other hand, in Darmstadt, the one-bedroom apartment will cost 850 euros which is very much expensive.

In the following table prices of different things have been compared:

From the table above following conclusions are made

  • Rent prices in Frankfurt are 30% less than Darmstadt
  • Restaurant prices in Frankfurt are 32% less then Darmstadt
  • Grocery prices in Frankfurt are 32% less than in Darmstadt

How much is the average room rental fee in Germany for students?

One of the biggest concerns about living in Germany for many students is the rent of a place they will live in. the cities are labeled as expensive or cheap mostly because of the rent expenses and it is the largest expense to live in Germany.

It has been observed that downtown rents are very high and it is very difficult for students to manage their finances. For this purpose, it is proposed that you should always find some cheap place to live in and always try to find roommates so that the financial burden can be divided and expenses can be managed.

Big cities in south Germany are very expensive such as Hamburg, Munich Cologne, etc as compared to cities such as Karlsruhe or Leipzig. The prices, of course, range widely and depend on the conditions which you want to live in.

One-bedroom apartment in the main city will cost nearly 700 euros but if you want to have an apartment in the peripheral area of the city it will be cheaper and a one-bedroom apartment will cost you nearly 500 euros per month. Furthermore, if you are interested in having a lavish apartment and fully furnished in the main city then it will be expensive and would range from €1,000 to €1,500 per month, but of course, everything depends upon your budget.

The following table shows the room and house rent cost in different German cities so you may have an idea of where to live according to your budget.

CityAverage Monthly Rent
Aachen534.65 €
Berlin795.90€
Bochum406.67€
Bremen560.00€
Cologne727.14€
Dortmund460.00€
Essen451.83€
Dusseldorf672.22€
Frankfurt868.91€
Hamburg838.94 €
Ingolstadt708.33€
Leipzig490.80€
Munich1,094.30€
Paderborn512.50€
Stuttgart846.43€

How much does the food cost in Germany?

Cooking food at home could save you a lot of money and if you are not good at that then you should better learn it. This is because if you eat at restaurants it would be very costly for you for example if two-person eat a meal at a restaurant than it would cost approximately €45 which is way more expensive if you make food at home at consuming that.

Small restaurants, of course, cost less and prices may vary in the range of 8 to 14 euros. Additionally, if you want to have a dessert after the meal then, of course, the price will increase. On average a beer cost, 3.50 euros and cappuccino will cost you 2.64 euros.

You can eat out on some occasions for fun with friends or have a good time but there many other options that you can consider for saving money. For example, the cafes at the universities offer the food at a cheap rate for students’ convenience which is a good option to have food from if you want to save money. Furthermore, mensa incorporated within the campus provides a membership service to students by which students can get the meal through MensaCard in less than 5 euros.

So if you can learn to cook then, of course, you can save a lot of money. Following we have listed some prices of the things which can be consumed on a regular basis and are not very expensive.

  • Milk (1 liter)– 0.71 €
  • Rice (1kg)– 2.03 €
  • White bread (500g) – 1.24 €
  • Eggs (12)– 1.64 €
  • Onion (1kg)– 1.09 €
  • Chicken (1kg)– 7.53 €
  • Potato (1kg)– 1.06 €
  • Beef (1kg)– 11.65 €
  • Tomato (1kg) – 2.62 €
  • Apples (1kg)– 2.22 €
  • Oranges (1kg)– 2.29 €
  • Banana (1kg) – 1.58 €

How much will you spend on transportation in Germany?

Transportation is the absolute necessity for every student as they have to move from one place to another for different purposes such as project work, meeting someone, going out with friends, etc. No doubt, the university charges the money for transportation every semester but there can be some circumstances in which you have to travel on your own. For that purpose, you need to have all the information that which transport to use and which to not depending upon the fares.

The best form of transportation that could save you a lot of money is the bicycle. It does not cost you any fuel as well and also helps to reach your destination early in the crowded rush hours. Apart from this, there is the option of public transport that is also cheap. The public transport cost nearly 2 euros on average for one way ticket, however, there is a special ticket of 70 euros which you can buy and can travel on it all month.

Taxis, however, cost more than other transports as it charges from kilometer to kilometer and may cost you between 1.55€ and 2.50€. so, it depends on your budget which transport you take as bicycles do not cost anything and taxis are expensive.

How much will you spend on utility bills in Germany?

Apart from the cost of housing you also have to cover the cost bills such as bills of electricity, water, heating system, etc. according to the news reports the price of electricity in Germany has been increased and you have to pay 29.42 cents for a kilowatt-hour, do if you have an apartment of 85 m2 then approximately you have to pay 215.21 € per month.

But one good thing in most of the cases is that you don’t have to pay the bills separately as they are covered in your rent. Additionally, if you are sharing the apartment then, of course, your bills are also shared and it is economical for you.

What is the Health insurance cost in Germany?

Health insurance is one of those things you have to had compulsory regardless of your income or residence status. So, you must have an insurance plan the day you enter Germany. There are two types of insurance in Germany covering your health expenses

  1. Private health insurance
  2. Public health insurance

And it is you who can make a decision on which type of insurance to pay to depend upon on your budget. Public health insurance is cheaper than the private one and is mandatory for everyone who lives in Germany. The amount of money you have to pay for public insurance is maintained by the German government and currently, it is between 70 to 80 euros per month.

Apart from this if you have more medical needs than you can always have private health insurance which no doubt will cost you more but will give you more medical services. Private insurance does not have a standard package as different companies provide different packages according to the needs of individuals.

How much will you spend on buying clothes in Germany?

Apart from all the necessary expenses you mentioned in this article which you need to consider as a student, there are also some other expenses which you have to pay for as living as an international student in Germany. For example, you may have to buy clothes or a pair of shoes for the new season, etc.

Clothes are expensive in Germany as a pair of jeans may cost you 50 to 100 euros. Similarly, a pair of shoes may cost you between 60 and 120 euros or even more high. So, it all depends on your budget that which thing to buy and in which season.

How to Reduce the costs of living in Germany

There are different factors determining your cost of living as an international student in Germany. One of the biggest factors is the rent of the place you are living in, of course, you need a place to live near your university so that is it will be feasible for you to go to university with ease. However, if your university is in the center of the city then you will have a problem as the rent of apartments will be very high.

If you are studying in big cities like Munich or Hamburg then it can be difficult for you to save money there as they are expensive and the rent for places is very high. In contrast to this, if you are studying at a university in small cities like Leipzig then you have a chance of saving money as the rent of apartments is low and you can easily afford it. To lower your housing expenses you can always share the apartment with other students. This will divide the expenditure on bills, rent, etc.

It is always nerve-wracking to try to get information about rent and all other costs of living in every city as the prices fluctuate, depending upon different factors. For example, the Munich and Ingolstadt are only 100 km away but the prices differ largely between these two cities. such as a restaurant meal cost 60 euros for two people and the same meal will cost 45 euros in a restaurant in Ingolstadt. Furthermore, if you go to the Leipzig it will cost you way less such as 7 to 12 euros.

The same goes for the rent as a one-bedroom apartment as in Ingolstadt it will cost you nearly 600 euros and in Munich, it will be above 1000 euros per month but in Leipzig, you can have an apartment for 500 euros which is very cheaper as compared to the rents in other cities. On the other hand, if your university is located outside the city then the rents will be cheaper for you.

So, if you want to manage your expenses then you should consider sharing your apartment with other students and also avoid lavish activities.

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Financial Aid Office

DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) is a German organization that offers scholarships to international students from developing countries. We publish the guidelines that help students to learn how is it like to study in German Universities and how to apply for Scholarships in Germany.

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