Cost of Living in Germany – A complete Guide!

Cost of Living in Germany

Germany is a preferred destination for students and families from almost all parts of the world, owing to its various advantages. Germany offers superior quality of life in tandem with ample job opportunities and interesting traditions and cultural facets. Germany has one of the world’s most well developed and biggest economies with a stable and well-developed labor market. Germany is one of the most preferred countries for research, innovation and successful professional careers. Add to that its rich history, tourist landmarks, intriguing castles and the beautiful architecture all around. The beautiful German towns aside, there are heritage castles and innumerable landmarks including museums, cultural centers and other buildings which draw thousands from various corners of the planet. However, before zeroing on anything, it is important to delve deeper into the cost of living in Germany

An interesting fact to remember is that German university students usually stay closer to home while attending their universities and many people live in their parents’ homes. The remainder usually chooses cheaper rentals and apartments. A smaller chunk of students reside in dormitories. The cost of living in Germany for international students is mostly non-prohibitive particularly when compared to average living costs in Europe. 

Being flexible with your budget and location will help you thrive in Germany on a budget. Average cost may hover around 850 Euros as living costs. Costs of clothing, food and cultural activities are just a little more than the average in the EU (European Union). Students in Germany usually spend roughly 850 Euros every month on average as living costs. You will require approximately 10, 300+ Euros annually in living costs and close to 40% of global students will want to find student residences owing to lower costs hovering around 300 EUR per month. Costs can increase to 1300 EUR every month, depending upon lifestyle preferences. 

Apply Now: Master in Data Science in Germany

Cost of living in Germany for a family and students 

The costs of living in Germany for Indian students or international students hover around EUR 733 every month for Berlin and EUR 799 every month for Munich. This refers to costs of living per month for single persons excluding rental costs. Including rental costs, it goes up to EUR 8, 796 and EUR 9, 588 in Berlin and Munich respectively on an annual basis. 

The cost of living in Germany for a family stand at EUR 2497 in Berlin and EUR 2747 in Munich every month or roughly EUR 29, 964 and EUR 32, 964 in Berlin and Munich respectively. University students may expect to spend EUR 588-613 in cities in Germany with low cost of living

Berlin is one of the cheapest cities in Germany in terms of low-priced food availability, street-food markets and one bed flat rentals from EUR 600 onwards. Munich has slightly higher living costs with one bed flat rentals starting from EUR 1000 onwards and reasonably priced food and other costs. Cologne is costlier than Berlin with one bed flats starting from EUR 800. Cologne offers numerous cheap options for eating out and so does Hamburg. Rental prices are higher in Hamburg with one bed flats starting from EUR 900 every month. Frankfurt Main living costs include one bed flat rentals starting from EUR 900 each month and you can enjoy cheap food and beverages in various zones. 

Recommended Read: Study in Germany

Average cost of living in Germany- Items & Costs 

Wondering what is the minimum cost of living in Germany? Here is the list of key items with accompanying costs. 

1. Average Rent in Germany 

Average rentals vary from one German city to another and it has a lot of weightage in the living cost in Germany for students. Some cities are cheaper while some might be on the costlier side. For example, the cost of student accommodation in Munich is higher than the cost of student accommodation in Dusseldorf. Here’s the average monthly rent for one-bedroom apartments in the 10 popular German cities:

No.

Name of City

Average monthly rent

1.

Munich

1,200 EUR (INR 1 Lakh)

2.

Frankfurt

870 EUR (INR 76,000)

3.

Stuttgart

850 EUR (INR 74,000)

4.

Hamburg

840 EUR (INR 73,000)

5.

Berlin

800 EUR (INR 70,000)

6.

Cologne

730 EUR (INR 64,000)

7.

Dusseldorf

675 EUR (INR 59,000)

8.

Leipzig

500 EUR (INR 43,500)

9.

Dortmund

460 EUR (INR 40,000)

10.

Essen

450 EUR (INR 39,000)

Recommended Read: How to study in Germany for free for Indian Students?

2. University Tuition Fees 

University tuition fees hover around the competitive mark in Germany although they may be quite expensive for international students when you factor in living and food costs along with other tertiary expenditure. In most cases, tuition fees for master’s degrees (people who have obtained bachelor’s degrees in other parts of the globe), usually vary from one university to another. They may range between EUR 20, 000 at public universities or roughly US $24, 000 and EUR 30, 000 or US $36, 600 across private universities.

You can save at least INR 20 lakh on your course fees and living costs with upGrad Abroad. Here’s how- upGrad Abroad offers 1 year online and 1 year offline study programs in Germany encompassing disciplines like Data Science, International Management and Cyber Security. Now, consider the fact that average annual tuition fees will be somewhere around 14, 990 Euros in Germany at Universities while you will also have to deposit 10, 332 Euros in a German bank account as the proof of having funds for food and living expenses. This works out to 25, 322 Euros in total. It is almost equivalent to INR 22.5 lakh for a single year. However, upGrad’s unique model has you studying for a year online at reputed institutions such as IMT Ghaziabad and IIT Bangalore while course fees for the 1st year of online study hover around INR 2.5-3.35 lakh on average. Hence, you stand to save at least INR 20 lakh on your education costs for the first year with this unique model offered by upGrad Abroad. This helps you pursue your dreams of global education without having to stretch yourself thin financially.  

Apply Now: Master in International Management in Germany

3. Food Cost in Germany 

It is important to take a closer look at food costs in Germany while planning your budget. Staples are not that costly in the country although premier supermarkets such as Tegut and Rewe can be costly. Aldi and Lidl are supermarkets where you can shop to save roughly 10-15% on average. Basic foods may cost somewhere in the EUR 40-50 every week ballpark. Dining out is quite affordable with lunch costs ranging between EUR 5-11 and evening meals varying between EUR 10-20 per individual. A couple of German beers or a glass of wine will set you back by EUR 10 as well. 

EUR 30-40 per head can cover a good meal in a standard German restaurant. Tips are usually not covered under this head and are usually between 10-15% of the bill amount. Here is a list of items with their average costs in Germany: 

a) White Bread- EUR 1.27-1.43

b) Milk (1 litre)- EUR 0.71-0.84

c) Rice (1 Kg-White)- EUR 1.79-2.15

d) Tomato (1 Kg)- EUR 2.61-2.82

e) Eggs (12)- EUR 1.61-1.78

f) Potato (1 Kg)- EUR 1-1.32

Start Your Study Abroad Journey Now.




4. Transportation Costs in Germany 

Transportation costs in Germany usually hover around EUR 1.33 for every 0.25 gallons or 1 litre of gasoline while monthly bus passes cost around EUR 81. A single-use bus ticket will cost you EUR 2.70 while taxi tariffs stand at EUR 20 for 8 kilometers or a 5 mile trip. 

More Resources to Read About Germany:

5. Average Utilities and Bills Cost 

You will currently have to fork out 29.42 cents for a kilowatt hour in consumption or CT/kWh. Considering utilities, monthly costs may hover around EUR 215.21. Living with roommates means splitting these costs. Germans pay close to twice the per kilowatt of power as compared to residents in the U.S while paying lower in overall utility bills owing to energy efficiency of appliances. Bills come on a quarterly basis in Germany and average energy costs for a single person in a 45 square meter studio in Berlin will be EUR 95-120 each month. The rate is approximately EUR 2.50 per square meter. Hence, monthly utility costs will vary between EUR 200-250 across cities like Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Cologne. Monthly internet bills hover around EUR 30-40, depending upon your chosen package. This includes fixed landline charges as well. An added cost is the compulsory German television and radio license. 

Read More: Study in Germany without IELTS | Top countries for the best education system

German cities with the highest and lowest cost of living

Like rent, the average living cost in Germany also varies across cities. It is influenced by various factors like food, transport, amenities, etc. For example, the cost of living in Berlin will vary from the cost of living in Frankfurt. Similarly, the cost of living in Munich will be significantly higher than that of Essen. The following table will help you get an idea of the average cost of living in Germany for a single person in some of the most popular German cities:

No.

Name of City

Monthly cost of living (single person)

1.

Munich

890 EUR (INR 78,000)

2.

Frankfurt

880 EUR (INR 77,000)

3.

Cologne

870 EUR (INR 76,000)

4.

Hamburg

840 EUR (INR 73,000)

5.

Berlin

825 EUR (INR 72,000)

6.

Dortmund

825 EUR (INR 72,000)

7.

Stuttgart

815 EUR (INR 71,000)

8.

Dusseldorf

793 EUR (INR 69,000)

9.

Leipzig

738 EUR (INR 64,000)

10.

Essen

727 EUR (INR 63,000)

Start Your Study Abroad
Journey Now.

✓ Save upto 30Lakh ✓ No IELTS required
✓End to end Visa/Application support



Cost of living in  Munich

Munich has the highest cost of living in Germany for a single person. The average monthly cost hovers around 890 EUR while most of the costs like food prices and cost of amenities remain almost the same across most German cities, what really makes the difference is the rent. Munich has the highest number of listed companies and major universities making it ideal for studies and well-paid work.

Type of cost

Monthly Cost (approx.)

Rent

890 EUR (INR 78,000)

Food

400 EUR (INR 35,000)

Transportation

180 EUR (INR 16,000)

Amenities (electricity, heating, water, garbage)

265 EUR (INR 23,000)

Cost of living in Berlin

Berlin is not only the capital of Germany but also the largest city in the country. While the cost of living in Berlin is lower than in cities like Munich and Frankfurt, it is still higher than most other German cities. The average monthly cost of living in Berlin hovers around 825 EUR.

Type of cost

Monthly Cost (approx.)

Rent

825 EUR (INR 72,000)

Food

355 EUR (INR 31,000)

Transportation

255 EUR (INR 22,000)

Amenities (electricity, heating, water, garbage)

250 EUR (INR 21,800)

Cost of living in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a centrally located city and is close to many other cities. However, it is one of Germany’s most expensive cities. The average monthly cost of living in Frankfurt hovers around 880 EUR. With an industrial background, it does offer a lot of work opportunities.

Type of cost

Monthly Cost (approx.)

Rent

880 EUR (INR 77,800)

Food

360 EUR (INR 31,500)

Transportation

169 EUR (INR 15,000)

Amenities (electricity, heating, water, garbage)

275 EUR (INR 24,000)

Cost of living in Germany compared to other European countries

The living expenses in Germany are lower than in most other European countries. It doesn’t mean the standard of living but the cost of living. It is influenced by many different aspects like food, transport, living amenities, etc. The following table will help you compare the cost of living in Germany for a single person with that of other popular open countries:

Country

Monthly cost of living (approx.)

Germany 

861 EUR (INR 75,000)

France 

1,300 EUR (INR 1,13,000)

UK 

1,660 EUR (INR 1,45,000)

Switzerland 

2,150 EUR (INR 1,88,000)

Denmark 

1,580 EUR (INR 1,38,000)

Austria 

1,390 EUR (INR 1,21,000)

Sweden 

1,300 EUR (INR 1,13,000)

Cost of living in Germany vs India

Reports suggest that living in Germany is over 200% costlier than living in India, on average. The cost is influenced by various factors like food, transport, rent, cost of amenities, etc. The following table of comparison of some of the basic aspects will shed some light on the cost of living in Germany for Indian students:

Cost type

Germany

India

Cost of living (One person)

861 EUR

365 EUR

Rent (One bedroom apartment)

650 EUR

140 EUR

Food Expenses

350 EUR

145 EUR

Transport Expenses

107 EUR

40 EUR

Internet connection

34 EUR

9.5 EUR

Basic utilities (garbage, water, electricity)

123 EUR

24 EUR

University Tuition Fees

University tuition fees are almost non-existent in public universities in Germany. However, the overall cost may seem quite expensive for international students once you factor in living and food costs along with other tertiary expenditures. The scenario is different for private universities where the average  fees hover around the 30,000 EUR mark.

List of German universities and their fees

University

Fees

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

No tuition fees

Technical University of Munich

No tuition fees

University of Mannheim

No tuition fees

University of Bremen

No tuition fees

University of Cologne

No tuition fees

University of Hamburg

No tuition fees

University of Bonn

No tuition fees

RWTH Aachen University

No tuition fees

Technical University of Kaiserslautern

No tuition fees

Humboldt University of Berlin

No tuition fees

Heidelberg University

9,295-28,412ar

University of Stuttgart

1500 EUR/semester

CBS International Business School

22,000-43,000 EUR/course

While the tuition fees in German public universities are almost nil and education, in general, is cheap, the country has a fairly high cost of living. The additional costs go even higher for international students if they have to live in rented accommodations.

upGrad Abroad’s UA Accelerator programs in collaboration with IU Germany offer a hybrid learning structure. A portion of the course is conducted online with IIIT Bangalore and the rest is completed on-campus at IU Germany. These courses are not only industry-relevant but also reduce the cost of studying in Germany significantly. This cuts the cost of living in Germany for Indian students.

Here are some of the courses with cost details:

Master of Business Administration with IU Germany

This Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is an 18-month-long hybrid course. Meaning, the first two semesters are studied online via online sessions and live lectures, and the remaining six months (semester 3) are completed on-campus. The degree will be conferred by the IU International University of Applied Sciences, Germany. The course offers the following specializations: 

  • Finance & Management
  • Big Data Management 
  • IT Management
  • Engineering Management 
  • International Marketing

College

Semester

Mode of learning

Tuition fee 

IU Germany

2 semester

Online

INR 2,67,000

IU Germany

3rd semester

On-campus

INR 4,72,313 per semester

Master Degree in Data Science with IU Germany

This master’s program in collaboration with IU Germany and IIIT Bangalore helps students tap into the field of data science at a low cost. The first year of the course is conducted online with IIIT Bangalore and the second year is conducted on-campus at IU Germany. Here are some of the key course benefits:

College

Semester/year

Mode of learning

Tuition fee 

IIIT Bangalore

1st year

Online

INR 3,50,000 

IU Germany

2nd year

On-campus

INR 7,56,917

Master in International Management with IU Germany

This master’s program is offered in collaboration with IMT Ghaziabad and IU Germany. It allows students to study for the 1st year from home and then move to the IU Germany campus for the 2nd year. The specializations offered are International Marketing and Finance & Marketing.

College

Semester

Mode of learning

Tuition fee 

IMT Ghaziabad

1st year

Online

INR 2,67,000 

IU Germany

2nd year

On-campus

INR 7,56,917 per year

Important Resources to Read for Study in Germany:

Master in Cyber Security with IU Germany

This Cyber Security program is a two-year course conducted by IIIT Bangalore and IU Germany. Students can study online from home for the first year and the second year is conducted on-campus at IU Germany. The course is in two parts – an Executive PG Programme in Software Development (Cyber Security) from IIIT Bangalore and a one-year master’s program in cyber security at IU Germany.

College

Semester

Mode of learning

Tuition fee 

IIIT Bangalore

1st year

Online

INR 3,40,000

IU Germany

2nd year

On-campus

INR 7,56,917

Master in Computer Science with IU Germany

This is a two years postgraduate course wherein the first year is conducted online with IU Germany and the 2nd year is conducted on-campus in IU Germany.

College

Semester

Mode of learning

Tuition fee 

IU Germany

1st year

Online

INR 2,62,000 

IU Germany

2nd year

On-campus

INR 7,66,619

Costs and types of health insurance in Germany for international students

Health insurance expenditure affects the overall living cost in Germany for students. So, students aged under 30 years and who are admitted to a degree course in a recognized German institution can go for special student discounts for public health insurance. Students aged under 23 years can pay 105.05 EUR and those aged over 23 years can pay 106.93 as a part of their monthly living expenses in Germany. It covers both public healthcare and nursing care.

International students aged over 30 years can go for either public or private health insurance. It is possible to find private plans costing below the public healthcare premiums. It can cost as low as 40 EUR monthly along with a few variable costs.

However, it is ideal for students who have already found jobs to select public health insurance. It is paid in the form of social security contributions of around 14.6% of the gross salary. The overall amount is equally shared between the employer and employee and is capped at 360 EUR a month. The top public health insurance providers in Germany are TK, Barmer, KKH, and AOK.

Monthly public health insurance premiums for students aged below 30 years:

  • KKH – Kaufmännische Krankenkasse 111.75 EUR
  • Barmer 108.77 EUR
  • AOK Baden Württemberg 107.29 EUR
  • DAK Gesundheit 111.75 EUR
  • TK – Techniker Krankenkasse 105.80 (103.94 for students aged 22 or below)

Students aged over 30 years, studying in postgraduate or non-graduate programs, and are without a job can opt for private health insurance like EDUCARE24. The premiums start at around 33 EUR and go up to 130 EUR monthly.

Related Reads:

Tips to Save Money in Germany 

Here are some handy tips for saving money during your time in Germany: 

1. Subscriptions to gymnasiums and fitness facilities may touch upwards of EUR 20 every month; therefore join the sports club of the University instead to save money and maintain your health and fitness levels. Sports clubs usually have nominal charges with their own gymnasiums, sports like Handball and Ultimate Frisbee and many other activities throughout the year. 

2. You will find numerous second-hand and thrift stores in Germany including many shops selling footwear, ornaments, clothing and furniture at attractive bargains. These charity shops or Kleiderkammer are excellent places to find bargains without denting your wallet. Many bigger German towns also have flea markets or Flohmarkte on a regular basis, which offer great discounts on a variety of items. 

3. Travel by bike- Cycling is a great option to driving and commuting by public transport. Cycling is hugely popular in Germany with an estimated 43, 000 miles of cycling pathways present in the country. 

4. Share when you can- It is always cheaper and more fun to share with roommates and friends. This arrangement is common in Germany where it is known as Wohngemeinschaft or WG. Here, flat mates usually join forces to sign their tenancy agreements, thereby saving a whopping EUR 100-200 individually in several scenarios. There are several online portals such as WG-Gesucht and other communities for finding flat mates. 

5. Enjoy leisure activities for free- Germany has several free and fun leisure activities that you can enjoy in your spare time. Some of the best experiences are also totally free. You will not have to spend anything for cycling or walking along the Rhine or even reading to your heart’s content in the English Garden in Munich or simply unwinding with new friends at the Tempelhofer Field in Berlin. You can visit local parks for several games of Frisbee and football and Germans are always welcoming in these scenarios. 

6. Make use of the Aktionstage– A few days on the calendar will give you more value for your money. For example, you can check Action Days or Aktionstage where these feature several enticing discounts on diverse activities and attractions. 19th May is International Museum Day and several museums throughout Germany open for visitors with absolutely free entry charges. Every cinema will come with the Kinotag where admission prices come down sharply to EUR 5-6. Check whether the local cinema has a discount offer before booking your seats likewise. 

7. Neighborhood Fairteilers deserve special attention- Germans are mostly obsessed with fair pricing and the Fairteiler movement has gained much traction as a result. Fairteilers or fair sharers in Germany are those who get food that is donated by people before sharing it at hugely subsidized costs to people who need the same. They may also take unsold food from the supermarkets that would have been wasted otherwise. Those on shoe-string budgets may find these options really helpful. You can use the dedicated website for food sharing and call up all outlets throughout Germany.

Important Resources to Read About Germany:

Cost of living in Germany – FAQs:

Q1. What is the cost of living in Germany for international students?

A: On average, international students will have to spend EUR 588-799 every month on cost of living in Germany.

Q2. What is the cost of living in Germany for a family?

A: The cost of living in Germany for a family will hover between EUR 2497-2747 every month.

Q3. What are average food costs in Germany?

A: Average food costs may be EUR 40-50 per week for staples and EUR 30-40 for a meal at a standard German restaurant.

Q4. What is average rent in Germany?

A: The average rent in Germany hovers between EUR 739-1030 on average.

Q5. Is Germany expensive?

A: Germany isn’t considered too expensive in comparison with other European countries. However, it is definitely a lot more expensive than in India.

Q6. What is the cost of living in Germany for international students?

A: On average, international students will have to spend 588-799 EUR every month on the cost of living in Germany.

Q7. Is education free in Germany?

A: The cost of education in Germany is significantly lower than most other study abroad destinations. Almost all public universities/colleges offer free education. However, private universities are quite costly.

Q8. How much does it cost to study in Germany?

A: There are no tuition fees for public universities in Germany apart from some minor administrative charges, etc. However, fees for private institutions can go upwards of 30,000 EUR /year depending on courses.

Read to Know About Top Universities in Germany:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Why Study in France?

Reputed universities, rich culture, a flexible education system, and attractive post-study work opportunities make France one of the…