Cost of Living in Germany: A Guide

7 minute read

Are you a student who has just received an offer letter from a university abroad and is now floating above the skies with enthusiasm about what the future holds for you? But then you start thinking about how difficult it will be to deal with all of the duties and challenges that studying abroad brings. You will not only have to devote yourself to keeping track of your studies and university grades while studying in Germany, but you will also have to deal with a variety of additional concerns. This blog is written to help you with the same; the cost of living in Germany. Read this blog to help you plan your expenses better before moving to Germany.

Must Read: Study in Germany for FREE: Requirements, Universities

Why Choose Germany to Study Abroad?

Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons for studying in Germany, as well as the rewards that students can reap.

  • Did you know that in Germany, students pay little to no tuition?  The German federal government advocates for universal access to free and affordable higher education while maintaining strong academic standards. Even Germany’s high living standards come at a comparatively low cost.
  • Germany has a world-class study and research infrastructure, with well-equipped research facilities at universities, universities of applied sciences, other research institutes, businesses, and federal and state authorities.
  • Over 300,000 international university students live in Germany. It’s amazing how worldwide, welcoming, and diverse German universities are! Many international programmes and study possibilities are available at German universities.
  • Germany’s distinct culture provides visitors with fantastic new experiences as well as the opportunity to participate in festivals and special events. You can learn about the country’s past as well as its diversified present society.
  • Germany has stunning scenery in addition to intriguing history and culture. There are 16 national parks dispersed throughout the country, so you are never far from an area of amazing natural beauty.

Must Read: Want to Study in Germany? Here’s How You Can

Cost of Living in Germany

Now that you have ample reasons to choose Germany as your study abroad destination, here is the breakdown of the total cost of living in Germany to help you plan and manage your finances better.

Transportation/ Commutation

Transportation Average Cost
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.00 €
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 64.00 €
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.50 €
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 2.00 €
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 30.00 €
Gasoline (1 litre) 1.97 €
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 25,000.00 €
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 26,319.41 €

Food/ Restaurants

Restaurants Average Cost
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 12.00 €
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 60.00 €
McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 9.00 €
Domestic Beer (0.5 litre draught) 4.00 €
Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle) 3.50 €
Cappuccino (regular) 3.20 €
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle) 2.63 €
Water (0.33 litre bottle) 2.34 €
Markets Average Cost
Milk (regular), (1 litre) 1.10 €
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 1.82 €
Rice (white), (1kg) 2.18 €
Eggs (regular) (12) 2.83 €
Local Cheese (1kg) 11.91 €
Chicken Fillets (1kg) 8.54 €
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 14.98 €
Apples (1kg) 2.50 €
Banana (1kg) 1.65 €
Oranges (1kg) 2.19 €
Tomato (1kg) 1.73 €
Potato (1kg) 1.61 €
Onion (1kg) 1.21 €
Lettuce (1 head) 1.29 €
Water (1.5 litre bottle) 0.60 €
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 5.00 €
Domestic Beer (0.5-litre bottle) 0.74 €
Imported Beer (0.33 litre bottle) 1.45 €

Utility Bills/ Expenses

Utilities (Monthly) Average Cost
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 271.55 €
Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data 37.86 €
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 43.38 €
Clothing And Shoes Edit
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 78.83 €
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 36.67 €
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 83.38 €
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 107.69 €

Entertainment/ Recreation

Sports And Leisure Average Cost
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 33.64 €
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 21.17 €
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12.00 €

Accommodation/ Housing

Rent Per Month Average Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 841.25 €
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 626.24 €
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,533.64 €
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,169.95 €
Apartment Price ( for buying) Average Cost
The price per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment in the City Centre 6,506.33 €
Price per Square Meter to Buy an Apartment Outside of Centre 4,705.78 €

City-Wise Cost of Living in Germany

According to Statista, the following are Germany’s top ten most expensive cities in terms of flat rents in 2023:

City Average Cost of Living
Munich €19.64 per m2
Frankfurt am Main €16.49 per m2
Berlin €15.69 per m2
Stuttgart €15.31 per m2
Freiburg €14.88 per m2
Dusseldorf €14.20 per m2
Mainz €14.17 per m2
Heidelberg €14.14 per m2
Hamburg €14.04 per m2
Darmstadt €13.84 per m2

Must Read: Reasons You Should Choose Munich to Study Abroad

Average Tuition Fees in Germany

Public university programmes typically cost between €147 and €1,597 per year whereas private university programmes cost an average of €1,486.99 to €34,778.

Public University

University Average Tuition Fee
Ludwig Maximilian University €244/year
Technical University of Munich €144/year
University of Heidelberg €364/year
Humboldt University Berlin €620/year
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology €1500/year
Technical University of Berlin €308/year
Free University of Berlin €354/year
RWTH Aachen University No Tuition Fees for International Students

Private University

University Average Tuition Fee
Bard College Berlin €28,700
CODE University of Applied Sciences €9800
Munich Business School €24,000
EBC Hochschule  €10,000
GISMA Business School €20,000
Friedensau Adventist University €3,500
Hertie School of Governance €32,500
SRH Hochschule Berlin €10,000
University of Applied Sciences Europe €1,400
WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management €15,000

Must Read: Universities in Germany for Indian & International Students

Tips for Saving Money in Germany

Here are some tips that can effectively help you save money while studying abroad in Germany:

Shared flat or house

Sharing housing with others is substantially less expensive than renting your own flat. Finding a single room in a house or flat can result in monthly savings of hundreds of euros.

Accommodation for students

Student housing in Germany will almost always be the most affordable option, if you plan to study there. Even in major cities, student rent is lower than the national average, at around €300 per month.

Must Read: How to Find Accommodation in Germany?

Student discounts 

Students can enjoy great deals at a variety of establishments, including restaurants, movie theatres, and clothing stores. To take advantage of this, keep your student ID with you at all times.

Travel Cards

Students under the age of 27 can purchase a BahnCard50 card to receive a 50% discount on the train and some bus travel. You should also look for an institution that includes a free transport card as part of your semester cost, which might save you up to €100 per month. Learn more about transport costs in Germany on our Transport Costs in Germany page.

Supermarkets with significant discounts

Germany, the birthplace of Lidl and Aldi, is the world leader in inexpensive supermarkets. These national favourites may be found in both major cities and little towns around the country. Netto and Penny are two more inexpensive possibilities. 

Consider going SIM-only

Get a SIM-only package and send messages using internet-based chat services like WhatsApp to save money on mobile phone contracts. If you choose SIM-only, you’ll need reliable WiFi.

Must Read: Top Tips on Saving Money and Avoiding Student Debt

Things to Consider Before Moving to Germany

You’ve read all the travel books and even learned some German, but nothing can prepare you for the adventure that awaits you. We’ve researched a lot and gathered information you’d be glad to know before going to Germany. Here are a few things:

  • Learn the German language beforehand. Will help you communicate with locals and blend in better with people.
  • Renting a bike is a safer, cheaper and healthier alternative.
  • The cost of living is reasonable.
  • Punctuality is the key for Germans. Being ‘fashionably late’ doesn’t go down well with them.
  • Almost everything is closed on Sundays. Most parts of the city become a ghost town.
  • The work-life balance in Germany is amazing. 
  • The education system of Germany is wonderful. Germany ranked 8th out of 40 countries in terms of average student reading, numeracy, and science scores.
  • With a very broad cuisine, there is something for everyone. However, if you’re moving to Germany, it’s a must to try some of the country’s most traditional foods including – Rouladen, Spätzle and Maultaschen.

Must Read: Student Life in Germany for Indian Students


Is it expensive to live in Germany?

If you are a US citizen coming to Germany, you will be relieved to learn that the cost of living in Germany is approximately 35% lower than in the United States. This is because the costs of food, rent, utilities, and education in Germany are much lower than in the United States. Even as Indian citizens, you’ll incur way less costs while living in Germany than anywhere else in the world.

How much does it cost to live comfortably in Germany?

As an individual residing in Germany, you may expect your total monthly costs to range from €1200 and €3000. At the lower end of this price range, you’d probably be living in a flatshare outside of the city centre.

Can Indians save money in Germany?

Indian students should plan on spending roughly $1320 per month, or $37,247 per year. With the help of FlyFinance, Indian students may now save significantly and better manage their budget while residing and studying in Germany.

This was all about the cost of living in Germany. If you wish to know more about the cost of living in various countries, subscribe to Leverage Edu– your trusted study abroad consultant.

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