Cost of living

Life in Germany is relatively inexpensive. Between cities, costs may vary, but prices are affordable compared to other urban centres around the world.

There are also considerable variations within Germany. For instance, life in a major city in the west of Germany can be more expensive than in a small town in the east of the country. This is mainly due to the costs of renting and house prices.

Young man picks up a can while shopping in a modern supermarket.

Costs of renting will depend on the location of the house or flat and on whether it is furnished. As a rule of thumb, one third of your income could be spent on rental costs or on a place to live.

When planning your stay, you may also find it useful to know that German households spend on average around 500 euros per month on food and clothing and around 970 euros on housing and energy (this includes renovations and is a national average). According to surveys by Destatis, the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the average single household in Germany spends around 1,700 euros a month. However, many people spend much less: students in Germany spend on average 867 euros per month on living costs.

Schematic shows percentages for cost of living with housing and energy the largest part at 36.8 %. Food and Transport add up to 27.6%, with education only at 0.7%.

Good to know

Prices in Germany are moderate as compared with many other European countries and are only 8 percent higher than the EU average. Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Ireland are the five most expensive countries in Europe.

Prices in Germany are fairly stable and inflation rates have remained below 10 percent over the last three years – even during current crises like the war in Ukraine.

Eastern German cities are more affordable than western ones. On average, rents and living expenses are significantly lower in eastern Germany.