The ultimate guide to the cost of living in Berlin


Updated on Nov 10 • 5 minute read

The cost of living in Berlin is just above the European average and yet the vibrant city is the cheapest capital city in Western Europe! A true paradise for all international students and young expats who want to swap their life in their home country for the urban jungle without having to dig too deep into their pockets.

But can you afford living in Berlin right now? To answer this question, we'll break down the average cost of living in Berlin into:

  • Living expenses in Berlin
  • Cost of living in Berlin for single person (Breakdown)
  • Average rent in Berlin (apartment versus room)

Monthly costs of living in Berlin

Cost of living in Berlin for a single person

As a working professional, renting a studio, you'll spend around €2,270 per month to cover all your living expenses.

Earning the German average net salary of around €4,478 per month, you'll still be able to set aside some money every month!

But if your budget is lower, you can still use a trick or two to save money while living in Berlin. You can look for a studio in a cheaper neighbourhood, and buy groceries in discount supermarkets and ahead.

Cost of living in Berlin for a family of 4

A family of 4 can expect to spend around €4,419 per month to cover their living expenses, including rent.

The estimate includes an occasional meal in a restaurant and a cinema visit but does not account for childcare costs such as preschool or nursery.

Food Costs

For both international expats and those from Germany's neighbouring countries, groceries will be a paradise. In contrast to the Netherlands, France, Italy, Austria, Sweden and Belgium, the costs for food are considerably lower in Berlin.

Dairy & meat productsAverage price
Milk (1l)€1.16
Eggs (Pack of 12)€2.85
Cheese (1kg)€13.18
Chicken fillets (1kg)€9.91
Menu in a fast-food restaurant€9.29
Fruits & vegetablesAverage price
Tomatoes (1kg)€3.06
Potatoes (1kg, locally sourced)€1.86
Apples (1kg)€2.58
Bread & pastriesAverage price
Bread (from your local bakery)€1.69
Flour (2.5kg)€2.90
BeveragesAverage price
Coca-Cola (1l)€1.67
1 bottle of wine (1l, medium high quality)€6
Domestic Beer (0. 5l)€1.05

Overall, you can expect to spend around €250 per month on groceries.

If you eat out, that number goes up exponentially.

And don't forget: this only represents the average. When going grocery shopping, you can choose between a discount store (e.g. Lidl, Aldi, Penny or Netto) or a more expensive supermarket (e.g. EDEKA or Rewe). Doing groceries at an organic or bio store will also increase your expenses.

Average rental prices

Rent will take up the biggest chunk of your budget for living in Berlin.

Here's what you can expect from the average rent prices in Berlin:

Type of accommodationAverage rent prices in Berlin
Private rooms€760

But there's certainly a huge difference whether you move into a hip flat in an old building in Friedrichshain or look for a low-priced student room in Tempelhof.

In our neighbourhood guide in Berlin, we delve deeper into the individual neighbourhoods, so you can get a feel for the average rent prices in different districts of Berlin.

Transportation prices

Berlin's public transport system takes you from one corner to the other in no time at all.

Those, who don't have semseter tickets can buy one of the following tickets or travel cards:

TypeAverage cost
Short trip ticket€2.00
Single tickets (2 hrs)€3.00
4-short-trip ticket€8.00
24-hour ticket€8.80
4-trip ticket€9.40
7-day ticket€36.00
School student monthly ticket€77,50
Monthly ticket€86

For most people in Berlin, the BVG AB ticket of €86 per month is the way to go. And if you plan to live not too far from your study or work, you can save some money by using a bike. For occasional longer trips, you can just buy a single public transportation ticket for €3.00 or a 24-hour ticket for €8.80.

Also good to know is that taxi is quite cheap in Berlin. It starts at €3.90 with an extra €2.00 being charged per km.

Leisure costs

Discover the secrets to living the Berlin lifestyle on a budget:

This is roughly what you can expect to spend in your free time in Berlin:

Leisure timeAverage price
Lunch out (meal including drink)€12
Dinner out (for 2 people)€60
Theatre tickets (for 1 person)€17.60
Cinema tickets (for 1 person)€12 (on some weekdays it's cheaper than on weekends!)
Museum tickets€6-12 (but many nice galleries have free exhibitions)

Health insurance costs

To live in Germany you must take out a health insurance. As an international student, you can expect to pay a discounted price of around €120 per month for public health insurance in Germany.

If you're a working professional, a contribution of 7.3% will be taken from your gross salary. The maximum you can be charged is capped at €360 a month.

There's space for any budget in Berlin

Just about every lifestyle finds its home in Berlin. Those who try to live on a low budget can certainly keep their cost of living per month in Berlin small - even without missing out on that vibrant city vibe. Instead of spending your time (and money!) in one of those fancy cocktail bars, why not just sip beer from a Späti on the Weserstraße in Neukölln while soaking up the ease of Berlin?

With a sense for affordable alternatives, you can make it through life in Berlin with a cost of living around €1,400 per month, including rent.

Expats in Berlin that want to kick off their career in one of the hip start-ups can easily treat themselves to a dinner out, and go all in with the buzzling concerts and festivals. After all, the truth is that as an expat you can live very comfortably in Berlin at around €2,200 per month.

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