Cost of living in Düsseldorf: An expat guide (2021)


Updated on Jan 27 • 4 minute read

With one exclusive boutique lining up next to yet another luxury shop on the Kö, newcomers to Düsseldorf soon begin to doubt how affordable life will be here. Wondering what the cost of living is in Dusseldorf?

We'll spoil it for you: the cost of living is certainly higher than in other German cities, though you'll also find higher salaries in Düsseldorf. It's all a matter of balance. Let us reveal to you how expensive the magnificent city really is and break down the cost of living in Dusseldorf for you. Ready?

Is Dusseldorf a good place to live?

Düsseldorf seems to hold the spot as the world's smallest village for internationals: with a population of just 640,000, it takes its place as the capital of the federal state (beating its million-strong rival Cologne!), has direct international flights to LA, Abu Dhabi and more via Germany's third-largest airport, and unlocks opportunities for international schools. To look at it more closely: according to the Mercer Quality of Live survey (2012),

Düsseldorf is the sixth most liveable city in the world.

No wonder internationals feel so at home in Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf is home to mostly Asian internationals, so it's no surprise that even with English you'll quickly settle in as an international with no language barrier.

How much does it cost to live in Dusseldorf?

Fun fact: did you know that the cost of living in Dusseldorf is 30% less than the cost of living in New York?

Needless to say that this fact won't make the city more affordable in comparison to the other German cities; after all, Düsseldorf comes in at the top of the list of the most expensive cities in Germany, right behind Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and Frankfurt.

Cost of living in Dusseldorf: an overview

Here's an overview of the cost of living in Düsseldorf:

GroceriesPrice (in €)
Milk (1L)0.79€
12 eggs2.28€
Rice (1 KG)1.95€
Chicken fillet (1 KG)7.16€
Potatoes (1KG)1.12€
Wine (1L, medium price)5.00€
German beer (Altbier!)0.91€
Water (1,5 L sparkling water, get ready!)0.46€
Leisure timePrice (in €)
Lunch at the restaurant (one person)11.00€
Three-course meal (for two)60€
The menu at McDonald's8.00€
German beer (0,5 L)3.95€
Cappuccino (normal)2.95€
Water (0,33 L)1.85€
Gym (monthly)30.18€
Cinema tickets for two26€
Theatre tickets for two (best seats)123€
Cocktail in a bar7€

TransportationPrice (in €)
Single ticket2.90€
Day ticket for public transport7.20€
Monthly ticket87.60€
Basic taxi fare4.80€

Good to know: Düsseldorf is actually the most expensive city when it comes to getting from one point to another by taxi. So, better switch to public transportation!

RentPrice (in €)
Furnished flat in the city centre (85m2)1,435€
Furnished flat outside the city (85m2)1,071€
Furnished studio in the city centre (45m2)773€
Furnished studio outside the city centre644€
Private room in a shared flat406€

What's a good salary in Dusseldorf?

To get an idea of how expensive the cost of living in Dusseldorf is, it's worth putting it in the context of the salary. As an expat in Dusseldorf,

you can expect an average salary of €46,584.

In other words: expats in Dusseldorf may have to face high costs of living, yet in return play in the upper range of the German average salary.

To give you a comparison: According to the Federal Employment Agency, the average salary in Berlin is around €37,512, in Frankfurt €50,184 and in Hamburg €43,428.

With an average salary of €3,8882, you need to factor in about 42% of your salary for living expenses; giving you a little extra room to do more than window shopping on the Kö!

Is it more expensive to live in Düsseldorf than in Berlin?

Truth to be told, living in Dusseldorf proves to be far more expensive. Someone living in Berlin with a salary of 42,000€ has to earn about 46,362€ for the same standard of living in Dusseldorf. To put it in a nutshell: that's 10% more than in Berlin. Keep in mind though, that in Dusseldorf you also earn significantly more on average, almost 24% more than in Berlin.

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