Cost of living in Düsseldorf: An expat guide (2024)

The cost of living in Düsseldorf pushes the city into the upper price range. We'll show you what expenses you should expect.


4 minute read
Updated on 8 May 2024

With one exclusive boutique lining up next to yet another luxury shop on the Kö, newcomers to Dusseldorf 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 higher than in some 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?

Dusseldorf seems to hold the spot as the world's smallest village for internationals: with a population of just 620,000, 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 3rd-largest airport, and unlocks opportunities for international schools. To look at it more closely: according to the Mercer Quality of Live survey (2012),

Dusseldorf is the 6th most liveable city in the world.

No wonder internationals feel so at home in Dusseldorf. 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, Dusseldorf comes in at 6th place on 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:

Milk (1l)€1.15
Eggs (pack of 12)€2.80
Rice (1kg)€2.18
Chicken fillets (1kg)€8.61
Potatoes (1kg)€2.11
Wine (mid-range)€6.00
German beer (Altbier!)€0.57
Water (1,5l)€0.70
Leisure timePrice
Lunch at the restaurant (one person)€14.00
Three-course meal (for two)€60
The menu at McDonald's€9.00
German beer (0.5l)€4.50
Cappuccino (normal)€3.23
Water (0.33l)€2.43
Gym (monthly)€34
Cinema tickets for two€25
Theatre tickets for two (best seats)€126
Cocktail in a bar€10

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!

Single ticket€3.00
Day ticket for public transport€7.60
Monthly ticket€85.90
Basic taxi fare€4.50

If you're searching homes for rent in Dusseldorf below you can find average rent prices:

Furnished flat in the city centre (85m2)€1,390
Furnished flat outside the city (85m2)€1,306
Furnished studio in the city centre (45m2)€942
Furnished studio outside the city centre (45m2)€755
Private room in a shared flat€550

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 monthly salary of €3,061.

In other words: expats in Dusseldorf may face high costs of living, and in return play in the medium range of the average German salary.

To give you a comparison: the average monthly salary in Berlin is around €3,001, in Frankfurt €3,352 and in Hamburg €3,189.

With an average salary of €3,061, 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?

Living in Dusseldorf proves to be less expensive. Someone living in Berlin with a salary of €4,666 has to earn about €4,300 for the same standard of living in Dusseldorf. To put it in a nutshell: that's 8.5% less than in Berlin. Keep in mind though, that in Dusseldorf you also earn more on average, almost 2% more than in Berlin.
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