Rental homes in Germany

Before moving to Germany, you need to know what you can expect. With Hamburg to the north, Berlin to the East, Munich to the south and Cologne to the west, Germany is one of the largest countries in Europe. Thankfully, HousingAnywhere knows its way around Germany! We're going to tell you all you need to know about where the best places to live are, how to rent a German home and much more. All in all, this page has all the knowledge you need to rent your new place in Germany!

Your relocation guide for Germany

Visas, accommodation, health insurance ... There're just so many things to keep track of when you're moving abroad. But worry not! Turns out it can actually be pretty simple if you have a good checklist!


Where in Germany should I live?

With its top-notch universities and attractive career opportunities, living in Germany might have been on your radar. But which city would make a great new home? Let's have a look at 5 main international hubs, analyzing their career and education prospects, quality of life and cost of living.

Discover the best cities to live in

How can I find a place in Germany?

Finding your new home in Germany is no easy feat. How not to get lost in all the terminology, let alone navigate things like the SCHUFA report? With this guide, we’ll explain the German rental process so that you can find a place in Germany as quickly as possible!


Can I study in Germany for free?

First of all; yes you can! In public universities, you can get your bachelor's for free. But opportunities don't end there – you can score some decent grants for your master's or PhD studies if you know where to apply!

Discover scholarships in Germany

Do I need to learn German?

How well do Germans speak English? Is it even possible to live in Germany without knowing German and, if so, how do you as an expat break these language barriers?

Let's figure it out!

Ace your expat life in Germany with our 4-7 minutes articles

Moving abroad is tough. Let alone living abroad. Ace your expat life in Germany with our 4-7 minute blogs that bring you up-to-date information on moving, renting, living, studying, or working in Germany.

Answers for expats

Before moving to Germany, you need to know what you can expect. Who are you, and what type of accommodation are you looking for during your stay? In larger cities, where you’ll find many of the international internships and expat jobs, flats and apartment buildings quite common. On the local market you’ll often find that a landlord will rent out a place in an unfurnished state, as this is common among the Germans themselves. If you’re an international who’s not bringing their family along for the ride, you might as well look for housing providers and landlords who offer furnished housing.


A mainstay among students and interns, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to rent a room in Germany. Rooms can be anywhere, from inside a privately owned house, in a (shared) flat or apartment to dedicated student housing buildings. Subletting is also quite common in Germany, which might be an easy and affordable option for you if your stay is relatively short. Apartment sharing is very popular among younger Germans and internationals and is known as Wohngemeinschaft (or WG for short). So if you’re looking for a room, while also building up your social network in Germany, this could be your way to go!


If you’re moving to Germany on a slightly larger budget or for a longer period of time, a studio might be your housing of choice. As you have your own kitchen and bathroom, this is a great option for people who appreciate their privacy. Additionally, studios tend to be quite a bit larger than rooms, so you also have more opportunities to make the space your own. Make sure you talk to the landlord before you paint all the walls your favourite shade of purple, though. When you leave, landlords often require you to return your place to the state you found it in.


If you’re making serious moves in your career and you’re moving to Germany for the long term, you might consider renting an entire apartment for yourself. Apartments and flats in Germany can be quite spacious, offering you enough room to bring your significant other or family. Additionally, you could turn to subletting rooms in your apartment yourself, if you‘d otherwise be staying alone. This can help you make a little money on the side, while building up a bit of a social circle at the same time.

Rental prices in Germany

To give you an idea of what kind of rental payments you can expect during your stay, here’s a brief overview of the annual average rental prices for rooms, studios and 1-bedroom apartments across Germany, as well as a look at the prices in the German capital, Berlin. In general, capitals like Berlin are on the more expensive side, but keep in mind that Berlin has some rental legislation in place that is not present in other large German cities.

The following data is based on homes that were actually rented out and includes monthly bills.

Average rental price 2019-2020Rooms(bills included)Studio(bills included)Apartments (bills included)
Germany€ 499 (100%)€ 760 (100%)€ 893 (100%)
Berlin€ 574€ 873€ 1086 (121%)
Munich€ 686€ 1031€ 1523 (170%)

How much does student accommodation cost in Germany?

According to the data from HousingAnywhere, students should, on average, expect to pay between €499-599 for a room, up to €873 for a more private studio. Do keep in mind that some housing providers might be more expensive than regular landlords, but offer additional services, such as regular cleaning, Wifi, Netflix subscriptions and other extras facilities that are included in that higher price. So, depending on whether you want to save yourself time and effort, you could choose to rent a place on the lower or higher side of the average price spectrum. For most students, an apartment is outside of the budget. However, you could consider looking for a room for rent inside a shared apartment. In Germany, this is referred to as Wohngemeinschaft (WG) and it’s a very popular option among German students.


In spite of it’s increasing rental prices, Berlin is one of the cheapest capitals in Western Europe. Find yourself a cozy Altbau apartment for 1086€!


Munich boasts one of the most expensive rents in Germany with 1523€ for an apartment, but as a matter of fact, hires highly-paid foreign expats.


As the commercial hub offers high-paid jobs, your new home’s’ strong economy demands comparably higher costs of living: Hamburg is 9% more expensive than Berlin, so you’ll pay around 868€ for accommodation.


Those in Frankfurt know about large sums of money not only at work but also when it comes to paying rent. For an apartment, you’ll pay around 1066€.


The startup haven is teeming with bold entrepreneurs that turn their visions into business. And Berlin does both: many major corporations, including Zalando or HelloFresh, find their inspiration in the liberal city.


Munich is home to the consumer’s electronics industry, financial services, and automotive manufacturers.


Major media houses, financial enterprises, and FMCG companies in Hamburg vie for talents filling up the commercial roles, marketing, or communication positions. With its 3rd largest port in Europe, Hamburg is a dream for expats that work in logistics!


In Frankfurt, the financial experts of tomorrow are being trained while the experienced ones keep a close eye on stocks and cash flows. Get ready to meet your new job opportunity for finance in Frankfurt!


The city is constantly reinventing itself and you’ll sense this lust for the new among the people. Berlin arouses facets within you that you’ve not discovered before! The standard of living in Germany is high – as is the safety in the country. As with most capitals though, Berlin has the highest crime rate in Germany.


Did you know that Munich is awarded 3rd place with the highest quality of life worldwide? Needless to say, the freshly-tapped beer and the proximity to the Alps will create your ultimate work-life balance!


Hamburg might be Western Europe's best-kept secret! Dive into the fresh fish markets, grab a paddleboat, and explore Lake Alster. Even better: Each year, Hamburg climbs to a higher rank for the safest cities.


Did you know that Frankfurt was awarded as the city with the best infrastructure in the world? In the heart of Europe, it’ll bring you anywhere you want!


Learning new languages isn’t among your strong points? No worries, Berlin’s got you covered! You’ll encounter low linguistic barriers.


Diversity can be read from the proportion of foreigners in Munich’s population: 37.7% of the citizens have a foreign background. And upon closer reading, even 16% are international students!


With its major corporations, you’ll find vast international communities in Hamburg! Memorizing a few phrases in German might break the intercultural ice though.


You'll be surprised by the variety of languages you'll hear on the streets of Frankfurt. If you listen carefully, you might even recognize your own language!

The convenient and dense public transport network in Germany takes you quickly and reliably to every corner of the country. In fact, the efficient train system is one of the best ones in Europe! As an integrated transport association (Verkehrsbund), your ticket is valid across any mode of transport. Take the bus and jump on the next underground, no need to draw a new ticket!

Bus services

Any city’s reliable companion. The typically extensive network gets you to any corner of a city.

Underground (U-Bahn) services

Living in the center? The underground will be your new companion. In the most convenient and efficient manner, it’ll get you anywhere at regular intervals.

Suburban train (S-Bahn) services

The train with the green and white symbol covers the vastest network within a region. Just wait for the S-Bahn and it’ll pick you up from the city center and bring you to your suburb!

(Inter)regional train services

Alongside the public transportation within a city, you can cross the country with the regional train (RE/RB/IRE) and the high-speed train (ICE/IC) in the blink of an eye. From Frankfurt to Berlin in 3 hours? Easy with DB. What’s a car again?

Ticket sales operate similarly in most cities: there are ticket machines (Fahrkartenautomaten) placed outside the subway and suburban train platforms that let you easily draw a ticket in English. Buses will take you back in time: here, you’ll still purchase the ticket from the bus driver – with cash. Will trams and trains become your main means of transport for the coming months? Don't lose any sleep over it and purchase a monthly or annual ticket. Simply check on the website of your local transport authority for the requirements to purchase one (e.g. you might need a passport photo) and get your ticket at the ticket counter during business hours. If you’re an international student, it’s worth checking with your university if you’re eligible for a free student ticket!

In Germany you are not given the choice but the obligation to have health insurance. Each person must be insured in some form – no matter whether you are an expat, student or child. In fact, once you earn more than 56,250 euros (2020) per year, you’ll have to make contributions to a health insurance scheme. There are three options: statutory health insurance (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung; short: GVK), private health insurance (Private Krankenversicherung, short: PVK) or a combination of the two.

The choice of private or statutory health insurance is ultimately entirely up to you. And yet it is striking to see that 90% of German citizens confide in the statutory health insurance companies. One reason lies in the fact that with the start of an employment agreement, your employer registers you with a health insurance company. Still, you're free to switch to another statutory health insurance company – or even to a private one. Just inform your employer within 2 weeks of your employement.

However, private insurance is not open to everyone. To be eligible, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are self-employed
  • You are a civil servant
  • You earn more than the required salary threshold
  • You're not eligible for statutory healthcare
  • You're a student with no access to your home country’s insurance

Everyone is obliged to have health insurance; though not everyone has to pay. Only when you earn more than 850€ per month will you be required to pay health insurance. In total, 14.6% of your gross salary (with a cap at €4,687.5) must be contributed. The good news: The premium is split fairly between your employer and yourself, so everyone has to pay 7.3%.