Cost of living in Munich in 2020

Bas

Updated on Sep 11 • 6 minute read

Munich is one of the most expensive cities in Germany. So, it’s no wonder that you want to make sure you know how much you‘re going to have to spend to live in Germany’s equivalent to Milan! So, we’ll walk you through how much your most important expenses are going to cost you: housing, utilities, health insurance, and food. Of course, there are some other monthly expenses you need to keep in mind, such as (next to) unlimited data for your phone or a gym subscription to stay in shape.

Housing & Utilities in Munich

When they say that Munich is an expensive city, unfortunately, they weren’t kidding. As a student it’s pretty likely that you’ll have to work if you’re not receiving any financial support. If you’ve just kickstarted your career in Munich, it might still be on the pricey side of things, even if you’re on a well-paid internship. As a more experienced expat, Munich has plenty of nice places to live that match your new, Munich salary!

Rooms

How much is a private room in Munich?

According to HousingAnywhere data, a private room in Munich should cost you around €686 including utilities.

As a student, Munich is not a very budget-friendly city. If you want to live there on a budget, you either need financial support or to depend on a chunky commute. Or, if you know exactly when you’re going, booking early and booking for an extended period of time might save you a pretty penny. That said, if you do score a room in Munich and you have the budget, you can get lucky some pretty unique spaces in Munich famous Altbau homes.

Studios

How much is the rent for a studio in Munich?

According to HousingAnywhere data, a studio in Munich should cost you around €1031 including utilities.

More privacy and your own facilities really are a blessing after a long day at your new Munich job. But, that privilege does eat away at your budget. That said, housing quality in Munich is also relatively high, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that’s cosy, with a nice kitchen, a place that you can indeed call home, rather than just a place where you sleep after a day out in town.

Apartments

How much is the rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Munich?

According to HousingAnywhere data, a 1-bedroom apartment in Munich should cost you around €1523 including utilities.

Apartments are where the pricing gets a little spicy. Depending on the location, landlords boast that they could rent out a vacant apartment that same day by shouting out the window. It’s competitive and it shows in the pricing. But, if you have the salary to match, there are some very nice apartments that will make your time in Munich quite comfortable!

Housing overview

So, when considering housing, you'll be looking at the following:

TypeAverage rental price
Munich Rooms€686
Munich Studios€1031
Munich Apartments€1523

Cost of food in Munich

Food is where things also get a little more expensive in Munich. For example, going out for lunch in most German cities should cost you around €7-10 , whereas in Munich you’ll quickly run that up to €13. It doesn’t look like a big difference, but if you go out for lunch multiple times a week, that’s going to add up! At the same time, dinner for two at a regular restaurant is doable for anything from €35-45, whereas in Munich you’ll be looking at closer to €55-60.

Groceries

Thankfully for your wallet, preparing your own meal is very common in Germany. Supermarkets in Munich are also a chunk more expensive than in other places, but it mostly shows for the more luxury, branded products, like Coca cola, which can cost you up to €2.99 per bottle (that's 50% more than in other places!). Similarly, beef, chicken breast and cheese can cost you anywhere from 10-20% more than in other parts of the country. Thankfully Munich does have the Lidle and Aldi stores for the more budget minded people. All in all, if you’re on your own, you should be able to make it through the week on anywhere from €50-70 a week in groceries.

FoodCost
Going out for Lunch€13-15
Going out for dinner€55-60
Weekly groceries (1 person)€50-70

Essentials: Health insurance

As an employee in Germany, you automatically contribute to the public health fund. In fact, over 90% of Germans depend on the public healthcare system! How high this contribution is, is based on your gross income. If you want to know more about how the system works, read our in-depth article on German health insurance for expats. You contribute around 7.3% of your gross salary, starting once you earn over €850, up until you earn well over €4600. To give you an idea, here are some of the contributions broken down.

  • 7.3% of €1600: €116.8 a month. €1600 is close to the minimum wage.
  • 7.3% of €2700: €197.1 a month
  • 7.3% of €3300: €231 a month
  • 7.3% of €4687: €342.15 a month. This is the salary cap, so if you earn more than this, your contribution will stay the same.

This is quite a chunk of your gross income, but since it’s deducted from your gross salary, you pay less in income tax and your employer pays for the other 7.3%!

Cost of Internet in Munich

Sure, your landlord probably has internet included in the contract, but is that internet fast enough to sustain your entire household or even other tenants in the building sharing the same network? With everyone working from home, making video calls, streaming video (for work, of course) and looking to the internet for their quarantine entertainment, you might be in need for an upgrade. So let’s look at the cost for decent internet in Munich. We’ll look at the cost for 100 Mbit (enough for a small household) and the availability of Fiber internet of at least 500 Mbit (enough for a family or multiple tenants all doing their thing). If your landlord has an existing contract, you can also ask them to upgrade the existing connection with the existing provider, meaning you only pay a bit more a month than you do now.

How much does internet cost in Munich?

Based on data from Check24.de:

# peopleSpeedCost
Personal use (1-2 people)11 Mbit€32.50
Family (3-6) people)300-500 mbit€53.80
Working from home (5+ people)500-1000 Mbit€88.66

Extra luxuries

Of course, we need to look at more than just the essentials. There are some monthly costs that almost everyone had, but you could technically survive without.

Mobile communication

Moving abroad to Munich doesn’t mean your loved ones are going to forget you exist! Depending on where you’re from, international calls might still be very expensive. Thankfully, online calling through whatsapp, Zoom or Skype is more popular than ever (thanks corona, I guess). Also, with unlimited data, your mobile phone can function as a backup internet connection while working from home! So, paying for minutes in your phone plan is going out style. Mobile data is where it’s at! You don't need unlimited data to survive, of course, but once you've had it, it's difficult to go back to being frugal about your data consumption.

Check24.de to the rescue once again! For a phone plan with 100 calling minutes combined with 10 GB data, you’ll be paying around €15 a month. Do you want unlimited data, then you’ll be spending closer to €25 a month. A small price to pay to stay in touch with your loved ones!

Gym subscriptions in Munich

Though most of us haven’t seen the inside of a gym since covid hit the world, it’s still one of the most common monthly expenses you can have. Thankfully, Gyms are only as expensive as you want them to be. You can get a subscription at Prime Time Fitness studio for as little as €30 a month, but if you want the full German fitness and Spa experience, then you could pay upwards of €80 a month to get rid of those Corona-kilos followed by supreme relaxation! With covid, many gyms are running promotions, as well! Besides, if you’re a student or employee, there’s a pretty big chance you can get a student- or employer discount at some of the Munich Gyms. Have fun!

So, now you have an idea what the essentials like housing, food and health insurance are going to cost you during your stay in Munich, happy budgeting!

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