Cost of living in Germany: Top 8 Cheapest Cities

Cost of living in Germany
Are you looking for another article?


The article discusses the cost of living in Germany, focusing on the Top 5 Cheapest Cities in Germany. These cities provide a balance between budget and aspirations, offering a rich culture and modern living solutions. They challenge the norms of affordability without compromising the quality of life.

These cities prove that affordability coexists with the vibrancy and conveniences of urban living, providing fertile ground for dreams to take root without breaking the bank.

Are you contemplating a move to Germany and find yourself apprehensive because of the high living costs? You’re not alone. With the average monthly living expenses for non-students around €1,200, the thought of managing finances can be quite daunting. However, Germany’s proud and diverse cities offer a silver lining with a spectrum of living costs that may surprise you. This article is tailor-made for you, shedding light on the cost of living in Germany, which averages €2,507 per month, as you seek a German home that balances your budget and your aspirations.

Embarking on your German adventure doesn’t have to drain your savings. In the upcoming sections, we will unveil the five cheapest cities in Germany that challenge the norms of affordability without compromising the quality of life. Whether you’re an international student, an expat, or planning a prudent relocation, these hidden gems offer a reprieve from the inflation rate in Germany. From grocery prices to rent, you will gain insights into effectively managing the cost of living in Germany for international students, and Indian students alike, while enjoying the rich culture and modern living solutions that these cities have to offer. So, let’s embark on this journey of discovery together, because finding your perfect German city should be an exciting, inclusive, and above all, an achievable dream.


When considering the cost of living in Germany, Magdeburg emerges as a beacon of affordability. This city stands out with living expenses that are 16.7% lower than the German average, providing a budget-friendly option for both locals and expatriates. Here’s how Magdeburg offers an economical lifestyle without compromising on quality:

  • Housing and Utilities:
    • A cozy one-bedroom apartment in the city center is priced at an inviting $400 per month, making urban living attainable.
    • Monthly utilities for a standard 85m² apartment, including the essentials such as electricity, heating, water, and garbage services, come to approximately $239.15.
  • Groceries and Dining:
    • Grocery prices in Germany can be a concern, but in Magdeburg, a loaf of fresh bread is just $1.34, and quality boneless chicken breast costs $2.54.
    • When dining out, a lunch menu will average around $12.4, and a romantic dinner for two is a reasonable $59.6.
  • Transportation and Education:
    • With the student semester fee of €155.20, which includes free local public transport, getting around Magdeburg is both convenient and cost-effective.
    • The subsidized university tuition at the esteemed Otto von Guericke University of Magdeburg, ranked 665th globally, adds to the city’s allure for students.
  • Salary and Savings:
    • The average monthly net salary in Magdeburg stands at about $2,037.91, which can comfortably cover living expenses for 1.5 months, showcasing the city’s balance between earnings and expenditure.
  • Leisure and Connectivity:
    • Internet packages offer 60 Mbps speeds with unlimited data for around $39.99 per month, keeping you connected seamlessly.
    • For relaxation and fitness, a gym membership costs approximately $26.29 per month, while an hour of tennis on the weekend is about $16.98, catering to diverse interests and lifestyles.
  • Environment and Accessibility:
    • Magdeburg boasts excellent air quality, averaging 9.3 µg/m³, ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment.
    • The proximity to Zerbst Airfield, just 38 km away, provides travel convenience for those with a wanderlust.Living in Magdeburg means enjoying the cultural vibrancy of Germany while managing your budget effectively. Whether you’re a student looking to stretch your euros or a professional seeking value for money, Magdeburg’s lower cost of living is an attractive proposition in an otherwise expensive country. Explore this hidden gem and discover how your life in Germany can be as enriching as it is economical.

Halle (Saale)

As you consider the cost of living in Germany, Halle (Saale) presents itself as a notably economical choice, particularly for those seeking to stretch their budget further. Let’s delve into the specifics that make Halle an attractive option:

  • Housing and Dining:
    • Imagine renting a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of the city for just €435 per month, offering you the urban experience without the financial strain.
    • Dining out won’t break the bank either; enjoy a hearty meal in a local restaurant for €7-€12, perfect for those evenings when you don’t feel like cooking (SalaryExpert).
  • Groceries and Utilities:
    • Groceries here are pleasantly affordable; for instance, bread is 45.2% cheaper, and milk costs 19.1% less than the national average, making your daily essentials more accessible (Numbeo).
    • Monthly utilities for a standard living space, including all the essentials, come to approximately $155.24, allowing you to allocate funds to other areas of your life.
  • Transportation and Earnings:
    • While public transportation is slightly above the average, with a one-way ticket at €2.79, it’s a small premium for the convenience of getting around this historic city (Numbeo).
    • With an average salary of €40,855 annually, you’ll find that your earnings can comfortably cover your living expenses, making Halle a balanced choice for both professionals and families (TravelTables).In Halle, you’re not just finding an affordable place to live; you’re stepping into a city where the cost of living in Germany for international students and families is manageable, and where the quality of life is upheld. The city’s proximity to the Leipzig/Halle Airport, just 19 km away, and its excellent air quality, averaging 9.5 µg/m³, add to the allure of living here. Plus, the esteemed Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg, ranked 383rd globally, provides educational excellence within reach. Halle truly embodies the spirit of modern living with a historical charm, all while being kind to your wallet.


Leipzig, with its vibrant culture and historical significance, offers an affordable oasis in Germany. As you navigate your cost of living in Germany, you’ll find Leipzig to be a city that extends a warm welcome to your budget, especially if you’re a student or young professional. Here’s a snapshot of what your financial landscape could look like in this dynamic city:

  • Monthly Expenses:
    • For a single person, expect to spend about $1392 monthly, which includes rent, food, and other essentials, placing Leipzig in a favorable position for cost-conscious individuals (Numbeo).
    • Families can also breathe easy, as a family of four’s living expenses average around $3408 per month, a manageable sum that allows for a comfortable lifestyle without financial strain.
  • Salaries and Savings:
    • The median after-tax salary in Leipzig is a reassuring $2485. This means that, on average, your earnings could comfortably cover living expenses for nearly two months, providing a cushion that many cities can’t match (Numbeo).
  • Affordable Student Living:
    • Students will find Leipzig’s cost of living particularly attractive, with monthly expenses ranging between 700-1000 euros, including a student travel pass from institutions like Lancaster University Leipzig, which is a boon for staying mobile without extra costs (Expatistan; Lancaster Leipzig).
    • Accommodation options such as studio apartments are priced between €300-350/month, making it feasible to live well in Leipzig for less than €1000/month, a testament to the city’s student-friendly atmosphere (Quora).Embrace the opportunity to enjoy Leipzig’s rich gastronomy and nightlife, where the cost is lower compared to other German cities, yet the experience is just as enriching. With health insurance being a mandatory but manageable expense and household bills like broadband and utilities adding up to approximately 151 euros for a one-bedroom apartment, your cost of living in Germany for international students or young professionals in Leipzig becomes not just affordable but also predictable and secure.


Duisburg, with its harmonious blend of urban living and affordability, stands as an oasis for budget-conscious individuals and families. Understanding the cost of living in this vibrant city is key to planning your German experience, so let’s dive into the financial details that make Duisburg a pocket-friendly choice:

  • Housing Affordability:
    • Embrace the comfort of city living with a 1-bedroom apartment in Duisburg’s city center for only €396.67, or expand your space with a 3-bedroom city center apartment at €650, prices that make urban life refreshingly attainable (Numbeo).
    • Considering a long-term investment? The real estate market beckons with the price per square foot to buy an apartment in the city center at €278.71, and a more economical €185.80 outside the center, making property ownership a realistic goal (Numbeo).
  • Daily Expenses:
    • Grocery shopping in Duisburg means more savings, with essentials such as milk at $1.22, bread at $2.24, and a dozen eggs at $3.76, easing your daily budget (Costoffliving).
    • Dining out is a pleasure that won’t strain your wallet, with a lunch menu in the business district averaging at €10, and a casual dinner for two at just $29, allowing you to savor Duisburg’s culinary delights without the guilt (Costoffliving).
  • Cost of Living Summary:
    • Duisburg’s overall cost of living is a manageable $1351 per month, inclusive of rent, or $756 without, providing a comfortable standard of living for a single person and $2434 for a family of four, ensuring that every member of the family can thrive (Costoffliving).
    • Utilities, a necessary expense, are reasonably priced at $178 for an individual and $274 for a family, while the median after-tax salary of $2242 covers living expenses for 1.7 months, illustrating the city’s balance between cost and quality of life.Whether you’re a student attending the internationally recognized University of Duisburg-Essen, ranked 365th globally, or a professional leveraging the moderate air quality of 12.5 µg/m³ for a healthier lifestyle, Duisburg’s cost-effective living is a testament to its appeal. And with the Dusseldorf Airport a mere 16 km away, your gateway to the world is closer than you think. Explore Duisburg, where the cost of living in Germany is not only affordable but also allows for a life rich in culture, comfort, and connectivity.


Embarking on your educational journey in Potsdam, you’ll be pleased to know that the University of Potsdam stands as a beacon of affordability in higher education. Undergraduate and most master’s programs are tuition-free, although some continuing education courses might require a fee. This significant financial relief is complemented by the semester fee of €292.40, which conveniently includes a public transportation ticket, easing your commute across the city (University of Potsdam).

As a student, your primary financial concern in Potsdam will likely be housing. While the Potsdam Association for Student Affairs provides budget-friendly options, opting for a private apartment will increase your monthly expenses. On average, you can anticipate spending around €930 each month, which covers rent, groceries, clothing, learning materials, and other essentials. This estimate assumes you’re covered by your family’s health insurance and includes the semester fee, striking a balance between cost and comfort (Numbeo).

When budgeting for your life in Potsdam, it’s essential to consider the following expenses:

  • Housing: A one-bedroom apartment in the city center averages €864.29, while a three-bedroom apartment goes for about €1,779.13, offering a range of options depending on your needs and lifestyle (MyLifeElsewhere).
  • Utilities: For an 85m2 apartment, utilities such as electricity, heating, water, and garbage are approximately €194.95 per month, with additional costs for prepaid mobile tariffs and internet services being quite affordable.
  • Transportation: A single one-way ticket on local transport costs roughly €2.91, while a monthly pass is about €50.22, facilitating your exploration of Potsdam and beyond.
  • Groceries and Dining: While market prices reflect Potsdam’s prosperous nature, local markets and shops offer a variety of affordable grocery options. Dining out is also a treat with a range of traditional German and international cuisines to choose from.It’s worth noting that if you’re relying on German financial aid (BAföG), the maximum rental cost considered necessary is €360, which may not fully cover average rental prices in Potsdam. Therefore, planning and budgeting become crucial to ensure your living arrangements align with your financial resources. Additionally, car-related expenses and learning materials might vary, so it’s advisable to use cost of living comparison tools to get a tailored estimate of your potential expenses in Potsdam (Numbeo Cost of Living Comparison).Potsdam not only offers an affordable cost of living in Germany, especially for international students, but it also ranks impressively in terms of overall living standards. With its 88th position out of 9294 cities globally and 2nd in Brandenburg, Potsdam stands as a testament to a high-quality, yet cost-effective lifestyle (Numbeo Quality of Life). Whether you’re venturing out to nearby Berlin or planning a trip via the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, just 30 km away, Potsdam ensures that your German adventure is both enriching and economically viable.


Erfurt offers a cost-effective alternative for those seeking to balance a good quality of life with affordable living expenses. Here’s a closer look at the financial benefits you can enjoy in this charming city:

  • Housing and Utilities:
    • Delight in the affordability of a 1-bedroom apartment in the heart of Erfurt for only €561.10, or venture outside the downtown area to find even more economical living spaces at €423.38.
    • Monthly utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for a cozy 700 sq ft apartment, are approximately €186.26, keeping your household costs well within reason (MyLifeElsewhere).
  • Dining and Groceries:
    • Enjoy a basic meal with a drink at an inviting €9.69 in an inexpensive restaurant or grab a quick fast-food combo for around €8.16, perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle.
    • Grocery shopping is a breeze with affordable prices such as milk at €3.57 per gallon and local cheese at €5.24 per lb, ensuring your pantry is always stocked without stretching your budget (Numbeo).
  • Transportation and Leisure:
    • Navigating Erfurt is both easy and economical, with a one-way local transport ticket at €2.35 and a monthly pass available for €49.00, empowering you to explore the city freely.
    • For those seeking an active lifestyle, a fitness club membership is a modest €22.67 per month, while tennis enthusiasts can hit the courts for just €24.00 per hour on weekends, making it simple to stay fit and have fun without financial worry (Numbeo).Erfurt’s cost of living is not just about numbers; it’s about the experience. Ranked as the 31st best city to live in Germany and the 1st in Thuringia, it’s clear that Erfurt is a top choice for those who value both their euros and their quality of life. With a population of approximately 214,000, you’ll find a vibrant community that’s both welcoming and diverse. And with the excellent air quality averaging at 9.9 µg/m³, your health and well-being are also a top priority in this city (Numbeo Quality of Life).Whether you’re a student attending the Bauhaus – University Weimar or a professional looking to make the most of your salary, Erfurt’s living costs cater to a range of lifestyles and budgets. The city’s proximity to Erfurt-Weimar Airport, merely 5 km away, further enhances its appeal, providing easy travel options for both business and leisure. Discover Erfurt, where the cost of living in Germany is both manageable and conducive to a fulfilling life.


Nestled in the heart of Western Europe, Kaiserslautern is a city that epitomizes affordability with a touch of cosmopolitan charm. With a population hovering around 100,000, it’s a city that feels both intimate and bustling—a place where your budget stretches further without skimping on the quality of life. Here’s a snapshot of what your cost of living in Kaiserslautern might look like:

  • Housing on a Budget:
    • Downtown Living: A 1-bedroom apartment in the city center for $685.32 lets you enjoy the pulse of the city without the high price tag.
    • Suburban Peace: Prefer the suburbs? $469.10 is all you need for a similar apartment outside the downtown hustle.
    • Home Comforts: Utilities for a cozy 700 sq ft apartment come in at approximately $194.67, ensuring your nest is always warm and welcoming.
  • Feeding Your Appetite and Wanderlust:
    • Culinary Delights: A meal in an inexpensive restaurant is a mere $10.31, while a three-course dinner for two is a modest $49.73.
    • On the Go: A monthly public transit pass for $71.46 keeps you mobile, and a taxi trip downtown is just $19.90.
    • Travel Ready: Ramstein Air Base, only 12 km away, is your gateway to broader horizons, making weekend getaways a breeze.
  • Lifestyle and Leisure:
    • Social Sips: Enjoy a local beer for about $3.30 or a cappuccino for $2.81 as you soak in the city’s vibe.
    • Movie Nights: Catch the latest blockbuster with a cinema ticket for around $13.19.
    • Stay Active: Keep fit with a gym membership at $31.8, ensuring your wellness journey doesn’t take a backseat.For families and those nurturing young minds, Kaiserslautern is considerate of your children’s educational needs. Childcare for your little ones in a private preschool is roughly $522.24 per month, and if you’re looking at middle school, a year’s tuition hovers around $43,245.02. When it comes to clothing, you can sport the latest trends with jeans at $51.70, dresses at $43.98, and sneakers at approximately $83.88, keeping you stylish without the splurge.In terms of living standards, Kaiserslautern shines bright, ranking impressively at 106th globally and 1st in Rhineland-Palatinate. With a median after-tax salary of $3973, you’ll find that your earnings can comfortably cover living expenses for an impressive 3.5 months. This balance between cost and comfort makes Kaiserslautern not only a savvy choice for the cost-conscious but also a city where you can thrive and enjoy the richness of German culture. Whether you’re a student or a professional, the cost of living in Germany for international students and others in Kaiserslautern is approachable and inviting, making it an ideal destination for your German chapter.


In the maritime city of Kiel, you’ll discover a living experience that marries cost-efficiency with the charm of a coastal lifestyle. Here’s how your budget can comfortably navigate the cost of living in this northern gem:

  • Housing and Utilities:
    • A snug one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around $523, while a more spacious three-bedroom in the same area is $1142, providing options for both the solitary dweller and the growing family.
    • Basic utilities for an 85m2 apartment, including electricity, heating, water, and garbage, come to approximately $300.32 monthly, with an internet package (60 Mbps, unlimited data) at a reasonable $40.39 (Numbeo).
  • Eating and Transportation:
    • Satisfy your midday hunger with a lunch menu in the business district for just €9, or opt for a quick combo meal at a fast food restaurant for €7.
    • A local transport ticket is modestly priced at $2.57, allowing you to explore Kiel’s maritime sights and sounds without stretching your wallet (Numbeo).
  • Comparative Cost of Living:
    • For a family of four, the estimated monthly cost of living is €3,056, and for a single person, it’s €1,477, which is generally lower than larger German cities like Berlin or Munich.
    • Nearby cities such as Hanover and Bielefeld have higher living costs at $1568 and $1398 respectively, showcasing Kiel’s affordability within the region (TravelTables).Kiel stands out as a student-friendly city with shared flats serving as a popular and economical housing choice. While the cost of living in Germany for international students can be daunting in major urban centers, Kiel’s more modest prices provide a financial respite. Whether you’re a student or a young professional, Kiel’s cost of living is a breath of fresh Baltic air in a country known for its higher living expenses.


As we’ve explored the economically diverse landscape of Germany’s cities, it’s evident that a high quality of life can be achieved without the burden of excessive costs. Magdeburg, Halle (Saale), Leipzig, Duisburg, Potsdam, Erfurt, Kaiserslautern, and Kiel each offer unique advantages for both students and professionals looking to make the most of their financial resources, while still indulging in the cultural richness that Germany has to offer. These cities prove that affordability coexists with the vibrancy and conveniences of urban living, providing fertile ground for dreams to take root without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, these highlighted cities not only stand out for their competitive living expenses but also demonstrate that Germany’s reputation for higher costs can be navigated with strategic choices. Whether one seeks to further their education, advance their career, or simply enjoy the German lifestyle, the potential for a balanced and economical existence is well within reach. The information provided serves as a guide to making informed decisions that align lifestyle aspirations with financial realities, encouraging a more accessible and joyous journey through life in Germany.

Share this article:
Meet the author
Table of Contents

Join our Newsletter

Join our newsletter to receive more content like this. Don’t miss  useful tips, articles and announcements from KUMMUNI

Compare listings