The cost of living in Germany is quite affordable compared to other European countries. But for students, even a small amount of money counts a lot. And it is common for all students to save as much money as they can.
In this regard, where you choose to live plays an important role in terms of your monthly expenses. Therefore, you need to consider this fact when choosing a place to live. For example, if you decide to live in Munich, you will not be able to save much money because it is the most expensive region in Germany and the cost of living is very high.
Therefore, if you are a student and want to study and live in Germany, you need proper advice on which cities are expensive and which are not. In this article, we have listed some of the cheapest cities in Germany where you can live at an affordable price.
In addition, it is common that most articles written on this topic only take into account rental prices. However, this is not enough because it is necessary to know the prices of everything else to make the right decision. That’s why, in order to give a detailed overview, we have looked at the costs of different things in this article.
Below is the verified list of the 5 cheapest cities in Germany to live in:
Germany’s Top 11 Cheapest Cities to Live in
It is the largest city in North Rhine-Westphalia and has about 350,000 inhabitants. Life here is very affordable compared to other German cities.
Rent prices are the ones to worry about, but they are not very high in Bielefeld. A one-bedroom apartment costs about 460 euros per month, which is very low.
Moreover, with a little negotiation or luck, you can also get the apartment for 400 euros per month. In addition, you can find apartments for between 200 and 460 euros per month in the suburbs.
Bielefeld is also affordable when it comes to meals, as there are many restaurants that can help you get a meal at a cheap price.
In a budget restaurant, a meal for one person costs 10 euros, while a meal for two people can cost 50 euros. Also, if you want to have a cup of cappuccino or a beer, it will cost you 3.50 euros.
A cup of cappuccino in the city of Bielefeld will cost you 3.50 euros, and you will add 2.70 euros to your payment.
The city of Frankfurt is located near the Polish border in eastern Germany. The river Oder flows through it. According to recent statistics, more than 60,000 people live in this city of only 150 square kilometers.
Frankfurt is a very affordable city, as a one-bedroom apartment in the city costs 460 euros per month, and it is cheaper in the neighboring areas, at only 325 euros per month. In addition, the three-bedroom apartment costs 1,250 euros in the city, which is cheaper if you go to the outskirts, 400 to 1,400 euros. So, compared to Berlin, it is 40% cheaper.
The cost of utilities in Frankfurt is also affordable, but it also depends on your usage. On average, it takes 410 euros per month to pay the bills. But by reducing electricity and water consumption, utility prices can be reduced to 225 euros. In addition, Frankfurt also has cheap restaurants, as a meal for one person can cost eight euros. However, if you want to drink a beer, you will have to add 3.10 euros for a domestic beer and 2.85 euros for an imported beer.
The Halle City is located in central Germany, covering a 135 km2 area. It has around 240,000 citizens. The city is very affordable and has a unique renaissance. One-bedroom apartments in the city cost €350 a month. However, the same apartment can be rented for €200 in the suburban area. Additionally, the larger apartments are expensive, which will cost you around €710 on average in the city, but it will cost only €470 in the periphery. In comparison to this, apartment rent in Berlin is higher by 130%. When it comes to utility bills, it can cost you between €85 and €340, which means that you may have to pay an additional €195 for utilities per month.
In terms of meal affordability, the city is cheap. On average, having a meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost you about €10 for a single person. Additionally, if you want to have a beer, it will cost you €3.50 and €2,70 for a cup of cappuccino.
Passau is a small town in southern Germany, near the Austrian border. It is known as “the city of three rivers” because the Danube, Inn, and Ilz all flow through its territory. The most recent data shows that more than 50,000 people reside in this area.
Life is very affordable in this city. Rent, food, and utilities are relatively cheap compared to most large German cities. A one-bedroom apartment in Passau’s city center is available for about 600 euros on average, while outside the city center the cost is lower, at about 340 euros. The average monthly rent for three-bedroom apartments is higher: 1,050 euros in the city center and 700 euros in the outlying districts.
The utility costs in this section of Germany are quite low. Monthly utility bills in Passau will cost you an average of 75 euros. However, be aware that your utility costs can easily reach 250 euros.
If you like to eat out, then Passau is the place to be because your wallet will always be loaded. The cost of a meal for one person in a budget restaurant will cost you, on average, 7 euros. The same meal would cost 12% more in Berlin. If you go to a local bar, you can have a beer for 2.80 euros, a bottle of water (0.33 l) for 1.25 euros, or a cappuccino for 2.20 euros.
Near the city of Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Krefeld, Westphalia is a city. The population of Krefeld, which occupies an area of 137 square kilometers, is around 230,000.
Krefeld is an affordable place to live in Germany. If you rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, you can have it for an average of 450 euros per month. The cost of renting such an apartment is relatively cheaper if you are looking on the outskirts of the city. On average, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the center of Krefeld is 400 euros.
If you need more space and want to rent a larger apartment, be prepared to pay more. The average cost of renting a three-bedroom apartment in the center of Krefeld is approximately 760 euros, with a range of 400 to 1,100 euros.
The monthly cost of utilities will average 170 euros. With a little management, you can save a lot of money here. Utility costs in Krefeld range from 50 to 250 euros.
While Berlin may not be the most exciting place right now, there are still plenty of creatives who are moving to Leipzig.
It is the largest city in the former East Germany, and some neighborhoods still reflect the city’s dark period under the communist regime. However, other neighborhoods have been completely transformed, and many people who move to Leipzig today head to the former industrial district of Plagwitz, which is at the heart of the city’s creative transformation.
Music lovers will certainly feel at home in Leipzig, which is famous for everything from classical music to alternative electronic music. It’s also one of the cheapest cities to live in Germany, which is worth considering if you’re a digital nomad.
Monthly living expenses are estimated to be between 900 and 1350 Euros.
Heading west, Cologne is in the heart of the densely populated region of North Rhine-Westphalia, which has a population of 18 million. There are several large cities in a small area, with Cologne and Düsseldorf being the largest and ranked among the best cities to live in Germany for foreigners.
Cologne has a somewhat older feel, with the famous medieval Catholic Cologne Cathedral as its most recognizable building. Almost entirely divided by the Rhine River, this riverside city is a good choice for museums, galleries, bars, and restaurants without seeming too big.
The city is something of a hub for Germany’s media and television industries, and is generally considered more welcoming than other major cities in the country. It also has very fast transport links to neighboring cities such as Bonn and Düsseldorf, so you can easily take advantage of any major festivals or events taking place elsewhere in the region.
Monthly living expenses are estimated to be between 1100 and 1650 euros.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany. As a port city, there is plenty to explore, both on land and at sea. The nightlife is lively (it is known for its red-light district), the architecture is beautiful, the people are generally open-minded, and expats are very happy with their life in this city.
Hamburg is also one of the cheapest German cities to live in. Rent prices vary depending on where you choose to stay, but they are all below 1000 euros. Utilities are about 300 euros per month.
Monthly Expenses Estimated – 800-1200 Euros
Overall, Berlin remains very hard to beat and, unless you don’t like big cities, it deserves its place at the top of any list of the best places to live in Germany.
The German capital, which was still divided in 1989, has spectacularly reinvented itself as a notoriously liberal city and a true center of art, culture, and nightlife. Its nightclub scene is legendary, with world-class clubs like Berghain cementing Berlin’s eccentric and sometimes hedonistic reputation. It is certainly a natural choice for anyone looking for an alternative lifestyle in Europe, and although telecommuting has become more widespread in recent times due to the pandemic, Berlin was already well equipped to cater to those looking to work remotely.
Of course, Berlin has many other facets. In part, it is a serious city, home to the German government and many large companies and corporations. However, unlike most major European capitals, Berlin is not the most expensive city in the country, and the cost of living and rent in Berlin is still extremely affordable compared to places like London and Paris, making it easily one of the best cities to live in Europe when all factors are taken into account.
Monthly living expenses are estimated to be between 1100 and 1750 euros (see explanation below).
Most German cities do not fall into the category of “cheap” cities, especially when it comes to regions like Bavaria. Berlin is cheap for a capital city, but it is still light years behind prices in Eastern and Southern Europe. However, there is at least one big city in Germany where prices are low and which has a lot to offer, and that is Dresden.
Dresden is the capital of the region of Saxony in eastern Germany. It is known for its classical architecture, world-class museums and art galleries, and its picturesque setting along the Elbe River. When you stand on the riverbank, you may notice a striking resemblance between Dresden’s Augustus Bridge and Florence’s Ponte Vecchio. For this reason, it is considered by many to be the “Florentine on the Elbe”.
The city was virtually destroyed during the Allied bombing raids of World War II, but you wouldn’t know it if you walked through its glittering streets today.
A beautiful facet of Dresden, one of Europe’s top cheap tourist destinations,
On the riverbank, you will discover some of Dresden’s beautiful gardens, parks, and forests. If you take a steamboat downstream (highly recommended), you can discover Saxon Switzerland, a hilly national park with hundreds of peaks. The Bastei Bridge spans a unique rock formation along the Elbe. It can be reached by train, bus, or boat from Dresden.
Christmas Markets in Dresden
When winter arrives, Dresden is decked out with Christmas markets. They are reputed to be among the best in Germany, which is no small feat considering the large number of Christmas markets scattered around the country (such as in Munich and Heidelberg). Even during the high tourist season, prices are reasonable. For this reason, Dresden deserves a prominent place among the cheapest cities in Europe.