What is the cost of living in Berlin?
Are you considering moving to Berlin but you want to find out more about the cost of living here?
Let us help you figure out how much you will need to pay each month to survive in Berlin.
In order to reflect most of the population we decided to compare prices for students, employees with a monthly salary of around 3.000€ and employees with a monthly salary of +8.000€.
Overview of cost of living in Berlin in 2020
|Student||Monthly salary of 3.000€||Monthly salary of +8.000€|
Room in shared apartment
50m² 2 bedroom apartment
100m² 3-4 bedroom apartment
Basic 10MBits flatrate
|Mobile Phone Contract||7€|
Basic flatrate, no LTE
Flatrate with LTE and 5GB
Flatrate with LTE and 5GB
Single household with 1.000kWh
3 pax household with 3.500kWh
3 pax household with 3.500kWh
Special student rate
14,6% of gross salary (50% employer)
Private health insurance
Shopping at discounter
Shopping at discounter and Bio supermarket
Shopping mainly at Bio supermarket
AB monthly ticket
AB monthly ticket
Monthly rent for an apartment
How much money you need to pay depends heavily on the size of the apartment and the location.
The cheapest option is to rent a room in a shared flat, called WG or Wohngemeinschaft.
This is also a great way to get to know new people and have a social life in Berlin from day one.
A single room in a shared apartment can start at around 400€ and can be as much as 800€ per month.
For a 2 bedroom apartment with 50m² in a decent neighbourhood and good location you need to pay at least 800€ including additional costs for water and heating.
However ususally you need to calculate another 50€ for internet and TV + another 60€ for electricity.
For a 3-4 bedroom apartment or a small house in the outskirts of Berlin you probably need to calculate with around 1.500€ upwards.
Continue reading here about how to find a place to live in Berlin.
Monthly cost for internet provider
On top of your monthly rent you need to sign up with an internet provider in Berlin.
If you are mainly using internet at home for browsing some of your favorite websites and writing some emails then we highly recommend a contract with 10-16MBits.
1&1 Internet offers some very cheap options right now with 16MBits for around 10€/month in the first year.
If you are working in the online industry or if you are working from at home from time to time we highly recommend going for a contract with around 50MBits.
1&1 Internet offers the best value option with 50MBits for around 23€/month if you look at the whole 24 months of the contract.
Be aware that usually the price for internet goes up after the first 12 months.
Keep reading here about the best internet provider in Berlin.
Monthly cost for mobile phone provider
Similar to the best internet provider it depends heavily on how much you use your phone and mobile internet which mobile phone provider we can recommend.
If the monthly cost is the most important factor for you we highly recommend o2 as a mobile phone provider.
Mobile phone contracts already start at around 18€/month.
Are you constantly on your phone and even stream videos on the go? If yes, we highly recommend a contract with at least 4GB mobile data.
Right now the best pick is 1&1 Internet with their contracts at around 20€/month for 5GB.
Keep reading about the best phone providers in Berlin.
Monthly cost for electricity provider
Your monthly cost for electricity heavily depend on how much electricity your devices, lamps, etc. use.
Obviously if you only install LED lamps and use a power efficient laptop you will be consuming less energy.
But usually you can calculate for a 3 person household a power consumption of approx. 3.500kWh.
This would mean you need to calculate around 80€ for your monthly electricity bill. A single person household should come in at around 1.000kWh and monthly costs of 30€.
Continue reading here about the best electricity provider in Berlin.
Monthly cost for health insurance
The cost for your health insurance depends mainly on two factors.
Factor one is if you are privately insured, which is not possible for most employees.
Factor two is how high your monthly income is.
If you are a freelancer, working for the government or an employee with a yearly gross-income that exceeds 59.400€ you can opt for a private health insurance.
The monthly cost for a private health insurance depend on many factors such as your age, previous diseases, etc.
To get a proper private health insurance that covers the most important things you need to calculate with around 400€/month.
Be aware that if you are privately insured you might need to pay extra for each of your kids, which are included in any statutory health insurance.
Furthermore if you are an employee your employer will take over 50% of your monthly costs.
If you are with the statutory health insurance the monthly costs are 14,6% of your gross income. Again 50% of this will be paid by your employer and 50% will be taken from your salary.
Therefore your monthly cost for statutory health insurance depend on your gross income.
For students the statutory health insurance is a lot cheaper and should be around 90€/month.
Keep reading about private health insurances in Germany.
Monthly cost for groceries
Luckily Germany is one of the cheapest countries worldwide for shopping groceries (in relation to the price level).
Many discounters like Aldi and Lidl are from Germany and therefore there is a longstanding German tradition of buying only very cheap groceries while expecting a certain level of quality.
But lately more and more people are demanding not only good quality but also that the food is from local farmers or are Bio-certified.
Companies like Bio Company or Denns are opening up new Bio-supermarkets almost on a daily basis.
To give an idea of how much you will probably spend on groceries we are comparing the prices for
- milk (1 liter) from 0,68€ discounter to 1,39€ bio quality
- butter (250g) from 1,59€ discounter to 2,79€ bio quality
- meat (100g beef filet) from 3,99€ discounter to 5,99€ bio quality
- coffee (500g) from 4,99€ discounter to 14,99€ bio quality
In general you can do your monthly grocery shopping for anything between 100€ and 300€.
Monthly cost for eating out
You are probably reading everywhere that 10 years ago Berlin used to be such a cheap place to live and now everything has gotten so expensive.
Don’t believe everything you read we would say.
It might be true that 10 years ago you could rent a run-down 4 bedroom apartment in the middle of Prenzlauer Berg for 400€/month, but somehow the prices for eating out seem to be the same as they used to be.
There is probably no place comparable to Berlin in terms of quality of food and the price you have to pay.
If you are on a tight budget you probably will be eating Döner more often than you should. Good Döner cost around 4€ and are to be found on almost every corner.
For some more upscale eating we guess with around 15€ per person (excluding drinks) you will have some great food anywhere in Berlin.
So our estimate for eating out should be anywhere between 50€ and 300€ a month.
Monthly cost for drinking/party
Depending on your situation partying can be as cheap as a bottle of wine each weekend that you bring to a student or house party.
Or if you want to make use of the countless worldclass clubs in Berlin you need to plan with around 50€ a night for entrance fee + drinks.
So we would estimate your monthly expenses for party and drinking anywhere between 40€ and 300€.
Monthly cost for transportation
If you do not own a car (good choice as Berlin is not a fun place to drive or park) and rely on public transport we highly recommend buying a monthly BVG ticket.
Such ticket for AB (meaning the neighbourhoods inside the Ring and the ones just outside the Ring) costs around 32€ a month for students (as part of a Semesterticket) and 63€ a month for anybody who has to pay the full price.
However if you pay already for 12 months in advance you can get a discount and you only need to pay around 60€ per month.
Summary: Cost of living in Berlin
Now that you know in detail what to expect when moving to Berlin it is only simple maths to add up all expenses.
In our opinion you can live happily in Berlin with a monthly budget of 770€.
Keep in mind that this is an absolut minimum budget you need to calculate and you will not be able to enjoy any luxurious things.
If you want to fully enjoy your live in Berlin without financial worries you should be able to do so with a monthly budget of 3.000€.
Now that you have an overview of how much money you are going to spend per month in Berlin it is time to have some fun and spend money on great food.
Find the best places to eat in Berlin in our updated guide.