It seems that just about everyone wants to move to Berlin these days. People come for all sorts of reasons, like working at a startup, experiencing the epic party scene, or joining the thriving creative community. Berlin’s especially welcoming to newcomers from any background, with current demographics telling us that almost half a million non-Germans from approximately 180 countries live in the city.

The hype is real and the current population of 3.5 million people has grown by 0.31% annually since 2015. Berlin continues to remain popular and despite getting more expensive, remains one of Europe’s most affordable cities when compared to the likes of London or Paris.


Recommended reading: How Much Does It Cost To Move To Germany? Use Our Calculator!

Join Our Community

⭐ “Can I just say, even though I live in Munich and am not looking for a job – I LOVE your newsletter. Anyone who is a German expat should sign up for it – a lot of value, humanity, and humor in there.”
- Eleanor, Munich

⭐ “Thank you, Cheryl! Always find your newsletters brilliantly written and full of useful tips and insights! 🙏”
- Liudmyla, Germany

⭐ “Always short and sweet - if you want a sharp update on Berlin life, this newsletter will help you keep up with the latest topics.”
- Alexandra, Berlin

Get the latest news on immigration developments, employment opportunities, and other updates about life in Germany. Gain valuable insights, early access to Berlin Life guides, invites to community events, and more.

Don't miss out - subscribe today.

The Berlin Life - Weekly Newsletter


This report is a personal account of my cost of living in Berlin. By no means, am I attempting to depict my situation as typical. I’m simply hoping this glimpse into my expenses will help you figure out how much it might cost for you to live in Berlin as well.

To put things into perspective before we get started:

⭐ I live on my own and have no children, but I do embrace clichés and call these two very cute cats, my roommates

⭐ All expenses listed are 100% assumed by me

⭐  I have a full-time job and receive additional income from this site, as well as my travel blog

Cost Of Living In Berlin: Fixed Monthly Expenses

1) Rent: €1050 per month (warm)

I moved to Mitte in January 2022 and now occupy a newly renovated, 75-square-meter apartment in a 18-story Plattenbau. In addition to the central location, the apartment comes with hardwood floors, two bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a laundry room, and a bathroom with a bathtub. While the second bedroom currently functions as an office, gym, and guest room, there’s always an option to rent it out to a new roommate if the money gets tight.

Recommended reading: Our Berlin life hacks post for tips about where to buy furniture, hire handy people, and more.

I admit that my rent is uncommonly low considering my location, flat size, and amenities. I’m lucky to rent from a private landlord (Vermieter) versus a big corporation like Deutsche Wohnen

2) Health Insurance: €362 per month

Healthcare’s a significant expense for all of us, but well worth it considering it covers so many things like sick days, doctor’s visits, surgeries, basic dental, etc. The amount you contribute to healthcare depends on your income level – expect to pay out 14.6% of your gross monthly income whether you’re employed full-time or a freelancer. For those employed full-time, your employer will cover half of the costs, leaving you to pay about 7.3%. Worth noting – if you make more than €58,050 per year, the cost of health insurance is capped and stops rising. For full-time employees, this works out to be about €362 per month and for freelancers, this works out to be €725 per month. 

I have public insurance with TK and pay around €362 per month. As I’m employed in a permanent position, my employer covers the other half.

Why have I listed healthcare as a cost of living? Although many people don’t think twice about healthcare costs because it’s deducted from their monthly salary, we’ve explicitly included it here for people coming outside of the European Union. For example, if you’re Canadian like me, you won’t be used to seeing such a massive deduction from your monthly salary. I’m telling you in advance so you won’t be surprised when you get that first pay cheque. I also list it here so that freelancers are aware they have to pay out of pocket and assume the costs themselves.

3) Electricity: €38 per month

I’m a happy new customer with Ostrom and currently pay €38 per month. Electricity prices in Germany are also among the highest in the world. We suggest shopping around and seeing what deals you can get from providers on CHECK24.

Recommended reading: Our tips about how to save energy (and money!) in Germany.

Unfortunately, some electricity providers may decline your business if you’re new to the country and don’t have an established credit history. This happened to me when I first moved here, so if all else fails, go with Vattenfall and switch providers at a later date.

4) Internet: €55 per month

As I work from home full-time and use streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime A LOT, it’s important for me to have a fast and reliable Internet connection. I’ve been with PYUR for several years and am really happy with their services. The high-speed connection is fairly pricey at €55 a month but is totally worth the cost.

5) Mobile Phone Provider: €20 per month

I currently don’t have a contract with a mobile phone provider and have a sim card with Alditalk. For this, I pay €15 per month for 10 GB of data and another €5.00 for extra texts and calls.

6) Bank Account: €5 per month

I have a basic account with Sparkasse which costs me €5 per month.

7) Insurance: €80 per month

My insurance with Sparkasse includes home insurance, personal liability insurance, and life insurance. It’s €91 every three months or about €30 a month. I also have legal and dental insurance (to cover extra dental cleanings and other perks) with Feather. This costs me an additional €28 per month, so in total, I spend €58 a month on every kind of insurance known to man. Additionally, I have insurance for one of my cats, which runs me about €22 a month. 

8) ARD: €17.50 per month

Even though I don’t have a television or radio, I still grin and bear it by paying the controversial “TV tax” which is not really a tax but a fee that everyone must pay to fund public broadcasting in Germany. I pay €52.50 every three months, which works out to be €17.50 a month.

9) Urban Sports Club: €9.99 per month

I’m currently taking advantage of a perk through work where I get access to Urban Sports Club’s Medium plan for the bargain price of €9.99.

10) Streaming Services: €30 per month

At the moment, I’m subscribed to Amazon Prime and Netflix for €30 a month. Every so often, I’ll sign up for another service to get access to programming like HBO’s House of the Dragon for a limited time and cancel when the season is over. 

Cost Of Living In Berlin: Variable Monthly Expenses

1) Groceries: €400 per month

Another cost of living in Berlin is food, glorious food. Although I order takeout or dine at restaurants with friends, I’m cooking more at home since the pandemic started. As a result, my monthly groceries cost went up and I tend to spend about €400 per month.

I mainly shop at the Edeka and Netto next to my apartment building and I also place online orders for delivery with Rewe every so often. If I’m in a crunch, I order Flink, as they deliver groceries within about 15 minutes to one hour. When I want to cook something really special, I sometimes go to more upscale chains like Biocompany or Frischeparadies.

2) Eating Out: €200 per month

If you’re happy to eat a simple a Döner, you’ll pay €6 at most spots around the city. If you want a basic meal out – pizza, pasta, a burger, ramen, or some form of Asian or Indian, most mains will be around €10. Dining at a more popular or upscale place will typically run you between €15 – 20 for a main. Berlin is filled with plenty of upscale eateries as well, with Restaurant Tim Raue being a prime example.

You can buy basic beers from any Späti (convenience store) or supermarket for €2 – 3. Buying a typical German beer in a bar or club will start at around €4 , with craft beers typically starting at €5. A bottle of wine at supermarkets will fetch you anywhere from €3 – € 12 while wine in upscale specialty shops will be more. In a bar, a glass of nicht so gut wine will start at €4, whereas a decent glass of wine will start around €6.

A coffee from a bakery usually starts around €2- €3 and fancier coffees at a trendy hotspot will fetch you around €5 and up. You can also buy a decent package of coffee in the supermarket for €6 – €7 or fork out around €20 for a high-end coffee from a specialty shop like The Barn. I’ve taken to ordering higher-quality coffees online at roastmarket.de.

A great thing about Berlin is that eating out is (mostly) still affordable and you can easily have a decent meal (including a glass of wine!) for €25 or so. Note, drinking alcohol, or even ordering water for that matter, will significantly add to your meal expenses.

As I love trying out new restaurants around the city, I spend about €200 a month on takeout or eating out. When I’m feeling lazy, I use LieferandoWolt, or UberEats.

3) Transportation: €100 per month

I don’t use public transit enough right now to justify the cost of a public transport subscription. For now, I take advantage of Uber or FREENOW promotions or buy blocks of four single-trip tickets on the BVG app when needed.

Cost Of Living In Berlin: Other Monthly Expenses

To share a comprehensive picture of how much things cost in Berlin, I’m also sharing some other common expenses that people have, even though I’m not personally paying for these particular things at this time.

1) Fitness Studios

Most studios offer memberships for €20 – €30 a month if you sign-up for a long-term contract. In the past, I’ve held memberships at FitX and Lady Company and paid about €20 a month. If you want more flexibility and access to different types of classes and facilities, you can always signup for Urban Sports Club which has plans which range from €33 – €149 per month.

2) Cigarettes

I’m no longer a smoker and and now three years smoke free (yeah!). Unfortunately, Berlin’s a smoking city and there are smokers everywhere. A pack of 20 cigarettes will run you about €7. Most people opt to save money and buy tobacco, papers, and filters to roll the cigarettes themselves. Others stock up when visiting other countries like Poland where cigarettes are way cheaper. 

Cost Of Living In Berlin: Summary

This is my cost of living in Berlin:

⭐ My fixed expenses come to about €1306 per month. I don’t count health insurance as it’s automatically deducted from my gross salary.

⭐ My variable expenses are an additional €700 per month, which I can adjust at any given time if I want to save more money. I still manage to put money into savings each month as well.

⭐  In total, my expenses come to €2,006 per month.

Our FREE Berlin Cost Of Living Calculator!

To help you figure out your monthly living expenses, use our free Berlin cost of living calculator. For added convenience, save your quote and have it emailed to you as a PDF.

How much money do I need to live in Berlin for one month?
Skip any fields that are not relevant. Note, displayed costs are in Euros. We recommend using a conversion calculator (i.e. xe.com) to enter any data that is in a different currency.

Be sure to use the Email Quote feature to get a summary of the costs emailed to you.
Monthly Costs
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
Please choose an option !
The price must be at least 0 Please interact with any of the choices availabe above

We hope this guide to the cost of living in Berlin gives you an idea of how to calculate your living expenses for your move to Berlin. 


Cheryl Howard, Founder @ The Berlin Life

Cheryl Howard, Founder @ The Berlin Life

Hi, I’m Cheryl. My mission is to help you move to Berlin and find work.

A Canadian in Berlin for 10+ years, I have the unique experience of moving to Berlin – not once, but twice. During my time in Berlin, I’ve had five different visas and worked as both a freelancer and a permanent employee for numerous Berlin companies. I even managed to find a new job during the pandemic and again in 2023, during Germany’s recession and massive layoffs in tech. 

My day job has involved work as a hiring manager, overseeing the recruitment of countless people, as well as a team coach helping teams and individuals work better and find happiness in their careers. Through my side projects, I’ve also shared my personal experiences by publishing a series of helpful blog posts, creating a thriving community of job seekers, and hosting events to help people find work in Berlin. In 2021, I decided to put my coaching and recruiting talents to use by creating The Berlin Life, bringing my existing content and community together in one spot.

The combination of my personal and professional experience means I know exactly what it takes to move to Berlin and find work.

Email Quote
Detailed List
Your Total Price