Cost of living
The lion’s share of your living costs probably goes into paying the rent on your flat.
The rents are highest in major cities such as Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf with an average of € 11.50 per square metre. Rents are about half of this in small towns and in the countryside. In addition to the rent there are also service charges (for example for cleaning the building or the TV reception) as well as the costs for your water, electricity and heating consumption. These generally amount to almost a third of your monthly rent. Your tenancy agreement will provide details as to what is included in the service charges.
The cost of food and basic necessities is comparatively low in Germany. This is ensured by the stiff competition between supermarkets, department stores and individual retailers. Only 7 per cent value added tax is charged on many products (such as books and newspapers); otherwise the VAT charged is 19 per cent.
How much you spend on leisure activities depends entirely on your own needs and wishes. Even small towns have a lot to offer in terms of attractive pastimes. A pizza costs between five and eight euros, whereas an evening meal in a stylish restaurant could easily set you back 100 euros – of course in Germany the sky’s the limit when it comes to prices, as is the same anywhere else. Opera and concert tickets cost around 30 euros on average while a visit to the cinema could cost around 10 euros. Museums and exhibitions often cost half of this. Prices vary between the western and eastern federal states, as they do between large cities and small towns.