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Cost of Living in Berlin


Those moving to Berlin will be pleased to discover that despite being the capital of Germany, the city is renowned for being far cheaper than other major German cities such as Munich, Bonn, Hamburg and Frankfurt, where the cost of living in considerably higher. If you want to know exactly how much you can expect to pay for your rent, travel and food, read on as we give the essential breakdown for cost of living in Berlin. These prices reflect current cost of living in 2018.

Varying rent prices per district

Berlin rent prices vary largely depending on where you move and whether you rent a room or an entire property. The cheapest rents can be found in the East or Northwest where you can find rents for under €500 for a room or even a one-bed flat. A one-bed flat or studio will cost more like €600-800 in normal neighborhoods and well in excess of €1000 in the more affluent areas.

Costs of utilities in the German capital

Basic utilities such as water, gas and refuse are often including in the price of rent in Berlin (it is referred to as Nebenkosten and you will actually get a rebate if you use less than expected). However electric, TV and telephone will need to be paid directly by yourself. Try to set aside around €150 – 200 a month for this.

Average cost of basic groceries

The cheapest way to shop for groceries is by going to cheaper supermarket such as Aldi and Lidl where you will find the most competitive Berlin prices. From these stores you can buy basics such as a litre of milk and a loaf of bread for around €1 each and a decent bottle of wine for under €5. Always bring your own shopping bag, as plastic bags will be charged for.

Cost of eating out in Berlin

Eating out varies in price hugely depending on where you go. A street kebab or Currywurst can cost you as little as €2 or €3, whilst a saver meal at a fast food chain will cost around €7. A meal for two in a basic pub or restaurant will set you back around €25-30 with a glass of wine or beer each. Whilst the same at a decent restaurant in Central Berlin, with a couple of starters, will cost you more like €50.

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Cost of nightlife

Drinks are averagely priced for Western Europe and certainly cheaper than London, Paris and Stockholm or even Munich or Frankfurt. The price of a glass of wine in a neighborhood bar is around €5 and a pint of beer around €3. A large wine or cocktail in the city centre can rise to €10 however. There are some late-night bars which are free to enter or cost just a couple of Euros, but generally speaking clubs charge entrance of around €5 for those arriving before 11 pm to up to €15 for famous clubs such as Berghain. Those looking for a quieter night out can expect to pay around €10 for a cinema ticket.

Cost of public transport in Berlin

Depending on where you move to Berlin from, you may well find the public transport system fairly low in price. At around €7 per day for a full pass for the metro (U Bahn), train (S Bahn) and bus, it’s considerably cheaper than say London, Stockholm or Copenhagen and even cheaper than other German cities such as Munich. With a lack of turnstiles and a honesty policy on the metro, it may be tempting not to pay, but the hefty fines don’t make that option very palatable. However for those trying to get by for as little as possible, it’s still cheaper to walk or cycle around the city. Many metro stops are closer than you realise (look at a street map rather than a metro map to judge distances) and can easily be walked if you set aside enough time.

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