Is living in Berlin expensive?

Living in Berlin is not cheap. It can sometimes seem like heaven to millions of people in a less developed country, but it is still a very expensive city to live in. Let’s check out if that’s really true and do the math together. If you are moving to Berlin soon or considering it, keep reading.

Food and restaurants

The truth is that Berlin is an expensive city if you want to eat at fancy restaurants and go out with friends every weekend. It’s important to remember that there are different types of restaurants in Berlin. You can find traditional Bavarian fare at places like Augustiner Biergarten or Cafe Gasteig, but there are also plenty of hipster hangouts that serve up more experimental things like molecular gastronomy and molecular mixology. You can find tons of places that will leave you unable to pay your rent tomorrow. With that being said, there are places where you can eat without breaking your bank account, and they are all over the city. Another solution is simply not eating at restaurants – you can find lots of cheap meals in Berlin at grocery stores like Aldi or Lidl. These stores sell lots of pre-made meals that are easy to take home and heat up in your microwave.


The average monthly rent for an 80 square meter (860 square feet) apartment in Berlin is around $1,000 USD. That might seem like a lot—but then again, you’ll get more space than you would get in most US cities of comparable size and value.

It’s important to note that while rent prices may be high here, they are still lower than those in many other major European cities like London or Paris where it could easily cost upwards of $2,700 per month just for an average-sized apartment!

University life

Berlin has a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in Europe, but university tuition fees are surprisingly affordable. 

The city has several universities, including Humboldt University, Free University and Technical University of Berlin. The average cost of tuition is approximately €1,000 (USD $1,250) per semester for undergraduate students. If you’re studying at a public university, your tuition fees will be less than half that amount.

If you’re not a full-time student and don’t have German citizenship or residency status, you’ll need to pay an additional fee called “Ausländerpauschale” (foreigner’s levy). This can cost anywhere from €500 (USD $600) to €2,000 (USD $2,500) per year depending on whether or not you’re enrolled in university courses.


The cost of living in Berlin is comparable to most other major European cities, but it’s still much cheaper than living in London or Paris.