Cost of living in Berlin, is Berlin expensive to live in?

I have lots of places that I want to live in – London, Madrid, Venice, Newyork, Vancouver, Singapore just to name a few!

Moving to another city is exciting, but we cannot overlook the MONEY problem in a new place. That was exactly my case when I got a job opportunity in Berlin last summer.

Spending my whole life in Korea where implies 10-15% of income tax, Germany’s income tax rate 24-40% deemed too overwhelming, thus, I ended up calling for a ridiculous number (I asked almost 50% of increase which was totally absurd number derived from my fear) during my salary negotiation process which was rejected of course!!

To avoid stupid mistakes and unreasonable fear, it’s better to conduct some preliminary researches and also finds some reviews from people who’re already out there.

  1. Numbeo

Numbeo where we can easily compare the living cost b/w cities –Numbeo.

You can simply put names city you want to do a comparison, then

You’ll see very very detailed table of two cities! From this, we can get some ideas that grocery and buying clothing costs almost the same, however, eating out and house renting cannot even be compared b/w Berlin and London.

Before making the final decision to move here, I did ‘Seoul-Berlin’ comparison to get some ideas if I would be able to have my life in Berlin maintaining the same level of living standard as I enjoyed in Seoul. I recommend this website as a first reference.

2. My suggestion!

Next, I want to share monthly living cost suggestion based on my own experience in Berlin,

FYI, below figures would be applied when you enjoy the okay-level of convenient lifestyle without worrying too much of your existence in this new city. With some eating outs (2 times per week on average), night outs, shopping and etc.

CategoryMonthly cost(EUR)Remark
Housing 600when sharing the house with someone
Transporation80Unlimited tram, bus, subway rides
Phone103gigabyte internet, unlimited calls in Germany
Shopping & Restaurant400
90With a job, you can subscribe natioanl health insurance which is cheaper
Total 1400

The monthly expense in Berlin can go down till 1200 euros if you refrain yourself from shopping, drinks, and gym. Grocery in Germany is very very cheap with good quality and diversity, so it’s great place to practice your cooking skills.

So, 1200-1400 Euros, what do you think? Personally, I find this pretty much reasonable.

In Berlin, people spend lots of time with family at home, you can easily see young people swinging by a grocery store after work to find fresh ingredients for their home-made dinner. This will save you lots of money

Please be noted that Berlin is one of the most affordable big cities in Germany, this cost won’t be applied to other cities such as Hamburg, Munich and Frankrut.

Hope this posting helps you to decide your move to this city and also estimate your life style here!

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