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Cost of Living in Berlin

While the cost of living in Germany is considered high by world standards, Berlin is an exception.

Compared to other major European cities, life in the German capital is significantly more affordable in comparison.  A typical family earns a monthly average of EUR 3,000 and residents are quick to say this is more than enough for their basic needs, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, health care and even recreational activities.  Because of this, more expats are drawn to a Berlin that perfectly combines old world and cosmopolitan charms.

Accommodation

Expats can easily find a furnished four-bedroom apartment in Berlin for a monthly rent of 1,050 EUR to 2,466 EUR or an unfurnished, three-bedroom residential space for 565 EUR- 1390.  The city's rates are much cheaper in comparison to other key cities such as Frankfurt and Munich.  In fact, real estate rates in the capital have had one of the steepest rises in recent years, along with those in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Hesse.  The farther the property from the city center, the cheaper the rates.
 

Buying a Property

The average cost of a home in Berlin is 217,724 Euros with the rise in demand for residential properties being the primary reason for the increase in prices.  Still, the figures are much lower than what one would find in other major European cities.  Expats who spend a lot of time traveling in other parts of the world are also at home with a policy in Germany that allows foreigners to own and use properties in Berlin any time as a private holiday property, or to put them up for sale without necessarily having to reside permanently in the city.

Food

The price of home-cooked food and restaurants can vary greatly in Berlin.  A meal in a midrange diner can cost EURO  8 - 16 while a three-course meal with a bottle of house wine in an upscale restaurant can go up to EURO 70.  A week's worth of groceries per person costs about 15-35 Euros, but some expats have taken well to those quick meals of shawarma and sausages in stands.  A Big Mac costs about Euros 4.25 and a two-liter Coke bottle is worth 1.50 Euros.

Transportation

Berlin is a lot cheaper than Frankfurt and Munich in terms of getting around the city.  An exception though is train travel.  But by bus, tram or metro transit, about ten stops within a 10 kilometer-trip can cost less than 2.20 fare.  A five-kilometer taxi trip within the city can be as cheap as 9.41 Euros.  

Generally, expats can afford owning and maintaining a car with a gasoline price of merely 1.24 Euros per liter.  Paperwork for owning a car in Berlin costs about 193.6 Euros annually and is much higher compared to what one would pay in Munich or Frankfurt.  

Utilities

The utility costs for a household for two to three people is 200 Euros monthly on electricity, gas, water and garbage fees.  A hundred-minute call on a mobile phone can cost about 15 Euros while a 2mbps ADSL flat Internet connection will be billed about 30 Euros monthly.  

Even if Berlin has a misleading reputation for having a high cost of living, expats are lucky to find home in a grand city that is surprisingly pleasant and reasonably priced.

 

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