What’s the cost of living in Munich?

What’s the cost of living in Munich?

by Laura Jones

Updated November 7, 2022

If you fancy moving to Bavaria where the quality of life is a priority and the cultural and economic scenes are thriving, your first question might be: What’s the cost of living in Munich? 

Living in a beautiful, safe city close to the mountains and home to German stereotypes like Lederhosen and Oktoberfest doesn’t come cheap. In fact, Munich is the most expensive city in Germany to live in, with rent and groceries costing more here than in other major urban centres. But it’s a vibrant, culturally interesting city and it makes a wonderful home for more than 1.5 million people. So, let’s find out how much money you’ll need to live in Munich.

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The cost of living in Munich

How much it costs to live somewhere of course depends a lot on your lifestyle. Want to gorge on nightly sushi in Bavaria? You can expect to pay quite a bit more than someone who’s happy to eat local produce. We’re going to look at the average costs for basic necessities here – housing, utilities and food.

Let’s start with a single person living in the city centre. A one-bedroom apartment will start somewhere around €1,500 per month including utilities and groceries will be about €200 a month. With additional expenses like public transport tickets and phone and internet contracts, you can expect to spend about €2,000 per month.

If you’re thinking about the cost of living in Munich for a family of four, you’re going to need a bigger budget. A three-bedroom apartment in the city centre can cost up to €3,000 per month and utilities will add at least another €200 to that. Add to that the cost of groceries at about €800 per month and your basic living costs will top €4,000 before you start adding on things like the internet and transportation.

The cost of living for students in Munich

For those of you looking to study abroad in Germany, don’t be put off from heading down to Bavaria by the high prices. The cost of living for students in Munich is manageable if you’re willing to share accommodation – rent in Munich for a single room in a shared flat is between €400–600 without utilities – and shop in cheaper grocery stores. 

Overall, students will need about  €1,000 per month to cover expenses, including health insurance and public transport.

What is a good salary to live in Munich?

The good thing is, the relatively high cost of living in Munich is reflected in the salaries, which are some of the highest in Germany. The average salary in Munich is €5.430 per month before tax. Even after paying tax and social security costs, a single person living alone who earns this will be doing well. A family of four will likely need two incomes to have a good standard of living.

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The cost of living in Munich vs. other German cities

If you’re trying to choose where to live in Germany, you might be considering the industrial northern powerhouses of Frankfurt and Hamburg, so let’s see where you’ll get more bang for your Euro. 

Munich vs. Frankfurt and Hamburg cost of living per month

One bedroom flat without utilities1,2801,030945
Meal in a mid-range restaurant302527.50
Monthly 2-zone transportation pass569270

On average, the cost of living in Munich is about 12% higher than in Frankfurt but salaries are only about 5% higher in the southern city. If you’re looking for somewhere to live where you’ll have more money in your pocket at the end of the month, Frankfurt edges Munich out.

Munich has the economic edge over Hamburg however, as while the cost of living is about 15% higher in Bavaria, salaries are 20% higher in Munich than in Hamburg. Having said that, we think you’ll agree that choosing where to live is about a lot more than money and, as there are great job opportunities in all of these places, the economics shouldn’t count any of them in or out.

So, how expensive is it to live in Munich?

Compared to many major world cities, like London and New York, Munich’s cost of living is pretty reasonable. And, luckily, the salaries here are likely to more than cover your basic living costs leaving you with money left over to enjoy the museums and restaurants and to get away into the Alps for the weekend. 

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Laura is a freelance writer and was an ESL teacher for eight years. She was born in the UK and has lived in Australia and Poland, where she writes blogs for Lingoda about everything from grammar to dating English speakers. She’s definitely better at the first one. She loves travelling and that’s the other major topic that she writes on. Laura likes pilates and cycling, but when she’s feeling lazy she can be found curled up watching Netflix. She’s currently learning Polish, and her battle with that mystifying language has given her huge empathy for anyone struggling to learn English. Find out more about her work in her portfolio.

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