Cost of living in Düsseldorf, Germany

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Düsseldorf is a medium-sized German city with a population of 600K. It’s located in north-west Germany and had been voted as the #1 city for highest quality of life (now it’s Vienna), and is also the city with the highest amount of (income, not net worth) millionaires in Germany.

I’ve only lived in Düsseldorf for a few months after finishing my undergrad, but I have lived in the Düsseldorf area for most of my 5.5 years in Germany.

I’ll give you 2 scenarios of a couple living frugally and un-frugally in the Düsseldorf region.


Non-frugal cost of living in Düsseldorf Oberkassel

My friend and his girlfriend live in Oberkassel; the nicest area of Düsseldorf located across the Rhine from the Altstadt. Here is a snapshot of what their expenses are like:

  • Rent: 1400 EUR (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 60 sqm (650 sq ft) with underground parking)
  • Electricity: 100 EUR
  • Food: 300 EUR
  • Entertainment: 200 EUR
  • Transportation: 300 EUR
  • Misc: 300 EUR
  • Total: 2600 EUR / month

This is what it looks like to live a standard middle class life in Düsseldorf as a dual earning income couple. You can live comfortably on much less than this, but this seems to be the regular spending amongst the people I know. Not outrageous compared to other big cities, but you can still do better if your goal is to become financially independent!


Frugal cost of living outside of Düsseldorf 

Martin and I lived literally a 20 minute train ride from central Ddorf, and as a result, our expenses plummeted by a lot compared to the above scenario. We didn’t choose to live outside Düsseldorf for financial reasons, but for practical/logistical reasons (it worked better for our commutes). Our decision saved us a lot of money compared to what our friends spend, with the only compromise being that we’re not surrounded by trendy restaurants and shops. We chose a nice area with enough amenities (nothing trendy) and close to a big beautiful park. This is what it cost us:

  • Rent: 600 EUR (1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 60 sqm (650 sq ft) with parking)
  • Electricity: 100 EUR
  • Food: 300 EUR
  • Entertainment: 200 EUR
  • Transportation: 300 EUR
  • Misc: 300 EUR
  • Total: 1800 EUR / month

I’ve kept all expenses the same except for rent, but in reality we probably spent less than 1800 EUR while our friends probably spend more than 2600 EUR.


This is just to give you an idea of the cost of living in this area of Germany. When I lived solo in Düsseldorf for a short stint, I spent about 700 EUR/month living very lean. Students can probably live on 500 EUR/month if they find roommates and don’t eat out much.

The very nice thing about Germany is that big cities are not sprawled out like North American big cities. They’re a conglomeration of several small towns that each have a city centre with amenities like banks, post office, supermarkets, doctors, etc… So it’s quite easy to find a place outside of a major city, while still having all the infrastructure including easy connections into the major city.

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