Costs of Living

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Next to Munich, Hamburg or Cologne, Frankfurt am Main is one of the most expensive cities in Germany. Whether it’s a cappuccino, the rent or entry to a museum – prices in the banking metropolis are often considerably higher than in other regions. This fact is reflected in the cost of living. These are the kind of expenses you can expect per month on average:


337 €


182 €


53 €

Semester fees (further information see below)

362,25 €  (approx. 60 € per month) 


33 €


80 €

Study resources

39 €


72 €




883 €

You should ensure that you always have some more money at your disposal than you actually need so you are prepared for unplanned expenses!

Semester fees at Goethe University

The semester fees at Goethe University (summer semester 2017) cover the following contributions:

RMV-Semesterticket 210 EUR
Nordhessischer VerkehrsVerbund (NVV) 5,40 EUR
Expansion (VGWS) 0,60 EUR
Palmengarten 1,10 EUR
Kulturticket (cultur ticket) 1,05 EUR
Sozialticket (social ticket)

0,50 EUR

AStA-Härtefonds (hartship fund)

0,60 EUR

Beitrag Studierendenschaft 9,50 EUR
Beitrag zum Studentenwerk 81,50 EUR
Call-a-bike 2,00 EUR

Verwaltungskostenbeitrag (administration fee)

50,00 EUR


Grand total

362,25 EUR

To look up the current semester fee please go here.


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1) Food

Depending on your budget, you can get your food either in one of various supermarket chains or on the market. There are supermarket discounters where you can get food really cheap, such as Aldi, Lidl, Penny, Norma and Netto. Rewe and Edeka are a little more expensive but usually have a better range of products. If you care about getting sustainably sourced and organic food, go to a Reformhaus, Alnatura or Tegut – they are more expensive. For shopping directly from the farmer, go to one of the farmer’s markets in and around Frankfurt. And if you like exotic foodstuff, pay a visit to Frankfurt’s Kleinmarkthalle!

2) Clothes

Just like in other countries, you will find the big fashion chains such as H&M, Vero Moda, Zara, Mango, Esprit etc., offering a range of clothes in various price categories. There are many shops on Frankfurt’s main shopping street, the Zeil. If you prefer quieter shopping, check out one of the city’s shopping malls – the NordWestZentrum, the Main-Taunus-Zentrum or the Skyline-Plaza. They are a bit further from the city centre but are easy to get to by public transport.

You like second-hand clothing? Check out the flea market on the southern river bank of the Main, every Saturday between 9:00-14:00. There is also the Caritas Second-Hand Shop where you can find some real bargains – but take your student ID!

3) Cosmetics, cleaning, hygiene

You can find some personal hygiene products (shampoo, shower gel, lotions etc.) in the supermarkets. The discount shops listed above often have their own brands; these products are cheaper than well-known brand products. However, drugstores have a bigger choice. The best-known drugstores in Germany are Rossmanndm and Müller.

4) Furniture and living accessories

Finding cheap furniture is not easy. But you can save some money by buying second-hand! You can find quite a selection of (second-hand) furniture on flea markets and in the Caritas Second-Hand Shop.  If you prefer online bargain hunting, check out EbayKleinanzeigen, Shpock, MeineStadt or similar search engines to find stuff on sale close by. You can also find really cheap furniture and living accessories at Neufundland. New furniture and accessories are available at Ikea (in Nieder-Eschbach) or Segmüller (in Weiterstadt).  
If you need white goods or other kitchen and bathroom items, you should try the department stores such as Galeria Kaufhof or Karstadt.

Tools and building material is available at various do-it-yourself places such as Obi, Bauhaus, Hornbach or Toom Baumarkt. The Toom DIY market on Friedberger Warte is easy to reach by public transport.