According to Mercer's 2023 Cost of Living Survey, Frankfurt is Germany's third most expensive city, after Berlin and Munich. Frankfurt was ranked 48th out of 227 expat destinations worldwide. That said, expats will find several ways to save money while still maintaining a good quality of life in this highly industrialised city.

Like anywhere else, an individual expat's cost of living depends on their lifestyle. While Frankfurt allows residents to indulge and live the high life, it is also a city where it's possible to get by affordably and comfortably.

Cost of accommodation in Frankfurt

There is a wide range of accommodation in Frankfurt, and the price will depend on a number of factors, including the area an expat chooses to live in, the size of the property, and whether it's furnished or unfurnished.

The city centre is rather expensive, but many young expats who want to be close to the action opt to do house shares. Of course, the further from the city centre, the more affordable housing becomes. Remember that when renting a property in Germany, 'warm' rent includes certain utilities. 

Cost of transport in Frankfurt

Getting around in Frankfurt using public transport is fairly inexpensive. There are plenty of money-saving programmes available to choose from. For expats who will use public transport to commute on a daily basis, it is wise to invest in monthly or annual travel passes. Expats moving to Frankfurt will also be pleased to know that these passes cover the cost of travelling with children in the evening or at weekends.

Generally, most people do not need a car to get around Frankfurt, but those who wish to drive will need to factor in exorbitant parking and petrol costs.

Cost of healthcare in Frankfurt

Healthcare in Frankfurt is exceptional, as the city boasts a range of specialist hospitals and English-speaking medical practitioners. As is the case throughout Germany, expats moving to Frankfurt will need health insurance. Expats who are formally employed by a German company can use the statutory health insurance provided by the state. Otherwise, new arrivals will need to secure health insurance through a private company.

The cost of healthcare will vary depending on the level of coverage, the holder's health and age. Fortunately, employed expats will have their employer take care of half of their monthly healthcare bill regardless of whether they have chosen state or private health insurance. 

Cost of groceries in Frankfurt

The cost of grocery shopping varies depending on the outlet. Supermarkets operated by Galeria or Karstadt tend to be pricier. Most expats tend to shop at Rewe, where there is organic produce and a wider product range. 

For those on a tighter budget, there is Lidl and Aldi. Unfortunately, bulk-buy offers aren't common in Frankfurt supermarkets.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Frankfurt

Frankfurt is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with plenty of lifestyle options to keep expats entertained here. It has a seemingly endless supply of exquisite restaurants offering traditional German food and a slew of eateries serving cuisines from all over the world. Tipping is expected in Frankfurt. The general practice is a 10 percent tip.

Cost of education in Frankfurt

While public schools in Germany are of a high-quality standard and fees are low, for most expats, this is not a viable option. Unless expats plan on relocating to Germany for the long term or have children who are young enough to learn the local language, international schools are usually the best option, but these come at a hefty price.

While international schools may be pricey, these institutions have some of the best facilities and educators in the country. They also offer a range of globally recognised curricula, including the British, American and International Baccalaureate programmes. Those relocating to Frankfurt for a lucrative job offer should try to negotiate an allowance to cover school fees for their children.

Cost of living chart for Frankfurt

Note that prices may vary depending on the product and service provider, and the list below shows average prices for Frankfurt in May 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 2,100

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 1,500

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

EUR 1,100

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

EUR 830

Food and drink

Dozen eggs

EUR 2.91

Milk (1 litre)

EUR 1.12

Rice (1kg)

EUR 2.19

Loaf of white bread

EUR 1.83

Chicken breasts (1kg)

EUR 10.38

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

EUR 7.55

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

EUR 60

Big Mac meal


Coca-Cola (330ml)

EUR 2.67


EUR 3.36

Bottle of beer (local)

EUR 4.50


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

EUR 0.09

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

EUR 35

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

EUR 323


Taxi rate/km

EUR 1.90

City-centre public transport fare

EUR 3.35

Gasoline (per litre)

EUR 1.99

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