Numbeo Index 2024: Hamburg, Essen and Düsseldorf have the highest cost of living

Numbeo Index 2024: Hamburg, Essen and Düsseldorf have the highest cost of living

Numbeo’s latest, annual Cost of Living Index has named Hamburg, Essen and Düsseldorf as the German cities with the highest cost of living in 2024. How does your city compare to others in Germany and Europe?

Switzerland takes all top 5 most expensive cities in the Numbeo Index

Considering the cost of rent, shopping for food, restaurants and local purchasing power, the annual Numbeo Cost of Living Index breaks down how much it costs to live in cities across the globe and compares them to the cost of living in New York City. For example, if a city is given 80 points for rent, it means that the average rental prices in that city are around 20 percent lower than those in NYC.

In the company’s newest, Europe-wide ranking looking at the cost of living, one country dominated the tables, Switzerland. A surprise to few, Zurich, Basel, Lausanne, Geneva and Bern were named the five most expensive cities in Europe in 2024.

Most expensive in Europe and the most overpriced in the world; a recent housing study by UBS, independent of the Numbeo ranking, found that housing in Zurich is the most overvalued in the world. On average, real estate in Zurich costs 50 percent more today than it did 10 years ago, with the cost of renting also rising significantly.

Following the top five spots, it was the Nordic countries that moved in, with Reykjavik, Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger. London filled out the top 10 - in the UK capital in August 2023, the average house cost an eye-watering 535.597 pounds (627.573 euros).

German cities: Hamburg, Essen and Düsseldorf have the highest cost of living

It wasn’t until spot number 20 on the ranking that a German city made an appearance, namely Hamburg, which was calculated to be 29,7 percent less expensive than New York. The port city was followed by Essen in 29th, Düsseldorf in 30th and in spot number 32 of the Europe-wide ranking, Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg.

On the opposite end of the scale, the cities in Germany with the cheapest cost of living, which were included in the ranking, were Augsburg, Aachen and Cologne, which differ a little from the top three cities for the cost of living when it came to how much visitors and locals can expect to pay for a restaurant meal. Best places to eat for cheap on the regular? Mannheim, Augsburg and Cologne.

German cities in the Numbeo Cost of Living Index 2024:

Overall, these are the German cities included and their position in the 2024 index: 

  • 20. Hamburg
  • 29. Essen
  • 30. Düsseldorf
  • 32. Freiburg
  • 35. Munich
  • 38. Erlangen
  • 42. Mannheim
  • 48. Berlin
  • 49. Nuremberg
  • 51. Hanover
  • 62. Frankfurt
  • 72. Stuttgart
  • 73. Bremen
  • 75. Dresden
  • 78. Cologne
  • 79. Aachen
  • 83. Augsburg

To read the entire Cost of Living Index 2024 head to the Numbeo website.

Thumb image credit: Sergey Dzyuba /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



Leave a comment