Accommodation & Costs
Studying abroad is not always cheap. The good news: Anyone who decides to study in Dresden can enjoy an unforgettable study visit even with a small budget – especially in comparison to other German cities such as Munich or Frankfurt. We have put together the most important information about the individual accommodation options as well as an overview of the expected costs.
What accommodation options do students have in Dresden?
For a study visit to Dresden, international students as well as our course participants have various accommodation options in different price categories. Whether it is a dormitory, a shared apartment, or a hostel: together we will find the right accommodation for you – and your budget.
The Studentenwerk Dresden offers around 6,700 dormitory spaces, the rental prices of which can vary between 107 and 370 euros per month. With around 40,000 students in the city, however, the coveted places are often quickly taken, which is why an application should be submitted as early as possible. Eligible students include those who are admitted to or already enrolled at a university assigned to the Studentenwerk and who have not yet completed a degree. Further information on the subject of dormitories can also be found on the website of the Studentenwerk Dresden.
Most of the students in Dresden live in a shared apartment – or WG (“Wohngemeinschaft”) for short. Living in a shared apartment not only has the advantage that rent, utility costs, and the costs for internet and electricity are automatically divided by the number of residents, but also offers international students in particular the opportunity to settle in better in a foreign country. We recommend the platform www.wg-gesucht.de, with which many of our course participants have already had good experiences.
Hostels & Hotels
As a favorite with tourists, Dresden offers a large selection of hotels and hostels in various price categories for shorter stays – for example as part of our spring and summer courses. The Student Hotel on Prager Straße – in the middle of Dresden’s old town – is a relatively inexpensive alternative to classic hotels. Both the hotel and the associated hostel in the Cityherberge offer another overnight accommodation option in the center of Dresden. The a & o Hostel at Dresden Central Station is a particularly inexpensive alternative with a price of around 9 euros per night. Study applicants who like more sociable settings should take a look at Saxony’s largest youth hostel: the DJH youth hostel offers 480 beds in a central inner city location. You can find an overview of other hotels in Dresden here.
Those looking for a quieter place to stay could find what they are looking for in a guest house. The 310 rooms of the international guest house of the Dresden Student Union can be booked for up to three months, for example. The facility is located on the TU Dresden campus – only a few minutes’ walk from the main train station – and offers a variety of living options, from one-room apartments with their own kitchen and bathroom to single rooms in shared apartments. In the guest house “Am Weberplatz” near the Great Garden there are also 60 cozy rooms available, which, in contrast to the Dresden hotels, are less touristy. For longer stays, we recommend the guest house “Einsteinstrasse” with its eleven residential units (optionally with kitchen) and a private garden. Pets are also allowed here upon request.
What costs can students expect during a stay in Dresden?
Unlike in the USA or Great Britain, there have been no general tuition fees at public universities in Germany since 2014. Despite the fact that there are no general tuition fees, the basic cost of living should be considered when planning a study abroad in Germany – especially in Dresden. In addition to the semester fees at the university*, the rent and the mandatory health insurance of around 80 euros per month, there are also costs for food, internet/phone, or cash transfer fees.
Rent & Food
At an average of 332 euros per month**, rent (including utility costs) is the largest single cost for students. The monthly cost of groceries in Germany is on average 154 euros per person**. While visiting restaurants or getting take away are relatively cheap in many countries, in Germany you will be far better off if you cook at home. The price of delivery pizza or a main course in a “simple” restaurant is around ten euros; a dish with pasta, rice, potatoes, or vegetables can be put together at home for significantly less money.
By the way: In Dresden, the cost of living is about 17 percent lower than the national average of Germany, so that the monthly costs for students are comparatively low. In order to cover the most important costs, students in Dresden need an average of 680 euros per month.
Phone & Internet
The average cost of telecommunications for students is around 32 euros per month*. An internet connection costs from 19.95 euros per month, depending on the provider. Many providers now offer student discounts, so that the monthly basic fees can be reduced. The costs for the setup and the router are usually not included in the price and have to be added accordingly. As a rule, you can assume a one-time fee of between 39.99 and 49.99 euros. Those who make a mobile phone contract with the same provider can potentially benefit from discounted combined offers. We recommend that you seek advice from a specialist shop or do some research online.
Since mobile phone contracts usually have a term of 24 months, it makes sense for shorter stays in Germany to use their phone with a prepaid card. In contrast to the mobile phone contracts described above, there is no monthly basic fee, only the credit available on the card. The advantages of prepaid cards are the relatively cheap purchase (from around 12 euros) and the ability to keep track of the costs. Another advantage: Purchasing a prepaid card and topping up the credit is no longer only possible in the specialty stores of the various network operators, but also, for example, in supermarkets.
Important: In addition to the costs for telephone and internet, you should also consider the state radio/television fees of 17.50 euros per household per month, which have to be paid in most cases.
Similar to most German universities and technical colleges, the TU Dresden semester fees of EUR 276.10* already include a long-term ticket for local public transport. With the so-called “semester ticket”, students can use the connections in the entire bus and train network of the city of Dresden. Those who do not have a semester ticket can expect an average of 2.50 euros for a single journey. Three Dresden S-Bahn lines connect Dresden with the surrounding cities and larger communities in the Upper Elbe Valley. Due to the proximity to many other large cities, inexpensive excursions by long-distance bus or Deutsche Bahn are also available. With the Flixbus, for example, a visit to the Czech capital Prague is possible in less than two hours for as little as 15 euros. Deutsche Bahn also offers various offers for trips to popular European cities from just 19 euros.
If you prefer to move around within the city but don’t want to buy your own bike, you can rent a city bike quickly and easily. The City Bikes are available anywhere and anytime in different parts of the city and can easily be returned to the respective drop-off points after use. Depending on the provider, the first 30 minutes cost around one euro, the daily rate per city bike is around 9 euros. There are also electric scooters available.
Important: UBER is not available in Dresden and Taxis are very expensive.
* The semester fee is independent of the general tuition fees and includes, in addition to the long-term ticket for local public transport (“semester ticket”), a fee for the student council and a student union fee. The exact composition of the TU Dresden semester fee can be found here.
** Source: Updated calculation based on a survey by the German Student Union, 2019