Finding a place to live

Kleinmarkthalle: "small market hall" in the Frankfurt city center (Photo: Irina Epstein)

Rent, provisions and deposits
One important thing to know about renting a flat in Germany is that the rental charges are divided into two parts: the so-called "Netto-Miete" (net rent), usually called  
"Kalt-Miete" ("cold" = rent excluding heating and service charges), and the running costs, or "Nebenkosten". This means that heating, water consumption, garbage collection, street cleaning, etc., are added to the net rent. Both sums should be given in the advertisements (see brochure ‘Living and working in Germany’, pages 22 to 25).

It is also important to know that flats may be rented directly from the owner or the manager, or through a broker, in which case a considerably fee, the so-called "provision" has to be paid (2 to 2.5% of the monthly rate). This is in addition to the security deposit of around 3 months of rent, which is usually requested.

How to look for a place to live
To find a small flat, or a room in a shared flat (german: WG - Wohngemeinschaft), students usually check out this German website.
You might also consider placing an ad for fellows and students (in German).

To find a larger flat or house to rent in Frankfurt, most people consult Immowelt.  It is the website of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. They list flats and houses for sale and for rent. The offers are usually provided by an estate agent, who will show you any flat or house you might be interested in. If you choose one, the realtor will ask for a fee of about 2-3 months of rent. Here also, the security deposit is usually 3 months of rent.

You can find similar offers at

Where to live

Student areas within the city of Frankfurt are: Bockenheim, Bornheim, Rödelheim and Nordend. Nice areas around the institute are Niederursel, Eschersheim, Heddernheim, Hausen, Ginnheim and all the small villages north of the institute. If you move to Nordweststadt, which is close to the institute also, check out whether the neighborhood is to your liking (many buildings date back to the 50ies). The area is not beautiful, but it is cheap!

Short-term stay
The MPI for Brain Research offers rooms in its guesthouse for short-term stays (3 months at max.). The guesthouse is located on the campus, the rates are 42/58 € per day for 
single/double rooms; 180/260 € per week for single/double rooms, and 550/720 € per month for single/double rooms.




Maren Baier
International Office
T: +49 69 850033-1800