University halls of residence
For all students the Student Services Association Bavaria & Upper Palatinate ('Studentenwerk') is the main contact point concerning accommodation. It runs the four University halls of residence in Passau. Rooms there cost €220 up to €400 per month and are fully furnished, with kitchen and bathroom facilities. Wi-Fi Internet access is also included. Bed sheets and duvets are provided in all University halls of residence except Dr.-Hans-Kapfinger-Strasse and Schönleitnerweg.
Even if you do not know yet if you will receive an offer from the University of Passau for the programme of studies you applied for, you can and should apply for a room. You do not enter into any contractual obligations by applying; it only becomes binding when you accept a room that has been offered to you by the Student Services Association.
Church-run halls of residence
The Catholic Church's 'Wohnbauwerk' runs two student halls of residence in central and outer Passau, the 'Marienheim' in the city centre and Haus St. Severin at Schönleitnerweg. Together, these two compounds comprise 169 one-bedroom flats and 29 two-bedroom flats. The Wohnbauwerk website is written in German, but you can see some photographs of the flats and find their contact details.
Privately-run halls of residence
In Passau there are also private halls of residence for students. Please note that the sites linked to are only available in German, but you'll still see what they look like and get the relevant contact details:
- The former clothing factory ('Ehemalige Kleidungsfabrik') in Jahnstrasse (Innstadt) offers about 90 student flats, managed by real estate management company 'Jany'
- Real estate management company 'Boni' has 165 flats in the halls of residence located in Holzheimerstrasse. The company also maintains the halls of residence in Eduard-Hamm-Strasse 14-16 and in Ludwigstrasse in the city centre.
- 'Wohnanlage St. Nicola' (aka 'Kapfinger Wohnheim'), which is run by 'Vegis Immobilien' has a total of 201 rooms
- The 'Kloster Hamberg' halls of residence on the Austrian side of the river Inn
- Real estate management company 'Wilhelm Immobilien' runs the St. Nikola halls of residence located in Franz-Stockbauer-Weg next to the Nikolakloster, and the 'Hollergrippe' compound in Neuburger Strasse
- The UNILIFE Passau halls of residence, run by ZS Wohnbau GmbH, comprise 35 individual rooms, 9 shared two-person flats and one single flat. The complex is situated approximately 800 metres from the University and is close to the bus and railway stations.
Searching on the free housing market
Besides the halls of residence, Passau has a big private housing market, where rooms cost, on average about €400 a month. Landlords usually require a two- or three-month deposit when you move in, which will be returned to you at the end of the rental period, assuming you leave your room in good condition.
If you rent your room through an estate agent, some may charge a commission of one or two months’ rent. However, since June 2015, they can only legally charge the person who instructed them to look for accommodation. If you rent directly from a landlord you will not usually have to pay any additional fees or commission. We recommend that you check very carefully what costs are involved before signing the lease or rental contract.
To find private accommodation, check the notice boards on campus (Philosophicum, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Refectory) or visit the Student Services Association's accommodation office.
The Wednesday and Saturday editions of the local newspaper 'Passauer neue Presse' (PNP) have an extensive accommodation section. Their classifieds are online, too (see below under 'housing websites').
Residential areas and districts of Passau
So, which are the most convenient places for a student flat or room?
Demand is, naturally, greater for apartments or rooms located in the areas in proximity of the University – 'St. Nikola', 'Haidenhof Süd' as well as 'Altstadt' and 'Innstadt' – which are therefore usually the more expensive ones. Some advertisers also call these areas 'Innenstadt' or 'Zentrum'.
Also very close and easy to reach are the areas 'Haidenhof Nord', 'Auerbach' (both west and north-west of St. Nikola), 'Hacklberg' (on the northern bank of the Danube), 'Ilzstadt' and 'Grubweg' (just north of the castle) and 'Haibach' (sout-east Passau, to the east of Innstadt): depending on the exact location of the flat, you can reach the University in a few minutes by bike or bus; whereas walking, naturally, will take a bit longer. The same is true for the adjacent areas in Austria, just across the River Inn.
A bit farther away, but still within the city limits and favoured by nature enthusiasts, 'Hals' is a place where you can live idyllically next to a nature reserve. As it is about 5 km (3 miles) from the University, bus and bike will probably be your preferred modes of transport. Hals is situated in the north of Passau.
The district of 'Kohlbruck', at the west end of Passau is where the outdoor and indoor swimming pool complex ('peb') and the ice skating rink are located. Bus services 8 and 9 will take you from there to the University and the city centre, and while cycling to University and back is certainly a possibility, be warned that Kohlbruck is up a long hill from Passau.
North of Kohlbruck, the districts of 'Neustift', 'Rittsteig', 'Patriching', 'Heining' and 'Schalding' are also connected by several bus services. As an enrolled student, you travel free with your CampusCard on all VBP (or SWP – 'Stadtwerke Passau') buses operating within the city limits, as your CampusCard is both your student ID and your semester bus pass. The VBP bus plans are published on the SWP website.
Map showing the districts of Passau (this page is in German)
Living outside of Passau in the surrounding area ('Landkreis')
Living in the neighbouring towns and villages may be a cheaper option in terms of rent, but the public transport connections are not as good as those within Passau. You can find all bus connections on the website of VLP (this acronym stands for 'Verkehrsgemeinschaft Landkreis Passau'). These are also known as RBO buses. This bus company is completely distinct from VBP, and your CampusCard is not valid on their buses! If you live farther outside and commute by car, you can get a parking permit for one of the University's car parks from Facilities Management, Administration building, Room JUR 017, Innstrasse 39.