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How To Visit Berlin On A Budget

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Known for its alternative art scene and historical landmarks, bustling Berlin is one of the biggest tourist hot spots in Europe. But with so many things to do and see, you can blow through your budget faster than a Ferrari on the autobahn. So let us help you out with some tips to save you money on your German getaway. 

Where To Stay:

To get a feeling for Berlin’s uniquely bohemian vibe, try a dorm room at Amstel House Hostel, or The Circus Hostel. If you would rather stay at a secluded spot try the slightly more expensive The Circus Hotel or Lekkerurlaub. Or, for something classy and comfortable without the frills, the name of this hostel says it all: MINIMAL

What To Eat :

For the best (and cheapest) local food, head to the streets. Berlin’s street food scene is impressive, with food stalls on every corner. Mauerpark, Markthalle Neun, and the Turkish Market are all popular places to find food vendors specializing in burgers and German sausage. Currywurst is especially popular and convenient – but if you’re looking for the best, head to Curry 36. If you can’t decide what you want, check out the Street Food Market every Sunday from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm at the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg. Then, for an evening on the riverside, check out  Bite Club to dine aboard the vintage Hoppetosse boat, with ambient music and tasty bites from local food trucks. 

How To Get Around:

Save money on transportation by grabbing a Berlin Welcome Card. A two-day card is €20 / $22; it allows you unlimited free public transportation, free entry to many paid museums, and discounts on over 200 attractions. In contrast, buying a 1-day unlimited transportation ticket on its own will cost you €7 / $8. So if you’re interested in visiting: Dalí – The exhibition at Potsdamer Platz, KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, The Botanical Gardens, or any of the other museums in town, this card is for you. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of navigating public transportation on your own, download  BVG. It’s a free app available for Apple, Windows, and Android products to help you get around the city.  

What To See: 

If you want to see the sights and learn about the history of the Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate, sign up for a free walking tour. Alternatively, try out the free tour from Alternative Berlin which claims to showcase the best street art, music, and bars from a local’s perspective. If you would rather steer clear of the crowds, take yourself on a free tour by downloading Guidemate, a free app that allows locals to record their own private tours of the city. 

What To Do: 

If you’re tired of walking, try a scenic river cruise with Reederei Riedel. The Berlin Wall river cruise is only €17 / $20, and the hour-long ride brings you past all of Berlin’s main tourist attractions. Check out the street art along the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery, and walk through the Mauerpark where the wall once stood. Take the time to explore the football-field-sized Holocaust Memorial, and then lift your spirits with a stroll through Grunewald Forest along the edge of the city. To experience the city like a local, download the free Going Local app for your smartphone. It has recommendations on places to go, things to do, and secret spots you might never find on your own. 

Nightlife On A Budget:

Berlin is home to some of the best clubbing spots in Europe and arguably everywhere else. Unfortunately, getting carried away with the celebration can put a dent in your budget – but it doesn’t have to be that way. The city has plenty of hidden bars with cheap drinks like the punk hideout Clash or the cute music venues Bohnengold & Schokoladen. So skip the long lines and expensive entry fees, head out to one of these local watering holes.

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