berlin tower

Berlin Travel Blog – How to Visit Berlin on a Budget

Berlin is an incredible city that you’ll enjoy visiting any time of the year thanks to its colourful street art, history and city life. However, there are many ways you can save money when you visit this amazing destination.

Here are a couple of general things you can do to save money before you travel to Berlin:

  • Check prices for the attractions you want to see.
  • Set a budget for meals.
  • Make a list of things you’d like to buy there (souvenirs, clothes, etc.) and set a budget for this.
  • Have a look at the exchange rate. The euro (€) is the currency in Germany.
Berlin on a budget

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Berlin Travel Blog – Tips to Save Money in Berlin

Before travelling to Berlin, I knew that I wanted to save money but not stress or limit myself. It can sometimes be stressful travelling on a budget, I’ve got you!

Here are some suggested budgets depending on your travel style.

  • Backpacking. Between 50 and 60 euros (45-54 pounds) per day.
  • Mid-range budget. Between 135 and 145 euros (120-130 pounds) per day.
  • Luxury budget. Approximately 200 euros (177 pounds) per day.

Travel during off-season 

There’s always something going on in Berlin, but if you’re more interested in seeing the place, rather than the weather or celebrations, you’ll save money by travelling during the low season!

Summer in Berlin is busy because school finishes up, so there are more families around, and there are more tourists. If you really want to enjoy the weather, go in early summer, but be aware of the price increase.

BUT don’t assume winter is the low season! As Christmas is coming, tourists visit Berlin to see the Christmas Markets and enjoy the spirit of this magical season.

So when should I go to Berlin for cheaper prices? Middle or end of January to February/March. Despite the cold weather, this is the best time to find the lowest prices at hotels and good deals on flights.

Also, you’ll be able to enjoy the attractions and the city streets without big crowds.

Alternatively, you can find good deals after Oktoberfest which normally happens from the 21st of September to the 6th of October.

I visited Berlin in late January because flights and hotel prices were SO cheap! I stayed in the Radisson Blu Hotel next to the Berlin Cathedral for a very reasonable price and the hotel was amazing. It’s definitely the best place to stay in Berlin.

It’s located near main attractions and the view from my room was incredible. I chose the aquarium view and I’m glad I did, it was relaxing and a bit different from other views.

TIP: Be aware of German celebrations like Oktoberfest because the prices will increase.

Don’t take a taxi from the airport to the city centre

Yes, you’ll probably arrive at your hotel earlier than taking any other transport. However, taxis can cost you more than €50!

Take the train to get to your location because it’s way cheaper than a taxi.

To go to the train station, you have to come out of the airport, walk to the right until you see a couple of restaurants and continue walking all the way down the street!

You can buy the tickets yourself at one of the machines (don’t worry if you don’t have a clue about German, you can select other languages) and this is the fastest way.

From my experience, it’s a bit difficult to find your way to the right platform. You can have a look at the maps on the walls or simply ask someone else! Surprisingly, I came across many Spanish travellers like me haha.

Stroll around the city

This is the best way to experience a city and save some money! I’d recommend staying somewhere close to the city centre and walking rather than relying on transport.

I visited Berlin for 3 days and walked all the time. My accommodation was close to the Berlin Cathedral and walked to the East Side Gallery (a 45 minute walk one way!)

But it’s great to walk because you get to experience the city life vibe and discover beautiful street art.

Berlin travel blog

TIP: if you decide to walk to the East Side Gallery check out Holzmarkt!

I had no idea of this place but my partner and I were curious when we were walking to the gallery and on our way, we saw a very colourful street with interesting bars.

It’s a great place to have a drink and enjoy the river views.

Bring your student card 

If you’re a student or you’ve recently finished your studies (and your student id is still valid!), don’t forget to bring it with you.

There are many attractions (i.e. Berlin TV Tower) in which you’ll get a discount of approx. €1-3 which will save you a good amount of money.

If you have an International Student Identity Card (ISIC), you can also benefit from other amazing discounts.

Avoid paying for guided tours

Guided tours can be sort of expensive, especially when you travel on a budget. However, here’s a fantastic free tour: Alternative Berlin Tours.

This is a different type of tour because it’s made for budget travellers like you! Here’s what I love about it:

  • It’s free.
  • It lasts 3 hours and they take you to see different and interesting places (i.e. markets, street art, etc.)
  • You don’t need to book! Just turn up at the meeting point.

Check the Berlin Welcome Card and The Berlin Pass

If you’re planning to visit as many attractions and museums as possible, you should check the Berlin Welcome Card and The Berlin Pass.

I didn’t use any of them because I was happy to visit the free attractions and take them slowly.

Berlin Welcome Card

This card can save you money if you want to visit places like the Berlin Television Tower, Museum Barberini, etc.

Berlin is divided into zones (A, B and C) for public transport so check the areas you’ll be travelling to and then choose between the two card options (one includes A and B zones, whereas, the other includes A, B and C.)

Also, you can choose from a 48h to a 6 days card.

The Berlin Pass

This card total price is more expensive than the Berlin Welcome Card but it includes more attractions than the welcome card.

One of its biggest advantages is that you can enter for free to any of the attractions mentioned on their website, whereas the Berlin Welcome Card usually provides reduced prices rather than free entry to attractions.

Disadvantage? Be aware that the Berlin Pass is only valid for 3 days!

Free things to do in Berlin

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

It’s located near Brandenburg Gate and the area is open day and night. It consists of a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust (a genocide of the European Jews during World War II.)

There are 2711 concrete slabs of different heights which make you feel like you’re inside a maze.

I had chills when I was walking around, and I was upset at people getting on top of the slabs to jump or to take a picture. Don’t be that guy!

Brandenburg Gate

This building is one of the most popular and instagrammable places in Berlin!

The arch is stunning and you can expect many people to take pictures at any time. Although it is beautiful during the day, I like it the most during the night because seeing it with the lights on is magical!

Brandenburg Gate at night

East Side Gallery

The contribution of so many creative artists made this gallery possible! Whether you’re passionate about contemporary art or not, it’s beautiful to walk and see all the different paintings and the messages behind them.

Here’s where you can find the famous “The Kiss” painting that illustrates Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev giving a kiss to East Germany President Erich Honecker. If you want to take a picture, be ready to wait for it!

Girl standing in front of the Berlin wall

Oberbaum Bridge

This bridge, located at the end of the East Side Gallery, is full of history because it used to be a border crossing.

It’s amazing to see how the train passes and the river scenery you get! I loved it because it makes you feel like you’re in a different period of time.

Girl on a bike in the Berlin bridge

Other top places to visit in Berlin

Berlin Cathedral

It’s a Parish church with impressive architecture. Personally, this was the most beautiful building in Berlin for me!

You’ll have to pay an entrance fee (€7) to go inside the cathedral, however, you can either see and take pictures outside the cathedral or buy the Berlin Pass card to pay a reduced price.

Also, if you travel in January, you can see all the beautiful little lights they put on the trees close to the cathedral.

Girl sat next to Berlin Cathedral at night

TV Tower

The TV tower is located near the Berlin Cathedral and there’s no way you’ll miss it. From the pictures, you may think it’s not that tall, however, the closer you get, the taller it seems (I felt so small!)

We didn’t have the chance to go inside since it was very foggy and cloudy. If you go inside you can enjoy 360-degree panoramic views and have some dinner. There’s an entrance fee but if you love heights and a great view, it’s worth it!

TIP: If you’re getting the Berlin Welcome Card, you don’t have to pay because it’s included.

Berlin Tower

Victory Column

Only 20 minutes walking distance from the Brandenburg Gate, this is another gem to see! The column is 67 metres tall, and on the top, you can see a golden angel.

You can go to the top and enjoy Berlin views (the entrance fee is €3), or, if you don’t like heights, walking through the underground passage directly to the Victory Column is amazing.

There are many different ways to save money when you visit Berlin: welcome cards, student discounts, free guided tours, etc. However, the most important thing is to choose any of these options based on your preferences.

Have in mind the days you’re staying, the attractions you want to see and, of course, your budget.

After all the Christmas celebrations and the money spent on presents, I decided to visit Berlin in January. It was the perfect city break for me because it’s an incredible city and it’s so budget-friendly.

I like experiencing cities like a local so that means fewer crowds and more authentic experiences.

If you’re a culture lover, you won’t regret visiting Berlin in the winter (despite you won’t feel your hands because of the freezing cold and probably the snow!)

If you’re planning to visit Berlin and you have any questions, let me know in the comments.


Cristina xx

P.S. If you like this Berlin travel blog, save it for later!

If you’re looking for other amazing cities in Germany, check this post. However, if you’re after another European city break, have you thought about Brussels?

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  1. I’ve never been to Berlin, but I’ve always wanted to go. Thanks for so much helpful advice! Now I feel prepared to start planning a trip there! 🙂

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      You’re welcome 🙂 I’m happy to hear this, and I hope you can visit Berlin soon.

  2. I’ve been to Germany a few times now but never to Berlin! It’s been on the list for some time! Thanks for sharing all of these amazing tips! It’s especially helpful to know that my student card will get me discounts – love that!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Berlin is very cool, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy your time there 🙂 Also, it’s great to hear you found this blog useful.

  3. Francesca says:

    Berlin is such an awesome city! I really enjoyed The East Side Gallery. I love that there are a lot of budget friendly sites in Berlin.

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      I agree with you and The East Side Gallery is one of my favourite places 🙂

  4. Berlin was one of the coolest cities I visited in Europe! Loving this guide!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      That’s great to hear 🙂 thanks!

  5. What a great guide! I have yet to visit Berlin one day it’s good to know you can do so many things there even on a budget! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Cristina Reina says:

      Thank you, Lyne! 🙂 I am sure you’ll enjoy your trip to Berlin.

  6. For everyone who doesn’t have the budget to go onto the TV tower, check out the rooftop terrace of the Park INN at Alexanderplatz. You have a very similar view and it’s only 4€ per person.

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