Berlin is one of the most inexpensive cities in central Europe that I’ve come across. In Berlin, 40€ a day is an achievable and even comfortable budget for us economic travelers.
The biggest expensive is going to be surprise, surprise, accommodation. But, in Berlin, you can find a pretty awesome hostel for 15€ a night. I recommend staying at the “Heart of Gold” Hostel based on price, cleanliness, facilities that include free coffee, tea and water as well as the overall vibe.
So there goes 15€ and as easy as that you have just 25€ left to spend each day.
Now at this point you maybe thinking a trip involving starvation is in order but I promise that’s not the case…
For breakfast, utilizing the facilities you have at the hostel is going to be the best money saver. I bought my breakfast supplies at Lidl (discount supermarket, similar to Aldi), where I got 4 fresh croissants for just 1€ as well as bananas for under 2€. Lunch has to be traditional German sausage, “Currywurst”. Look around and expect to pay a maximum of 2.50€ per sausage. For dinner, a dirty street kebab. Don’t turn your nose up at this. Berlin has a ton of hole in the wall kebab shops and they are amazing at just 3.50/4€. The kebabs are giant! They even come with cheese at no extra cost! Need I say anymore?
Just as important as food is obviously drinks. The alcoholic kind of course. With just 60c you can buy a beer at the supermarket. As for drinking out, BRLO Brewhaus is a German brewery that charges 2€ for take away beers. Friedrichshain zone is a good spot with plenty of underground, burlesque style bars selling alcohol starting from just 2€. Now if clubbing is your scene, hit up the RAW Cultural Centre. I like the club Cassiopeia because it has a typical Berlin vibe, it’s cheap and entry is 3€ if you go before 12. So, go before 12. Another thing to note is that clubs in Berlin do this weird thing where they charge you an extra 1€ and give you a chip. When you return the chip and your bottle or cup, you get the 1€ back. Weird.
Obviously if you don’t drink alcohol you can spend this money on coffee, juice, or, more food.
Eating and drinking should come to a total of around 12.20€ per day leaving you with 12.80 left to spend…
On the first day, do your self a favor and buy a one day transport pass for 7.70€ for the zones A, B and C. It will make getting from the airport to the hostel so much easier and save a lot of hassles. You can use this pass to explore some of the more “out of the way” sites on this first day. For, me that was the Berlin wall so, I ticked that off the list using this pass. As for returning to the airport, that is going to cost 2.80€ by bus. Cheaper than chips!
Seeing things takes the most time when travelling but in Berlin, it doesn’t take the most money. So, we are in luck!
First things first, do a walking tour. Most hostels offer these and they’re a great way to see the city as well as, learn some of the history. They’re “free” but you’re expected to make a contribution at the end. That contribution depends on your budget, I paid 4€, anything from that onward is what I perceive to be a decent contribution. Other people give 10€ or even 20€ but, our budgets simply are, too tight for that.
Two really interesting and FREE… yes, free, museums are: The Topography of Terror which faces out onto a large part of the Berlin Wall and the Memorial of the Murdered Jews Museum. Both are history museums based around World War II.
Now for some more great news, walking to a site and taking a photo is also free. Go site seeing, this is largely what the walking tour will take you to see but you definitely can’t walk to every site in 2 hours. The main sites that are “must sees” are:
- Brandenburg gate
- Museum Island – the name says it all, an “island” with beautiful buildings (museums). It’s worth going to check out the buildings themselves.
- Memorial of the Murdered Jews
- East Side Gallery – For lovers of art and graffiti.
- Berlin Cathedral
- Checkpoint Charlie
Accommodation- 15€ per night
Food and Drinks – 12.20€ per day
Transport – 7.70€ maximum per day
Site seeing – 5€ maximum per day
Total = 39.90€
Travelling Berlin on 40€ is a very achievable goal. Comment below if you think it’s an easy challenge. I’d also love to hear any other budget tips you have for Berlin.