I’ve been to Berlin a few times now, and experienced a lot on very little money. Berlin tends to be one of those popular tourist cities where you can end up paying a lot, for things that really wont enhance your overall experience.
So I get so many questions about how I travel to these expensive cities on such small budgets, that I figured I would finally answer them. Only problem is, is that each city is different, and has different secrets and ways to stay on a budget. So, here is my tips on how to do Berlin on a budget!
Berlin has the world’s largest Turkish population outside of Turkey, and there are thousands of food stands where you can get a delicious gyro-like sandwich for very reasonable prices. Just look for the sign “Imbiss”. It makes for a filling, economical lunch-on-the-go.
For dinner, try the Nikolaiviertel (St. Nicholas Quarter), a restored area around the church of the same name. Not all the eateries are budget-conscious, but many provide solid values and reasonable prices.
Now these suggestions are of course only good if you refuse to cook for yourself. Obviously the best solution is to find yourself in some sort of accommodation where you are able to cook for yourself. Shopping at a local grocery store and cooking for yourself will save you loads. In fact, the only times I really ate out, were when there was free wifi, and I had to buy something to stay.
Speaking of accommodation, here are some cheap ideas. Now this all depends on how long you plan on staying. The very cheapest way of course is Couchsurfing. It’s free if you can find a host, which is usually easy to do. It’s usually easier to find a host if you have a good, filled out profile with references. Take a look at my Couchsurfing profile. Another benefit of Couchsurfing is that you can almost always cook for yourself at the house you’re staying at. So two birds with one stone.
Unless you get lucky and your hosts likes you and wants you to stay a while, then Couchsurfing is usually only good for short term. Though I have heard of people hopping around from host to host in the same city for a month or two. That’s an option. If not though, and If you fancy finding self-catered accommodation that’s a bit more private during your stay in Berlin, then it could be a good idea to look for a studio apartment. Through that link I provided, you can find nice apartments in Berlin, while still being nice and in good locations.
When it comes to nightlife, there is something here for virtually any taste, from classical entertainment to the latest in Techno. You would never believe the crazy things Berlin can cater to, so don’t be surprised. You will never be without something to do in this city, and the beer is world class. My advice, to get around spending too much at the clubs, is to “pre game”. Most bars and clubs don’t start to kick off until 10 pm or later, so that gives you time to get to the local shop and buy the beer cheap and get a little drunk before going out. that way you are already good to go, and can have fun at the clubs without having to waist so much money.
There is also something going on most every night. You can find out where the free-entries are each night, or happy hours. hop around each night to the cheapest place. Be aware though, trains either stop or cut back after midnight. But most places are within walking distance anyways.
Also look into getting a student card. Many museums and fun things to do are either free or reduced for students. Even if you don’t get one though, many of the places have free days, so always look into that too. if you can’t find the information, stroll into a hostel or hotel and ask for tourist info.