Berlin on a Budget: 10 Tips

Pergamon Berlin Budget Museum PassFodor’s Editor Salwa Jabado recently asked travelers in the Forums for their top tips about stretching a travel budget in Berlin, Munich, and throughout Germany. Our community members came up with many good ideas, including dining in Turkish doner cafes, sightseeing from the seat of a public bus, stocking up at the local Bäckerei, and surfing the web for a well-priced apartment (Ferienwohnungen) rental. Here is a shortlist of their tips specific to Berlin.

Talk Travel in the Forums: What are your best tips for beating the Euro in Berlin, Munich, (and th rest of Germany)?

1. Make the most of a museum pass
“My husband and I just spent five nights in Berlin and found it to be a very good value destination–particularly if you enjoy art museums. We bought the 3 day Schaulust Museum pass for 19 Euro and saw six museums, including the Pergamon (photo, right). Entry also included a free audio tour so it really was a bargain.” — outwest

2. Hop on the bus
“The public bus no. 100 is the perfect hop on/hop off sightseeing bus. It drives from Alexanderplatz along Unter den Linden to Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten with many attractions on the way. Total driving time is 26 min. If you have the Welcome Card the drive is free, otherwise it costs 2.10 Euros per person.” — traveller1959

Berlin Christmas Markets3. Save during the holidays
“If you go to Berlin at Christmas, it is free to walk around the Christmas Markets. Gluewein at these Chrismas markets is usually 1 euro per cup. Get drunk on cheap wine, but watch you don’t fall into the Spandau with your bag of Christmas Balls.” — Proenza_Preschooler

4. Take a cruise
“Any pass for public transportation is also good for the several ferries run by BVG, Berlin’s Transit Authority. You will get a free 20 minute “cruise” across Lake Wannsee from S-Bahn station Wannsee to the other side of the lake, where you can take an express bus back to the city center.” — Cowboy1968

5. Search the web for good hotel values
“For an excellent hotel at a cheaper summer rate, book Mercure Hotel Berlin an der Charité at booking.com. Summer special: 3 nights with breakfast: 240 Euros / per double room (not person!) This is a modern, quiet hotel with 4 star breakfasts. I stayed there last year and would stay again.” — schuler

6.Stock up on groceries
“The Galleria department store in Alexanderplatz (Berlin) has a fantastic food department on the ground floor – lots of great stuff for picnics or stocking an apartment, and plenty of souvenirs (chocolate, mustards etc) – all for much less than you’d pay at the Ka De We food department.” — rialtogrl

7. Be a card carrier
“We purchased a Berlin Card that gave us unlimited transportation for the 3 days we were there. We rode the #100 bus many times getting off and on as we did our touring about. We also took a walking tour of Berlin and got a discount because of the card. The tour was excellent and a great starting point for our stay.” — snowflake25Berlin Movenpick Hotel

8. Priceline works over there too
“I feel like a broken record, but try Priceline. Just got back from a weekend trip to Berlin yesterday, and paid $85 per night. For that money, we got the Movenpick, which is a step above what you would expect in that price range.” — travelgourmet

9. Eat where the locals eat
“In Berlin, if you happen to be out by the Wannsee, stop at Lorretta am Wannsee. It’s near the S-Bahn station on the corner of Potsdamer Chaussee. There is a biergarten and you can get a brat, potato salad, wine, beer, and even a crepe for dessert for very reasonable prices.” — Trophywife007

10. Work the taxi system.
“For taxi rides in Berlin (maybe some other cities, too), if you are going under 2 km you can request a short trip (Kurzstrecke) rate–3 euros as long as the trip is under 2 km. You must hail a moving cab– request the fare before the cabbie activates his meter. It can even be less expensive than public transport depending on where you are going and the number of people in your group.” — RufusTFirefly

Recent Germany Trip Reports
– noe847’s “An Enormously Enjoyable Week in Berlin (+ 2 nights in Cologne)”
– artstuff’s “From the Mosel to Munich – A Detailed Trip Report”
– coolbluewater’s “5 Nights in Berlin in April 08”

Recently asked on the Forums:
Should we go to the Erzgebirge Mountain region for a new experience?
Munich – is the best hotel location near the Marienplatz?
Should we spend most of our nights in Munich or in the smaller towns on the Romantic Road route?

Photo credits: (1) Photo by freakyman; (2) Photo by Ethan Lindsey; (3) Photo courtesy of Movenpick.