Berlin Budget Tips

Berlin Budget Tips - Berlin, Germany

Germany's surprisingly affordable capital is great, but it's even greater when you follow our tips and save extra euros.

Tourist Office

We always recommend stopping by a tourist office in any city as soon as possible.

Visit Berlin operates Tourist Information centers throughout the city. There is an office at Tegal Airport (open daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.), as well as one at Schönfeld Airport (open daily from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.) and one at the main train station (open daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.).

The tourism office at the Brandenburg Gate is open from 9:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily, and the office at Neues Kranzler Eck on the Ku’damm is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. Check out Visit Berlin online.

Museums Prices and Passes

Admission prices to popular museums in Berlin, for adults and children:

Pergamon Museum: Boasting an impressive collection of antiquities, including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the 2nd-century BC Pergamon Altar, this museum should not be missed.
Prices: €10 (adults); €5 (reduced)

Jewish Museum: Since opening in 2001 this stunning building has become a Berlin icon. Inside, it tells German-Jewish history through objects, art, interactive media and more.
Prices: €5 (adults); €2.50 (reduced); free (age 6 and younger); €10 (family ticket: two adults and up to four kids)

Old National Gallery: The Alte National Galerie is an art-lover’s delight on Museum Island, boasting masterpieces by greats from Monet to Manet, and everyone in between.
Prices: €8 (adults); €4 (reduced)

Hamburger Bahnhof: Berlin’s Museum for Contemporary Art is the city’s third National Gallery location. Its impressive collection of works from the 1950s to the present is housed in an equally impressive restored 19th-century train station.
Prices: €12 (adults); €6 (reduced)

New National Gallery: Twentieth-century masters, including Picasso, Klee and Kirchner, have works displayed in this strikingly modern space.
Prices: €8 (adults); €4 (reduced)

Check out Berlin's museum Web site for more information about most of the city's museums.

Berlin Passes

City welcome cards are sometimes a fabulous deal and sometimes not. In Berlin, there are three options that can save museum-hoppers and tourists lots of money.

Those looking to hit a lot of museums can purchase the Museum Pass Berlin. At just €19 (€9.50 for students), the pass offers free admission to more than 55 museums and other collections over a three-day period.

The Berlin WelcomeCard. is another good value, offering free public transportation and a series of discounts on admission to museums and other attractions over a given period of time. The card costs just €18.50 for a 48-hour period, €24.50 for a 72-hour period, or €31.50 for five days. You can also purchase a Berlin WelcomeCard Museuminsel, which costs €34 for a 72-hour period and, in addition to all the WelcomeCard discounts, includes free entry to Museum Island museums on three consecutive days.

Finally, for those really looking to tour, there is the Berlin Pass. At €69 for a two-day pass or €82 for a three-day (€34/€39 for children), this is the priciest option, but it's quite the deal for thos intending to cram in the attractions. The Berlin Pass includes a Berlin Museum Pass, plus a Travelcard for unlimited use of the transportation system in zones ABC and an Attraction Pass, offering free admission to 20 popular attractions and tours, from the Berlin Film Museum to a Berlin Boat Tour.

Free Sights

The Tiergarten and Schlossgarten are two among many amazing gardens where visitors can roam for free. And admision to Berlin's many monuments and public structures—including yhe Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Holocaust Memorial (all located close to one another)—is also free. 

We never underestimate the power of “the stroll,” either. Whether you allow yourself to get lost or just amble, there’s always plenty to see, and Berlin offers no shortage of places to explore, windows to shop or people to watch. The neighborhoods of Mitte, Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg are full of quirky shops, fun scenes and entertaining pedestrian traffic.

Finally, check the local (German-language) events magazine Zitty for information about free concerts and other events.

Senior Discounts

Senior discounts exist in Berlin. To obtain some of these, membership in a particular senior association may be required. Members of the AARP receive discounts on hotels, airfares and car rentals in Berlin. They can be reached in the United States at 1-888-687-2277 or accessed online at the AARP Web site.

Student Discounts

The International Student Identity Card, ISIC, is the most widely accepted form of student ID and provides discounts on sights, accommodations, food and transportation. ISIC cardholders receive discounts of 20-50 percent at some attractions, and all have access to a 24-hour emergency helpline. In the United States call 1-888-920-5985 or click onto the ISIC site.

Applicants must be degree seekers of a secondary or post-secondary school and must be at least 12 years of age. For non-students 26 years or younger, the International Youth card, IYTC, offers many of the same benefits as the ISIC. Both cards cost US$25 and are valid for one year from the date of issue.

Travelers with student cards such as ISIC and IYTC qualify for big discounts from travel agencies. Most flights from budget agencies are on major airlines, but in peak season some may sell seats on less reliable chartered aircraft.

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