Tips on How Not to Spend a lot of Money during Your Visit to Berlin and MunichRuss Bily
Probably there are no people who don’t like traveling, especially traveling to Europe, because there are so many beautiful cities, a variety of parks and museums, magnificent architecture and other attractions worthy of attention. It is also worth mentioning about the opportunity to try the culinary creations of different nations. But it is necessary to travel wisely, counting on your real budget.
In my previous posts, I gave recommendations on How Not to Spend a lot of Money during Your Visit in Vienna and Salzburg, Prague and Cesky Krumlov if you are a tourist on a budget.
In this article, I’m going to continue with this useful topic and present the tips that I hope will help you to enjoy your stay in Berlin or Munich without spending too much money.
I will talk about the country, which is rightfully considered one of the most expensive, for tourists who travel all around Europe. Perhaps you know that Germany is not a cheap country. The Germans work hard and earn well, which means they can pay well for transportation, hotel, restaurant and other amenities of holiday life.
But among the Europeans, and even the Germans themselves, some people want to travel, but without going beyond the budget. Nevertheless, also if you have a limited budget, you can spend a good time in this precious European country.
Let’s try to figure out how you can do it.
Transportation and lodging
Traveling to Germany by Plane.
If you prefer to travel by air, then the earlier you book a plane ticket, the cheaper it will be. Remember that you can buy inexpensive tickets during the off-season. The peak of prices for air tickets falls on the summer (June-August) and Christmas holidays (December).
You can compare prices for air tickets from different airlines in the service of finding cheap tickets here:
Germany Car rental and train
If you want to travel in Germany on your own, you can rent a car. You can always get more fun and save your money if you go on a trip to Bavaria by car. In case of choosing an autonomous travel mode, we recommend you to use our service, using which you can quickly get to your destination.
If you want to travel on the train, take advantage of special offers for tickets of the German railway.
Using the weekend offers and regional tickets, you can cheaply travel to Germany.
It can be one of the most significant items of expenditure. You can look for a cheaper hotel or hostel, for example, on booking.com. By the way, in big cities of Germany like Berlin or Munich to find a cheap hostel is much more comfortable than in small ones. The reason for this is that one hotel for the whole town, and, as a consequence, lack of choice and competition.
Most German hostels offer simple single and double rooms (from 30—90 euros). If you do not mind neighbors, then you can save by staying in the hostel for only 12 euros. Use the search service to find cheap hotels:
Berlin Tourist Cards
In my previous posts, I told you about all the benefits of Prague and Cesky Krumlov Passes, as well as Vienna and Salzburg Cards. Here I’ll continue as passes and welcome cards can save your money. Most German cities offer their guests to buy discount city maps.
These individual cards allow you to make unlimited trips on public transport. Also, you get discounts or even free admission when visiting some attractions, museums, restaurants and festive events and festivals. You can purchase a city card at your hotel, hostel or any travel agency.
- The Berlin Welcome Card offers three versions – Classic, Classic + Museum, and All-Inclusive – all of which are described below. Their goal is to meet the needs of all visitors based on what their interests are, their budgets and the amount of time they have in the city.
All three versions include free public transportation, a free city map, and a free attractions guide. Each release includes free admission for children under the age of 6 and free transport for up to 3 children between 6 and 14 years old. Children 5 and younger do not need a ticket.
You could also print the voucher at home and obtain the transport tickets and discount pass at any of some tourist offices, including both airports and most major train stations.
The Welcome Card offers a choice of the number of days you want and if you wish to travel within Berlin (public transport Zone AB) or Berlin and the surrounding areas (public transport Zone ABC). The ticket for public transport includes the U-Bahn (underground or subway), S-Bahn (elevated express trains), buses, night buses, trams and two ferries.
- City Tour Card. If you are not into traditional museums, you should buy Berlin City Tour Card. It is available for either 48 hours, 72 hours or 4, 5, or 6 days and comes with a ticket for public transport for Berlin only or Berlin and surroundings.
Besides different guided tours, you can visit attractions like the TV tower or sports events like basketball games. Museums included are less traditional such as the Berlin Wall or movies. The critical difference between this card and the Berlin Welcome Card is that the Berlin CityTour Card contains nightclubs like the Matrix and the Sophienclub.
You can purchase the City Tour Card at the tourist information at Tegel Airport, some train stations (Hauptbahnhof, Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz), at the TV tower, the Brandenburg Gate and the Neue Kranzler Eck at Kurfürstendamm. The tickets are also available at the vending machines for the public transport, but you need to get the booklet at one of the sales points.
- Berlin Pass is more expensive than the Berlin Welcome Card or the City Tour Card, but you get a lot for your money if you have time and the interest to see the most famous and most interesting museums, as well as several top attractions and partake in a variety of tours.
The pass includes the following:
– free entrance to 45 of Berlin’s best museums including the most expensive – the Pergamon, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Altes Museum, Bode Museum and more;
– free admission to 9 attractions including Madame Tussauds, the Berlin Dungeon, Legoland, the Berliner Dom, AquaDom & Sea Life Berlin and others;
– free tours a 24-hour open-top bus, a bike tour, walking tour, a Segway tour and river cruise
– a free 95-page guidebook (available in English, German & Italian)
Please visit for more detailed information and current prices for different types of Berlin cards and passes.
- With Berlin Museum Pass, you can visit 50 museums in 3 days for € 29.00 (reduced price € 12.00) with a brochure to navigate Berlin’s diverse museum scene. You can buy the Museum Pass Berlin online here.
Important: If you have an international student ID card, take it with you. Using a student card, you can get some discounts, ranging from visiting sights, museums, cinemas to accommodation in hostels and train tickets.
Related: Travel from Salzburg to Munich
Munich City Cards
Getting around in Munich is very easy using the vast and efficient public transportation system that combines S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains, buses, and trams into a smooth network. Various transportation cards and passes are available to reduce the cost of public transportation in Munich with day tickets often offering the best savings deals.
- Munich City Tour Card combines unlimited public transportation with discounts to many famous sights in Munich, as well as restaurants, shops, and attractions.
Like the regular Munich transportation day tickets (Tageskarten), the Munich City Tour Card comes in two versions: single for solo travelers and Gruppenkarte for groups of up to five adults. For the Gruppenkarte, two children between 6 and 14 years old count as one adult.
The Munich City Tour Card is available for 24, 48 or 72 hours and 4, 5 or 6 days. The tickets are valid from the moment of validation up to the end of the limited hours or for the days’ cards up to 6 am the following. The ticket is valid for transportation in the Innenraum (center of Munich) or Gesamtnetz (larger Munich transportation network including traveling to Munich Airport and Dachau).
Some of the sights that give discounts with the Munich City Tour Card include the Residence, Schloss Nymphenburg, Beer and Oktoberfest Museum, Bavaria, Cuvilliés Theater, and Olympia Park. Discounts are also offered on bike rental, city walking tours, and bus excursions to other sites in Bavaria, including Schloss Neuschwanstein.
The Munich City Tour Card can be bought at almost all places where regular Munich transportation tickets are sold including online here, vending machines at stations and bus stops, the tourist information office, and at many hotels. A pamphlet with map comes with the card if bought from tourist offices.
The valid prices of the Munich City Tour Cards can be found here.
- With Bayern-Ticket, you can explore Bavaria by train. Besides visiting Munich, you can go to the surrounding countryside with its mountains, lakes, castles and exuberantly decorated churches. Most places of interest can easily be visited by train. Almost all destinations are served from early morning till late evening on an hourly basis.
The ticket allows up to 5 adults traveling together to use unlimited all regional trains in Bavaria for one day. It is valid on all local trains in 2nd class. Additionally, the ticket allows the use of the underground trains (U-Bahn), suburban trains (S-Bahn), trams and public buses in Munich and other Bavarian cities and of almost all public regional bus services beyond Munich (RVO, SEV).
Note: The use of high-speed and long-distance trains and night trains is not allowed.
The ticket covers also travel to following destinations outside Bavaria: Salzburg, Kufstein, Reutte, Ulm and return.
One person of the adult group (parent or grandparent) can be accompanied by an unlimited number of own children/grandchildren aged under 15 for free.
The ticket is valid on weekdays Mon—Fri from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following day (18 hours), Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from midnight to 3 a.m. the next morning (27 hours).
Price of the Bayern-Ticket for one traveler is 25 euro, for 2—31 euro, for 3—37 euro, for 4—43 euro, and for five persons—49 euro.
Please visit the following website for the detailed information about Bayern ticket.
Berlin Highlights for Free
Visit German museums and do not pay for a ticket. Many museums have special days for free visits. To specify a free day visit you can on the site of the museum you are interested in.
You can visit many places of interest and architectural monuments for free. You can take a stroll through the Old Town in Munich, attend German wine festivals and Christmas markets, make a trip to the Alps and much more for free.
Here is a list of free attractions in Germany.
- The Brandenburg Gate is the central symbol of the German capital. During the Cold War, the Brandenburg Gate was separated by the Berlin Wall from another part of Paris Square. After the fall of the wall in 1989, the gate acquired the meaning of the primary symbol of the new Germany. The Brandenburg Gate is located in the center of the city in the Mitte district.
How to get: the metro station “Unter den Linden” (S1, S2) or Bus number 100.
- Reichstag is the seat of the German parliament. Today the Reichstag building is one of the most visited tourist sites in Berlin and the most visited parliament of the world. Currently, tourists can visit the glass dome of the building for free, but for this, you should leave a preliminary application on the Bundestag website. There is a restaurant on the territory of the Reichstag. The building is open for visitors from 8.00 to 22.00.
How to get: the metro station “Unter den Linden” (S1, S2) or Bus number 100.
- Museum Island is located on a small island in the middle of the river Spree. The island is in the center of Berlin. The island houses several of the most famous German museums, including such as the Pergamon Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, the Old and New Museum. It is an object of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Every Thursday from 16.00 you can visit every museum for free.
- East Side Gallery is located in the open air in the Friedrichshain area. The gallery is part of the ruins of the Berlin Wall, which adorns more than a hundred paintings of artists from 21 countries. The East Side Gallery is the world’s longest open-air gallery.
How to get: the metro station “Ostbahnhof” (line S5, S7, S9, S75).
- Holocaust Memorial was built in 2001-2005 in memory of the victims of Nazism. The monument is located in the city center next to the Brandenburg Gate. The underground museum, dedicated to the history of the Holocaust, adjoins the memorial.
How to get: the metro station “Potsdamer Platz” (line U2, S1, S2, S25).
- Potsdamer Platz is the center of the Tiergarten area. In the square, you can see modern skyscrapers, a large shopping center, and cinemas, in which the Berlin International Film Festival is held annually.
How to get: the metro station “Potsdamer Platz” (line U2, S1, S25).
- Unter den Linden is one of the oldest and most famous Berlin boulevards. Its length is 1390 meters. On the Unter den Linden, there are attractions such as the Humboldt University, the State Opera House, the State Library and the German Historical Museum.
How to get: the metro station “Unter den Linden” (line S1, S25).
- The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church or Gedächtniskirche is a Protestant cathedral located on the Breitscheidplatz square. Gedehtniskirkhe is one of the highest Christian buildings in the world (the height of the church is 113 meters). During the Second World War, the church was destroyed and subsequently rebuilt.
How to get: the metro station “Zoological Garden” (line U2, U12, U9, S5, S7, S75, S9).
- The area around Hackescher Markt boasts a number of the most exciting galleries of street art in Berlin. Every Thursday evening you can see free street performances (with free refreshments).
How to get: the metro station “Hackescher Markt” (line S5, S7, S9, S75).
- Berlin’s Great Tiergarten Park is the largest in Germany and one of the most visited parks in Berlin. You can take a boat trip on the lake, visit traditional German pubs or take a walk along the park paths.
How to get: the metro station “Potsdamer Platz” (line U2, S1, S25) or “Bellevue” (line S5, S7, S9, S75).
Related: The Must-see Cities in Germany
Munich Attractions for Free
If you go to Munich and your budget is limited, then it will be useful for you to know that many of the attractions of the Bavarian capital you can see for free. Below is a list of the best free attractions, excursions, and festivals in Munich.
1. Free tours of Munich
You can make a free walking tour (mostly English-speaking) around Munich and learn more about the capital of Bavaria. Free excursions include a view of the main attractions of the Old Town. Free tours are conducted every day at 10.00, 10.45, 13.00 and 15.00. Location of the excursion to Marienplatz.
2. The Munich chimes.
Every day at 11.00 and 12.00 a crowd gathers near the building of the Munich City Hall on Marienplatz to watch one of the most famous events of Munich. Every day on the tower of the Town Hall chimes plays a melody, which is accompanied by a puppet show telling the story of the wedding of the Bavarian Duke William V. The duration of presentation is about 15 minute.
3. The Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Frauenkirche.
Is the highest cathedral in Munich. The height of the temple is 99 meters. The cathedral was built in the Gothic style from 1468 to 1525. Frauenkirche is located on Marienplatz. The Cathedral is at the same time the tallest building in the Bavarian capital, in which there is a temporary ban on the construction of buildings above the Frauenkirche.
4. Feldherrnhalle is dedicated to outstanding Bavarian commanders. Feldherrnhalle was built on the orders of King Ludwig I in 1841-1844. It is located on the Odeonsplatz square.
5. The Munich residence is a palace complex located in the center of the Bavarian capital. The Munich residence is the former palace of the dukes and kings of Bavaria. The complex consists of 10 courtyards with a garden and about 130 rooms. The Munich residence is one of the best museums in Europe. The entrance to the museum is free.
6. Teatinerekirche, the Catholic Church of St. Cajetan, served as a court temple. In Theatinerekirche there are also the burial vaults of the Bavarian monarchs from the Wittelsbach dynasty. The church is located next to Feldherrnhalle on the Odeonsplatz square.
7. The Viktualienmarkt is one of the oldest food markets in Germany, founded in 1807 by order of King Maximilian I. The fair runs from Monday to Saturday from 8.00 to 18.00 (excluding holidays). The market is located in the center of Munich.
8. English garden or Englischer Garten is one of the largest parks in Europe. The total area of the park is 4.17 square kilometers. The English garden is located in the heart of the Bavarian capital. It is a popular holiday destination for nudists, who are allowed to sunbathe in separate glades. Every year the park is visited by more than three and a half million people.
9. The Oktoberfest Festival is the most famous Bavarian holiday in the world is the beer festival in Oktoberfest, dedicated to beer and traditional Bavarian cuisine. Annually, about six million guests from all over the world visit the festival and fair.And you can visit it also for free.
Cheap Places to Eat in Berlin and Munich
There will be no problems with food in Germany, since the country is full of inexpensive supermarkets, such as Netto, Aldi, Lidl. Will you be in a city or a village, there is always a supermarket nearby. The prices for products in German shops are comparable to those in other European countries, so food will not have a big impact on your budget.
So if you want cheap food, you can always buy German ham, sausage, and bread, season them with mustard, and take a German pie for a dessert, with juice or yogurt. In short, you can eat well without spending too much. Also, as Germany is a country of beer, this drink is one of the cheapest.
Cafes and restaurants will offer you a great choice of food and drinks; you just need to choose a place to your taste and wallet, as prices in different places can differ significantly.
Here are some suggestions on cheap and tasty places to eat in Berlin:
Döner Kebap LINDEN GRILL
In Berlin, there are a lot of Turkish street food restaurants with delicious kebabs. This fast food restaurant is considered one of the best and not expensive in Berlin. They offer falafel, curry sausage, lamb kebabs, and so on. They have an excellent variety to choose from.
East & Eden
Located just off the bustling Rosenthaler Platz, it serves one of the best salads in Berlin, with massive portions for only € 7.30. You’ll also find hearty sandwiches and some great brunch options including creamy avocado on toast.
This restaurant serves fantastic falafel in the lively area just outside of Oranienburger Tor. With every meal presented beautifully like a work of art, Dada Falafel is not a place to be missed. So if you are a vegetarian, eat halal food, or just want to try something unique, visit Dada Falafel, and you’ll be satisfied. Average meal price is under € 10.
Serving Korean-inspired burgers, the restaurant offers fusion food at its best and most creative. You should expect all kinds of new flavors to complement the classic dish, all as enticing as the next; highlights include the Bulgogi burger, marinated beef, lettuce, chili mayo and a Korean chili base, and the Moorish sweet potato fries.
Visiting Munich, you can hop on one of the following cheap but tasty places:
1. Pasta e Basta is an Italian style pasta restaurant. Most inexpensive dishes (spaghetti Napoli with tomato sauce) are for less than €4. Delicious pizza starts at the €4 mark as well. The atmosphere in the restaurants is pure but corresponds with Italian style.
2. Schnelle Liebe is a tiny bar with great organic burgers, pasta and huge, delicious salads for less than €10. Schnelle Liebe is also great for a party with friends.
3. Bergwolf is the first place for Currywurst in Munich. It is very popular and brilliantly located in the Glockenbachviertel party quarter. Perfect place for a late night sausagefest.
4. Punkto. This pizza place in Müllerstraße in Glockenbachviertel is very cheap and has brilliant pizza directly from the wood oven. Many Munich people call it Party-Italiener- “party Italian place.”
5. Westend-Café hosts an excellent cocktail happy hour every evening between 9 p.m. and midnight. Great cocktails start from just €5.50.
6. Café Neuhauser is for enjoying delicious pizzas, baked in a wood-burning oven. Every Tuesday pop in for their famous giant night pizza where you get XL pizzas for the price for the regular size. If you come for lunch, the vast and delicious lunch pizza (daily offers) only costs €5,50. They also have several Happy Hour offers for cocktails.
Related: Travel from Prague to Berlin
Germany can be an expensive country; it has everything for the most demanding tourist: good hotels, convenient transportation, fancy restaurants, but this luxury is not required at all. Germany is a multi-faceted country, which means that you can find entertainment and recreation for every taste and purse. For this we need very little: to be open to communication, to love and accept everything new and to know at least a dozen or more phrases in German (of course, the more, the better).
Such top German cities as Berlin and Munich can give tourists a real journey through time due to the presence of many historic monuments. The atmosphere of the existence of antiquity attracts sophisticated connoisseurs of ancient culture. But be sure that it’s possible to feel this atmosphere even without spending a lot of money.
If you are looking forward to going to Germany or any other Eastern and Central European city by a private car, our service with the local Eglish-speaking local driver can drive you to the destination in every season of the year and with a high comfort!