By European standards, Berlin is not an expensive destination, but it is always possible to make a trip there cheaper. These are our top tips on how to save money in Berlin.
Berlin is one the most bike friendly cities in Europe, with kilometres of dedicated cycling lanes where you ride separate from both the pedestrians and road vehicles. It’s also extremely flat, meaning you won’t have to negotiate any steep hills and you usually won’t have trouble finding a place to lock up your bike on the street.
You can generally rent bicycles for around €10 to €12 per day, but if you’re staying a while, it may be worth buying a bicycle from one of the shops that also rents them, where you may be able sell it back to them at the end of your stay.
Buy four public transport tickets at once
If you are planning to use the public transport system occasionally, but not every day, instead of buying single tickets every time you need one (which are €2.60 for a regular journey or €1.80 for a short journey of 3 stops on the metro or 6 on a bus), buy four tickets at once, as you will save around 30% on each one (four regular journey tickets bought together cost €8.80, making each one €2.20 and four short journey tickets are €5.60, making each one just €1.40).
Take advantage of the lunch menus and weekend buffet brunches
If you plan to eat out just once a day, make it at lunch time as many restaurants and cafés will offer a fixed lunch menu, usually including a soup or salad and main for somewhere between €5 and €12. Some of the best value places are often Indian restaurants, which also usually offer happy hour on cocktails between 5pm and 7pm. For something a bit different, try out one of the many vegan brunch buffets, usually only available at weekends where you can fill up on as much as you can eat from the spreads.
Visit museums on days when entry is free
Berlin has many free museums and memorial sites, but of the paying ones, there are several that offer fee entry on certain days. Timing your visit around the ones that interest you most could save you between €3 and €8 for each one.
If renting an apartment, consider alternatives to tourist rental sites
There are literally hundreds of apartments on offer on airbnb in Berlin if you don’t want to just rent a room but have a full apartment, prices start at €30 per night at the very lowest, and go way up from there.
What we did instead was rent through a local site, WG-Gesucht (in German only) which mostly consists of listing from people wanting to sublet their apartments for specific dates while they are away at perhaps just above what they pay in rent themselves.
Doing this, we paid €750 per month all inclusive, which for a short term stay is a pretty good deal that works out as just over €24 per night. Our place was a quiet, well-located, 64m2, one bedroom, ground floor apartment with espresso machine, free use of two bikes and, of course, access to our own kitchen, all of which saved us a lot of money.
Enjoy the parks and green spaces
Berlin is an amazingly green city with some wonderful city parks, and they are of course all free to visit. Some of our favourites are the tiny but gorgeous Körnerpark in Neukölln, the larger and more informal Volkpark Friedrichshain in Prenzlauerberg, the amazing former airfield at Tempelhofer Feld, the area along the Landwehr canal at Paul-Lincke-Ufer in Kreuzberg and the famous Tiergarten in downtown Berlin.
The heyday for Couchsurfing may have come and gone, in no small part due to the company being sold for profit and that fact that many travellers seem now to use it as a place to find hookups, but the idea of a platform for travellers and locals to interact is still an excellent one. Fortunately, other sites still exist, such as With Locals, where you can meet and have meaningful experiences with people living in your travel destination who can give you more tips still for saving money!
For even more about Berlin and the best things to do in the city, check out my guide, Choose a Way: Berlin on Amazon.