Discover how to make the most of your trip to Berlin on Discover how to make the most of your trip to Berlin on a budget!
From free attractions to cheap eats and accommodations, this guide has got you covered. 👇
A Guide to Exploring Germany’s Capital Without Breaking the Bank
Find a fascinating mix of history, culture and nightlife in Berlin, one of the most well-known travelers’ destinations in Europe. But, because of the city’s worldwide fame, traveling there might be pricey, especially for those of you who might be on a tight budget. Well, kiss your worries goodbye because you can experience everything Berlin has to offer without going broke with some careful planning and insider information. We’ll show you how to maximize your Berlin trip on a budget right away in this guide!
There are a ton of things to do in Berlin amongst the most Instagrammable sights, the ever-popular music scene, the fashion and design industry, and the diverse cuisine options, but how much of the city can you see on a budget? Surprisingly, there are countless things to pick from that will teach you about Berlin’s distinctive modern and varied history, as well as its vibrant feeling of community. Are you ready?
Arriving & getting around Berlin on a budget
Reaching Berlin on a budget is easier than you think. Here are some tips:
- Book your flights early: Berlin is a popular destination, so flights can get expensive quickly. By booking early, you’ll have more options and save money.
- Use public transport: Berlin has an extensive public transport network, including buses, trams, and the U-Bahn (subway). A single ticket costs €2.90 and is valid for up to 2 hours, making it a cost-effective way to get around the city. The Berlin Welcome Card is also available in different price categories and for several different areas (sightseeing tour included, free of charge).
Visiting Berlin on a budget | 14 free things to see & do in Berlin
#1 Visit Markthalle Neun indoor market
Markthalle Neun is an indoor market located in Berlin, Germany. It was originally built in the late 19th century as a market hall for the surrounding neighborhood but fell into disrepair in the years following World War II. In the early 2010s, a group of local entrepreneurs and food enthusiasts worked on revitalizing the space, transforming it into a hub for artisanal food and drink.
Today, both locals and visitors enjoy visiting Markthalle Neun, so you should definitely check it out. Find a large variety of vendors there, selling everything from gourmet cheeses, baked products and craft beer to fresh meats and fruit. There are also a lot of food stalls and tiny restaurants serving both street food and dishes from around the world. Every Thursday night at Markthalle Neun, there’s the weekly Street Food Thursday, too, with a variety of food vendors—from regional favorites to special guest chefs from abroad—getting together and giving you the chance to sample a wide range of cuisines in a fun setting.
Eisenbahnstraße 42-43, 10997 Berlin
#2 Enjoy a free concert at the Berlin Philharmonie
The Berlin Philharmonie is one of the most renowned concert halls in the world and is home to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s a must-visit destination for all of you, music lovers, traveling to Berlin, who’d love to attend a concert there and have an unforgettable experience.
And we’ll let you in on a little secret: you can visit the Berlin Philarmonie spontaneously, during your lunch break with free admission! Every Wednesday at 1 PM (from September until June), the foyer of the main auditorium fills up for the lunch concert offering you a program that lasts 40 to 50 minutes; often chamber music, piano works and more. You can also enjoy the catering service there in case you haven’t brought food with you.
The hall is easily accessible by public transportation and is located in the Tiergarten district, which offers you plenty of other cultural and historical attractions to explore.
Herbert-von-Karajan-Str. 1,10785 Berlin
#3 Go to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is a memorial site located in Oranienburg, about 35 km north of Berlin. It was one of the first concentration camps established by the Nazis in 1936 and was used as a model for other camps that followed. The camp was designed to hold political prisoners, but over time, it also held Jews, members of the LGBTQI+ community, and other groups that were rejected by the Nazi regime. Many prisoners were subjected to forced labor, medical experiments, and inhumane treatment.
Today, the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp serves as a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust and is a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed at that time. Take a guided tour of the camp and travel back in time by strolling around the main entrance, the roll call square, the prisoner barracks, the punishment cells, and the gas chamber.
Visiting the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is a powerful and emotional experience that you should definitely add to your Berlin list.
Str. d. Nationen 22, 16515 Oranienburg, Germany
#4 VFeel the history vibes at the Sowjetisches Ehrenmal
The Soviet War Memorial, or Sowjetisches Ehrenmal in German,
is a memorial site located in Berlin’s Treptower Park. It was built after World War II to commemorate the Soviet soldiers who died during the Battle of Berlin in 1945.
The memorial site features a large monument that includes a statue of a Soviet soldier holding a sword and a child as well as a large ceremonial area surrounded by 16 stone sarcophagi. The site is also home to a museum that showcases the history of the Soviet Union and its role in the war.
Visiting the Soviet War Memorial will allow you to take a glimpse at the history of World War II and the sacrifices made by the Soviet Union in the fight against Nazi Germany. The monument and surrounding area are beautifully designed and offer you a peaceful and contemplative space for reflection and remembrance.
Puschkin Avenue, 12435 Berlin, Germany
#5 Check out the Brandenburg Gate
One of Berlin’s most iconic sights, the Brandenburg Gate, is a must-see location when you’re planning what to do in Berlin. It was constructed in the 18th century as a peace symbol and is in the Mitte neighborhood. Twelve Doric columns that support a pediment with a sculpture of a chariot pulled by four horses make up the gate’s neoclassical triumphal arch. The gate is an amazing architectural achievement, measuring 26 meters high, 65.5 meters wide, and 11 meters deep.
Today, the Brandenburg Gate is a symbol of unity and peace and is often used for celebrations and events. Visit it and learn about the gate’s history while posing right in front of it for a unique selfie..
Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
#6 Your Banksy adventure in Berlin
Berlin is home to several Banksy artworks, and going on an artistic hunt for them is a must for all of you, art lovers and Banksy fans. Banksy is a renowned British street artist known for his politically charged and satirical artworks. His works have gained international recognition and have become sought-after pieces of art.
In Berlin, you can find several Banksy artworks in different neighborhoods. One of the most famous pieces is located on the side of a building in the district of Kreuzberg. The artwork features a man in a suit throwing a bouquet of flowers: a comment on the gentrification of the neighborhood.
If you wander around Mitte, you’ll come across another Banksy artwork: two soldiers kissing which is a powerful critique of war and violence in general.
#7 Join a Free Walking Tour
One of the best things to do in Berlin is to join one of the many free walking tours that have been running in the city for the past 10 years with a brand-new one arriving every summer as an alternative to the rest. Though joining the tour is totally free, keep in mind that most tour guides will ask you for a tip at the end if you feel like the tour was worth your time.
#8 Go Window Shopping
Free your shopping spirit in Berlin by visiting all the boutiques, vintage shops, and other clothes shops in the city center and other cool districts like Kreuzberg; there’s something for everyone, regardless of what type of buyer you are. From collectibles and antiques to the latest household gadgets, and high-value bicycle shops. Wander around Berlin’s best shopping streets and get some ideas for what you’d like to buy one day when you’re not traveling on a budget.
#9 Walk along the Wall & see the Berlin Wall Memorial
In 2014, Berlin and the entire of Germany were united in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the German reunification. Throughout the year, there were both celebrations of the accomplishments of the country since the Berlin Wall first fell, plus, remembrance of the time before the fall when families were separated and lives were lost. What better way to dive into that historical period than walking along the path where the Berlin Wall once divided the city and reaching the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße? It’s free of charge and contains a great number of monuments and relicts from the wall itself, which along with the visitor center give you a chance to read stories and remember.
Bernauer Straße 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany
#10 Take photos at the East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is a must-visit destination when visiting Berlin. It’s a 1.3-kilometer-long section of the Berlin Wall that has been turned into one of the largest open-air galleries in the world featuring amazing murals and graffiti art. The gallery is a significant symbol of the reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War. It was created in 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and is a testament to the spirit of hope and optimism that accompanied the reunification process.
Find it in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district and check out more than 100 murals and graffiti artworks that address themes of freedom, unity, and political change. The East Side Gallery is free and open to the public, so you can stroll along it, take in the vibrant artwork and learn about the history of the Berlin Wall. The famous East Side Gallery is next to our hotel!
Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
#11 Plan a day trip to Teufelsberg
Teufelsberg is a hill in the Grunewald forest area of Berlin, Germany. It’s known for its abandoned Cold War-era listening station which was used by the US National Security Agency to monitor communications during the Cold War.
Today, Teufelsberg is a very popular day-trip destination from Berlin. Hike up the hill and explore the abandoned listening station which is covered in colorful graffiti and street art. The site also offers panoramic views of Berlin and the surrounding forest, making it a great spot for photography and nature walks. Are you ready?
#12 Grab your skateboard & head to the- Tempelhofer Park
Tempelhofer Park is a unique public park in Berlin that was, in fact, once an airport. In 2008, it was transformed into a public park and recreational area which every Berliner adores.
The park is one of the largest open spaces in Berlin offering you a variety of activities and events throughout the year. In addition to recreational activities, Tempelhofer Park also hosts various events, such as festivals, concerts, and sporting events. There’s even a community garden where you can learn about sustainable gardening and participate in workshops. Find more here!
Tempelhofer Field, 12099 Berlin
#13 Wander around the Hackesche Höfe
Strolling through the Hackesche Höfe is a great way to experience the unique atmosphere of Berlin. The Hackesche Höfe is a complex of 8 interconnected courtyards, located in the central district of Mitte and filled with shops, cafes, galleries, and theaters.
When visiting the Hackesche Höfe, you can explore the various courtyards, admire the colorful facades and murals, and shop for unique souvenirs and gifts. The area is also known for its vibrant nightlife with many bars and clubs that stay open late into the night.
In addition to the shops and cafes, there are also several cultural hotspots in the Hackesche Höfe, such as the Chamäleon Theater which hosts contemporary circus performances, and the Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt which tells the story of a workshop for the blind that operated in the area during World War II. Pretty amazing, right?
Rosenthaler Str. 40, 10178 Berlin, Germany
#14 Travel back in time at the Topography of Terror
The Topography of Terror is a museum and memorial site located in the former Gestapo headquarters where the Nazi secret police carried out interrogations, torture, and executions during the Third Reich. The museum offers you a thorough history of the Nazi regime, its rise to power, and the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. It also includes exhibits on the various institutions and organizations that supported the Nazi regime, such as the SS, the Gestapo, and the Hitler Youth.
You can take guided tours there, or explore the exhibits on your own. The museum offers you the information in multiple languages, including English, and offers educational resources for schools and groups, too.
Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin
#15 Dive into the Museum Island
Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is a cultural and architectural ensemble of five world-renowned museums in the heart of Berlin and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Find the island on the Spree River and discover the best Museums to visit in Belrin!
The five museums on Museum Island are:
- Pergamon Museum: observe one of the world’s most impressive collections of ancient architecture and art, including the famous Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon.
- Bode Museum: admire a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, coins and medals.
- Neues Museum: meet the famous bust of Nefertiti as well as other artifacts from ancient Egypt and prehistoric Europe.
- Alte Nationalgalerie: immerse yourself in 19th-century art including works by Caspar David Friedrich, Adolph Menzel, and Auguste Renoir.
- Altes Museum: check out ancient Greek and Roman art and culture, including sculptures, vases, and jewelry.
How to eat in Berlin on a budget
Berlin is known for its diverse culinary scene, and there are plenty of budget-friendly food choices for you there. Here are some of the best:
- Currywurst: This classic Berlin dish consists of a sausage covered in a curry ketchup sauce. You can find it at many street food vendors for around €3.
- Döner kebab: Berlin has a large Turkish community, and the döner kebab is a popular street food. Try it for around €3-€4.
- Falafel: Vegetarians and vegans will love the falafel in Berlin. Find it at many Middle Eastern restaurants for around €4.
- Street food markets: Berlin has many street food markets, such as Street Food Thursday and Bite Club, where you can sample a variety of dishes for a reasonable price.