Many of Berlin’s museums are free all year round, including the Topography of Terror, the Allied Museum and the Berlin Wall Memorial. For anyone interested to learn about Germany’s history and particularly life under and after the third Reich, these museums are a must, with the former known for its particularly moving exhibits. For those interested in the Cold War, visitors can now pass through Checkpoint Charlie for free and imagine what life was like during the division of east and west.
For the arts, there are a couple of free options, the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin is a small contemporary art museum with free entry every Monday and the Academy of Arts is free the first Sunday of every month. Alternatively, there is a cluster of free galleries around Hackescher Markt, and on Thursdays to coincide with new exhibition openings you’ll enjoy free drinks and snacks whilst you peruse the city’s latest offerings.
The Reichstag, home to the German parliament, dates back to 1894 and has witnessed some of the most important historical events of the last century, including the fire of 1933, which led to Hitler taking power. You can explore this iconic building for free, and the viewing platform of the glass dome offers panoramic views of the city between 8am and midnight.
Berlin can be an expensive city break, especially for first timers, so it’s important to save money on your accommodation.
The city offers a wealth of hostels, as it’s a popular destination for the younger crowd, and on the whole you’ll find these to a high standard with free wifi and kitchenettes. The Circus Hostel is a great option, offering 11 flats for 2-4 people as well as dorms, whilst Pfeffersbet is an award winning hostel in the lively area of Prenzlauer.
If sharing a dormitory doesn’t sound that appealing, self catering apartments and bed and breakfasts are also good budget options. You’ll save a lot by cooking in the former option, but if you’re only staying for a couple of nights it may not be worth it. Hotels are the preferable option in Berlin, as you’ll have more locations to choose from but you can expect to pay a few hundred a night for prime locations, especially during peak season. For the best deals, opt for a Secret Hotel, which will save you up to a cool 35% off (click the image to the right to begin your search!).
Berlin is famed for its nightlife and eclectic music scene. A-Trane and B-Flat offer free jazz nights every Wednesday and jam sessions for the musicians among us.
For an honest watering hole, Franken offers cheap beers in a pub ambience, whilst Café Morgenrot is the best place for cheap cocktails and Helmut Kohl is renowned for its cheap whiskey sours! For dancing the night away, many clubs, such as C-base, offer free entry before a certain time.
Currywurst is one of the city’s best loved fast food dishes, consisting of steamed and fried pork sausages cut into pieces and covered with a curry ketchup. Fill yourself up on this guilty pleasure at Konnopke’s Imbiss or Curry 36 for just €2.50- perfect on a hangover! For traditional German dishes and a rustic ambience, Henne Alt Berliner Wirtshaus will fill you up for less than a tenner whilst Hamy Café is a tasty Vietnamese venue with mains for under €5.00.
Alternatively Kollwitzplatz food market is a great place to pick up delicious treats for a gourmet picnic, or simply experience a traditional German market. The displays of food here are sure to get your mouth watering if the wafts of freshly cooked bratwurst don’t lure you in first!
Alternative Berlin, offers free tours off the beaten track of the city- perfect for anyone in search of something different to do! With three daily tours heading to artists’ squats and daytime parties it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!
First timers to Berlin should include a walk alongside the Berlin Wall. The East Side Gallery encompasses a section of the former wall, adorned with murals to educate people about the history and culture of Germany. In fact it’s the world’s largest open air gallery with over 105 paintings.
If you’re keen to escape urban life, Tiergarten is Germany’s second largest city park, originally used as the hunting ground for the royal family in the 16th century. This stunning park is today a haven for romantic strolls and family picnics, with mazes, ponds and landscaped gardens. Nearby is also one of Berlin’s most photographed monuments, the Brandenburg Gate, symbolising unified Germany.