Berlin is exciting, Berlin is diverse and surprising for a capital city, Berlin isn't expensive. For visitors on a low budget the city is a veritable paradise. As one of the cheapest capital cities in Europe, Berlin offers visitors an attractive price-ratio quality. Even on a small budget, you don’t have to miss out on museums, operas, karaoke in the Mauerpark and the like. A stay in the metropolis doesn’t have to cost the earth to be exciting and full of variety.
Getting around and discover Berlin on the cheap
There’s a simple and comfortable way to discover the tourist highlights of Berlin by bus and S-/U-Bahn. The M100, M200 and M300, bus routes from Alexanderplatz to Bahnhof Zoo, in particular, pass the most important sightseeing attractions.
The M100 bus route goes past
- the north side of the Tiergarten via the Reichstag
- Bellevue Palace
- and the Siegessäule (Victory Column)
With bus line 200 you can reach
- starting from Berlin Zoo, the Berlin Philharmonic Hall
- Potsdamer Platz and Leipziger Platz
- St. Mary's Church and also end at Alexanderplatz
With bus line 300 you pass
- Potsdamer Platz
- the Lustgarten with the Berlin Museum Island and the Berlin Cathedral and
- the Berlin City Hall, the seat of the Governing Mayor, also known as the Red City Hall
As a Berlin WelcomeCard holder, you not only enjoy free travel on all the local public transports services, but also receive discounted admittance to plenty of attractions in the city.
With our app ABOUT BERLIN you can download your very own Berlin travel guide to your smartphone. Put together your own tours and immerse yourself in Berlin's history, which is brought to life here in multimedia form and with exciting background information.
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Free sightseeing including breathtaking views
Well, of course you don’t have to pay anything to view the outside of all the attractions in Berlin. A particular tip in this respect is the East Side Gallery between Ostbahnhof and Warschauer Straße, which represents a part of the former Berlin Wall. You can also learn about the wall at the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Straße. Don’t miss out on the longest permanent open-air gallery in the world! At the Reichstag you don’t have to only remain outside admiring it – admittance is free of charge here. No visitor to Berlin should miss out on the view from the Reichstag dome over the city. A word of warning, however: advance notification is absolutely necessary. More information on this is available on the internet website of the German Bundestag. Close to the Reichstag are situated some of the best-known symbols of Berlin:
In the Hackesche Höfe you can gaze in awe at perhaps the most famous example of Berlin’s courtyard architecture. Visiting the Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) on Kurfürstendamm or the exhibitions in the Säulensaal (Hall of Columns) in the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall) is free of charge.
Beautiful views all around - and for free
The view from the Reichstag dome isn’t the only wonderful view you can enjoy – take for example Berlin’s bridges: Behmstraßenbrücke, Eisenbrücke or Oberbaumbrücke.
- on the Teufelsberg in Wilmersdorf, steeped in history (please note that there is an entrance fee to visit the former US listening station).
- on the Behmstraßenbrücke, which connects the districts of Wedding and Prenzlauer Berg.
- on the Elsenbrücke bridge between Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Treptow-Köpenick with a view of the Molecule Man
- on the Oberbaumbrücke, the landmark of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district
- The Nationaldenkmal (National Memorial) in Viktoriapark also has an incredible view of the city skyline - including a waterfall springing up at the foot of the monument
- the Futurium's skywalk offers a great view over Berlin's Mitte district
- from the roof terrace of the Humboldt Forum you have an all-round panoramic view - including the Museum Island
View museums and art for free
School classes get in free of charge into the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin (Berlin State Museums). Children and teenagers up to 18 years of age generally pay nothing to visit the museums. The State Museums include all the museums on Museumsinsel (Museum Island) as well as the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery).
By the way: the whole of Berlin is a gigantic open-air gallery. Everywhere in the city there is art in public spaces to discover, learn more about the capital of sculptures and take advantage of our tours to the city's most beautiful murals.
The following history museums open their permanent exhibitions free of charge:
- the Alliierten Museum (Allied Museum),
- the Deutsche Dom (German Dome) at Gendarmenmarkt
- and the Anti-Kriegs-Museum (Anti-War Museum).
Visitors generally have free admittance to the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche (Church), which exhibits classical sculptures, the Mies van der Rohe House, and the Jewish Museum. Also free of charge and a great tip for families with children is ANOHA, the children's world of the Jewish Museum.
For those who enjoy quirky things and the stories behind them will love the Museum der Unerhörten Dinge (Museum of unheard-of things) Future trends in medicine, chemistry and energy are discussed in various exhibitions at Max Planck Science-Galley. Free guided tours are available for groups from 5 to 20 people. And at the Futurium you can explore future topics free of charge.
A special offer for lovers of culture: As a Museum Pass holder, you can visit over 30 museum buildings in a three-day period for €29 (€14.50 discounted), including both the major and small insider tips.
Free admission on Museum Sunday
The first Sunday of the month is free of charge at around 60 Berlin museums! These include all the buildings on Berlin's Museum Island, the Humboldt Forum, Museum für Naturkunde, Jewish Museum, Gemäldegalerie and many more.
Tip: The Long Night of Museums takes place in Summer when up to 100 of them open up their doors. With a single ticket you can at these times visit as many of them as you like. You find the next dates for this opportunity to explore the Berlin museum landscape in our event calender.
Concerts and theatres on a low budget
A very popular event for Berliners and tourists are the Berlin Philharmonic Lunch Concerts. Several times a year, the invitation is in the foyer of the Philharmonic to chamber music of the highest quality. More information on this is available on the Philharmonic Website.
The focus in summer will also be on classical music, when – as every year – the Staatsoper für alle (State Opera House for everybody) is held on Bebelplatz. In order to be able to enjoy the beautiful music to the max, make sure you bring a picnic basket and folding chair with you. Check the event calender. And if even that does not sate your appetite for classical music, you can pay a visit to the Berlin Konzerthaus (Berlin Concert House). You can watch the daily rehearsals being held in the Großes Saal (Great Hall) from 11 am to 6 pm from the concert vestibule under the motto “Free Glimpse”.
Our podcast Berlin Unboxed also offers more Berlin to listen to. We visit the city's makers and creatives for you and take you behind the scenes.
Street festivals and parades
The city in summer is bursting with that pure holiday feeling. This is the time to take to the streets and celebrate. Experiencing some great parades won’t cost you anything: Whether the Karneval der Kulturen (Carnival of Cultures), which always takes place over the Whitsun weekend, or the Christopher Street Day Parade, at which the motley, many-coloured Berlin gay and lesbian scene make their statement for equal rights.
At the time when Midsommar is celebrated in Sweden, it’s time in Berlin for the Fête de la Musique. The Berliners spend the summer solstice out on the streets of their city: Artists appear on some 90 stages to play music for every taste: from punk to gospel, and from rock to reggae. 48 Stunden Neukölln turns an entire district into a stage and the Festival of Lights bathes Berlin's sights in a very special light every autumn. And at the Bergmannstraßenfest in Kreuzbergstraße there will be lots of music and atmosphere on two stages. Find all information here.
Shopping and eating out at a low price
And for shopping and gastronomic pleasures too, Berlin is anything but expensive. There are plenty of Berlin snack bars that offer everything you could wish for from curry wurst to doner kebabs, and all for comparably cheap prices too. It’s become almost an obligatory ritual to eat brunch on Sundays in Berlin. For between €8 and €12, you can sit for hours on end in cosy cafés and have a decent meal. Several tips are available here. In addition, our team with insider knowledge of the city provide various recommended venues in their Berlin Blog, where you can eat well and inexpensively. After a good brunch, there’s nothing better than a long walk taking in the flea markets of Berlin, where you pick up a bargain.
Tip: In our Going Local app you will find more than 700 additional personal Berlin tips, tours and restaurant recommendations. Experience the capital like a real local.