Traveling Affordably: Tips for Exploring Germany

There’s no escaping the fact that everything is getting more expensive. With the increased cost of living, you may be looking for ways to reduce how much you spend on your upcoming trip to Germany. 

To help out, I’ve come up with a few suggestions to keep costs to a minimum. Although this post is about visiting Germany on a budget, the tips can be applied to just about any popular travel destination.

There are some costs you can’t avoid when traveling, like the price of a visa or travel authorization. The good news is that, if you’re from a visa-exempt country such as the US, you don’t need a visa to travel to Germany for up to 90 days. The new travel authorization for Germany, ETIAS, won’t be operational until 2023 so you don’t need to pay these fees either just yet. 

Most other travel costs, however, are under your control. Let’s have a look at some of the top tips for visiting Germany on a budget. 

Eat at the Markets

The food you’ll find at German markets is both fresh and reasonably priced. It’s also often organic, so you know that what you’re eating is good for you! You’ll find traditional German foods like bratwurst, potato pancakes, and pretzels. You can also try something new—there are often vendors selling international cuisine at the markets.

If you have access to a kitchen, you can shop for local ingredients and cook up your own delish dishes without spending a fortune.

Stay Outside of Major Tourist Areas

Staying in a hotel or hostel outside of the major tourist areas is one of the easiest ways to save money while traveling. And, since all of Germany’s major cities are relatively safe, it’s not like you need to worry about your safety. There are plenty of options for accommodation in every price range and style preference.

Avoiding the most touristy areas is a great way to reduce your accommodation costs. Just make sure it’s not so far out that you’ll end up spending too much on transportation. Go for hotels and hostels that are within around 30 minutes walk of the main attractions and well connected by public transport to other areas.

Also, don’t dismiss budget accommodation. There are loads of great hostels in Berlin and other German cities that provide everything you need, especially if you’re going to spend most of your time out and about.

Find an Apartment to Rent Online

If you are unfamiliar with the city you are visiting, Airbnb is a great option for accommodation. In addition to having access to the amenities of a hotel (like a kitchen and washing machine), many hosts have been known to act as tour guides and offer suggestions on where to go out in town or what attractions are worth visiting.

There are many other websites that can help you find apartments for short-term rent in Germany. Wimdu offers properties ranging from apartments and chalets to farmhouses and tree houses throughout Germany—though some listings may require booking several weeks in advance if they’re popular during high season. The site includes vacation rentals from more cities across Europe including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. 

There are loads more options too, invest some time when looking for accommodation in Germany and it could save you more money than you think.

Use Public Transportation

Public transportation is a great way to get around in Germany. If you’re planning on visiting Berlin, the U-Bahn and S-Bahn are your best bets for getting around. They’ll take you from one part of the city to another quickly and easily—and it’s much cheaper than taking cabs every time!

In cities like Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich, trams are also convenient ways to get around.

Buy Your Plane Ticket Early

Booking early is important when looking for cheap flights to Germany. In general, the earlier you book, the more likely it is that you can get a good deal on your ticket.

Use flight price comparison websites to find the best option. Several low-cost airlines fly to cities across Germany. If you’re traveling within Europe, you can find cheap flights to Germany from just about any European city.

Also, think about when you’re going to travel. The price of your flight to Germany will depend on the time of year, if you don’t mind the cold, January could be a cheap month to travel to Germany.

Visit Museums on Discounted Days

You may also be able to save money on museum tickets on discounted days. Many museums in Germany offer a reduced price for certain days of the week, as well as reduced admission for senior citizens and students. You can check the website of each museum you want to visit for a list of discounted days and special offers.

Finally, if you’re staying in hostels or hotels while traveling around Germany, ask them if they have any deals that will help reduce your costs while visiting museums. 

Go on Free Walking Tours

Ok, so they may be called free walking tours but the truth is you’ll be expected to pay your guide a well-earned tip. Nevertheless, this is a really cost-effective way to get to known German cities.

Walking tours take you to all the major attractions and monuments. During a walking tour of Berlin, you’re likely to see Red Town Hall, Berlin Cathedral, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate, among other highlights.