Like any capital city, Berlin can get expensive for the traveler on a shoestring budget. But you can still experience all the city has to offer without breaking the bank – check these ideas out!
Berlin Wall Memorial
This part-outdoor-part-indoor exhibit is located where the northern border of the Berlin Wall used to be and where many escapes from East to West occurred. The exhibit shows the fortifications on the former border and even puts together a replica of what the border would have looked like that visitors can peer into. It also presents stories of the families who lived in homes on the border, a church caught between two sides, and of the lives directly effected by the wall.
East Side Gallery
Along the south eastern side of Berlin is the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall that is still intact. It has been turned into a free art gallery with murals that portray messages of unity and peace. You can walk along it, take shelter in the shade it provides, or enjoy the art while sitting along the river for a picnic.
While not free to go inside except for mass, you shouldn’t leave Berlin until you’ve seen the outside in all it’s glory. Close enough to museum island to make the visit easy, you can also sit on the grass in front and eat or rest your feet.
Museum Island’s Architecture
While the museums themselves cost a pretty penny, the combination of the river and the buildings’ architecture is beautiful and worth a photo or two. Don’t go out of your way to walk through, but if you’ve stopped by the Berliner Dom, you’re so close to Museum Island that it just makes sense to go look.
This is a must do! For the best free views of the city, reserve your visit online here at least two weeks in advance. Much more views-focused than learn-about-government focused, take your camera and enjoy.
Located in the center of Berlin and absolutely huge, it is possible (and I have) to spend an entire day hiking around the rivers, statues and fields in this park. Bring your lunch and just lay in the sun and relax.
Berlin Victory Column
In the center of Tiergarden Park and in the center of a huge street circle is the Berlin Victory Column, a monument designed in 1864. Use one of the four pedestrian tunnels under the street circle to access it, it’s much safer that way. For a 2Euro fee you can climb to the top of the 285 steps, but if you stay on the ground, make sure to check out the view all the way to the Brandenburg gate at the end of the road.
While no museums accompany this one, the Brandenburg gate is a must see of Berlin, and is totally free. Accessible by metro but also within easy walking distance of Museum Island or Tiergarden Park.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Between the park and the Brandenburg gate is this impressive expanse of concrete slabs of varying sizes, slanting in a wave pattern. Free to walk through, (though don’t parkor through the slabs), it’s easily found and visited.
Okay, so you’re probably going to spend something here, but everyone has to eat, right? Might as well spend your lunch money on a bratworst and fries, or some strudel from a local baker. Check out Keitzerplats and Heidelberger Platz on Sundays.