Berlin understands. It knows you want the trip of a lifetime but don't have your whole life to work for it. It sees you're counting your cents and not having cream with that. And it reaches out to you with free history museums, street food, and pay-what-you-want wine. No single thing on this list will lighten your wallet by more than five euros a pop.

 

Berlin Wall Memorial

 

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© Rosalee Edwards


The stories of people once lost their lives trying to get over and under the Berlin Wall are immortalised in murals, signs, audio points and iron along this open air exhibition.

 

Palace of Tears

 

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A free exhibition in an old part of Friedrichstrasse station where East and West Berliners would cross the border - or try to.

 

Reichstag

 

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Spy on the German parliament or gorge your eyes on the cityscape from the Reichstag's modern glass dome. It's free but you need to book in advance.

 

Free walking tours

 

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NEXT City Tours


This doesn't only save you money, but also time - you can cover 800 years of history and around 20 sights in three hours flat with our general walking tour, or explore how Berlin was shaped by the Cold War, Third Reich, and street art scene. Check out our free walking tour options here.

 

Weinerei

 

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The least well-kept secret in Berlin. Although it's always very packed, the blow of maybe having to stand is softened by wine - and after a two euro entry fee for a glass, you decide the price.

 

Checkpoint Charlie

 

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The Cold War is condensed into several surprisingly well-curated placards at this old checkpoint on the Wall.

 

Museum in the Kulturbrauerei

 

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A free exhibition about what everyday life was like for East Germans.

 

Döner Kebab


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A street food staple and Berlin's pride and joy - the kebab. It does have all the food groups...

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Topography of Terror

 

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A vast (and free) indoor and outdoor exhibition which dissects all levels of Third Reich society.

 

East Side Gallery

 

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© Rosalee Edwards


The largest stretch of the Wall that's left, the largest open air gallery in the world, and hope for a better future embodied. It is yet another one of Berlin's top sights which is free.

 

Organ concerts at the Französischer Dom

 

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For a couple of euros you can have magical organ music poured into your ears. These mini 30-minute concerts take place all the time in this 18th century cathedral.

 

View from Viktoriapark

 

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© Rosalee Edwards


Minimal effort, maximum view from one of the only hills in Berlin (it's artificial).

 

Holocaust Memorial

 

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Lose yourself in a collective memory.

 

Former Tempelhof Airport

 

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This airport-turned-park is a great place to get a feel for Berlin's obsession with repurposed buildings, have a peek at some Nazi architecture, read stories about the "raisin bombers" of the Berlin Air Lift and simply fill your lungs with fresh air.

 

Späti drinks

 

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Only in Berlin could a kiosk become an institution. It is perfectly acceptable - in fact it's actually pretty cool - to meet your mates for a pint at your local off-licence. In summer the Spätis turn themselves into make-shift bars by putting out benches and tables.

 

Memorial Church

 

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You'll see the jagged spire everywhere, and you'll probably overlook the 60's uglies that the Berliners call the "lipstick" and the "powder compact", but make sure you take a closer look - there's a historical exhibition in the old ruins, and a room of blue light in the compact.


 

Cafe Tasso

 

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Even backpackers get bored sometimes, so grab a book for one euro from this cafe. Most of them will be in German, but there is a decent English section and plenty of travel guides.

 

100 Bus

 

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Too cold to walk around outside? Hop on this bus and it'll whizz you past all the famous sights, from the Victory Column, around the Brandengburg Gate, down Unter den Linden, over Museum Island and onto Alexanderplatz.

 

So trust me. Your wallet will survive a trip to the German capital. Berlin has a warm and welcoming heart and is not a place that asks a lot of you – unless you're trying to get into Berghain.


Rosalee Edwards