Planning a backpacking trip to Berlin? Check out this guide from HostelBookers for making the most of your time in one of Europe’s coolest cities, while on a shoe string budget…
Berlin may be known for its laid back attitude, but there’s one thing that Berliners take very seriously – sausage. Specifically, currywurst (curried sausage). The city even has its own currywurst museum! Hit up one of the street vendors, called imbiss, for sliced or chopped up sausage in a rich tomato curry sauce for about €5. For seriously good sausage, head to Konnopke’s in Prezlauerberg, one of the oldest currywurst stands in the city.
There’s a large Turkish community in Berlin and 24-hour Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci between Neukölln and Kreuzberg has some of the best köfte in town– perfect for those late night munchies!
There’s no shortage of great hostels in Berlin, but few hostels have as many cheap perks for the budget traveller as Circus Hostel in Mitte. Free kegs of beer, free Wi-Fi, daily walking tours, winter warmer dinners, and an all you can eat breakfast buffet until 1pm are just some of the extras on offer.
But for those who would prefer a hotel in Berlin, the 3-star Mark Apart Hotel has free Wi-Fi and is just a few minutes away from Kurfürstendamm, Berlin’s most famous shopping street.
Whether you want to sample German beer in a local bar, sip cocktails in a lounge, or knock back a few G&T’s in a dive bar, Berlin’s 24-hour drinking scene has it all. Most places have reasonably priced drinks like hipster bar Helmut Kohl in Neukölln, known for cheap whiskey sours and free exhibitions and performances.
In the summertime, check out one of the many beer gardens for cheap brew and sunny weather – Pratergarten in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg district is a local favourite.
Film fanatics should check out the famous International Film Festival, the city’s largest cultural event from Feb 7 – 17.
The Carnival of Cultures from May 17 – 20 is a four-day street festival, with a Parade and various parties throughout the whole city.
Despite the hike in tariffs that clubs will have to face next year due, Berlin is still THE place to go clubbing. Voted the ‘Best Club in the World’ by DJ Mag, industrial-style warehouse club Berghain/Panorama Bar in Friedrichshain is for those who want to party until dawn (and then some).
Drawing some of the world’s leading international DJs, Watergate in Kreuzberg is another all-time favourite.
Berlin is a city steeped in history, with plenty of sites to keep you occupied and entertained. Along the Mühlenstrasse is the East Side Gallery –remains of the Berlin Wall and the world’s largest open-air gallery.
For a sobering experience, walk through the Holocaust memorial –near the famous Brandenburg Gate (also worth a visit) – that is dedicated to the millions of Jews murdered in Europe.
Museum buffs should head to Museum Island – a group of five museums including the Pergamon, famous for its archaeological pieces.
– Climb the impressive Reichstag. The spiralling walkway to the top of Germany’s parliament building offers 360-degree views of Berlin and won’t cost you a thing.
– If you want to see a different side to the city, check out the Alternative Berlin tour company. Guides will show you around Berlin’s subculture of artist squats, abandoned sites, daytime raves and flea markets. Daily tours are free, although tipping is encouraged.
– Whether the sun is shining or snow is covering the ground, a stroll through tranquil Tiergarten shows off a more elegant part of the city. Camp out underneath the weeping willows for the perfect picnic spot.
Head to Mauer Park for bargain buys, tasty street food and live singing. There is a weekly flea market held on Sundays with vendors selling everything from vintage bicycles, records and souvenirs. For a really good time, grab a bottle of beer and join the outdoor karaoke.
Thanks to Valters Krontal, angermann, Riccardo Cecchi, Philippe AMIOT for the images off Flickr. Please note that all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting.