Poor But Sexy: 72 Hours in Berlin in Summer On A Budget

In an interview with Focus Money in November 2003, politician Klaus Wowereit once famously said: “Berlin ist arm, aber sexy.” Poor, but sexy. Skint, but sassy.

Spending 72 hours in the capital may be considered far too short for some.

Despite 3 days often being the length of a night out in Berlin for certain city-dwellers, there is plenty you can pack in for just few EUR (€).

With more off-the-piste ideas in mind, exploring Berlin on a budget does not have to solely involve particularly bland sight-seeing tours.

Understanding how Berliners spend their Feierabend* is key.

German efficiency means that although the clock at work is ticking, the notion Kein Bier Vor Vier or No Beer Before Four (pm) is mostly observed. Until you exit those doors, hang up your apron, or put down your paintbrush for the day.

The concentration of independent coffee shops is Berlin is strong; like their coffee game.

The concentration of independent coffee shops is Berlin is strong; like their coffee game.

*Feierabend (mn, masculine noun): the end of the working day. Something worth celebrating, don’t you think?

‘Multi-Kulti’ Germany

Germany, particularly Berlin, prides itself on being multi-kulti (multi-cultural): it can be seen in street art splashed across the walls , babbling voices pronouncing words differently from regional dialects to exotic languages from around the world, and in the colourful cuisine the capital serves up to its 3.5 million residents.

From coffee, Turkish / Syrian / Lebanese sandwich shops, Italian pizza joints, to swag sushi bars, Berlin serves up an array of multi-cultural food. Vegans, most notably, will be happy in this city.

Unlike smaller towns, Berliners now come to expect at least 1 or 2 vegan options and other vegetarian options on a regular menu. This means more choice and better catering to all groups: from allergies and restricted diets.

Berlin on a Budget

TRANSPORT.
Arrive at Tegel or Schönefeld airport using the S-Bahn or RegioBahn for just 3,40 EUR. Airport ticket prices are notoriously steep in most European cities; your Berlin on a budget 72-hour trip has started off nicely. In order to make the most of the 3-day ticket offers, pick up x for free or reduced entry to certain tourist attractions, and a 3-day underground, overground, s-bahn, bus, tram and regional train ticket. Omio is an ideal train, coach, and flight booking platform to plan your 72-hours city break. If you want an idea for a city trip after Berlin, I’d recommend widening your search to Prague.

CHEAP EATS.
For fleeting visits such as the three-day city trip, cheap eats are essential. There is an abundance of eateries, food festivals, and al-fresco hotspots to nab a bite in the city without shelling out even a full 10-euro note.

Across its 12 districts (known as Bezirke) you snap up: a Döner or a Hallumi sandwich for 3,50 EUR with all the trimmings, an original napoleon pizza for 5-9 EUR, or get classic Schnitzel and Pommes for 4-7 EUR.

There are countless sandwiches to choose from: Hallumi, Köfte-Hallumi, Falafel, Schwarma, etc.

There are countless sandwiches to choose from: Hallumi, Köfte-Hallumi, Falafel, Schwarma, etc.

Sweltering Summers

Keeping cool when temperatures have been known to rise to 30 or 35 degrees in summer in Berlin can mean that finding things to do which are outdoors but also not exhausting are limited. I often crave green areas, being near water, and most of all being near refreshment!

The Freiluftkino (open-air cinema) is your best option. Here you can get drinks, sit in deck chairs, be around others, and enjoy popcorn and drinks. Summer evenings can be quite sticky so being outdoors around nature can be the most relaxing.

Find it at: Mariannenpl. 2, 10997 Berlin or check Facebook for events and film showing, whether its independent films or watching some in English.

Walking around the city is not only free, but you can come across all kinds of architecture as you grab a  Wegbier  (beer for the road).

Walking around the city is not only free, but you can come across all kinds of architecture as you grab a Wegbier (beer for the road).

Things I like to do:

Klunkerkranich

Eating Pizza: If you want to know where to get the best pizza in Berlin, look no further.

Drinking coffee in Neukölln

Going to different 24-hour shops (spätis) In Berlin and sampling some rare imports/German beers

Have you been to Berlin before? How did you make the most of the deals and cheap eats?

Let me know on social media, in the comments, or follow me on Instagram. <3