Germany is a modern European country that’s on all of our must-visit lists. Why? Not only will you find some of the world’s most fascinating cities, you can also enjoy a variety of landscapes from mountains and fairy tale forests to fields of purple heather and great winding rivers. It’s a land of traditional festivals, wonderful castles, and an ancient history, but also a country of modern art and architecture. And once you’ve seen all that, you can enjoy the fabulous food, and rest in a comfortable hotel. Still, many are worried that the cost of visiting Germany can be too high. There are ways around this, since this country is still ranked among the most affordable nations in the world. Which means that you can travel to Germany on a budget, and still have the an unforgettable experience.
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Travel to Germany on a Budget
Here are some tips that can help you save a great deal on your budget when traveling to Germany.
1. Go for Cheap Flights
It is possible to fly for less money. The best way is by flying during the off-season. This is because flight charges are very high at specific seasons especially during winter and summer. Now, I know, this is hard on people with children who are bound by school vacation times, but traveling in October and November or in the months between February and May is always cheaper. During these “shoulder seasons”, fewer people visit Germany and prices are lower (and LINES are SHORTER). Keep in mind, November can be cold… and so can February… but as spring arrives, so does warm weather. (Remember, there is no bad weather, just improper clothing!) Also (and this can make a HUGE difference), fly during the week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the cheapest days (I just ran a check on dates, the difference was HUNDREDS of dollars over Saturday and Sunday travel).
2. Book a Hostel
These are one of the cheapest rooms in this country and you can decide to stay in either a double or single room for just a small fee (usually between $40 to $120). The rooms have some great features and contain private facilities. You can also choose to share rooms with other visitors and save double or even triple compared to when you stay in a single room in a hostel. Here, you pay per night about $15 to $20. The choice is all yours! This is a great way to stay if you want to meet people.
3. Rent an Apartment
When traveling with a family, or even just as a couple, I find that it’s nice, and a lot less expensive to rent an apartment. Companies like TripAdvisor Rentals have a huge selection of places to rent for a few days or longer all over Germany in all budget ranges. Another bonus, by staying in an apartment, you can save money on dining out… pick up your favorite breakfast or lunch items from the local shops, and prepare a few meals yourself.
4. Budget Friendly Food
When on a small budget, going out to restaurants can get expensive, luckily, there are many different traditional and delicious foods in Germany that you can enjoy without breaking the bank. Stop at an Imbiss… these quick take-away places carry favorites like Bratwurst, Currywurst, Pommes and Doner. Check out the local Bäckerei (Bakery). They often have Belegte Brötchen (pre-made sandwiches on a roll) or Pretzels covered in Schinken (ham) and Käse (cheese). Another tip (which may sound crazy) is to eat in department stores. Most have a cafeteria with great tasting hot food for reasonable prices.
5. Find free activities and things to do
Most museums in Germany offer free entry on certain days. Check the museum websites to identify entry free days. And some city museums like the Statmuseum in Münster don’t charge at ALL! Apart from its cities, Germany also has stunning countryside so you could also consider something like a walking holiday, to not only discover the beautiful scenery but keep your costs down during the day. And keep your eye open for Festivals (you will see posters advertising them). Generally they have free admission, so you can enjoy traditional German Gemütlichkeit for free! Order a beer, and join in the fun.
6. City Passes
Most of the larger cities like Berlin and Frankfurt have city passes that allow you to visit multiple museums and other attractions for a reduced rate. It may seem like a bit much to pay up front, but they pay for themselves with discounts for restaurants, attractions and even transportation.
7. Carry a student ID
If you’re currently a student or studying further education be sure to carry your Student ID card with you! Students are often provided with a wide variety of discounts. This can include a discount on hotels, museums, shows sights, swimming pools, and movies. It even helps with transportation!! (My daughter made full use of hers!) So if you are a student, especially an international one, be sure to carry an ID when visiting Germany.
Hopefully you find these tips useful, and are able to plan a budget-friendly trip to Germany, while still enjoying everything that Germany has to offer.