Are you planning a trip to Germany on a budget? You won’t want to miss out on these top budget-friendly Germany travel tips! Scroll to read them all!
This post about planning a trip to Germany on a budget contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Guest post by Emma Erichsen of Emma Adventures
Germany is a fairy tale like country nestled in Western Europe that truly has something for everyone. There’s so much history, art, culture, and good food.
There are castles and gorgeous little towns to explore, but, it can be a little on the expensive side. Good news is, you can travel Germany on a budget by being a savvy traveler!
It’s a family friendly destination, with plenty of things to see and do that will keep the whole family engrossed in the culture, history, art and architecture.
Germany Budget Travel Tips
The currency in Germany is the Euro. Credit and debit card are widely accepted, although it is wise to always carry some cash, especially for smaller purchases, such as markets and food stalls. ATM’s are common in all central areas in Germany.
Getting Around on a Budget in Germany
Getting from place to place is often the most expensive part of traveling, as all the expensive internal flights can add up.
In Germany, you can get around between all major cities in a budget friendly way, being the DB train line. Germany’s excellent long distance train system makes getting around a whole lot cheaper by saving you the hassle of expensive internal flights.
The DB trains run between all major cities in Germany, and it is cost effective and time efficient too. You should book online in advance, and book standard tickets. The carriages and seats have plenty of room, and are comfortable. For longer trips, pick up some snacks from the local stores at the train stations.
Through the system, you can do just about any route you like between major cities, such as Frankfurt to Cologne, Frankfurt to Munich, Berlin to Cologne and Nuremberg to Munich, to name a few.
Once you are in each city, there’s plenty of options for getting around. It the larger cities in Germany (such as Berlin, Munich and Frankfurt), the best budget friendly and time effective way to get around is by using the trams, which run frequently between most popular spots.
Tickets are affordable, and if you plan on using the tram to get between several places, you can buy multi-trip tickets to save some money. In smaller cities, you’ll find most things are within walking distance if you opt to stay in accommodation that is centrally located.
Eating and Drinking in Germany when on a Budget
Eating and drinking can be pricey in Germany if you don’t know where to go. Often, restaurants and cafes in major tourist hot spots are extremely overpriced, and it’s easy to get sucked in to these traps.
The best way to save some Euros on your next dine-in meal in Germany is to venture a little out of the major tourist areas and find places that are slightly off the beaten path. I guarantee you will still get an excellent meal, a more authentic experience, and will save some money.
Street food and market food is also a great way to eat for less, without missing out. Market eats in Germany are amazing and cheap, and you can get all the German street food favorites (such as currywurst!), for half the price you would in a restaurant.
My suggestion is to make sure you book a hotel with breakfast included and fill up on that before leaving your hotel in the morning, stopping for some market or street food at lunch time, and picking a spot slightly out of the main tourist area for an amazing meal for dinner.
There’s just about any style of accommodation in Germany, with no shortage of options.
My biggest recommendation for family friendly accommodation without breaking the bank is to choose boutique style hotels. These hotels are often just as nice as chain style hotels, but cheaper, and almost always have a breakfast included option.
Budget Travel Tips for Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne & Nuremburg
Each place in Germany has amazing things to do, and its own unique feel, and they all have different ways to save money! It can be hard to decide where to go in Germany, with so many unique cities, but this guide to the most beautiful cities in Germany might help you decide!
For now, I’m going to run through some of the best free and budget friendly things to do in some of the most popular cities in Germany.
Berlin on a Budget
The great thing about Berlin is that there is heaps of free things to do, as well as lots of ways to save money. Germany’s history filled capital is incredible, and although it seems pricey, there’s lots of ways to do it cheaper.
Free things to do in Berlin include visiting East Side Gallery, Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, Berlin Wall memorial and Check-Point Charlie.
You can also save money but opting to admire some of Berlin’s architecture from the outside, such as Berlin Cathedral, which is equally beautiful from the outside.
Berlin also offers some incredible museums, many of which offer free entry for kids under a certain age, and some of which offer free visits at certain times on certain days.
The Germany History Museum offers free entry for kids under the age of 18, while Hamburger Banhof and Martin-Gropius-Bau offer free entry for kids under the age of 16.
Munich on a Budget
Munich is the heart of Bavaria, and a must on any Germany trip.
Being a tourist hot spot, prices can be quite high, so I recommend avoiding eating and drinking in the central spots (such as Marienplatz and the area around Hauptbanhof) to avoid increased prices on meals.
Instead, wander a couple of streets away from these hot spots to find plenty of amazing dining choices for better prices.
Munich is a larger city, so the best way to get around without spending lots of money is to use the train and trams. The trams are cheaper for shorter distances, and you have the option to buy multi trip tickets which will save you money if you plan to use the trams or trains frequently.
Munich also has lots of free and budget friendly things to do. You can explore Marienplatz, Englischer Garten and Olympia Park for free.
You can also enter Asam Church for free, and take a trip to Nymphenburg Palace, which although you have to pay to get in, you can admire the architecture and gardens without entering the palace, which is just as good!
Frankfurt on a Budget
Germany’s bustling transport and business hub is the heart of the action in Germany, and there’s plenty of things to enjoy on a budget.
The city itself is a little cheaper than some of the bigger tourist hot spots in Germany (such as Berlin and Cologne), so eating, drinking, and accommodation are slightly cheaper.
Frankfurt has excellent transport systems in place, and both the tram system and train system are great ways to get around, quickly, without spending the extra money that it would take to get a cab.
Some of the best things that Frankfurt has to offer are free, such as exploring Romerberg and Hauptwache, walking along the River Main, and admiring Frankfurt Cathedral.
There’s plenty to do so that you won’t be bored, even on a budget! For the ultimate guide on things to do in Frankfurt, see the best 26 things to do in Frankfurt.
Cologne on a Budget
Cologne is a beautiful historical city just an hour north of Frankfurt, and a great place to get a feel for a traditional German town without breaking the bank.
Most things in Cologne are really close together, which means you can easily walk between all the main attractions, without having to pay for transport.
The cities biggest attraction, Cologne Cathedral is incredible, and the great thing is, it is free to enter. Spend time admiring the cathedral from every angle outside, before heading in to see the stunning interior.
If you wish to climb to the top of the cathedral the cost is 3 Euro, however you can definitely experience Cologne Cathedral without spending a cent!
You can also visit Hohenzollern Bridge (the famous love locks bridge), and explore the old town, completely for free!
Nuremberg on a Budget
Nuremberg is a gorgeous medieval city with a whole lot of history, located just an hour north of Munich, which makes it worth a visit when in Germany.
Basically, all of the main attractions in Nuremberg are within walking distance of each other, which means you can save money on transport. The tram system is also great, and cost effective for traveling longer distances.
One of the best things about Nuremberg is that you can soak up the medieval architecture, history and traditional German feel on a budget.
One of Nuremberg’s top attractions, Nuremberg Castle, can be visited for free, and there’s stunning views across the city from the top. You can also wander the Old Town and Bridges for free, and walk the Way of Human Rights.
One of the best things to do in Nuremberg is just wander the Old Town and surrounding areas, where hidden gems are around every corner, and the best part is, it’s completely free!
So, my top tips for saving money while traveling Germany, summed up?
- Travel between destinations by the DB Trains.
- Pick boutique style accommodation with breakfast included, slightly out of the city center.
- Eat street food and always explore markets for great food and drink options.
- Check for free museum visiting hours, and also check which museums offer free visits for children.
- Many of the top historical sites and squares in Germany are free to visit, so priorities seeing these things first.
Germany really is the perfect travel destination, and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with it. It’s family friendly and budget friendly if you follow the tips in this blog!