Germany Backpacking Budget

cost of travel in Germany

(Map of Germany from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)


Daily Travel Costs in Germany on a Shoestring Budget

US$55 | 50 Euros

Germany is Europe’s financial and political powerhouse and the economic woes of recent times haven’t hit as hard here as in other parts of the continent. However it is a surprisingly affordable place to visit with the cost of travel in Germany certainly less than it is in France or the United Kingdom.

Similarly to in those countries, there is an extensive rail network, however it is much cheaper to buy tickets a week or more in advance than on the day of travel, which isn’t always convenient for backpackers who enjoy flexibility. To stick to this Germany backpacking budget you can either sacrifice that flexibility by planning your trip in advance or it might be worth just focusing on one or two main areas of the country, where you can buy regional day passes, which are much more affordable.

Hostels are plentiful almost everywhere in the country and prices are pretty much standard in terms of Europe and a bit cheaper than some of Germany’s more expensive neighbours. The abundance of good domestic beers means going out to bars and pubs isn’t that expensive if you’re a beer drinker and there are plenty of night clubs that cater to a more budget-orientated crowd which isn’t always the case in other parts of the continent. Therefore nights out are reasonably inexpensive, although you’d be wise to look to our next budget if that will be a big part of your trip.

See where Germany ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.

Backpacking costs in Europe.


More Comfortable Germany Backpacker Budget

US$70 | 65 Euros

Pushing your budget from 50 to 65 Euros per day will give you greater freedom to go with the flow a bit. On this kind of budget, you can afford to buy a German rail pass for 3 or 4 days travel in a month to handle the longer-distance trips, when you want to do them. Although the passes don’t seem amazing value, you will still save compared to buying tickets on the day with fares of 100 Euros or more not uncommon for long-distance trains.

It should also free up a bit of money for a few more nights out or more day-time excursions than you can realistically expert to afford on the shoestring budget.


Sample Prices in Germany

Bayern Ticket (One day unlimited train pass for Bavaria*) – €23 solo traveller, €28 for two people, €33 for three

0.5 Litre beer in a bar – €3-3.50

Meal at an inexpensive restaurant – €10

Dorm bed in Munich – from €14/night

Cheap private double or twin room in Berlin – from €25/night

Entrance ticket for Neuschwanstein Castle – €12

These prices are as of December 2016.

*other regions have similar offers

Compare these expenses in Germany with the cost of travel in France.


Money

Currency – Euros

£1 = €1.19

US$1 = €0.94

(All exchange rates are correct as of December 2016)


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Street art in Berlin

street art in Berlin, Germany


Share your Travel Costs!

If you’ve been to Germany recently, help your fellow travellers out by sharing your typical daily costs in the comments section below 😉


This article was published in December 2016.


The definitive top 10 places to visit in Germany this summer

The definitive top 10 places to visit in Germany this summer

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Plan your perfect German vacation

 With fairy tale landscapes, white beaches and cultural cities, Germany offers something for everyone. We’ve rounded up some of the best places to visit.

In comparison to its Mediterranean neighbours Spain and France, Germany is somewhat underrated as a holiday destination. However, with its stunning countryside, rich history and fascinating cities, Germany is actually a fantastic location for your next summer holiday. With so much variety, it can be difficult to decide where to go. We’ve put together a list of the top ten places you should visit in this beautiful country.

Rugen Island

Rugen Island in Germany

Germany is not traditionally associated with beach holidays, but Rugen Island in north eastern Germany offers visitors beautiful white sand beaches and charming seaside resorts. Away from the beach, the island has its own national park for you to explore, and each summer, visitors can experience the island’s theatre festival.

Berlin

Berlin has soared in popularity in recent years, earning itself a reputation as a hip, edgy city packed full of culture. The city has a wealth of galleries and museums to explore, including the five institutions located on ‘Museum Island’. Visitors can also get an insight into the city’s history by visiting famous landmarks such as the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. As well as history and culture, Berlin is also a great place for foodies and revellers alike, making it the perfect city break location.

Romantic Rhine

Rhein River in Germany

Between Bingen and Bonn, the Middle Rhine – or the Romantic Rhine as it’s commonly known – flows through the dramatic Rhine Gorge. With its stunning scenery, terraced vineyards, castles and medieval villages straight out of a fairy tale, it’s little wonder that the area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best way to explore this beautiful part of Germany is with a riverboat cruise.

Cologne

Located on the banks of the River Rhine, Cologne is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany – and with good reason. The city is home to impressive landmarks including the famous gothic Cologne Cathedral and the Twelve Romanesque Churches. Cologne is also viewed as a cultural centre with a wide array of art galleries and museums, and, with its many bars and clubs, visitors will find plenty to do when the sun goes down.

Black Forest

If you love the great outdoors, head to the Black Forest near the borders of France and Switzerland. Its romantic setting inspired many of the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tales and it offers numerous opportunities for hiking, cycling and boating. Base yourself in the nearby famous spa town of Baden-Baden, or if you’re a fan of medieval architecture, head to the ancient university town of Freiberg.

Heidelberg

Heidelberg Castle

Located in south western Germany, the town of Heidelberg attracts thousands of visitors with its picturesque appearance and old-world charm. Heidelberg Old Town houses a number of historic treasures including the Church of the Holy Spirit, the medieval Old Bridge and the magnificent Heidelberg Castle which towers over the town. Heidelberg also offers a variety of nightlife options with more than 300 bars, pubs and clubs.

Schoenau am Koenigssee

Another great destination for active, outdoorsy travellers, Schoenau am Koenigssee in Bavaria offers amazing views of the Berchtesgaden Alps. Enjoy the scenery while hiking or mountain biking, or choose the more relaxing option of a boat trip on the clear, emerald waters of Koenigssee Lake. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a gondola ride to the top of Jenner Mountain for an unparalleled view of the stunning landscape.

Munich

Munich is perhaps most famous for the Oktoberfest festival which takes place each autumn. However, people visiting the city during the summer months will not be disappointed. A great destination for culture-vultures, Munich is home to many art galleries, theatres, royal palaces and historic churches, and its attractive city centre is the perfect blend of modern and traditional architecture.

Rothenburg

Rothenburg Germany

Rothenburg, with its preserved medieval old town, is popular with tourists from all around the world. Visitors can walk along the top of the city walls, or, alternatively, climb to the top of the 200 foot town hall tower for views of the entire town. For something a little different, those with a strong stomach should head to the slightly gruesome, yet extremely interesting, Medieval Crime Museum.

Seebad Heringsdorf

Another destination for beach lovers, Seebad Heringsdorf is a popular resort town on Usedom Island in Western Pomerania. One of three ‘Emperor’s Spas’, the area is known as the ‘Bathtub of Berlin’ and features long sandy beaches and scenic architecture. It has a history of attracting the upper classes and even royalty, including Emperor Wilhelm II.

With so many must-see destinations in Germany, it’s really difficult to narrow it down to just ten. Whether you want to spend your summer relaxing on a beach, exploring medieval villages, taking in the country’s rich culture, or hiking through the mountains, Germany really does have something for everyone.

 


This article was published in August 2015.


Visiting the Berlin Wall

Visiting the Berlin Wall

Berlin is a city you have to visit to truly understand the Europe of the 20th Century and the Europe of today. For so long it was the symbol of division, the only place where the Iron Curtain was a tangible divide. On the 13th August 1961, construction began on a wall that for 28 years would separate friends, break up families and completely divide a city. The Berlin Wall was the frontline of the Cold War.

berlin wall CV

Today only two small portions of the wall remain, left as permanent reminders of a barrier that brought so much pain to this city. The largest section can be found near Wasrchauer Strasse Station and runs for about 1km parallel to the river along Muhlenstasse. However today it is no longer a long bland concrete slab guarded by guns but an artistic mural known as the East Side Gallery.

Visiting the Berlin Wall is best done by a leisurely yet thought provoking stroll that will take you half an hour or considerably more depending on how long you stop to appreciate the artwork. Predictably for such an iconic political structure, much of the work is of a political nature but the range of artists that took part in creating the mural means that there are many varied themes. The underlying one is that of freedom, something the wall denied Berliners on both sides of the divide for almost three decades.

Nowadays of course the city of Berlin is totally different to what it was in 1914, 1939, 1961 or even 1989. A century on from the start of the first of two World Wars which many countries blamed almost entirely on Germany, the new Berlin is a modern liberal peace-loving city and the seat of the unified German Parliament once more. The motherly Angela Merkel is revered by many Germans and wields greater power than anyone else in the European Union.

From a travellers perspective, many come to Berlin for the brilliant nightlife which is fueled by 24 hour techno raves in industrial factories converted into giant night clubs. While it may lack the style and medieval feel, that many of Europe’s great cities possess, there are few more fascinating places anywhere in the world. The city is constantly evolving and changing but does so in such a cool uniquely German way.

But of all the things that the city has to offer, a visit to The Berlin Wall Mural has to be number one on the to-do list of anyone new to the city. It tells the tale of division better than any museum could do yet manages to maintain an upliftingly positive feel of hope and freedom.

berlin wall 2014

There are quite a few nice passages in German and English. Some feel a little bit dreamy but there’s certainly some truth in this.

berlin wall 2014

One of the more controversial features the black, red and gold of the German flag with the Star of David in the middle. Clearly not everyone is a fan of this new German-Israeli flag. Much of the mural has been covered in the kind of graffiti you might see on a wall in your local car park which is a bit of a shame but given that freedom of expression is kind of the point of this thing it’s unlikely to be removed.

berlin wall 2014

This ‘forced thumbs up’ is one of the most powerful pieces. The secrets of life behind the Iron Curtain are still being revealed and there are few fascinating spots around town where you can learn about life in East Berlin under Soviet rule.

checkpoint charlie in berlin

At the site of the infamous Checkpoint Charlie there is a somewhat comical mural which remembers it’s history as the official border crossing between East and West Berlin although in reality only a select few had access to it.

berlin wall 2014

There’s an area of grass in what used to be effectively ‘no man’s land’ in which anyone who tried to enter would have been greeted by bullets. Today it’s a nice place to sit down and reflect at what is an eerily emotional spot.

Find out more about the Berlin Wall and it’s mural on the East Side Gallery Website.


This article was published in September 2014.