Berlin on a Budget
Get ready for a change of scenery because as my friends mentioned this city is really “grungy and grimy.”
Berlin is full of history, graffiti art and has a hipster-ish feel. It lacks the charm that most other European cities have because most of it was destroyed in WWII.
Make sure to always have small change on you because free bathrooms are hard to come by. Also, half of the places I went to accepted CASH only. Bummer! There are 2 airports (TXL or SXF) you can fly into so I flew into whichever was cheapest. There is no Uber here but you can order a taxi with your “MyTaxi” app.
SIM Card – It was difficult getting a SIM card for my friend and in fact she ended up not getting one. There are no SIM card kiosks at the SXF airport. When we got into the city we went to a Vodafone store and they said it would take 3 days just to activate it. My suggestion is to pre-order a SIM card before visiting here.
Shell Game Scam – I saw this when I was checking out the Berlin Wall. DO NOT PLAY THIS because you will lose your money! You can watch a video of the scam here.
Travel Cost Breakdown
Wizz Air Flight from Budapest (BUD) –> SXF: $47
AirB&B: $60/night + Cleaning Fee + Service Fee
RyanAir Flight from SXF –> Barcelona: $49
Temperature in beginning of September: around 75℉ during the day and 60℉ at night
Single Ticket: 2.80€
4 trip tickets 9€
Day pass for Zone AB: 7€
Day pass for Zone ABC: 7.70€
Berlin is on the honor system so you should be validating your ticket at the machines. I got the day ticket for each day because it was well worth it. Once you validate it, the ticket is good until 3 am of the next day (the fine for not having a validated ticket is 60 €).
Google maps did just fine for me, except a couple times when I was taking the subway and I wasn’t sure which direction I was supposed to go. I finally figured it out by looking at a physical subway map.
From the airport to the city I needed a ticket that included the C zone. If you get the day pass, only validate it ONCE. Validating it again will make it void. Once you’re in the city you only need a ticket for Zone A & B.
There is a free walking tour to get your bearings if you’re interested. Just tip at the end.
You can also find bike tours ranging from 22€ – 28€.
Things To Do
Checkpoint Charlie – Crossing point between the East and the West during the Cold War. 3€ to take photos with these guys!
Potsdam – Visit the Sanssouci Park for free. You can get to Potsdam with a Zone ABC Ticket.
Day Trip to Dresden or Hamburg – I didn’t get a chance to go but I found bus tickets for around 18 € round trip.
What To Eat
Cocolo Ramen – decent ramen – perfect for hangovers
Curry 36 – A very popular fast food join – Get a currywurst!
Markthalle Neum – I came on a Sunday and the line was out the door, but don’t worry, the line moves pretty fast. Every week there´s a different theme. For example when I went it was a coffee festival! Entrance to get in is 5 €. You can check the calendar of events here.
Maximilians Berlin – Traditional German food. Get the pork knuckle!! It was so juicy.
Mustafa’s Gemuese Kebab – another famous food cart down the street from Curry 36.
Klunkerkranich – A very very hipster rooftop bar in a parking lot mall. This place is a dope hangout spot! I believe the cover is usually 4€ and it’s CASH only.
And finally we went out one of the nights to Club Der Visionaere (also CASH only). Really cool outdoor bar. We had so much fun that we ended up going home at 6 am!