If you haven’t read any of the prior expense reports from our trip, check them out below:
We spent 5 days and 4 nights in Berlin, Germany, arriving on the morning of August 9th and leaving on the afternoon of August 13th. Berlin was an awesome city, and we really enjoyed our time there. For a city of over 3 million people, we were surprised that most of the city is fairly clean and costs were not as high as in the bigger cities where we went in the UK. The architecture is nice, and there is so much history with a ton of free things to do and see. We didn’t have much problem communicating since almost everyone in Berlin speaks English, and many signs are in both German and English. But it was definitely tougher than the UK. Public transportation signs were a little difficult, and trying to understand announcements in German and German-accented English was tough.
Keep in mind that all of the expenses that I’ll talk about below are my expenses only, since Whitney and I have quite different spending habits. We split all shared expenses evenly, so my half of the shared expenses and then my individual expenses are how I calculate the numbers below.
Accommodations: Our first night in Berlin we stayed at an amazing Hyatt hotel in Potsdamer Platz, which was in a great central location. We used a free night voucher from credit card rewards to stay there for free. The hotel was one of the top three where we’ve ever stayed, right up there with the Plaza Hotel in NYC and The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston.
The next two nights we moved to a very nice Airbnb a couple of miles away just outside of the city center, but easily accessible by train or bus. Our host was nice and had spent quite a bit of time traveling around the United States. He kept telling us how much he loves it there and about his future travel plans to return. We stayed in a private room in his house, but the room was huge including our own sitting area. We also had access to the kitchen, and he allowed us to do laundry which was helpful.
Our last night we stayed at a very nice Hilton hotel (not as fancy as the Hyatt, but still higher class for sure) which was also in a great location in the city center. This 5-star hotel was also booked using credit card rewards, which made it completely free for us. They had a delay getting our room ready which caused us to have to wait in the lobby for about an hour in a half. This was disappointing, but they did give us free breakfast for our troubles which was the nicest hotel breakfast we’ve ever had.
- Total for my expenses: $60
Food and drink: We did great on keeping food costs low while in Berlin. A big part of that was due to free breakfast at an airport lounge in Heathrow before leaving London on our first day, and then free lunch and beer at an airport lounge in Berlin upon landing. Our AirBnB host provided some fruit and juice for breakfast one day, and we got free hotel breakfast at the Hilton on our last day as I mentioned above. In addition to all of those free meals, we bought groceries and made sandwiches for two of our meals which was very cheap. We did try a few local places with traditional German food, and they were wonderful and fairly low cost.
- Total for my expenses: $44
Transportation: Airfare from London to Berlin on an early morning flight was cheap on a Eurowings itinerary. Besides the flights, we bought some tickets for trains and buses around the city which were inexpensive and efficient. We did quite a bit of walking to different areas around the city with around 40 miles walked in the 5 days we were there, allowing us to do a lot of great sightseeing and also keep costs low.
- Total for my expenses: $69
Activities: We spent a minimal amount on attractions since most things we wanted to see were free. We took a free walking tour around the city which we really enjoyed and tipped the guide $6 each. We took a free guided audio tour of the dome of the Reichstag building, which offered great views and a lot of interesting history regarding the city and the building. Some of our other favorite things in the city were the East Side Gallery, a festival in Alexanderplatz with a good view of the Fernsehturm Tower, walking around the area near the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and The Holocaust Memorial. All of those things were free.
- Total for my expenses: $6
My total expenses for 5 days and 4 nights in Berlin, including accommodations, transportation, entertainment, and food was approximately $179!
Running total for entire trip to this point (my expenses only): $1,795.
We headed to Munich, Germany next, so stay tuned for my next update and watch the Facebook page where we are posting much more frequently about the trip!