This blog post was updated on January 3, 2020.
After spending a month in Spain, I touched down to Germany where my wallet received a rude awakening. Not only could I not find places to stay in a reasonable budget, but I also found costs in the country added up quickly. I kissed those cheap tapas meals goodbye and saw a great deal of my money fly out the window while spending three weeks in Germany. If I could do it all over again, I would have initially embraced these five ways to save money on a trip in Germany.
Book Hotels Well in Advance: I mostly like to wing my travels without much planning. It allows me to make changes without incurring more fees. However, in Germany, I paid the price for not booking my hotels well in advance. Not only did I have very little options, but I also ended up paying a great deal more on those lackluster accommodations. If you can, book your accommodations for Germany well in advance. You will have more to choose from and you might avoid paying sky-high rates.
Embrace The Bakery Pretzel and Butcher Brats: Dining out in Germany can also be quite expensive. Those schnitzels end up costing a pretty euro when all is said and done. In order to save on food, I often sought out the butcher. You can usually find butchers grilling up brats right in front of your eyes, all for only a few euros. Bakery pretzels in Germany also make for a cheap snack, usually costing under a euro.
Be Leary of Transportation Cards: Many cities in Germany have transportation passes you can purchase for a set time limit and amount of travel. While these cards might seem like a good deal, not all cities are created equally with their transportation cards. Some are worth it even if you are making just two trips on the subway while others can be a bit of a wash. And as transportation costs can add up quickly in Germany, you will want to be sure to do the math first to determine if it makes sense to buy or not.
Limit Your Steins of Beer: While imbibing in a crisp German beer is part of the culture, those golden drinks might as well be gold in Germany. Beer can get expensive when dining and drinking out. Travelers will want to limit having a beer with every meal to avoid a depleted budget.
Consider Purchasing City Cards: While some transportation cards can be hit or miss in Germany, the city cards do tend to be worth a traveler’s while. Most cities in Germany have these types of tourist cards where you can get discounts and freebies on attractions, shopping and dining. City cards also usually have a transportation component built into them, u presenting a better deal for the traveler seeking out attractions and how to get there. If you are traveling with a friend, be sure to see if you can get a family city card. These are usually for at least two people and tend to be more economical than buying two separate cards.