How to budget for your Germany trip: Detailed list of costs for accommodation, transportation, gas, and more
Compared to other destinations in Europe, living expenses in Germany are moderate: cheaper than Zurich, London and Paris, but more expensive than Eastern European countries, Spain or Portugal. The country known for beer and sausages offers travel opportunities for backpackers on a budget as well as lovers of luxury. If it’s your first time traveling to Germany, here’s what you can expect to pay for accommodation, food, tipping, gas, and more:
Germans round up the bill. For example, if you had a soda for 1,80€ you’d pay 2€. If your bill ranges between 20-30€, you usually add another Euro – for example: Bill: 27,50€, Tip: 1,50€. It’s not very common to tip more than 10-12% max.
Accommodation (hotels, hostels, Airbnb)
Running a search on Airbnb for the same date in Germany’s most popular cities led to the following results of average prices per night for a double room:
If it’s your first time using Airbnb, receive $20 off your first stay by clicking this link: www.airbnb.com/c/jkruger39
Conducting the same search on Google for the same date, but this time with hotels & hostels, led to the following results of average prices per night for a double room:
Expensive vs. less costly areas in Germany
As a generalized rule one can say that the South of Germany is most expensive, followed by Hamburg and Berlin. Former East Germany is the cheapest along with the so called “Ruhrgebiet” minus Cologne and Dusseldorf.
According to this article from January 2017, Germany’s most costly cities are Munich, Frankfurt, and Berlin, followed by Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and Leipzig – in short – all the cities you’d want to visit!
Your cheapest options for getting decent quality (I’m a health nut, so that’s why I say this), but very delicious food in Germany are your local bakeries and butchers as well as Doener shops. As opposed to the US, you will actually enjoy your meal at a German McDonald’s. Definitely try it out!
For mid-budget, go to local restaurant which serve German and international cuisine and you’ll get a good plate for $10-15, and at lunch time $8.
If your taste buds are ready for Michelin-star quality, check the VARTA-Fuehrer. You’ll find hidden gems that serve the most delicious and exquisite food and which Google, Facebook, or Tripadvisor often don’t show you unless you dig very deep.
So, just because flying in your country is more expensive than anything else, think twice before your booking a train (Deutsche Bahn runs the majority) in Germany, especially last minute! If you’re city hopping, you can get flights for $30 or less.
Knowing your dates early will be the best option if you want to take the train: You can score a 6-hour cross-country ride for 30 Euros by reserving your ticket about a month or more in advance instead of paying 120 Euros for the same ticket if you book one or two days ahead.
Public transportation prices vary from city to city. If you’re in a city for a few days, it’s worth it to get a several day, weekend, weekly, or even monthly ticket.
Another popular option to get around Germany (or even Europe) is Blablacar – a safe carpooling website, cheap and easy – I’ve used it plenty of times and never had any issues. It’s about 5 Euros per 100 km.
Depending on where you go (bar or club, city or town) Germany is definitely affordable. If you find the right bar, they’ll have 99 cent shots to get your night started and a guaranteed headache the next morning. 0.3 l bottles of beer usually cost around 2-5 Euros. Drinks range between 5 and 12 Euros and a two for one happy hour can be found in almost every city. No price limits for more upscale places, of course.
In bigger cities, girls often don’t pay to get in or get in free before a certain time. I usually find a promoter or a guest list because I dislike paying for a place to party at. Cover will range anywhere from 3 Euros to 10. If you’re paying more, there should be a special event or the place should be fancy.
On average, a pack of cigarettes is sold for about 5 Euros with an upward tendency.
Be aware that German gas prices are shown in liters and are at the time of this article approximately 1,4 Euros for E10 or Super and 1.2 Euros for Diesel.
So, how much should you budget if you visit Germany?
If you want to travel as cheap as possible: Excluding accommodation, but including food and attractions, 20 Euros a day or slightly less should be enough and not stretch you too much.
If you’re a mid-range traveler: I’d recommend a daily budget of 30-50 Euros.
If you’re a lover of luxury, of course there’s no limit for you! Especially in Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, or the Alps.
Did you enjoy this article? Or did I miss anything? Let me know of what else you’d like to know the prices!
Here’s another useful one if you’re traveling to Germany for the first time:
16 things you should know before traveling to Germany
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