Travelers that are backpacking Europe on a budget cannot skip out on visiting Germany where beer can be cheaper than water and hostels are located from the tippy top of the highest mountains to storybook towns in the rolling green countryside. Even in Germany’s biggest city of, Berlin, there are incredible memories to be made for visitors who long for a life-changing adventure at a reasonable cost.
In order to be super savvy in Germany visitors should purchase train tickets ahead of time. The price can be 3–4 times what it would have been if they’d bought in advance. Street food is the best food. A currywurst from a street vendor costs as little as 3 EUR. Couchsurfing.com makes finding a free place to crash super easy. This is also a great way for travelers to fully immerse themselves in German culture and make new friends. Ok, now let’s get started on this list of 10 Budget Friendly German Destinations.
10 Berlin Is A Must For Any German Traveler On A Budget
Berlin has some of the most affordable and unique hostels in Europe, making it a backpacking hot spot. Berlin is a massive city that is super spread out, so travelers should take advantage of its bike-friendly nature. Renting bikes is a cheap and easy way to cover a lot of ground quickly. Visitors can’t miss Mitte, Berlin’s oldest neighborhood that contains a museum island where there are multiple museums including the Neues Museum (Admission: €19 For All 5 Museums) where they can come face to face with Nefertiti. At night travelers who like to party should indulge in Berlin’s best clubs and bars where beer is cheaper than water. Those who go out should grab a döner to soak up the alcohol on the way back to their crash pad.
9 Dresden Is A Dashing Destination
Dresden is arguably the most beautiful rebuilt city in Germany and one of the most affordable to visit. The famous Baroque and Rococo architecture of the city has been lovingly restored since being destroyed in World War II and is a sight to behold. Travelers should take a long walk through Dresden’s Old Town to experience Saxon castles, and churches, where they can climb the highest towers for stunning city views and delicious food. If travelers want to experience the more modern side of Dresden, they should cross the Elbe River into New Town, where incredible street art and the Neustadt Market Hall can be found where shopping and snacking reign supreme.
8 Bielefeld Is Unreal
Welcome travelers to Bielefeld, the city that doesn’t exist. Since the 90s, a conspiracy/joke has been passed throughout Germany that this lovely town isn’t real. This fallacy is so popular that in 2019 Bielefeld offered €1 million to anyone who could prove it didn’t exist to promote tourism. That will go far in one of Germany’s most affordable areas. Bielefeld doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it is seriously gorgeous. Located near one of Germany’s most famous high-altitude hiking trails, Hermannsweg, Bielefeld’s lush surroundings are a perfect place for travelers who need to rest and relax. The city itself has a very cool mix of the modern and historical. Travelers that find this city that doesn’t exist will surely be delighted.
7 Holla At Halle, Georg Friedrich Händel’s Hometown
Halle’s musical history is opera worthy. Five cathedral towers make up the skyline of this historical city where Baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel’s childhood home has been preserved as a museum. Johann Sebastian Bach played the organ at the Church of St. Mary’s centuries later, and music continues to be an ingrained part of Halle’s identity. Much of Halle was left intact after WWII, and its architecture can still be enjoyed. In more recent history, Halle was known as the first capital of East Germany.
6 Don’t Pass On Passau
Passau, Germany, is known as the “City of Three Rivers” and is located where the Inn, Ilz, and Danube intersect on Germany’s Austrian border. Passau stands out from the rest with its Mediterranean architecture that makes those who tread its streets feel as though they have been transported to Italy. Travelers should climb up to Veste Oberhaus, an old fortress that is now a museum that covers 600 years of history and has the most breathtaking view of the city below. Afterward, for €12, visitors can indulge in a boat tour to really get a lay of the land.
5 Erfurt Is A Fairytale Town Come To Life
Erfurt has a fascinating history that is over 1,200 years old. The old Synagogue in Erfurt is one of the most interesting small museums in the world. The synagogue was built in the 11th century and is one of the finest examples of a Medieval synagogue left in Europe (check out more about Erfurt’s Jewish history here). Erfurt’s winding streets through timber house-lined alleys leave travelers feeling like the town’s hometown hero, Martin Luther. Don’t miss Egapark while visiting; it is one of the most beautiful gardens in Germany.
4 Hamburg Is One Of Europe’s Finest Cities
Hamburg is the cultural hub of Germany, with 50 museums and over 100 concert venues. This city is also one of Europe’s largest ports. Hamburg has three rivers and six times as many bridges to cruise under on a boat tour than Venice. Hamburg has a ton of delicious treats for foodies, many of which are influenced by its proximity to the North Sea and nautical heritage. Hamburg’s Reeperbahn in St. Pauli is the longest party street in Europe for those who need to let loose. Rent a bike and explore all that Hamburg has to offer, from a wealth of green spaces where an idyllic afternoon can be spent with a book and a beer or check out a street festival and groove with Hamburgers (that’s what residents are called).
3 Achin’ To Check Out Aachen
Aachen is Germany’s ancient capital city and boasts some of the best architecture in the country. Aachen was Charlemagne’s home base during his reign as Holy Roman Emperor. Today travelers can walk Charlemagne’s route through the city and walk in his footsteps. Most of the historical locations in Aachen are free of charge or cost a minimal fee. Visitors can’t miss his tomb at the Shrine of Charlemagne at the Aachen Cathedral and Treasury. Aachen borders the Netherlands and Belgium, so if travelers are looking to move on to another country after Germany, Aachen may be the perfect farewell city.
2 Monschau Is What Dreams Are Made Of
If a traveler were to look up the word picturesque in the dictionary, Monschau would be the definition. This dreamy village of wood-timbered buildings with a river running through the center is nestled against mountains below Monschau Castle (it’s now a youth hostel). Located in the Eifel region of Germany, which boasts 240 km of hiking trails, Monschau, and its surrounding areas are an adventurer’s paradise. Couples will fall in love with the meandering cobblestone pathways and bridges that crisscross the town as they listen to the river’s song.
1 Füssen Is Sleeping Beauty’s Old Stomping Grounds
Germany’s famous storybook landscapes are in Bavaria. Füssen is the jewel of the area. The village is located below King Leopold II’s famous Neuschwanstein Castle which was the inspiration for many other mythical castles. Füssen lies near the gigantic Forggensee, the fifth-largest lake in Germany. After a long hike in the mountains and a tour through a madman’s palace, budget travelers can take a refreshing swim in the Forggensee’s lapis waters. Visitors should wander Füssen’s Old Town which was originally established during the Roman Times, and spend the night in one of the beautiful wood-timbered red-roof buildings.