- Travel Topics
We spent an average $62 each per day in Germany over the course of 19 days. Here is a collection of our impressions, travel tips, and the cost break down.
Hamburg was our first taste of Germany. We happened to rent an apartment in the heart of the red light district so it made for a colorful experience. At one point we saw a prostitute aggressively try to solicit a customer, going as far as grabbing and following him when he wasn’t interested (luckily we weren’t approached). Overall the city is nice and we felt 2 days was a good amount of time to spend there.
We had heard amazing things about Berlin before we even got there so we were exciting to check out the city. It does not disappoint. While it lacks that Paris charm, it makes up for that with its vibrant eclectic alternative feel. Berlin is full of history with no lack of interesting attractions and with 6 days there we didn’t even get close to covering everything. A week is a good period of time to just get acquainted with the city, though I feel like a month would be better to really get the feel of it. No shortage of great eateries either! For adventure seekers before to check out the Base Flying in central Berlin — it was an amazing experience. For a quick guide on Berlin check out Globetrotter Girls’ post.
Dresden was surprisingly much more charming that we imagined. We were here on a day trip and spent the day exploring the city.
Munich, while a historic city is also a big business hub, and it really shows. It feels a bit more organized and professional than Berlin. At one point we walked down the street and noticed that every single parked car was either a BMW, Mercedes or Audi, can’t say you see that too often. The center is quite nice though and we enjoyed our 2 days here.
This marked the beginning of our 4 day German Alpine road driving tour so we stopped by these two villages for lunch and a quick stroll. Very picturesque with beautiful paintings on the buildings and an overall charming atmosphere.
These were visited on day two of our driving tour and the highlights were the gorge in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the lunch at the monastery in Ettal. Definitely stop by both in you’re passing by.
These places we visited on day three of our driving tour. Fussen is home to the magical Neuschwanstein Castle, which truly is even more captivating in real life than in photos, and Lindau is a city on a Lake right on the border with Austria. Both highly worth a visit.
These we visited on the last day of our driving tour. Friedrichshafen is home to a series of museums, of which we visited the Zeppelin one and highly enjoyed. Unteruhldingen contains a recreation of an ancient village of the water and is also incredibly interesting for history buffs.
Would we do it the same way?
Overall we had a great time in Germany. We weren’t sure what to expect. There’s always the stereotype that Germans are law-abiding, punctual, reserved, etc but we didn’t really notice this too much. Yes, nobody crossed the street on a red light, but other than that we didn’t notice any of the other stereotypical traits. In Munich we met up with a German friend of ours who had couchsurfed with us back in DC years ago and had a great time exploring the city together (which he himself had never been to). In the Bavaria region we couchsurfed for 4 nights and met some incredibly friendly and hospitable Germans as well. Then of course there was an incident when we locked ourselves out of our apartment in Berlin and a friendly neighbor literally helped us break into the apartment (all with a credit card) and would not stop until we had gotten back in.
In the country not much stood out for us as being categorically German, except for the architecture in the Bavaria region. The cities themselves are all nice, with charming areas and beautiful architecture.
The prices we found to be fairly reasonable for a Western European country, which is always a nice surprise. The food though we did get a bit tired of. German food is very meat heavy and just altogether heavy. The dishes are not exactly light, and while I love to eat as much of the regional and traditional food as possible, it was hard to stick to a German diet for three weeks. When this is the case though there is no shortage of other restaurants and cuisines and you’ll find doner kebabs available and amazingly delicious just about anywhere.
Germany is all about sausages. So many different kinds (the currywurst is pictured above) to sample and compare. Usually you can find these at a street vendor so they make for a quick and cheap meal or snack.
Once you get sick of those head straight for the doner kebab stands. These you will find all over Germany and if you’re in Berlin check out Hasir (where dober kebab was invented, apparently). This was one of the best kebabs we had for sure.
Our best experience was definitely base flying in Berlin. How often do you get to be harnessed in and jump off a building? I loved it, and was just about ready to run up the stairs and do it all over again.
We didn’t take any local buses but did take the metro in Berlin which was incredibly convenient to get around the city.
We didn’t take any trains in Germany and found that they were generally pretty expensive when we looked them up online. To cut costs look into buses or ride shares instead.
No cabs taken in Germany.
We took a couple long distance buses and just booked our tickets online ahead of time.
We were able to get a few student discounts at museums so make sure to carry the student id with you!
We don’t remember having problems with finding bathrooms.
We felt very safe in Germany.
There is no shortage of restaurants to choose from. If you’re looking for something more casual you will see cafes and street vendors all over the place. It is easy to find all sorts of different cuisines and regional specialties. Best of all, the food in Germany when eating out is not that expensive so it’s not hard to have a great meal on a budget. Oh and the beer — make sure to get a beer with every meal so you can just skim the surface and start to sample all the local drinks.
Credit Cards And Money
We were able to use our credit cards sometimes, though we have cards without the chip so this gave us trouble sometimes.
Internet is widely available.
We stayed in a mix of hostels, apartments and couchsurfer. A good mix.
We had no problem finding couchsurfers in the places we were interested in finding them.
We kept track of every cost we had down to the purchase level and categorized it into 5 groupings:
So where did we end up? $62 per person, per day.
Would we go back to Germany? YES but not immediately. We had a good time while we were there and I would considering spending 1-2 months living in Berlin and getting to know the city better but we’re not in any rush to head back.