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5 ways to experience Berlin for free

Updated: September 18, 2013
By: Ian Yacobucci
Brandenburg Gate Berlin, Germany

People taking pictures at the Brandenburg Gate Berlin, Germany

Berlin is an amazing city! There’s so much to do and see, not to mention how chill the people are, the fact that you can drink in the streets, buy beer everywhere, club for days straight (yes, some stay open from Friday till Monday), and get good cheap food from all over the world.

The best part about Berlin is the fact that you can experience the heart of the city’s culture and history for free. I mean you’ll need to buy a train ticket or two, but as far as paying to explore the city and learning about its history, forget it.

Here’s my list of five awesome things to do in Berlin, and they’re all absolutely free!

1. Go urban exploring –

After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 the city was transformed. Yet still, old buildings, amusement parts, hospitals, and train yards were abandoned, like many ex-soviet countries, making Berlin a haven for urban exploring.

I’d recommend visiting the Bahnbetriebswerl Pankow-Heinersdorf train yard. It’s extremely easy to get to and offers a wide range of buildings to explore. With amazing graffiti and unique derelict architecture you won’t want to forget your camera for this one.

How to get to Pankow-Heinersdorf train yard: Go to the Pankow-Heinersdorf train stop, cross the bridge, and start exploring!!

Pankow-Heinersdorf abandoned train yard Berlin, Germany

My sister taking a pic at the abandoned train yard with her wide angle…nice light!

2. Visit Check-point Charlie –

Learn about Germany during World War 2 and the cold war, when East Germany was a soviet occupied state. The free outdoor museum just across the street from Check-point Charlie will give you a summary of the political and social environment of the times.

From 1939-1989 you’ll discover what it was like for the people and governments during this time. Forget paying dozens of Euros for museums because this exhibit is absolutely free!

Checkpoint Charlie Berlin, Germany

Checkpoint Charlie Berlin, Germany

3. Visit the Budestag dome –

Amazing! You can visit one of the most unique architectural wonders of Berlin absolutely free. High atop the Bundestag, German parliament sits a giant glass dome offering exquisite views of the city, an innovative look at how the plenary (government house) is lit during the day, and a great place to chill for an hour.

 Note: Tours are free but you have to sign up online at

http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/index.html

Bundestag Dome Berlin, Germany

Bundestag Dome Berlin, Germany

 4. Visit the Berlin Wall –

The Berlin wall once encased an entire city and some even say country, when East Germany was a soviet occupied state. There are a few places you can still see parts of the wall, and lines on the ground around the city mark where the original wall stood.

I’d recommend taking a look at East Side Park located in Fredrichshain near Warschauer Str. Station. Here the wall is covered in art on one side and photographs that capture the segregation that walls create in our world today.

The outdoor museum and Berliner Mauer is also really good. Here you can learn about the walls design, purpose, and the loss of human.

http://www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/

Berlin Wall Berlin, Germany

Berlin Wall Berlin, Germany

5. Take a picture at the Brandenburg Gate –

It’s no secret that the Brandenburg Gate is the most iconic place in Berlin. There’s a reason why they put a decal on all the underground trains in the city. Simply put, if you’re in Berlin, you need to go here to read the plaque and take a picture.

Cool: The men you’ll see dressed up in period clothing are actually acting school students, and taking pictures is part of their studies. It costs 2€ for a pic.

Berlin is an awesome city and a few days isn’t nearly enough to explore this place. With insane clubbing, awesome museums, cheap food, and an incredible history you’ll want to spend months here. But like most travelers, you’ll probably only have a couple days so have fun exploring Berlin for free.

Yak

 

Ian Yacobucci

Traveling the Trans-Siberian, mountaineering the Himalayas, or teaching in Tokyo I'm always trying something new. As a someone who's worked, studied, and traveled to 40+ countries around the world I'm here to share my experiences so you can do the same!

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6 thoughts on “5 ways to experience Berlin for free

    1. Ian Yacobucci Post author

      Thanks Job!! I hope that many people will be able to enjoy how amazing Berlin is. Knowing that it doesn’t have to be expensive is even better!!

      Reply
  1. Dana @ Wanted Adventure

    Agree! Absolutely loved my time in Berlin and looking forward to going back again. It’s not such a long drive from where I live down in Bavaria, so I really have no excuse for not going more often! I diligently did number 5 several times, but what I loved most was capturing the Brandenburg Gate at night.

    Reply
    1. Ian Yacobucci Post author

      Awesome Dana!! Hopefully you’ll get a chance to try a few of the others. My favourite is definitely the Bundestag dome.

      Happy Travels :D

      Yak

      Reply