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Cheap living in Berlin


Cheap living in Berlin

Moving to Berlin is a great idea if you want to enjoy the buzz of a major Western Europe capital, without the cost tags that usually apply. Unlike London, Paris or Stockholm, Berlin is a relatively cheap place to live, however both property prices and the cost of living are rising year on year as the city slowly gentrifies. So how can you get by for even less? Check out our guide to cheap living in Berlin.

Low cost neighborhoods

Cheap places to live in Berlin are certainly found in a higher concentration to the east rather than the west of the city, and to really get the most affordable options you need to look to the outermost edges. Many previously cheap areas such as Kreuzberg and Neukölln are now significantly pricier than just a few years ago, so those looking for rooms or apartments for less should head further east to Hellersdorf or Mahlsdorf where it's still possible to rent an apartment for under 500 Euros a month.

Shopping for essentials

Wherever you're in Berlin you are never more than a short walk, metro or bus journey from an Aldi or Lidl. Use these stores to stock up on all the essentials and avoid small grocery stores which are much more expensive.

Eating and drinking for less

A night on the town or a meal out is considerably cheaper in Berlin than say London, Copenhagen or Paris, however there are many ways to further save money in Berlin. The city is packed with beautiful parks such as Mauerpark, Tiergarten and Tempelhofer, all of which are the perfect places to enjoy a cheap picnic from Lidl or Aldi, or perhaps some pre-going out drinks. If you do fancy a hot meal you can enjoy a kebab; there are more kebab sellers in Berlin than Istanbul, and almost all are considerably low in cost. Also cheap is a currywurst (sliced sausage in curry sauce served with fries) from a street stall, which will set you back just a couple of Euros. A great way to save money on a proper meal out is to find a BYO (Bring Your Own) restaurant which will charge a small amount for corkage on your cheap bottle of Lidl wine. Vietnamese restaurants frequently have BYO policies. When it comes to heading out for a night of drinking and dancing, start at one of three Weinerei bars, where you can pay what you can afford for wine. There are some free clubs and raves too, including Trust And Open Air To Go.

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Free things to do

There are plenty of free events, activities and attractions in Berlin, a city that positively thrives on making culture accessible to all. The spectacular East Side Gallery, a collection of political murals painted onto a large stretch of remaining Berlin Wall is not only a must-do essential of the city, but is completely free to visit. In the central Mitte district is the haunting Holocaust Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe. As an open air memorial its completely free to look at and wander around. The Sachsenhausen concentration camp (at Station Z) and the Topography of Terror, which charts the timeline of the Third Reich on open-air panels, are both also free. The lift at the Reichstag (parliament building) is free to use and offers excellent views of both the Norman Foster-designed glass domed roof and the rest of Berlin. Book this in advance though (http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/kupp.html). For a bit of traditional culture head to the Berlin Philharmonic on a Tuesday for a weekly free concert. For a guide to the city's subculture, head to Alexanderplatz at 11am (any day of the week) for a free tour by Alternative Berlin.


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