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"You can enjoy a hotel in Berlin for half the price of a hotel in Paris or London," says Burkhard Kieker, CEO Visit Berlin. The affordable hotels, free admissions, discounted attractions and entertainment offer value to visitors coming to Germany.

Here's information about bargains, deals, discounts and inexpensive and free things to see and do in Berlin.

Hotels in Berlin

Berlin has more hotel beds than New York City. (Berlin has has more than 120,000 hotel rooms.) Room rates in three-star hotels average 67 euros per night.

Budget travelers looking for cheap hotels can choose from 13,000 beds in 30 hostels, priced as low as 10 euros a night. Berlin Tourism offers a best-rate guarantee for 350 Berlin hotels booked on their website.

Discount coupons

There are four types of Berlin Welcome Cards. The traditional Berlin Welcome Card offers free public transportation inside Berlin city limits, for 48 or 72 hours, as well as Berlin information and discount coupons for several attractions.

The Welcome Card Culture+ combines the transportation ticket with a three-day museum pass.

Free admission

For four hours until closing time at 10 pm on Thursday evenings, visitors receive free admission to some of the most popular museums in Berlin.

Berlin museums with free Thursday evening admission are the permanent exhibitions of the New National Gallery, Picture Gallery, Pergamon Museum, Old National Gallery, Museum for Photography / Helmut Newton Collection, Egyptian Museum and the Antiquity Collection.

Free festivals

Many annual special events in Berlin have free admission. Popular free festivals include the Berlin International Beer Festival, during the first week of August. Karl-Marx-Allee becomes the longest beer garden in the world, with 190 breweries from 72 countries and 1,700 brands of beer.

On October 3, Germans celebrate German Unification Day, with music on stages around Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag.

During the last two weeks of October, colorful lights and projections illuminate the sights and fireworks celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Nearly a million people watch the fireworks at Brandenburg Gate and celebrate New Year's Eve with music, dancing, Ferris wheel rides and stands offering international foods.

VAT refund

Berlin stores include a 19% Value Added Tax in prices of goods sold. When departing, Canadians and Americans who buy goods for more than 25 euros qualify for a VAT refund.

Stores that display a Global Refund Tax Free Shopping sign give Global Refund Checks. For purchases in other stores, shoppers show their purchases, receipts and passport to customs officials, when leaving the country, to export-validate their purchases and receive their Global Refund Checks.

Berlin beer gardens

At Berlin's beer gardens, visitors join locals at large picnic tables, where they can eat, drink, talk and listen to music.

Zollpackhof is open from 12 pm to 12 am. The view from the tables, under the 130 year-old chestnut trees, includes the chancellery and Spree River.

Located in the Prenzlauer Berg district since 1837, Prater Garten is the oldest beer garden in Berlin. The 600-seat beer garden opens at 12 pm daily.

On Schonhauser Allee, in Prenzlauer Berg, Biergarten Pfefferberg also opens at 12 pm daily. Patrons listen to open air concerts, while enjoying beer under linden and chestnut trees.

Near Tiergarten, at Lichtensteinallee 2, Café am Neuen opens daily at 10 am. Patrons can rent rowboats to row on the Neuen See.

Beach bars

Beach bars with Baltic sand offer Berlin residents and visitors summer sunbathing, places to drink, dance and club by the Spree River.

Located near the government quarter and Rail Station, Bundespressestrand (National Press Beach) offers sunbathers views of the Reichstag and Chancellor's Office. On the opposite bank of the Spree River, the Capital Beach Bar has views of the new Hauptbahnhof. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, DJs provide music for dancing. Both beach bars open at 10 am.

Oststrand is the biggest beach in Berlin. Located behind the East Side Gallery, the largest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, Oststrand opens at 10 am. Hanseat is a boat, with dancing and free salsa and tango lessons on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Beach parties and concerts take place on other evenings.

On Kopenicker Strasse, behind the Architecture Center, Kiki Blofeld is a bar and dance spot in an old boathouse.

The Swimming Pool of the Arena, a modern freshwater pool inside a barge in the Spree, is open from 8 am until late-night. A sundeck has lounge chairs for sunbathing. The Arena hall, Glashaus theater and club, and restaurant-ship Hoppetosse are nearby.


Spandau Citadel hosts the Citadel Concert Series, between May and September, in the Spandau district of Berlin. Visitors listen to music, which ranges from classical to rock, beside the original moat, towers and dungeons.

In late July and early August, Kopenick and Glienicke castles, churches and historical sites are the setting for the classical music concert series, Classical Days in Berlin's Castles. On the first week of July, outdoor performances of opera, jazz and British classics take place nightly at the Classic Open Air Berlin Gendarmenmarkt.

Water taxis

Water taxis pick up passengers at Schlossbrucke in Charlottenburg, in front of the Pergamon Museum, at Spittelmarkt and in front of Universal Music.

To bypass Berlin traffic, water taxis transport passengers along inner-city waterways.

Open air cinemas

During the summer, visitors and locals can watch original language movies outdoors from beach chairs or blankets on the lawn. German movies have English subtitles. Tickets cost six euros.

Open air films (Freiluftkino) are shown in the Kunstlerhaus (Artists' House) courtyard, located in Bethanien, in Kreuzberg district, near the Kottbusser Tor subway station.