Berlin express: experience the best of Berlin on a budget in 36 hours!

Hi there! I’m Carolina, a Brazilian girl living in London who has been working for Hostelworld for two months now, and loving it.

Working in the Hostelworld offices can be quite surprising sometimes. You know that you’ll be working in a cool place, living and breathing travel, but I had no idea that in less than 2 months on the job that I’d be sent on a backpacking adventure of my own, giving me the chance to experience the authentic travel life!

crazy backpacking in the city of berlin

The Staff Summer Holiday Season is now open!

Just a little bit of a context here: One beautiful Friday morning, everyone in the office received an email about the Hostelworld Staff Summer Holiday. We could choose a place to go hostelling with work colleagues from Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Copenhagen, Rome or Lisbon. First stop was Berlin, and fell in love with this city as soon as I exited the airport gates and saw the German capital for the first time.

Where We Stayed

PLUS Hostels was a pleasant surprise, not because we weren’t expecting a totally amazing hostel, but we because it was so incredible in every way, that it really made me reconsider all the things that a hostel can actually be. Think a huge lobby, a beach bar, and super comfortable rooms. With such friendly staff who always happy to help and knew their city inside and out, PLUS was definitely the right choice for someone who was visiting the city for the first time (like me!).

The dorms were immaculately clean with fluffy pillows that ensured me and my colleagues were well rested so that we could explore Berlin in the daytime. The common areas were also all very well designed with a welcoming fee: they have a swimming pool, a big outside garden, a cosy beach bar (yes, sand on the floor!), two restaurant, and a very large lobby with sofas you can throw yourself on after a long day exploring the best of Berlin.

The WiFi is free, towels can be rented for €3, and the “all you can eat” breakfast is €7 so you can make sure that you have a full stomach before making the most of your day in Berlin.

food image of bread and industry sausage
Sandeman Free Walking Tour

When you don’t have much time, it’s important to choose items for your itinerary carefully. And because local Berliners know the city much better than I do, I chose to go on the Sandemans New Europe tour. This was the perfect activity for orientating myself in the city and to get to know lots of the famous Berlin sights in a short amount of time and on a budget (because the tour is free – woo hoo!).And, of course, if you do love the tour, remember to tip your guide and this incentivises them to make it bigger and better!

I still have burn marks around my neck (oops) because it was so sunny, so remember to wear sunscreen, and comfortable shoes, because the tour lasts for two and a half hours.

Throughout the tour, you will visit: Pariser Platz, The Brandenburg Gate, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, The Site of Hitler’s Former Bunker, Luftwaffe HQ, The Berlin Wall, The Former SS Headquarters, Checkpoint Charlie, The 1920s Cabaret Mile, Gendarmenmarkt, The Old Royal Boulevard, and The TV Tower.

sandeman free walking tour in the backpacking jungle

Hungry? I Bet You Are!

After the tour, you’ll be ready to fill your stomach with the best food that Berlin has to offer! If you love trying local food and you are in Berlin on a sunny day, waste no time in heading straight to a Biergarten. These outdoor areas are where local beer and food are served, typically at shared tables – ideal for a group of backpacking friends. And my personal recommendation is for Prater Garten in Prenzlauer Berg. The food was delicious and the beer was refreshing! A highlight was the typical Bratwurst im Brötchen, a huuuge German sausage in a tiny bread bun.


prater berlin - oasis for backpackers

Art Lover’s Paradise

After some food, you’ll be full of energy once again. Now is the time to get in a tram to check the famous East Side Gallery – the international memorial for freedom. It takes over 1.3km of the Berlin wall, transformed into a huge outdoor art gallery by local artists – very cool. And nearby is the river Spree, where you can have some downtime, strolling along the river, taking in the views, and taking some photos that make your friends jealous.

eastside gallery - love the unexpected of backpacking


And There’s More!

Berlin is also famous for its crazy-amazing nightlife, so if still got some energy in your system, you have to put on your dancing shoes. Club der Visionäre is one of the best bar/pubs in the city, where locals go for either just one drink or to party hard to electronic music for days on end. The club has a rustic/retro feel, right by the canal, and very close to Treptower Park. I went there for a few beers and people watch, but by this time I was very much much ready for my fluffy pillow at the hostel!

I fell head over heels for Berlin, and I can’t wait to return to the city to see, eat, dance and experience even more.

If you have any tips or simply want to share your thoughts, leave your comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

Feel inspired to book a trip yourself? Book a stay in PLUS Hostels Berlin or check out more hostels in Berlin.

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