Do you want to know how much does it cost to go to Germany? Exploring fairytale castles and picturesque villages mus be expensive, right? You might be surprised to learn that attending Munich’s Oktoberfest and wandering the stalls at the country’s famous Christmas markets is reasonably priced. Whatever your interests are, Germany is an incredible vacation destination that promises to leave you hoping to come back.
For the purpose of this article, I am suggesting a two week trip to Germany. That’s 14 days and 13 nights. Please note that this guide is based on the costs for a single person so, if you are travelling as a couple you will need to double these estimates (except for hotels). It should also be noted that I am basing this itinerary on the use of trains and public transit to get around rather than a car rental. With that in mind, here’s the breakdown for how much it costs to go to Germany.
- Local transportation
- Food and drink
- Random spending
- Germany trip cost
- Is it expensive to visit Germany?
- How much money do you need per day in Germany?
- Is the German Rail Pass worth it?
- What should I see in Germany?
- What are the best cities to visit in Germany?
|Food and drink||$590|
The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use XE.com to find out the average costs in your home country.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a signup bonus of 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $600 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees and it comes with airport lounge access.
Airfare to Germany can really fluctuate depending on the time of year and which airport you are flying into. Summer, Christmas season, and of course during the time of Oktoberfest (which is actually held in September) tend to see the most expensive flights.
As for airports to fly in and out of, look to the major cities. Frankfurt tends to be the cheapest city to fly into since it’s a major hub and it’s the headquarters of Lufthansa which is part of the Star Alliance along with Air Canada and United. Select budget airlines also offer routes from North America to Germany, however, these routes tend to be longer thanks to layovers and come with extra surcharges, so take that into consideration before you book.
You may also want to look into flying into a major European hub such as London or Paris, which often sees the cheapest flight rates, then catching a cheap flight from there (or even taking the train). This is an ideal option if you have extra time and would like to explore another city.
For roundtrip flights from North America to Germany, you can expect to pay about $800.
Germany has tons of great accommodation options depending both on your budget and the type of experience you want to have. From backpacker-type hostels to camping facilities in the summer, luxury hotels and family-owned pensions, which are similar to B&Bs, you’ll have no shortage of accommodation choices.
Unsurprisingly, prices will vary quite a bit depending on where you are (big city or small town), the time of year, and the day of the week. Need some recommendations? Consider the following:
I’ve based the accommodation estimate in this article ($130/night) on a midrange hotel. Of course, you can find cheaper and more expensive options.
Insider tip: Accommodation tends to book up really quickly in Germany during high season, festivals, and holidays so do yourself a favour and book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $200 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus (must apply by May 15, 2021).
Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* since it typically has a sign up bonus worth more than $200 and the annual fee is normally waived for the first year. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 65,000 Marriott Bonvoy when using a referral link. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $700.
As mentioned earlier in this article, I’ll be using public transit as the main method of transportation for this guide. That’s not to say that renting a car in Germany is a bad idea (it’s not at all, road tripping through Germany can be a ton of fun), it’s just that most people are more comfortable relying on trains.
Train travel through Germany is easy and can be quite affordable. The Germany train website is bahn.com. This is the English option where you can check routes, schedules, and prices. If you are travelling short distances, you do not need to book in advance- prices are fixed. If it’s a long-distance route it’s worth your while to book in advance or buying a German Rail Pass to save money.
How much you spend on trains in Germany really depends on where you want to go and how you book your tickets. Depending on how much you plan to travel around, you may want to consider a German rail pass. They have different options depending on how many days you want to travel. However, while this is an easy method, it may not be the cheapest so it really is in your budget’s best interest to plan your route ahead of time and do a little bit of comparing.
As for transportation within cities, the major cities will have bus or underground networks that are easy to use. Of course, you can always take taxis or (in select places) an Uber. Many of Germany’s cities and towns are quite pedestrian-friendly as well. If you are looking for an easy way to get around and see the sites of Germany’s bigger cities, consider getting tickets for the hop-on-hop off buses. You can get tickets for the one in Berlin here and Munich here.
A lot of Germany’s charm lies in being able to explore its historical cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Dresden. Generally speaking, you’ll want to buy your tickets in advance from Klook as you can usually get a small discount and skip the lines.
One thing I recommend is taking walking tours when possible so you can hear the history and get some local tips. Many cities across Europe run free walking tours daily which are a lot of fun and can be really interesting. These tours are tip-based so the guides really work for their money (normal amount to give is 10 euro for a 2-3 hour tour).
Of course, if you love museums you’ll have plenty to choose from across Germany. Some popular picks include the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the Topography of Terror in Berlin, the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt, and the Medieval Crime Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Food and drink
Food and drinks in Germany are good, but it’s not known to be cheap. Even traditional staples like sausages and pretzels cost a few euro. As for beer? Expect to pay 5-8 euros on average for a stein.
Ideally, your accommodation will provide a breakfast option in the price which will help you cut down on this aspect of your budget. If it doesn’t, this is what you can expect to spend.
- Breakfast – $5
- Lunch – $12
- Dinner – $25
That works out to $42 per day. Remember, to add more if you plan on having drinks. It should also be noted that tipping is expected in bars and restaurants in Germany (5-10% of the bill).
I always recommend having some extra cash set aside for random spending. This could be for souvenirs (maybe you really want a wooden cuckoo clock?) or for a nice meal out. Maybe you even see last minute tickets to a concert you are interested in or decide to take a train somewhere for a day trip. Whatever the reason, I suggest having an extra $200 on hand just in case.
Germany trip cost
So, how much does it cost to go to Germany? Based on my guide above, I estimate the cost of a two-week trip to be around US $3,830. Of course, this amount can either be increased or decreased depending on several factors including when you go, the places you visit, and the type of accommodation you choose. Whether you are interested in history, beer, or just want to live out your fairytale castle dreams, a trip to Germany will not disappoint. Other places in Europe also worth considering include Croatia, Scotland, Amsterdam, Italy and Ireland.
Is it expensive to visit Germany?
When it comes to European destinations, Germany isn’t too bad. As usual, prices will be higher in the bigger cities like Berlin and Munich but this is normal everywhere. In comparison to other European countries, it’s mid-range. That said, for those concerned about the cost of Germany, it can be pretty budget-friendly if you are willing to stay in hostels and aren’t too concerned with fancy restaurants.
How much money do you need per day in Germany?
If you are a mid-range type traveller expect to spend about US $130 per day. This is a comfortable budget that will allow you to do the typical things. If that seems a bit high and you are looking to do cheaper, a budget-conscious traveller can half that and spend about $60-70 per day.
Is the German Rail Pass worth it?
If you have read any of the other articles in this series, I often mention that the rail pass is worth it more in terms of convenience rather than saving money. If the idea of buying rail passes stresses you out and you aren’t too concerned about that part of your budget then maybe. But often you can get better deals if you buy the tickets on your own. This is especially true for Germany. Germany has different types of trains, obviously, the high-speed trains are considerably more but if you stay away from those, train travel in Germany is pretty affordable.
What should I see in Germany?
Germany is a relatively large country and chances are you won’t come close to seeing it all during your trip. That being said, Berlin is definitely worth visiting. It’s a really cool city with lots of history. Germany is also known for its castles and fairytale villages that are definitely worth visiting. Neuschwanstein Castle is probably the most well-known castle and nearby is the walled city of Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber which is a very picturesque medieval town. Depending on the time of year you visit, there may be some other things worth visiting. Oktoberfest is celebrated in early fall (mid-September – early October) and from late November into December most German cities have Christmas markets.
What are the best cities to visit in Germany?
There are lots of great places to visit in Germany. A few to consider adding to your list include Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Nuremberg, and Rothenburg Ob Der Tauber.