Berlin in Germany is one of those cities where you can't just do it all in one trip. There are so many museums, shows, and activities that it can be a bit overwhelming not just when you're planning, but to your budget too. Fear not, because if you're someone who likes to visit a bunch of places and not just wander around outdoors (which is fun in summer but way too cold in winter), the Berlin city cards let you do just that for a fixed price.
First of all, there are two city cards to choose from, the Berlin Welcome Card and the Berlin Pass.
The Berlin Welcome Card offers you a budget-friendly way to enjoy an action-packed trip to Berlin. If you’re the kind of person who loves to cram as many activities and as much sight-seeing as possible into their trip, the Berlin Card will be a godsend to your bank account.
There are three different kinds of Berlin Welcome Card. The first is the standard Berlin Welcome Card, which offers free public transport within a certain zone and up to 50% discount at a range of venues. This includes famous attractions, restaurants, souvenir stores, museums, tours, bike rental, and more. You will also get a city map and guidebook thrown in for good measure.
The second kind of card is the Berlin Welcome Card All-Inclusive. This includes everything that you get with standard card plus some extra goodies. In addition to discounts at over 200 sites, you will also get free admission into over 30 of the cities top attractions.
The third type of Welcome Card is the Museum Island Berlin Welcome Card, which includes all the benefits of the standard welcome card plus free entry to one museum on Museum Island per day. These museums are: Alte Nationalgalerie, Altes Museum, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, and Pergamon Museum.
If you plan your days meticulously and can fit plenty of attractions in each day, the all-inclusive card could save you over 100 EUR in admission fees.
For the standard Berlin Welcome Card the prices are as follows:
Zone AB (AB is the zone that includes most of Berlin, excluding the outskirts)
Zone ABC (ABC includes all of Berlin plus Potsdam)
The Berlin City Pass differs from the Welcome Card in that it doesn’t offer any discounts. Instead, it offers completely free entry but to fewer attractions. While the all-inclusive Welcome Card offers discounts to over 200 venues and free entry to about 30+, the Berlin Pass simply offers free entry to around 60 attractions.
So is the Berlin pass worth it? Well, the pass contains three elements: an attraction pass, a Berlin museum pass, and an optional Berlin travelcard. You also get a free guidebook with your card. The Berlin Pass does not have different duration options like the Welcome Card does.
You have two options with the Berlin Pass: a Berlin 72-hour pass or a 72-hour pass with a travelcard. The 3-day card costs 124 EUR for adults and 92 EUR for children. With a travelcard, the price goes up to 148 EUR for adults and 90 EUR for children.
Neither of the cards is cheap and the amount you will save by purchasing one is entirely dependent on how much you intend to do with it.
So which one to choose?
If you are going to Berlin for three days and plan on doing at least three activities each day, purchase the Berlin Pass.
If you are going to Berlin for a weekend break or for a longer period (5/6 days) and you think you will do some activities and will use public transport a lot, purchase the standard Berlin Welcome Card.
And if all you want to do is sip a beer in the park and walk along the river then don’t bother with either of the cards.