Top Ten Cheap Vacations

Berlin, Germany (instead of Paris, France)
Statue at Charlottenberg Castle in Berlin, Germany
Berlin: Old World Europe at more affordable prices (Photodisc)

10. Berlin, Germany
In this economy, you don't have to forgo that "essential Europe" trip. Instead of forking over beaucoup Euros to stay in Paris, check out its scrappier counterpart to the east, where you'll be able to afford more than a cot at a hostel. David Bowie once called Berlin the "greatest cultural extravaganza that one could imagine," and that still holds up today, with edgy young art and music scenes and lively nightlife. The adventurous might try a boutique themed hotel, such as the kitschy Soviet Ostel or the Propeller Island City Lodge, which includes dozens of elaborately themed rooms—think "floating bed" or "everything is orange."

Like a trip to any major city, tackling all the sights can seem overwhelming. Forego a bus tour and instead stop by Fat Tire Bikes for a leisurely and comprehensive tour that brings you from the landmark Fernsehturm (a distinctive TV tower in the city center) through scenic boulevard Unter Den Linden (lined with Linden trees), along Mitte's shopping district, near the Spree River, along the remaining part of the Berlin Wall, and to Tiergarten Park to see the residence of the German president and the Reichstag building. For a dose of history on the cheap, visit Museum Island on Thursday evenings when entrance to four museums is free. Or picnic along the Spree, where remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall form a veritable art gallery, and toast to the 20 years since (most of) the wall fell.
Berlin Travel Guide

Published: 25 Mar 2009 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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