I recently visited Berlin with two of my closest friends from school and managed to get flights and accommodation for just over £200 (please bear in mind, this was before the chaos that the Brexit vote caused!). I’m one for a good bargain, I say it all the time, but I don’t understand why you would pay for something that costs X amount, and you can get the same thing elsewhere for cheaper.
Getting flights out of Glasgow is easy if its a destination covered by Ryan Air or Easy Jet, however a lot of Jet2 flights to some of the most desirable places in Europe fly out of Edinburgh. So to stay close to home, and for ease for my Cambirdge-living friend, we decided to buy to single flights: Easy Jet from Glasgow to Berlin and then Ryan Air on the return journey from Berlin to Glasgow.
Combined, both flights cost £98 including taxes. I think you would agree it is an absolute bargain! In order to find the best flights, I usually use Sky Scanner as well as going on each airlines specific website just in case they have specific online deals or discount codes.
Like I mentioned, the available outbound and return dates didn’t suit our work commitments so we had to buy two singles from Ryan Air and Easy Jet. A little complicated at first but I actually think buying the return Ryan Air flight was cheap because I paid for it in Euros – although I don’t know what the exchange rate was at that time so could be wrong! To save even more we cut out “luxuries” that these low-cost airlines try to upsell i.e. booking a specific seat and adding hold luggage.
Another way we managed to bag cheap flights was remaining flexible. So it was clear we could only fly out and back on two certain days of the week, but that didn’t stop us from changing weeks. Sky Scanner (and most other airlines) have a great tool where you can put in specific search dates, but if the prices don’t suit then you can switch to a monthly view that gives you an overview of prices for several months surrounding your initial chosen date.
I knew I wanted to stay in Kreuzberg, a neighbourhood that has often been dubbed “artsy”, “indie” and “gentrified”. I hunted up and down the area to find the right hotel, hostel or apartment but couldn’t see one that was in our price range. I wanted something cheap, clean, with all the essentials and close to bars, restaurants, clubs and transport links. Was that too much to ask? Not for Airbnb!
I ended up booking an open-planned apartment on Dresdener Strasse in Kreuzberg which was located in a cute little courtyard above plenty of bars, clubs and restaurants on the street and neighbouring street. Three nights in this apartment cost me around £125.
Ultimately we were able to keep costs down by going flexible with the budget airline, minimal luggage, no extra add-ons and by renting an Airbnb just outside the main touristy section of Berlin. However, I feel staying where we did gave us a great idea of how the locals live, it was lively, colourful and we met hundreds of amazing people from all over the world who cam to visit our little street lined with bars and restaurants. The secret is to research research research. If a city has a good transport system, like Berlin, you can basically stay anywhere because it is so easy to get around!
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