Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Broke In Berlin

At this point we are all already sick with the saying that Berlin is poor but sexy. I would say it's still a sexy mess, but poor? Cost of living here has increased a whole lot in the past few years. Hip areas inside of the ring with the coffee shops, art galleries and artisanal shops are not affordable anymore, and you would need around €450 min. to secure a room in a flatshare and obviously more when you opt to live alone. With millions of us escaping our identity crisis countries, it is especially competitive to find a well-paid job, so we ended up selling ourselves short and settle for that 'social media' job at that très chic startup in Mitte with very minimum wage that barely even cover our crazy-expensive rent.

So, yes I am broke in Berlin. That's not the end of the world though, living here since May 2016 I have been navigating my way to survive and have fun (this is of course very subjective!) in Berlin with very minimum budget. I love to find good deals (partly because of my asian genes, but mostly because I'm broke AF) and reading of others' Geheimtipp, so I thought I could also share a thing or two about being a brokeass almost-adult in Berlin.

(You can find more info by clicking the links attached obvs)


We all know Mark Zuckerberg is the devil and Facebook sell your private data and keep showing you how amazing everybody else has it and that we basically now living in Orwellian / Black Mirror dystopia but! despite all that, if you are lucky and fast enough you can actually get cheap to free stuffs on Facebook, from advice, photo session, gig tickets, ikea mattress to (unwanted?)friend request.

Free Your Stuff

Free Advice Berlin 

Free Activity Berlin

Sell Your Stuff Berlin

Sell Your Furniture Berlin

Sell Your Clothes Berlin


Obviously cooking at home with groceries you get at turkish supermarket or discounters like Aldi, Lidl, Netto or Penny is the thing to do when poor is life but sometimes you just have had enough of eating leftovers 3 nights in a row or enough of Mi Goreng to cure your hangover woes and you feel like you deserve actual food cooked by big, strong hands that would comfort your empty belly and overall void in your life.

Taco Tuesday at Santa Maria Eastside taco and tequila shot at 1€ each ayyyyy

Salami Social Club has 1€/slice of different pizza selections every Thursday and also All You Can Eat on Sunday. If you feelin' like #TreatYoSelf for one of those special days, why not spend a bit more to good pizza - I made a Berlin Pizza Map where you can find supposedly best pizza in Berlin.

Hamy (Hasenheide 10) has cheap viet eats, around 4-5€ per dish.
Mabuhay (Köthener str. 28) has indonesian food in big portion, most dishes around 6-7€
Arirang in Charlottenburg and New Arirang at Warschauer got relatively cheap korean eats and a portion there could feed like an entire family

If you are also hungry for food and also for human contact, why not join Let's cook together Berlin group where you can meet new people and cook food together. I mean you can also do that with your friends obviously.

Art & Culture

Appreciating art is so important especially for your overall sanity and social media presence. Look! Another instagram post of Chiaru Shiota's Uncertain Journey with a Gingham filter.

Museums / art galleries / historical sites:

List of museums with free entrance (pro tip: Don't be a dick and posed or take selfie at the Holocaust memorial)

You can visit The KW Institute for Contemporary Arts for free every Thursday from 6-9pm.
Akademie der Künste every Tuesday 3-7pm.
Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle every Monday.
Museum for Film and TV Thursday 4-8pm.
More museums and info here.

If you are serious about checking out museums in Berlin, why not get the Annual ticket for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. I got the basic membership for 25€ granting me access to museum like Hamburger Bahnhof, Neues Museum, even the Pergamon Museum during off-peak hours (for example you can come at 11am - 1pm on Saturday or Sunday, after you get in you can stay as long as you want)

The visit to the Reichstag building is free of enterance you just have to register online or few hours before your visit at the Visitors Service.

Every summer there's Long Night of Museums (last year on August 27th) where you can visit lots of museums in Berlin for way cheaper. Early bird tickets 12€ / normal 18€. Sucha fun experience, though quite tiring - plan your route, bring water and snacks and wear comfy outfit. At the Naturkunde Museum you could even drink cocktails (!) with the dinosauriers

More art museums and galleries this way.

Films & Music & Dancing:


Every Saturday midnight there's a free silent movie screening at Babylon

Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays free movie screening at Köpi 137 a berliner squat / community center

Sameheads in Neukölln also screens cool film for free (also free popcorn!!) every Wednesday 9pm.

Kallasch& in Moabit also occasionally has Filmnacht& + Drink aus dem Film where you can watch cool cult movie for free and enjoy the drinks from the movie.


The Berliner Philharmory offers free lunch time concert every Tuesday.

Die Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler as well as die Universität der Künste offer concerts with free enterance occasionaly. Check their events here and here.

For the young and broke, for the champagne taste on a beer budget, if you are under 30, you can get ClassicCard membership for €15/year which allows you to buy last minute (1 hour before it starts) tickets for opera and ballet performances for really cheap. 8 euro for concerts and 10 for opera and ballet.


If you're feelin' dancy head to Clärchen Ballhaus, go on Monday to salsa your pain away (free enterance from 9pm on), Disco-Tuesday (free enterance from 9pm on), Swing on Wednesday, or Cha Cha on Thursday.

Bohnengold as far as I know also always let you in for free.

I am socially awkward and a bad dancer so probably not the best person to consult about the club scene in Berlin. Soz.


So you have just read the Communist Manifesto and now woke AF but you just need to get this object that could create the perfect illusion of 'the better version of you'. What to do?!
Buy it secondhand via Ebay-Kleinanzeigen, Kleiderkreisel, Sell Your Stuff, at your local Flohmärkte, Humana, Resales and other secondhand shops.

(I really want to do secondhand shopping post soon, so that's coming soon!)

It's really not that hard to find books stacked outside your doorstep or in the streets of Berlin "zum Mitnehmen", but if you're looking for soemthing in particular and better curated, head to St.George's in Prenzlberg or Curious Fox in NK for cozy bookshop atmosphere and stacks and stacks of secondhand english books.

You can also buy secondhand books here, free shopping if you purchase more than €10!

If you've come to terms that you are a horrible human being and would like to punish yourself but also train yourself in case zombie apocalypse is actually happenning, go to Primark at Alexanderplatz and Ikea at Tempelhof on a Saturday.

I have yet to go to Dong Xuan Center in Lichtenberg but friends have told me this is the place to buy your asian groceries and knick knacks and useless shit that you don't actually need. Yay capitalism!

Other tips and ways to save money


I know we all hate the BVG and the only good thing about them is probably their social media campaign but with the regular monthly public transport ticket you can take someone with you Mo-Fr from 8pm on and all-day during the weekends. The ticket is also transferable, which means you can lend it to your flatmate when you're away or like sick or something. If you use the public transportation often and you're thinking to settle for a bit in Berlin it's probably make sense to subscribe for a monthly card. At €63.42 you're saving almost 20 bucks per month than if you're buying the regular monthly ticket.

Sometimes you just need to take a cab because ur a kween and u deserve it. I normally use mytaxi, they have mobile app you can download here: IOS Android, also every few weeks they would give out €10 off code.

Beers: Sterni, mostly costs 80 cents at your local Späti. Alternatives; Schultheiss, Pilsator, Berliner Kindl.

Birthday specials:
To celebrate the day you were born (which you didn't even asked for, SMH) and capitalism, why not try some of these..

  • Free boat tour of your choice from Reederei Riedel with this coupon
  • Now that you're old and need some Zen, why not treat yourself to some spa and wellness? You get 50% off Liquidrom entrance ticket or if you want to go further, you can go to Bad Saarow Therme  or maybe Tropical Island for free on your birthday
  • Up your beauty game, get your brows waxed for free at your nearest Benefits Brow Bar

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