Broke in Berlin
At this point we are all already sick with the saying that Berlin is poor but sexy, but it still is very true for a lot of us whiny millennial babies. Because there are like millions of us escaping our country, it is especially competitive to find a well-paid job here, 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.
Isn’t it funny how some germans are so scared of putting their data out there they put alias and weird fake name on Facebook and post literally nothing and just sitting there silently lurking your feed, watching you, judging you? I mean, well, they’re probably right and ahead of us anyway. When you’re not paying for it, you are the product, right?
We all know Mark Zuckerberg is the devil and Facebook sell your private data and keep showing you good pics of your ex to torture you and that we basically now living in Orwell’s 1984 but! despite all that, if you are lucky and fast enough you can actually get free stuffs on Facebook, from advice, photo session, ikea mattress to (unwanted?) friend request and well.. attention!
I once got a 250 bucks Rebecca Minkoff bag for free! Bless the lovely lady from Frankfurter Allee J
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.
Most falafel sandwich are around 3€, even cheaper if you’re about Neukölln, Moabit or Wedding, my favorite so far is this small place tucked in Potsdamer Strasse (will have to check the exact name and address) where you can get a falafel in pita for 2.50
If you’re more of a pizza person and resides in Fhain, Pizza Dach at Simon-Dach-Strasse has 3.50€ pizzas
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 in Hasenheide 10 has cheap viet eats, around 4–5€ for a Tagesmenu / dish.
Mabuhay has indonesian food in big portion, most dishes around 6–7€
Arirang 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. Berlin is so international and I think one of the perks of having friends from different part of the world is actually to taste their food -such good bonding experience! (‘You eat what for breakfast?!’)
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.
Being raised with no education about art at home and school, it is very intimidating to start learning and appreciating art on my own. I feel like it’s a different world and I don’t have the pass to enter. But I’m trying to read more and go to more exhibitions and absorb everything which is very exciting but also could cost a lot since most museum charges around 12€ for entrance.
Fear no more my child, come with me to enjoy high culture with little to no money.
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 Thursdy 4–8pm.
More museums and info here.
If you are young and cultured, you’re in luck because all federate state museums offer free admission to you younger folks up to 18 and the Martin Gropius Bau only charges when you’re above 17 years of age. Read more about museum admission for U-18 here.
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 Saturday midnight there’s a free silent movie screening at Babylon
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
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.
The Berliner Philharmory offers free lunch time concert every Tuesday. My office is at Potsdamer Strasse AKA so close to this, so if anyone wanna come with me feel free to slide into the DM.
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?!
So 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.
There are obviously still so many things to indulge while you’re #BrokeInBerlin alas you could also just lay down in your bed contemplating the meaning of your existence and that is for free -JK!! I’m actually running out of idea at the moment and will update later.
Hope this is somewhat helpful to fellow poor humans of Berlin!