Berlin's cultural offerings match the historical importance of the city: monuments, museums, landmarks, tours... the capital has a lot to offer and to save money and time there is the Berlin Welcome Card.
1. What is the Berlin Welcome Card
A city pass or tourist card gives you free or discounted access to the city's points of interest for a certain period of time. The Berlin Welcome Card has a general version and various extensions, depending on the attractions you want to visit:
2. How the Berlin Welcome Card works
There are different types of Berlin Welcome Card with different prices depending on the number of days you want to use it. Regardless of the type of card you choose, during the time it is active you will be able to use all its benefits and access all the discounts and free tickets.
When you book the card online, you will be able to choose the option that suits you best, but here are the prices depending on the number of days you want to use it:
- 2 days - 23 euros
- 3 days - 33 euros
- 4 days - 40 euros
- 5 days - 46 euros
- 6 days - 49 euros
Ana's Traveller Tip
In the 48 and 72 hour options, use of the card is counted by the hour and in the following options by calendar days. To make the most of it, activate it first thing in the morning.
3. How it works
Booking and collection
You can buy it online and print it at home or pick it up at one of the different points of sale in Berlin. When you go to make your purchase you will be asked how many days you want the card for and for which transport zones, but you can always contact us by email if you have any questions about collection or use.
The Berlin Welcome card works in a simple way: the tourist card is validated with the first use and from then on you can enjoy all the benefits for as long as you have purchased it. Remember to carry it with you at all times during your trip and always show it at the ticket offices of museums and monuments before buying your ticket.
One of the most outstanding benefits that not everyone knows about is that children up to the age of 14 travel free on public transport accompanied by an adult in possession of this card. It also includes a map of the city with recommendations for discovering it.
4. Attractions and experiences included in the Berlin Welcome Card
Listing the 200+ places you can get discounted entry to with the Berlin Welcome Card (including benefits in shops and restaurants) is a daunting task, but I can list what I think are the most worthwhile discounts on the Berlin Welcome Card. You can save 25% on the following places with the Berlin Welcome card:
German Historical Museum
With 8000 objects selected from different collections, this museum shows the 2000 years of German history in a four-storey space.
One of the most visited museums in Berlin and one of the most interactive in the world. Through an inverse experience you will go through the routine of East Germany, the years of the Berlin Wall or the workings of the Stasi. If you've never been to a museum like this before and you're interested in the history of the city, I recommend it.
Berlin Wall Museum
A multimedia museum covering the Cold War years that tells the story of how the famous wall radically changed the way of life in the city.
Presided over by a grandiose architectural masterpiece, this is one of the most awe-inspiring museums you can visit in the city of Berlin. As well as offering interesting historical facts supported by real photographs, it also contains testimonies in different formats from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Not to be missed.
Madame Tussauds Museum
One of the highest quality wax museums in Europe. A visit here is a different and fun way to learn more about German and world culture past and present.
A must-see for sports fans with several guided tours.
It's no secret that when it comes to espionage, Germany has had a lot to say throughout history. In this museum you will find an interesting historical overview of all this, which I can assure you is very interesting.
Climbing the television tower
Germany's landmark building on Alexanderplatz is also one of the best viewpoints in the German capital.
5. Possible extras or extensions to add to your Welcome Card
Berlin Welcome Card extension for the Museum Island
The Berlin Welcome Card extension including the Museum Island Pass is valid for 72 hours. During this time you will enjoy all the benefits of the 3-day Berlin Welcome Card and you will also have access to all the museums located on the famous Museum Island, one of the most important museum sites in Europe.
- The Old National Gallery: houses works of art from classicism, romanticism, impressionism and the beginnings of modernism.
- The Old Museum: a gem for antique lovers. It was Prussia's first public museum.
- The New Museum: divided between a collection of Egyptian art and a collection of prehistoric art.
- The Pergamon Museum: the most visited museum in Berlin. Inside you will find the Museum of Islamic Art and the Museum of the Near East with antiquities such as the Pergamon frieze or the Miletus market gate.
- The Museum of Byzantine Art: also known as the Bode-Museum. It is notable for its collection of coins, sculptures and treasures.
The Berlin Welcome Card extension for Berlin's C-area
The generic card gives you free access to Berlin's underground, bus and tram network covering zones A and B of the city (Berlin's city centre). If you are staying further afield or are interested in visiting more distant areas, you can pay a surcharge of between 3 and 5 euros for your travel card to cover zone C and Potsdam. You can select this option from the general Berlin Welcome Card, choosing the days and zones you want.
The all-inclusive extension of the Berlin Welcome Card
In addition to the free transport and discounts of up to 50% included in the general package, this VIP option also gives you free entry to several highlights and access to the Berlin sightseeing bus with free stops.
In the case of the all-inclusive option, the 25% discounts you get at places like the DDR museum, the Stasi museum, Madame Tussauds or the Olympic Stadium, among others, are converted directly into free admission. In my opinion, if you are staying in the centre of Berlin and your main motivation for taking out the Berlin Welcome Card is the discounts and not the transport, you should consider this option, even if you are going to choose a shorter duration.
6. When is it worth buying the Berlin Welcome Card and which type to choose?
Tourist cards can be a fantastic investment when visiting a city, but whether or not it pays off will always depend on your travel plans and how much time you're willing to spend. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a Berlin Welcome card:
- How long you will be in Berlin. This is essential. If you are going to be in the German capital for 15 days, you don't need to concentrate all your museum visits in several days, even if it means saving money. On the other hand, if you are only going to be in Berlin for two days, you may not want to spend them only seeing museums and you may prefer to enjoy other aspects of the city.
- The location of your accommodation. The main advantage of the Berlin Welcome card is free transport in zones A and B of the city (zone C if you choose this option). The centre of Berlin is very large and you may live in a central neighbourhood but away from the main sights. However, if you are staying close to the main sights and also like to walk to the sites, you won't benefit as much from free transport.
- The number of museums you want to visit. It seems like a no-brainer, but perhaps you've been fascinated by Berlin's immense cultural offerings and haven't taken into account the actual number of museums you're going to see. I recommend that you plan which museums or monuments you want to visit and then calculate how much you would save on them with the city pass discounts.
- Your pace of travel. To get the most out of any city pass, you need to travel at an intense pace. The more museums you visit, the more profitable the investment in your card will be, and that means seeing several museums per day. If you think this is going to tire you out and you prefer to alternate sightseeing with walking around the city, choose an option of fewer days so that you can enjoy what you see and not do the visits "by obligation".
- The other activities you'll be doing during your visit: do you plan to rent a bike, is a visit to a restaurant as important to you as a visit to a museum, do you want to climb the TV Tower or do you want to leave Berlin without visiting some of the shops? If so, take a look at the other benefits of this card in addition to the discounts at tourist attractions.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Check out the restaurants in Berlin where you can get a discount with your tourist card; you may be surprised.
7. Other Berlin sightseeing passes
If you are interested in the idea of buying a tourist card to visit the German capital and want to compare other options, I recommend this article about the Berlin Pass. This is another way to enjoy the sights and museums of Berlin while saving a considerable amount of money.
Unlike the Berlin Welcome card, the Berlin Pass is more focused on sightseeing than transport: the standard version includes free entry to attractions (rather than discounts) and you can waive the transport ticket to save on cost, so it's a good option if you're staying in the city centre and walking. The Berlin Pass is available for two or three days and you'll find everything you need to know about how to get it in this article: Berlin Pass.
8. If you're interested in the Berlin Welcome card, you'll also be interested in
One of the visits you can't miss in Berlin is the Charlottenburg Palace. Located a short distance from the centre and easily accessible by public transport, this palace and its impressive gardens are well worth a visit, especially if you want to escape for a morning from the stress of the centre of Berlin. Here is a link to my guide to Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin so you can organise your visit.
With the Berlin Welcome card you will get a 25% discount on the interior tour, but this 18th century palace also offers many other experiences for the traveller that you should not miss.