Is the Berlin Pass 2016 worth it? We review prices and value here

Berlin is now one of the most visited cities in all of Europe, and one way of seeing a lot of the city in a short time is with the Berlin Pass. Similar to other city passes, it includes free admission to the top museums and attractions as well as an unlimited public transit pass. It’s a good deal for many people, but certainly not for everyone.

In 2016 they made the card much more valuable by adding four new premium attractions and making the transit card optional, so it’s now an excellent deal for families and even groups of adults. Unlike most other huge capitals, Berlin doesn’t have a great number of “checklist attractions,” and the city itself is the primary highlight. Fortunately, the Berlin Pass includes all of the most popular attractions, as well as 4 different (open-top bus, river, bike, walking) tours. Each visitor’s goals will determine whether the pass is right for them.

The short version on who should buy a Berlin Pass

BerlinHolocaustIf your main goal is to visit as many of Berlin’s museums as possible, then you are probably better off with the Berlin Welcome Card, which covers most of the lesser museums and also has an add-on to include the top museums on Museum Island.

But if you want to see Berlin from a variety of angles in a short time, the Berlin Pass is the better option.

The Berlin Pass not only covers the Pergamon and other top museums, but also the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Madame Tussauds, the Berlin Dungeon, LEGOLAND, the Berlin Dom (cathedral), and Bode Museum. Better still, it includes a 24-hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour, a river cruise, a bike tour (bikes are provided), and a walking tour. Put all of these together in 2 or 3 days and you’ve saved money while seeing the top sights and experiencing Berlin itself. With the included public transportation pass, you can quickly get from your hotel to all the sights with the least hassle possible.

New in 2016: The Berlin Pass added 4 top (and expensive) attractions

The Berlin Pass was a pretty good deal before, but as of 2016 they’ve added free entry to Madame Tussauds, Berlin Dungeons, AquaDom & SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, which are all premium (expensive) attractions. Better still, they are all a short walk from many other included attractions so it’s easy to just pop in for an hour or so to check them out.

The AquaDom aquarium and LEGOLAND are obviously most popular with families with younger children, while the Madame Tussauds and Berlin Dungeons are more popular with adults and older children. It’s easy to visit 2, 3, or 4 of these newly added attractions in just a few hours because they are all so close together, so this adds a LOT of value to the Berlin Pass.

What’s included in the Berlin Pass

You actually get 4 separate things when you buy the Berlin Pass, and each is quite valuable on its own, including the guidebook itself.

  • Berlin Museum Pass: Free entrance to 45 of Berlin’s best and most popular museums, including all the famous ones.
  • Berlin Attractions Pass: This includes a free sightseeing bus tour, bike tour, walking tour, plus 7 other popular non-museum attractions.
  • Travelcard (optional) – Free travel on public transport in Berlin covering zones ABC, which includes the entire city as well as suburbs like Potsdam.
  • Berlin Guidebook – A free and helpful 95+ page guidebook available in English, German & Italian

Prices of the 2016 Berlin Pass

  • 2-Day Adult Berlin Pass €93.00
  • 2-Day Child Berlin Pass €49.00
  • 3-Day Adult Berlin Pass €115.00
  • 3-Day Child Berlin Pass €59.00

Prices of 2016 Berlin Pass with unlimited transport card

  • 2-Day Adult Berlin Pass €109.00
  • 2-Day Child Berlin Pass €59.00
  • 3-Day Adult Berlin Pass €138.00
  • 3-Day Child Berlin Pass €75.00

Note: Berlin Pass prices usually go up in late January each year, but the pass is valid for 12 months from date of purchase so you can buy one before the price hike and use it afterward.

Where to buy at a discount

DECEMBER SALE: You can buy the Berlin Pass for 10% off using this link and the coupon code POT10 (expires Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 3 of checkout). If a larger discount is available, you’ll get the lowest price using the link above.

Top sights and attractions included in the Berlin Pass

Open Top Bus Tour of Berlin (1-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour) – €19.00

This 20-stop tour with live commentary is a perfect way to get a fast orientation of this huge city all at once.

Checkpoint Charlie Museum – €12.50

This is a fascinating museum that documents the Berlin Wall as well as all the crazy ways people tried to sneak through it.

Madame Tussauds Berlin – €23.50

It’s easy to make fun of this international chain of wax museums, until you visit one and see why they are so popular and expensive. If you buy a Berlin Pass, you’ll be very impressed by at least a quick visit to Madame Tussauds.

Berlin Dungeons – €20.50

This interactive experience includes an impressive walk-through of live performances and a river raft ride that you won’t forget. There are similar attractions in other cities, but at least this one is a short walk from many other included attractions so it’s easy to do a quick visit.

AquaDom & SEA LIFE – €17.95

This impressive aquarium is especially popular with children and it features the largest free-standing cylindrical aquarium in the world. It may not be worth visiting if you have to pay full price, but it’s across from the Berlin Dungeons, Berlin Dom, and Pergamon Museum, so you’ll be in the area anyway. In other words, it’s fun for at least a quick visit if you have a Berlin Pass.

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre – €18.00

A smaller version of the LEGOLAND theme parks in other cities, this one obviously appeals to younger children. It’s located next to Potzdamer Platz so it’s close to other attractions and you’ll be nearby for sure.

Fat Tire Bike Tours – €24.00

A comfortable bike is provided for this easy ride (Berlin is flat), which gives interesting commentary and gets you to places that buses and boats can’t go.

Berlin Insider Walking Tour – €15.00

Berlin has free walking tours with large groups where you are expected to tip at the end. These are smaller groups that move quicker with no pressure to tip.

Pergamon Museum – €12.00

Easily Berlin’s most famous and important museum, this is the one to see even if you aren’t a museum person.

Berlin River Cruise – €12.00

This 1-hour circular river cruise allows you to see the city from a different angle, and is great for photographers.

Berliner Dom – €7.00

The Berlin Cathedral is near the Pergamon on Museum Island, so it’s easy to pop in for a look at the city’s most ornate religious building.

Bode Museum – €10.00

This is the other big attraction on Museum Island, featuring sculptures and other art and artifacts from the middle ages to early renaissance.

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There are over 40 additional museums and attractions included, but most are not well known and fairly cheap to enter without a pass.

Berlin Transit Pass prices

Without a Berlin Pass you can buy 1-day transit passes on your own each day, and this is how much they would cost:

  • Adult 2-day: €15.20
  • Adult 3-day: €22.80
  • Child 2-day: €10.60
  • Child 3-day: €15.90

In other words, the price for the Berlin Pass with unlimited transit card is very slightly higher than buying your own daily passes (less than €1 per person), but it’s almost certainly worth it because buying the included transit pass will save you the hassle of buying separate transit cards for each person every day. And to be clear, you’ll almost certainly be taking public transport several times each day while in Berlin, and individual tickets cost €2.70 to €3.30 for adults.

Is the Berlin Pass a good deal?

To answer this question for yourself, pretty much everything you need to know is in the section just above. They say there are over 50 things included, but honestly most of those are obscure museums and buildings that don’t cost much on their own. However, if you want to do most of the things listed just above, the Berlin Pass is probably a good deal.

Berlin also has a couple of museum passes that include transport, but those don’t include the popular tours or the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. So if you want to see a lot of Berlin outside of its traditional museums, the Berlin Pass is the better deal. If you primarily want to just go from museum to museum, then the others are cheaper and better.

The included transit pass is a valuable component

BerlinDomeBerlin has an amazing public transportation system consisting of trams, buses, and subways, and all of it in the entire city is included in the Berlin Pass. This is a huge and spread-out city, so you’ll be using the public transport probably 4 or 5 times per day.

One thing to consider is that buying individual day passes each day can be stressful and confusing, even in the larger subway stations. Having the transit pass in hand when you arrive and never having to stand in line and struggle with German-language machines and attendants is a worthwhile luxury.

Important advice for getting the best value from a Berlin Pass

Some people buy these city passes and then later complain that they didn’t get much use out of them, but those visitors usually make the same two mistakes. So if you are considering a Berlin Pass then keep this in mind:

1. Starting early is important

If you can leave your hotel by around 9am then you can get to the most popular attractions before the crowds have built up. This way you’ll have two great sights done before lunch, and the rest of the afternoon to do a couple more things while the attractions are a bit more crowded. If you are the type who can’t get out of your hotel until 11am or noon, then a Berlin Pass is probably a bad idea.

2. Plan your sightseeing route in advance

The other mistake that some people make is that they head to their first attraction and only when they finish do they decide which thing to see next. Berlin is a huge city and some things are a bit spread out, while others are bunched together in one area. If you consult the handy guidebook that comes with your Berlin Pass to see which places can be combined in an efficient order, you’ll get great use out of the pass.

Who the Berlin Pass is perfect for

Die Welt BerlinAgain, have a look at the main attractions listed above, and it should be easy to do the math to determine whether you’ll save money with a Berlin Pass. Even if it’s a close call when you add it up, a Berlin Pass can be worthwhile in convenience because you skip the ticket queues and it comes with a useful guide.

The Berlin museums tend to be cheap (around €5 each) except for the most famous ones, so a Berlin Pass is more about the hop-on hop-off bus tour, the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, the river cruise, and the highly-recommended bike tour. If those things appeal to you and you want to see the city in 5 days or fewer, the Berlin Pass is good value.

Who the Berlin Pass is not good for

If you only have 2 days in Berlin then it’s a close call. You’ll be able to do the bus tour and the other main highlights, but you might be rushing around more than is ideal to cram it all in.

And if you are a backpacker on the lowest possible budget, a Berlin Pass isn’t a good deal. You’ll be able to find cheap and free things easily if you can’t afford the main attractions.

Also, if you have a week or more in Berlin, you are probably better off spacing your sightseeing out to more than 3 days. Even if it costs a bit more that way, you might as well do 1 or 2 things per day and just soak in the city the rest of the time.

Berlin Pass discount for Price of Travel readers

DECEMBER SALE: You can buy the Berlin Pass for 10% off using this link and the coupon code POT10 (expires Wednesday, December 7, 2016 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 3 of checkout). If a larger discount is available, you’ll get the lowest price using the link above.



6 Responses to “Is the Berlin Pass 2016 worth it? We review prices and value here”

Avraham Shafran says:

Hello,

I would like to know if the” Martin-Gropus-Bau”-includes free admission in the “Berlin Pass” ?

Thank You

Best regards

Avraham Shafran

 
anant says:

Hi, its interesting to read about Berlin pass. We r planning to visit Europe individually ( not with tour operator) and most of time spending in Germany. Soy question is (1) ” could we get online Berlin pass before we will come to Berlin?- if yes then..
(2) if we don’t getting visa to come EU, then its a refundable fees which we spent through online booking?
Please reply.
Thanking you.
Your humble- Anant.

 

    Anant,

    Yes, the Berlin Pass is ONLY available for purchase online and technically you can’t get it in person once you arrive. However, you can buy it online and pick it up in person at the Redemption Desk once you arrive, and you save the shipping charge that way. If you buy online and have it shipped to you then you can cancel within 14 days of your order for a full refund, but if I were you I’d wait until you get the visa and then book online for pickup in Berlin. I hope that helps and have a great trip. -Roger

     
Ronny says:

Unfortunately they are rude and impolite.
My walet was stolen in a croded Ubahn station togather with 2 five days tickets. I called them telling I have the receipt in order to see how they can help me in the 3 days that were left. The answer was I should take care of my tickets and I have to accept this answer and that’s it. A marvelous help to a customer in need.

 

    Ronny,

    I’m sorry to hear about you getting robbed and I understand your frustration. But I’ve dealt with tickets and passes like this all over the world and unfortunately these companies are not set up to offer partial refunds or replacement passes. Fortunately, robbery is pretty rare in Europe so you got very unlucky. -Roger

     

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