Typical Costs When Traveling
The currency in Germany is the Euro. Exchange rates are subject to fluctuations, so be sure to check this as your trip approaches. On average, €1 is equal to about £.87 British Pounds, $1.10 U.S. and 7.8 Chinese Yuan.
A hostel or budget hotel room is in the €15-40 a night range (£13-34.75, $16.50-$44, 115-313 Yuan). A mid-range hotel will be around €60–120 a night (£52-104.25, $67-$133, 462-923 Yuan). More luxury hotel rooms will start at €150 a night (£131, $167, 1154 Yuan) and can go up to thousands of dollars a night.
Airbnb prices average around €52 (£45, $58, 400 Yuan) a night.
Food from a street stand or market will be around €5 (£4.25, $5.50, 38.50 Yuan). A quicker casual meal at a cafe will be about €10 (£8.75, $11, 77 Yuan). A multi-course meal at a gourmet restaurant will be between €20-40 (£17.50-35, $22-$44.50, 154-308 Yuan). And a meal in an elegant or top-rated restaurant will start around €75 (£65.25, $83.50, 577 Yuan) and can go up to hundreds of dollars per dish.
For alcohol, include around €3 a drink (£2.60, $3.50, 23 Yuan) for beer and wine into your budget. If you’re going to have several drinks or are with a group, getting bottles or pitchers to share could save you money.
Public transportation within a city’s limits will be between €5-7 for a day pass (£4.25-6, $5.50-7.75, 38.50-54 Yuan). Transportation between towns can range from €40-150 (£35-130, $51-103, 358-716 Yuan) depending on where you’re traveling, what class and amenities you want, and how far in advance you book your ticket.
Renting a car will be about €15-25 a day (£13-21.75, $16.50-27.50, 115-192 Yuan), and then you’ll need to pay for tolls, gas, and parking. Please keep in mind that gas can be double or triple the price in the U.S. If you’re planning to be mostly in larger cities, I wouldn’t recommend a car. Parking rules are strict, spaces are scarce, and parking is quite expensive.
Taxi fares are standardized, but they vary from city to city. The base fee will be €2-3 (£1.75-2.60, $2.20-3.30, 15-23 Yuan), then €1-3 (£.87-2.60, $1.10-3.30, 7.50-23 Yuan) per kilometer. Surcharges may apply at night and for larger vehicles or bulky luggage. Some taxis accept cards but be prepared to pay with cash. It’s customary to tip drivers 10% rounded to the nearest euro.
UberTaxi is available in the larger cities, which means you can use the Uber app to order a regular taxi. Lyft doesn’t operate in Germany.
I’d budget around €45 a day (£40, $50, 346 Yuan) for entrance fees, tours, guides, snacks, tips, and souvenirs.
ATMs are readily accessible in cities, but they’re not as common in smaller towns. Only use larger international bank ATMs; otherwise, you’ll pay excessive transaction fees.
Credit cards aren’t commonly accepted in Germany, so you’ll always want to have cash on you. International hotel chains, high-end restaurants, and boutique or department stores usually accept Mastercard and Visa, but be prepared to pay with cash everywhere else.
€1 per bag for hotel attendants, and €1-2 per day for hotel room cleaners. As I stated earlier, tip about 10% for taxi rides. And you can tip toilet attendants with whatever loose change you have readily available.
At restaurants, your bill will include a bedienung (service charge). But it’s still customary to tip an additional 5% or 10% unless your service was terrible. And when you’re at a bar, tip 5% rounded to the nearest euro.
Suggested Daily Costs
These budget estimates include eating and drinking out at least once a day and a couple of train rides between cities.
Lower End: €110 a day (£96, $122, 845 Yuan). Midrange: €120-200 a day (£105-174, $134-223, 920-1536 Yuan). Higher End: €250 a day and up (£217, $278, 1920 Yuan).