Berlin Survival Guide part three – More bang for your Buck!

The age old question: “Do you get what you pay for?” In most cases yes, but that is not to say you cannot find quality for a good price! Supermarkets in Berlin, or Germany in general, are tricky because there is no rule where “this one” is the cheapest or “that one” is more quality because it depends on what you are looking for.

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Supermarket or Turkish Market

For example you can get the essentials like pasta and rice for less than a Euro, including milk and bread which are pretty much the same price across the board even if you prefer to go the bio/ vegan/ hipster route ;). However, vegetables, meats and fruits it gets a bit more complicated. In general, Lidl and Netto tie for the cheapest in this department but it does vary from week to week and what is on sale. Kaiser’s is generally a bit more expensive, but the quality is also quite a bit better. Berlin overall is quite famous for its incredibly cheap food prices so if you are on a budget it is quite easy to still eat well. So in short, Lidl and Netto are going to be the best bet for your fruit and veggie supply if the Flohmarkt/ Flea-market, Farmers-market or the Turkish Market in Kreuzberg are not available. If you are whipping up a simple pasta dish, any will suffice, and if you are more quality conscience then mosey on over to the nearest Kaiser’s (some are even open 24/6) or check out one of many Turkish Markets in our neighbourhood .

Don’t forget your empty bottles

Additionally if any of you heavy beer drinkers out there wonder why there are so many people asking for your empty beer bottles you might find this Blog post about collecting bottles  interesting. Did you know?! All Supermarkets accepting empty bottles as payment Woohoo!!

Also read our first and second part of the Berlin Survival Guide.

Berlin Survival Guide part two – Validate your ticket

You see it on your metro ticket, you see it on the screen when you buy it, and occasionally you will see it on the train, but what does it mean?

We trust You

validate your ticket by genista @

Well this may sound strange to some people, it definitely did to me when I first heard it, but Berlin’s metro system is on the HONOR SYSTEM!!! Can you believe it?? Such a populous and modern city such as Berlin cannot possibly have smoothly running public transportation by trusting in its citizens and visitors… Can it? Apparently it can, and does. Here is how it works. Instead of buying your ticket, inserting it in the machine and entering through the gates one at a time, Berlin has a more efficient system. Just buy your ticket, validate it at any of the strategically placed machines and that’s it! No waiting for the guy in front of you to feed his ticket through the slot 12 times because it got too crumpled in his pocket… or huge lines during rush hour, just get on the metro!

Don’t bet against the house

So, why does anyone do it?? Why not just get on the train and not even mess with getting a ticket?? Well, I suppose it’s not 100% honor system. They have a few people whose entire job is going from train to train in normal clothes asking you to show them your ticket, and if you do not have one, or even if you have one and it is not VALIDATED it is a 40 Euro fine… Uh oh, that just became an expensive train ride… So if you are a gambling man, technically you can risk it and not pay. But remember: in the end, the house ALWAYS wins!

See also the Berlin Survival Guide part one – Make money out of empty bottles and part three More Bang for your Buck