The Berlin Welcome Card and City Tour discount passes give tourists big savings and cheap deals on transportation fares, sightseeing, culture, entertainment, and restaurants.
Visitors to Berlin can save on public transportation tickets, admission fees to popular sights, restaurants, culture, and entertainment by using the Berlin Welcome Card or the Berlin City Tour Card. These two discount passes allows for unlimited travel on Berlin’s comprehensive public transportation system (including buses, trams, trains, and ferries) and discounts of at least 25% on city tours, boat cruises, museum and top sightseeing sites admission fees, discounts on restaurant meals, and entertainment. Buy Berlin Welcome Cards through Get Your Guide or get the Berlin Welcome Card All-Inclusive that gives free admission to top sites.
Save with the Berlin Welcome Card and the Berlin City Tour Card
For a city with over 30 different kinds of public transportation tickets, having a single discount card for tourists was always going to be too simple. Berlin thus has two major official tourist discount passes: the Berlin Welcome Card and the Berlin City Tour Card. These two tourist discount passes are very similar and similarly priced but the slightly more expensive Berlin Welcome Card generally gives the best value.
To complicate things, a more expensive Berlin Welcome Card All-Inclusive was recently introduced. It may offer the best value by giving free admission to over 30 top sights and attractions but public transportation is ironically a cheap optional extra.
Both standard Berlin discount cards include unlimited use of public transportation and give discount to various sights, restaurants, tours, and entertainment. Both cards are available with validities of 48 hours, 72 hours, or four to six days. (Note that the four to six days cards expire midnight on the final day, irrespective of what hour it was originally validated.)
The Berlin City Tour Cards and the Berlin Welcome Card can be bought with transportation for either zone AB or ABC. The ABC card is sometimes referred to as Berlin-Potsdam as it includes transportation to and discounts on sights in Potsdam and Oranienburg, as well as transportation to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
Families Save with the Discount Cards in Berlin
In contrast to previous policy, families may now save with both the AB and ABC zone cards. Up to three children age 6 to 14 may travel for free with an adult using a Berlin Welcome Card. Discounts are also applied for these children at many sights. (Only the All-Inclusive Card has a separate cheaper child card.)
Children under six (as well as one dog per cardholder) travel for free with any adult tickets on Berlin public transportation.
Differences between the Berlin Welcome and City Tour Cards
The main differences between the Berlin City Tour Card and the Berlin Welcome Card are that the Welcome Card gives discounts at over 300 partners and the City Tour Card at just over 50. The Welcome Card comes with a 150-page guidebook while the City Tour Card comes with a fold-out brochure and map.
The standard Welcome Card is marginally more expensive than the City Tour Card but is valid at many more attractions and often gives bigger discounts. Most visitors will probably find the best deal by using the Berlin Welcome Card.
The Berlin Welcome Card All-Inclusive, in contrast, is primarily a savings pass with free admission to 33 top sights in Berlin and discounts to many more. Public transportation may be added as a cheap option. The All-Inclusive card is a very good deal especially on first visits to Berlin as almost all the top sights in the city are included. Some versions may be bought online and used as mobile phone tickets.
Buying the Berlin City Tour Card & Berlin Welcome Card
The Berlin City Tour Card with a foldout brochure and map is available from BVG (Berlin bus) and S-Bahn ticket offices as well as around 300 hotels in Berlin. If the ticket is bought from vending machines or from bus drivers, the brochure can be collected later from a BVG or S-Bahn ticket office. The cards are also sold online through many service providers, e.g. Buy Berlin Welcome Cards through Get Your Guide
The Berlin Welcome Card is generally available from the same venues as well as from the Berlin Tourist Information Offices and DB German Railways ticket windows. The five-day Berlin Welcome Card cannot be bought on buses or from vending machines.
The Welcome Card can conveniently also be bought on arrival in Berlin at:
- Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station) from the Berlin Info Store (Ground Level, Europa Platz exit);
- Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL) from Rewe Touristik Flughafenservice at Gate 9 and the Tourist Information; and
- Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF) from Tourist Information Berlin-Brandenburg.
Prices of the Berlin Welcome Cards
The prices (€) of the Berlin Welcome Card in 2020 are as follows:
|72 h +Museum Island||51||55||–||–|
The Berlin Welcome Card Museum Insel is valid for 72 h and adds admission to the five museums on Museum Island. The Berlin Welcome All-Inclusive Card may be used as self-print or mobile phone ticket if without transportation. Any pass with transportation bought online must still be exchanged in Berlin for a paper ticket.
Prices of the Berlin City Tour Cards
The prices (€) of the Berlin City Tour Card in 2020 are as follows:
|Validity||City Tour AB||City Tour ABC|
|72 h +Museum Island||–||–|
The City Tour Card does not have a Museums Island option. Also, the two and three-days versions are for the calendar day and not 24 or 72 hours as for the Welcome Card.
Discounted versions of these passes are not available for children or youths but note that up to three children may travel for free with an adult bearing an adult and many sights are free for children anyway.
See also Berlin Welcome Card All-Inclusive for more detail on this savings pass that has child versions and includes admission to top sights.
Discounts Offered by the Berlin Welcome & City Tour Cards
The largest portions of the price of these tourist passes are for public transportation. However, further savings can be significant too. Discounts of at least 25% are given on admission ticket prices at many museums including the DDR, German History, German Technology, Wall, and Berlin Jewish Museum.
Discount pass holders can generally also save at least 25% on city sightseeing bus tours of Berlin and cruises on the Spree River and other Berlin waterways. Similar discounts are granted to most walking and cycling tours including the very popular English Berlin Walks and Berlin on Bike tours. The biggest single discounts are for theatre shows but it may be difficult to actually cash in on these discounts as the tickets can usually only be bought on the same day or a few days in advance.
The Berlin Welcome Card and City Tour Card are generally good value for money. The difference between two standard Berlin public transportation day tickets and the 48h tourist discount cards can easily be made up by the savings offered on a single admission to Madame Tussauds Berlin, or a visit to two or three other museums. See also Tips on Public Transportation Tickets in Berlin for more ideas on how to use the buses and trains in Berlin as well as suggested bus routes that pass by Berlin’s top sights.
See also Berlin Welcome Card All-Inclusive for more details on this savings pass that costs quite a bit more but potentially offers the best value for money, especially on first visits to Berlin.