How to get to Hamburg (or really anywhere) on a budget

When I decided to study abroad in Germany I of course wanted to be able to have time to travel and see more of the country and continent. Currently, that is tough to do with a full time job and not much money. However, it is very possible. Here is one example of a weekend trip done right!

First of all, you need to actually be able to get to your destination and luckily Europe has got this figured out! You have a few options:

  1. Buses (budget friendly and wide range of destinations)
  2. Trains (usually faster, but a little pricier)
  3. Planes (budget airlines are great, but you can only go where they’ll take you)
  4. Cars (for absolute freedom)

Of course, in the US your only “real” option is a car unless you’re made of money or in a place that actually has buses and trains. But here, I can (and have) used every option on this list except for number 4 (because cars are completely unnecessary on a continent that actually has reasonable prices and time schedules for options 1 through 3).

So, to get to Hamburg I could have paid 39 Euros each way for a train ride that would have had one connection and taken 2 hours and 31 minutes. But I chose the direct bus- it costed 12 Euros each way and took 2 hours 30 minutes (savings of a minute and 27 Euros).

Next, you need somewhere to stay. For accommodation you also have several options:

  1. Couchsurfing (free but requires at least a week of prior planning)
  2. Hostels (cheap and for the young, adventurous types)
  3. Hotels (for those with deeper pockets than most)

I of course, chose option 2. I have read plenty of travel blogs discussing hostels and how great they are so I was honestly really excited to try one out. I booked a night in a backpacker youth hostel in Hamburg for 30 Euros for the night and had a great experience!

So there it is! A weekend in Hamburg for 54 Euros. Not too shabby. Stay tuned to hear about my adventures there!


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