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Berlin Welcome Card

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Berlin Welcome Card

Questions are asked almost daily about the Welcome Card, and generally get the correct response that you have to do your research, because there is no one answer: it depends entirely on you and what you are interested in and whether or not you're likely to make use of enough of the discounts to make it a good option *for you*.

I've always pointed out that the discounts on the entry fees to many of the attractions will be small: a euro here and a euro there may not add up to much; but that it's the discounts on more expensive activities that really do add up.

Here is an example of what I mean. I've just returned from five days in Berlin. I knew I wanted to go to two operas, Tosca at the Staatsoper and Turandot at the Deutsche Oper. The 5-day Welcome Card for zones ABC cost me 35.90 euros. The 25% discount at the Staatsoper saved 13 euros, and I saved another four euros at the Deutsches Historisches Museum - the two together, 17 euros, saved me almost half the cost of the Welcome Card, and the remaining 19 euros bought me unlimited use of the entire public transport network for five days.

Now that really is good value - and it would have been even better value had Turandot not been sold out.

All three opera companies, and all the main theatres, are partners to the Welcome Card scheme and all offer 25% discount. So if you enjoy theatre and opera, there is no question that the Welcome Card is very worthwhile. The snag is that you can't use it for online booking in advance. But you can order in advance by phone, and get the discount when you come to collect the tickets. If you've paid by card on the phone you can collect the tickets just before the performance; if you haven't paid you'll have to collect them at the theatre a couple of days earlier. I've used both methods with the Berliner Ensemble. If I'd done this for Turandot the total discounts would have saved me almost the entire cost of the card. But I naively assumed, alas, that I'd be able to get a ticket on the night, as I'd always been able to on previous occasions.

Edited: 7:31 pm, October 28, 2012
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1. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

Lady A, you must possess mental telepathy! Just yesterday, I spent more than 20 min pouring over the Top Question and comparing the different types of Welcome Card. I thought I needed both that and a combo ticket for Museuminsel.

After much reading, it dawned on me that all I need is the same Welcome Card that you got, since it includes Museuminsel 100% as well as discounts to many other museums and attractions on our list. (Museuminsel special exhibits still require tickets)

For me, it's even a better deal because I'll be traveling with Gigi and the Welcome Card covers 1 adult and up to 3 children! Thanks for sharing. :-)

http://www.bvg.de/index.php/en/17179/name/Berlin+WelcomeCard.html

Edited: 12:10 am, October 29, 2012
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2. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

Thanks Alabastron! Great info! I am taking my son to Berlin in August 2013, and even bought my airline tickets already! got a great deal.

Gigis_mum! Nice to see you here in the Berlin forum! its been a while...we really think alike!

I am also going to Berlin! I'll PM you to compare notes! when are you going? I know you are amazing at Itineraries!

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3. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

Gigis_mum, be aware that there are two types of Welcome Card, and you need the Welcome Card with Museumsinsel. It's only a tiny bit more expensive than the basic Welcome Card.

Edited: 10:03 am, October 29, 2012
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4. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

Gaaah! I still got it mixed up! :-) Thanks again, Alabastron. Just now, I spent a good 15 min and almost created a spreadsheet to figure out which card was better for us. At this rate, I'll lose all my hair and teeth before I succumb to Alzheimer's (full intellectual stimulation, thanks to comparative analysis of Welcome Cards!).

Since Mum and 14yo-Gigi are visiting for 5 days and planning to see Museuminsel + other museums/attractions, I think our best bet might actually be your 5-day Welcome Card ABC (35.90 euros) plus the Museuminsel area ticket (14 euros).

That will give us transportation for 5 days, free regular Museuminsel admission (kids under 18 are free) and discounts for the other museums/attractions during our 5-day stay. If I bought the Welcome Card Museuminsel, I would still have to pay for 2 more days of transportation and I wouldn't have the discounts for the other museums and attractions. I appreciate anyone who can prove otherwise but I believe that:

2 days' transportation for 1 adult + 1 child + discounts at museums/attractions > 14 euros

*

Hola Yesi! :-) yes, my itinerary is already 20+ pages long.

Edited: 1:04 pm, October 29, 2012
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5. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

Wow gigis! I still have 10 months to go... but i sure will hit you up for tips on your itinerary when the time comes!

Finding info on the $14 museuminsel is not easy... and confusing... :)

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6. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

@Gigis_mum I understand that the variations of these Welcome card can be quite confusing, so I am just trying to point out some of your (I believe) incorrect assumptions

1. The Welcome card with Museum island pass is not offered with the 5 day pass option - which is only € 30.90 , if you are only considering zone AB

visitberlin.de/en/…options

2. Hence, if you are considering the above, with the additional 3 day Museum pass of € 19, the total cost would be € 49.90 (note, pass usage is 3 consecutive days)

visitberlin.de/en/article/museum-pass-berlin

3. Alternatively, if you are considering a 3 day pass with Museum island option, the cost would be € 34

visitberlin.de/en/article/berlin-welcomecard…

For the additional 2 days transport ticket (assuming 1 adult and 1 child aged between 6-14), cost per day is € 11.10, bringing total for 5 days of 34+22.20 or € 56.20

bvg.de/index.php/…77357.html

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7. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

Just to add re total pricing that depending on where you are staying you might find that you don't need a day ticket for transport for the two extra days, it might be only 2 journeys or even 2 Kurzstrecke (short journey) tickets (3 U & S-Bahn stations, 6 bus or tram stops). Or maybe just a day of walking......

For 3 to 5 people travelling around berlin together the Kleingruppenkarte is excellent value (for 5 for sure, for 3 quite possibly).

Alabastron, sorry to hear you didn't manage to see Turandot! Thanks for that tip about getting the discount on opera tickets if you prebook over the phone. As I almost always do book well in advance I hadn't considered about Welcome Card advantages but will bear it in mind.

For regular visitors to Berlin (operagoers) the Staatsoper and the Komische Oper have their own discount cards (30€ i think) which pay for themselves after a couple of operas. We have had them for the Staatsoper in the past; unfortunately I only found out about the Komische Oper one when I went to the box office to pick up some pre-booked tickets and buy one more when i was there in July. The discount was not retroactive on what I was picking up so at that point it wasn't worth my while (Komische Oper tickets being cheap).

Gigis_mum, depending on when you are going to be in Berlin (if it is during the opera season) ....the seats at Komische Oper cost only 8€ for under-16's (except when it is the "festival" at the end of the season) I took my niece to see "Kiss me Kate" there at Easter and she loved the experience. There are screens on the seat in front with the words in English.I always choose the seats upsatirs for a wider view (and no danger of a tall German sitting in front and blocking the view!)

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8. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

This is all very confusing! I love it! (I like puzzles too)

@ hadiwi56a: Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to research some more. I DO know that the AB cards are for only 1 person, unlike the ABC cards which work for 1 adult and up to 3 children. Thus, mums like Yesi and me will probably go with the ABC card, esp if we're using Schönefeld Airport.

The combination I described above (5-day Welcome Card ABC plus the Museuminsel area ticket) covers all our transportation needs for 5 days, most of Museuminsel admission and some discounts for other museums/attractions for 5 days. The total is 35.90 + 14 = 49.90 euros.

@ Hola Lynda! Thanks too for the tips on the short journey cards and group cards. I need to study the details of those.

I love opera and musicals although I don't go as often as I'd like. Komische Oper sounds like fun. When we go to any show, I always get seats upstairs too so that tall Canadians don't block my view, lol. There was a 'giant' last week at the 'Shakespeare in 75 minutes' performance. Fortunately, we were in the very last row or else I would have spent 75 minutes staring at his armpit.

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9. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

@Gigis_mum

"I DO know that the AB cards are for only 1 person"

Yes, that is correct.

"The total is 35.90 + 14 = 49.90 euros"

You are using Museumisland area ticket (only valid for that day) as a basis, I am suggesting a 3 day consecutive museum pass at € 19

www.smb.museum/smb/service/preise.php?n=1

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10. Re: Berlin Welcome Card

Aha! I didn't realize the area ticket was only for 1 day. Thanks again.