Berlin’s transportation system is very good and easy to navigate. Keep reading to learn more about ways to reach this city and ways to get around Berlin, once you are there.
Getting to Berlin
If arriving by plane, you will land in one of Berlin’s three airports:
- Tegel (TXL) is Berlin’s main airport for flag carriers and a hub for domestic flights. It is in the northwest of the city. Best public transport between the airport and the city are bus TXL to S+U Alexanderplatz, Hauptbahnhof, and buses X9 and 109 to S+U Zoologischer Garten.
- Schönefeld (SXF), southeast of the city, is the airport used by low-cost airlines, Eastern Europe traffic and charter flights. It is served by S-Bahn and regional trains.
- Airport Berlin Brandenburg Internacional – since Fall 2011.
German railway protection includes a law that only allows one bus corporation to connect Berlin with other European destination. Long distance buses arrive at Charlottenburg’s Central Bus Terminal (Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof) from where the S-Bahn and bus can be taken into town.
Main train stations are central station Hauptbahnhof, southern Südkreuz and eastern Ostbahnhof (eastern station). These are followed by northern Gesundbrunnen and north-western Spandau. S and U-Bahn connect these stations with the rest of the city.
Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German train corporation, serves Berlin with the ICE, EuroCity and InterCity trains; all connecting with other major European cities. Make sure to make reservations, especially for the popular night trains and long-haul trains to Eastern Europe. Private train companies also offer connections to small cities in Eastern Germany. If arriving on a national, non-regional, DB trip, your ticket is also valid for local transport in Zone A.
If arriving by car, all roads join the Berliner Ring or the A10. Rush hour is, of course, very crowded. Keep in mind Berlin’s city centre is a “Low Emission Zone” and cars need an appropriate sticker to circulate there.
Getting around Berlin
Getting around in Berlin is quite easy. The city’s integrated transport system puts together the U-Bahn (underground rail), S-Bahn (light rail), buses, trams and ferries. You can get almost anywhere in the city, any day, anytime – even at night. Download Berlin Transport Maps.
When figuring out directions remember house numbers aren’t always sequential and streets can have different numbering schemes. Numbers are usually indicated in the corner, together with the street name. Germans generally join the name of the street / square / park with the word “street”, “square” or “park” (i.e. Schloss street would be “Schlossstraße”).
Want to plan your trip before you leaving? The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the city’s main public transport company, has a journey planner, fare information and all you need to get around. Visit their English website: http://www.bvg.de/index.php/en/index.html or call their customer service by dialling +49 30 19449 or by using U and S-Bahn stations’ contact facilities.
To buy transport tickets, use the vending machines at train stations or in the bus (English language available). You can pay with coins, banknotes or local credit cards. Tickets need to be validated (time-stamped) by machines at train platforms and in buses.
Trains are very efficient, punctual and fast. Trams are seen mostly in eastern Berlin and tickets can be bought in the tram itself. Buses are the slowest means of transport in Berlin, but bus route 100 is very popular among tourists, as it takes you to most historic landmarks. X buses are express buses – not stopping in every bus stop.
Taxis are not as expensive as in many other European cities. You can stop them on the street – yellow light on top means available – or walk to a Taxistand (rank).
With only a few hilly areas and many bicycle paths, biking is very popular in Berlin. Maps are available at all train stations. There are public bikes, bike rentals and bike tours all over the city, just ask!
For more information about transport or other Berlin tips, contact us and we will gladly send you further material about any subject of your interest. We will e-mail this information at no cost within 72 hours and it will be specific to your requirements
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