Berlin is a city that’s easy to travel to, being accessible by plane, train, bus and car. Still, some travel tips on how to spend your time in the capital are always welcomed.So, Berlin sits in northeastern Germany and it’s connected with most of the other German cities and towns by train and bus. It’s also connected by plane with larger cities such as Frankfurt and Munich. It is the largest city in Germany and it’s divided into 6 districts: South, Mitte, East, City West, North and East Central. Berlin has 2 airports: Schönefeld in south-east Berlin and Tegel International Airport in north-west Berlin. There are plans to open a third airport – Berlin Brandenburg Airport – that will soon take in all the traffic from the former 2 airports. The opening date is still subject to debate and delays.
There are a couple of buses operating between Tegel Airport and Central Berlin. Buses X9 and 109 will take you to the ZoologischerGarten and bus TXL stops at Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz. They practice the standard ticket fare. The journey untilAlexanderplatz will last about 45 minutes, but you can get down at ZoologischerGarten or Hauptbahnhof and take the S-Bahn from there. You can use the same bus ticket.
There is no train connecting Tegel Airport with the city and the airport has no railway station. If you see any train with the sign “Tegel railway Station (S-Bahn)”, don’t take it because it doesn’t go to the airport. The station refers to a village called Tegel and it does not make reference to the airport. Also, keep in mind that you cannot get to Tegel airport from that station.
The taxi transfer between Tegel Airport and Central Berlin will be almost €25. The taxi rank is located outside the airport and you can easily spot the taxis by their black/yellow TAXI sign and their yellow colour. When illuminated, it means the car is vacant. All Berlin taxis are metered, so you’ll pay for the exact number of mileage.
Schönefeld Airport is served by both trains and buses. A train ticket between this airport and Berlin will cost about €3.20. You can take the S-Bahn trains (S45 and S9) that depart every 10 minutes, but the trick with these trains is that they stop in every station, making the journey extremely long. A journey between Schönefeld and Central Berlin with S-Bahn trains can last up to one hour. Instead, you can use the Express Trains (RB14 and RE7) that will make a maximum of 35 minutes till the ZoologischerGarten. They run every 30 minutes, between 5 in the morning and 11.30 in the evening. They are also more comfortable than the S-Bahn trains.
In what regards the buses, you can take routes 171, X7 and the night route N7. All of them connect you to the city’s underground lines, U Rudow. To get to the centre of the city, take line U7 from there.
A journey by taxi between Schönefeld Airport and the city will cost approximately €45. There is a taxi rank outside Terminal A and, as mentioned above, the taxis are easy to spot. Don’t take any taxi that does not have the TAXI sign and it’s not metered.
Renting a car from the airport to the city will be an extremely easy task. At Tegel Airport, you will find the car rental centre close to car park P2 and Terminal E. There are six car rental services operating at the airport (Terstappen, Avis Budget, Sixt, Enterprise, Hertz and Europcar) and in most cases, you must book the car in advance. However, some companies might have available cars on the spot.
At Schönefeld Airport, you can find the car rental centre outside Terminal A. This airport is served by 5 car rental firms(Terstappen, Avis Budget, Sixt, Hertz and Europcar) and it’s advisable to make the booking prior to your arrival so as to make sure there will be a vehicle available at your arrival.
Berlin benefits from an extremely efficient and well done public transportation system which includes trams, buses, ferries, commuter rail and underground.For a picturesque ride with pre-war trams, you must go to East Berlin.
The commuter rail (S-Bahn) and the underground (U-Bahn) are the fastest ways to get from one part of the city to another, but if you want a form of transportation that covers the entire city, then you should opt for the bus. There is one type of ticket that can be used for all means of transport and there are three tariff zones. For zones A and B, the one-way ticket will be €2.60 and for zones A, B and C, you will have to pay €3.20 per ticket. The ticket will allow you to make unlimited changes between trams, buses and trains. Children between 6 and 13 years of age will benefit from reduced rates.
There are a number of passes that you can use. For short rides of maximum 3 S-Bahn or U-Bahnstops or 6 tram or bus stops, you can use the Kurzstreckentarif ticket that will cost €1.50. If you plan to travel more than this, then you’ll need the Tageskarte, which is a day card available for all forms of transport and you can use it till 3am. The pass for all three zones is€7.20 and the pass for zones A and B is €6.70. The best deal for public transportation in Berlin is the 7-day pass, also known as 7-Tage-Karte. It costs €35.60 for all fare zones and €28.80 for zones A and B and it offers unlimited travel. All these types of tickets can be purchased from the vending machines located in S-bahn and U-bahn stations. Remember that a ticket is only available after you validate it on board of the bus / train.
Since the public transportation system in Berlin is so efficient, renting a car in the city is scarcely recommended. Traffic is milder as compared to other big European cities, but can still get heavy at rush hour, not to mention that parking is quite expensive. Thus, stick on public transit and save the money for top attractions and fine dining.