Berlin: how to get around

From the airport to Berlin city centre

Most tourists arrive in Berlin by plane. The city's two airports are Berlin Tegel (TXL) northwest of Berlin and Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) to the south-east.  Both are international airports, but Schönefeld is mostly served by low-cost airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair. 

Getting to the city centre from the airport Here are some suggestions based on where you need to go.  

From Schönefeld airport to the city centre

From Schönefeld airport the fastest way to reach the city centre is to take a regional train (RE7 and RB14) called Airport Express. It takes about 30 minutes to get to central areas like Alexanderplatz, and 45 minutes to get to the Berlin Zoo. If you need to get to the Friedrichshain area, you can get off at Ostkreuz (about 20 minutes) and then take a bus to your hotel or hostel. Alternatively, you can take the S-Bahn (S9) and change at Ostkreuz, but it's a slower solution.

Tickets can be bought at the machines in Terminal A and must be validated before boarding.

From Tegel airport to the city centre 

It takes longer to get to the city centre if you land at Tegel airport, but transport is fairly simple and frequent. The underground does not go as far as Tegel, but you can take one of the many express buses to the centre (X9, 109, 128, TXL) and then change to the U-Bahn or S-Bahn trains. Your choice will depend on your final destination.

To get to Alexanderplatz, take the TXL (it takes about 40 minutes)

To get to Kurfurstendamm, choose the express bus X9.

To get to Kreuzburg from Tegel airport, you will need to take Bus 109 and then U1

To get to Potsdamer Platz from Tegel airport, you can take the express bus X9 and then U2

Getting around the city: U-Bahn and S-Bahn

Urban transport in Berlin is really good, and you can get around the city by getting on and off many means of transport, with a single ticket. The two main means of transport are the U-Bahn, or the underground, and the S-Bahn, the urban railway. In addition to these, there are buses and trams.

U-Bahn- the underground is the most efficient way to get around quickly in any part of Berlin. It works from early morning (4.00 am) until 1 am during the week, and even all night on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.

S-Bahn- trains are less frequent than the U-Bahn and they make fewer stops, so it is used by those who have to make longer trips in the city. It runs with more or less the same operating times as the U-Bahn. 

Trams run 24/7 but only cover some areas. 

What kind of ticket do I need?

If you are planning on travelling around a lot, you could buya Tageskarte day ticketallowing you to travel freely on all means of  transport. It will cost you just 5/7 euros.

There is also a weekly ticket: for 30 euros you can travel on all means of transport for 7 days.

You can also think about buying theBerlin WelcomeCard, which allows you to use all public transport and gives you a 50% discount on over 200 city attractions (e.g. the TV Tower, the Berlin Zoo) and tours such as the Hop-on Hop-off buses, but not on the main museums. The 48-hour card costs € 20.

Buses loved by tourists

If you are tired and want to get some rest, why not get on a bus that shows you the main attractions of the city, while sitting comfortably with your smartphone? 

Tip: instead of buying a ticket for an expensive tourist tour, why not consider using the two bus routes that are very popular with tourists and are a fraction of the cost. 

The single ticket, which costs € 2.80, allows you to travel around for over 2 hours, as well as get on and off (as long as you continue in the same direction). 

Line 100 and 200 buses pass in front of almost all the places of interest in the centre.

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