Tegel Airport is located in the northwestern suburb of Tegel, about 8km northwest of Zoologischer Garten and 13km northwest of Alexanderplatz. It is served directly only by bus and taxi. Buy bus tickets from official transport staff, from vending machines at the bus stop outside Terminal A or directly from the bus driver (change given).
- The bus stop is outside the main entrance to Terminal A.
- The TXL express bus connects Tegel to Alexanderplatz (€2.80, AB ticket; 40 minutes) via Hauptbahnhof (central train station) and Unter den Linden every 10 minutes.
- For the City West around Zoologischer Garten take bus X9 (€2.80, AB ticket; 20 minutes), which also runs at 10-minute intervals.
- Bus 109 heads to U-/S-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten every 10 minutes; it's slower and useful only if you're headed somewhere along Kurfürstendamm (€2.80, AB ticket; 20 to 30 minutes).
The closest S-Bahn station is Jungfernheide, which is a stop on the S41/S42 (the Ringbahn, or circle line). It is linked to the airport by bus X9. Another Ringbahn station, Beusselstrasse, links up with the TXL bus route. Trips, including bus and train, cost €2.80 (Tariff AB).
Taxi rides cost about €25 to Zoologischer Garten and €28 to Alexanderplatz and take 30 to 45 minutes. There’s a €0.50 surcharge for trips originating at this airport.
The U-Bahn station closest to the airport is Jakob-Kaiser-Platz, which is connected by bus 109 and X9 to the airport. From Jakob-Kaiser-Platz, the U7 takes you directly to Schöneberg, Kreuzberg and Neukölln. Trips cost €2.80 (Tariff AB).
About 22km southeast of Alexanderplatz, the small Schönefeld Airport is directly served by S-Bahn and regional trains. Travel to the city centre requires a transport ticket covering zones ABC (€3.40), available from vending machines in the station tunnel and on platforms (cash and debit cards; change given). Tickets must be validated before boarding.
S-Bahn & Regional Trains
- This is the fastest way to get into town.
- The airport train station is 400m from the terminals; free shuttle buses run every 10 minutes.
- Airport-Express trains make the trip to central Berlin twice hourly. Note: these are regular Deutsche Bahn regional trains denoted as RE7 and RB14 in timetables. The journey takes 20 minutes to Alexanderplatz and 30 minutes to Zoologischer Garten.
- The S-Bahn S9 runs every 20 minutes and is slower, but useful if you're headed to Friedrichshain (eg Ostkreuz, 30 minutes) or Prenzlauer Berg (eg Schönhauser Allee, 45 minutes).
- For the Messe (trade fairgrounds), take the S45 to Südkreuz and change to the S41 to Messe Nord/ICC. Trains run every 20 minutes and the journey takes 55 minutes.
- All journeys cost €3.40.
Budget about €45 to €50 and 45 minutes to an hour for the cab ride to central Berlin.
Schönefeld is not served by the U-Bahn. The nearest station, Rudow, is about a 10-minute ride on bus X7 or bus 171 from the airport. From Rudow, the U7 takes you straight into town. This connection is useful if you're headed for Neukölln or Kreuzberg. You will need an ABC transport ticket (€3.40).
Berlin Brandenburg Airport
Berlin's new central airport is taking shape about 24km southeast of the city center, next to Schönefeld airport. Once operational, it will be served by train and taxi. Check www.berlin-airport.de for the latest.
Thanks to the 2013 lifting of an arcane ban on long-distance domestic bus travel (passed in 1931 to protect the state-owned railway system), travelling to Berlin by coach has become easy, affordable and popular. Buses are comfortable, clean and air-conditioned; some offer free on-board wi-fi and sell snacks and soft drinks.
Having gobbled up much of its competitors, Flixbus (www.flixbus.de) is now the main operator with only Eurolines (www.eurolines.de) holding its own, at least for now. A handy intercity bus search engine is www.busradar.com.
Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof (Central Coach Station)
- The newly upgraded Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof is near the trade fairgrounds on the western city edge. Flixbus also stops at around a dozen other points in town, including the airports and Alexanderplatz.
- The closest U-Bahn station to ZOB is Kaiserdamm, about 400m north and served by the U2 line, which travels to Zoologischer Garten in about eight minutes and to Alexanderplatz in 28 minutes. Tickets cost €2.80 (Tariff AB).
- The nearest S-Bahn station is Messe Süd/ICC, about 200m east of ZOB. It is served by the Ringbahn (circle line) S41/S42 and handy for such districts as Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain and Neukölln. You need an AB ticket (€2.80).
- Budget about €14 for a taxi ride to the western city centre around Zoo station and €24 to the eastern city centre around Alexanderplatz.
Car & Motorcycle
Berlin is served by the A2 autobahn from points west, the A24 from Hamburg, the A11 from the north, the A9 from the south and the A12 from the east. All roads link with the Berliner Ring (A10), a ring road around the city. Sample travel times to Berlin:
Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station)
Berlin's Hauptbahnhof is in the heart of the city, just north of the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. From the station, the U-Bahn, the S-Bahn, trams and buses provide links to all parts of town. Taxi ranks are located outside the north exit (Europaplatz) and the south exit (Washingtonplatz).
- Buy tickets in the Reisezentrum (travel centre) located between tracks 14 and 15 on the first upper level (OG1), online at www.bahn.de or, for shorter distances, at station vending machines.
- The left-luggage office (€5 per piece, per 24 hours) is behind the Reisebank currency exchange on level OG1, opposite the Reisezentrum.
Europe's biggest long-distance coach company Flixbus has also launched Flixtrain (www.flixtrain.de). Since August 2017, its mamba-green carriages trundle from Berlin to Stuttgart with stops in Frankfurt and Heidelberg, among others. Prices are generally much lower than Deutsche Bahn's. Trains depart from many Berlin train stations, including Haupbahnhof, Ostbahnhof and Bahnhof Zoo.