Berlin’s public transport: At your destination in 30 minutes
Subway, commuter trains, tram, bus, taxi – Berlin’s public transport is more developed than any other transport network in Germany. No matter where you want to go, you never need more than half an hour to get to work. Moreover, Berlin is a bicycle-friendly city – a large part of the city is equipped with bike lanes and traffic lights. Berliners are avid users of alternative transportation such as car and scooter-sharing, not to mention “Rent a Bike” services.
Berlin is the capital of electromobility. By 2020, there will already be 100,000 electric cars on its streets. A lot of Berlin-based companies and institutions of higher education are currently working on new solutions. As the hub of Europe, Berlin’s advantages include two airports and three long-distance train stations that provide travelers with ongoing connections in every imaginable direction.
Public transport: From A to C
Ten subways lines, 22 tram lines, 15 commuter train lines, six ferry lines and 1,300 busses – BVG and S-Bahn Berlin GmbH are sure to take you safely and quickly to your destination. Both companies – along with more than 40 other Berlin and Brandenburg transport companies – are members of the Berlin-Brandenburg Transport Network (VBB, Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg).
The city of Berlin and the surrounding region are divided into three fare sections: section A comprises the city center within the Berlin S-Bahn ring, section B extends to the outskirts of Berlin, and section C extends about 15 kilometers into the surrounding region, including the city of Potsdam. Tickets are available for combinations of sections (AB, BC and ABC) as needed.
The subway, commuter train, tram and bus lines are very simply sorted using numbers and colors. Information on the fastest connections and fares is also available in the app or on the BVG website. All you have to do is enter your starting and end locations plus your desired arrival or departure time.
Trendy: Car and bicycle sharing
Car2Go, DriveNow, Miles and Cambio are the Car-Sharing giants in Berlin. With Car-Sharing, you can locate a car in your area using an app, reserve it and then drive it. To use the service, you must register once per service. Your travel time will then be charged per minute if you use the service. Petrol, hull and parking fees are included.
Bicycles can also be hired temporarily in Berlin. In the central districts, established shops offer immediate rental. The rate varies and is usually calculated per day. Alternatively, you can rent a bike by app or SMS. This service is offered by Nextbike or Mobike, among others. E-scooters by Lime or Tier are also popular in the city - just like Uber's e-bikes.
Rail and flight: Business trips made easy
Berlin has three long-distance stations (Hauptbahnhof, Südkreuz and Gesundbrunnen) as well as six regional stations (Potsdamer Platz, Lichterfelde Ost, Jungfernheide, Alexanderplatz, Zoologischer Garten and Friedrichstrasse). Travel density in the capital is very high: 300,000 travelers pass through the Berlin Hauptbahnhof every day and every 90 seconds a train sets out in one of the many directions.
Berlin’s airports are European hubs. Tegel Airport currently welcomes more than 18 million passengers per year. With a total area of 4,660,000 square meters, it is Berlin’s biggest airport. Schönefeld Airport is located on the outskirts and ranks behind Tegel with 7.1 million passengers per year. Both airports will soon be merged to form Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI). Several bus lines and airport shuttles make the journey between the city and the airports every 20 minutes.