I have never travelled in or out of Tegel Airport but as it is due to close sometime in the future I decided to pay a visit and check on public transport from the airport. For any first time visitor to Berlin it may seem daunting to take a bus but it is a lot cheaper than a €30 taxi ride and fairly easy. There are 4 bus routes from the airport and these are all located outside Terminals A & B. There is no train station at the airport and the only long distance coach travels to Dresden. If you check out the BVG website below, before you leave home, and enter your start and finish this will inform you of which bus to take to start with and where to change. After you leave the airside of the airport and enter one of the concourses follow the bus signs on the green/yellow information boards. At the main exit to Terminal A there is an information desk and next to it is a BVG ticket desk. There are 3 travel zones in Berlin and for most travellers you will only need a ticket for zones A & B which costs €2.60 for a one way 2 hour journey. The ticket covers all forms of public transport. I would advise you to check out the various options on the BVG website such as the City Tour Card, Welcome Card, day tickets or weekly ticket and which zones you require. The BVG ticket desk can advise you if you are not sure. If you are more confident there are also ticket machines outside the terminal. Above the ticket desk there is an indicator of when the next four buses are due and which stand they leave from.
You enter the bus via the front and show the driver your ticket. Please remember to validate your ticket. You leave via the doors in the middle of the bus. Most buses have an indicator and an announcement of the next stop. Now for the 4 different bus routes.
TXL travels to S & U Alexandraplatz via S Beusselstrasse, S & U Hauptbahnhof and S & U Brandenburger Tor.
X9 travels to S+U Zoologischer Garten via S+U Jungfernheide
109 travels to S+U Zoologischer Garten via U Jakob-Kaiser-Platz and S+U Jungfernheide
128 travels to U Osloer Strasse via U Kurz-Schuhmacher Platz and U Franz-Neumann-Platz
I have been on a boat trip in Berlin before but it was one of those tourist ones travelling along the Spree. This time I decided to use one which is included in the public transport ticket. There are 6 different routes but only 3 run during the winter months. I caught the F10 which runs between Wannsee and Alt Kladow and the A B zone tickets covers you without any extra cost. I had heard the ferries are quiet during the winter months, this is not always true as I found out. The one I caught had a party of young school children who were keenly tucking into their lunches. It is a 20 minute journey 1 way ot 1 hour for a round trip. I only went one way and caught the #135 bus to Spandau for some lunch. You can of course have a look around Alt Kladow and return on the ferry later to Wannsee. The is a nice form of transport which would be wonderful on a warm sunny day.
If you wish to walk in Berlin and just to walk, it is possible, but center is quite spread out, so it will simply take more of your time. Let’s say, if you want ti walk from Cathedral to Berlin ZOO, it is already bigger distance, I used public transportation for this distance. Some buildings or more famous places better reachable by public transportation, to mention Spandau, Kreuzberg districts, Charllotenburg palace, Olympic stadium.
Anyway, if you want to see just Berlin – essential and live in central area, just walking is still possible.
Already before coming to Berlin I knew that some Berlin‘s must see places are more or less away from center, also I have found one host, who lived about 15-20 minutes from centre by public transportation. I decided to buy 7 days ticket, the price was around 27 Euros. I was good decision, as I used it everywhere I wanted in A and B zones. For C zone (for Potsdam) I needed another one ticket.
It was easier to visit Berlin ZOO, Spandau district, Olympic Stadium, so on. I used it also for buses 100 and 200 to do sightseeing around.
I have had 7 days ticket for Berlin, but only A and B zones. For Potsdam, that is more far away, I needed C zone ticket, the price was 3 euros. I needed to take bahn from Berlin Central Railway Station to Potsdam station, it was a journey of around 30 minutes.
As I already used to night journeys, I took a night bus from Vilnius to Berlin. Actually it moved from Vilnius at around 3PM and stopped in Berlin in early morning. Actually it was the first opening ride from Vilnius to Berlin with a company called Simple Express. It is pity I got just normal price tickets, both ways – around 79 Euros. The special price discount price is actually only 3 Euros one way!
Bus that was used to go back to Vilnius was more comfortable, with GPS working, also games, music, movies on the small screens, but you needed to rent headphones from company.
Thanks to VT member german_eagle I got to know nice company Berlin Bus Linen with nice discounts to go to different places in Germany from Berlin, also to some neighbor countries, as Denmark, Netherlands or France.
So, I got a ticket Berlin – Dresden – Berlin for only 18 Euros, the time was fixed and ticket not refundable if you don’t use it. I reserved it maybe 1 month before my trip.
I took a ride Berlin – Dresden with a nice old man, who was explaining some facts about Dresden (it was his hometown), I am happy to understand a bit, as it was in German :)
A good way to see the sights in Berlin is to ride the double-decker buses on the bus lines 100 and 200.
These are relatively new bus lines which were instituted after the Berlin Wall came down, to connect the centers of West and East Berlin. As a result, a lot of the major sights are along these lines.
The number 200 bus in the photo is standing at the Philharmonie concert hall.
These 3 wheeled Taxi Cycles can be found in certain areas of the city, usually where there is a higher density of tourists. Examples would be the Brandenburg gate and on and near the Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island. I do not know the cost, as I did not take one. But my guess is not too much and also, you may be able to haggle. Nonetheless, seem to be an interesting way to do some sightseeing.
The prime way to get around Berlin is their Metro. There are 2 main systems, U Bahn and S Bahn. The former serves the heart of the city while the latter goes further afield to Potsdam and Brandenburg. Tickets can be purchased from machines, ticket offices and specially registered kiosks. Alternatively, you get unlimited free usage when buying one of several tourist cards like the Welcome Berlin Card.
This is typical Berliner carriage, serving for so-called romantic and nostalgic city tours, only it misses horses. Hope they didn't run away in the nearby forrest. I am only joking about, the guys told me they do not make city tours because its too cold.
Anyway, those who like romantic city sighting, which last 30 minutes only, must pay 85 euros which I find outrageously expensive. No matter fact that tour includes up to six persons. Fact is, carriage ride through Berlin is completely different way of exploring the city's historic center but the very high price might reduce your romantic wishes to do it.
The usual 30 minutes tour starts from Brandenburg Gate - Unter den Linden - Friedrichstrasse - Gendar menmarkt - The French Cathedral - Neu Kirche - Shauspielhaus - Museum Island - Madame Tussauds and back.
I am sure that we all bring home some small disappointments about travellings we make, always questioning ourselves, did we missed something? When I was checking my pics snaped in Berlin I knew immediatelly what did I missed, boat tour on the River Spree.
There are various compamies offering Berlin city Spree river trips from one up to three hours but most of this tours starts in April and ends in October. Some cuisers offer trips in the winter season aswell but passengers aren't allowed to stay at the deck. Discovering Berlin from the water must be in pasticularly attractive and I plan my next visiting in May or June.
I came by plain and had to go back the same way but, unfortunatelly, was betrayed by the Germanwings. It wasn't easy tusk to find available train connection to my hometown of Zagreb, especially doing it at the airport. However, there was nice lady from one agency who help me alot.
The ticket cost me additional 170 euros to get to Zagreb. The train ride was very pleasant, up to Muenchen, where I had to take another train which wasn't that good. I spent more than 18 hours in the train, ariving to Zagreb only the next day early in the morning.
Thank you "Germanwings", you'll see me never ever again.
If you are not very good with the ticket machines there is a shop in the main airport which sells tickets. As you exit the custom hall in terminal A into the main concourse, straight across, is newsagents which has a BVG sign outside which sells tickets. Or turn right along the concourse and there are 2 desks which sell tickets plus a ticket machine. The ticket machines are easy to use if you want simple single or1 day tickets but as I discovered if you want a 7 day ticket it is not easy to work the machine even with the help of rail staff. If you wait to purchase a ticket at the railway station the queues are always long below the platforms but the machines on the platforms are usually available.. As you leave the airport, if you want a bus go to the right (also buses going to Rudow U Bahn) if you want a train go to the left and follow the covered walkway. I usually look up the trains and times on the internet before I arrive so I know what to use. I look up what trains are available on the information boards as I walk to the station and then know what platform to go to. If you decide to catch the Airport Express into town, remember this is an ordinary service and not a special train these are usually the RE7 or RB14. There are also S Bahn trains that run from the station but you have to change trains to go to the centre. I always use the BVG website as it is easy to use and is updated for any interruptions,
If you plan to get around by car (taxi or limo), for example for an airport transfer or within the city, you might want to check Talixo. This tool allows you to compare prices between taxis and other car services. They even have a economy class where you get trip fares below the taxi fare. You can book your trips directly online. Furthermore they also offer mini-buses which makes travelling in groups easier and cheaper.