Berlin: How to use the Public Transport Network - How to get around? - visitBerlin
How to Travel around Berlin
Berlin is a city full of history and offbeat activities to see, and knowing how to get around and where to go can make your trip rewarding. You will need to know how to use public transportation, the kinds of places you can stay during your trip and what sites to see. You can rent a hotel or a hostel. You can see historic sites on foot or take the Berlin Bike tour.
Use the S-Bahn elevated train to explore the city.The elevated train is an efficient way to travel Berlin and comprises 15 routes that transfer to three main lines going north, south, east and west. S-Bahn operates from 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and later on the weekends.
- S-Bahn entrances are marked with an S in a green background. You can also transfer to the underground U-Bahn line using some of the S-Bahn lines.
- The S-Bahn line is convenient for traveling from the Bahnhof Zoo in Western Berlin to Mitte in Eastern Berlin, or southwest to Grunewald and the lakes.
- You can access the rural side of Berlin on the S-Bahn to take a nature excursion tour of the Dahme-Spreewald-Land, Peacock Island and the Nordic walking route.
Hop on the U-Bahn, or underground train, for another way to travel the city.The entrances are marked with a U on a blue background. There are 10 lines that run to more than 170 stations from 4 a.m. until midnight and later on the weekend.
- You won’t have to worry about missing a train at peak times, because they depart every 3 to 5 minutes.
- Passengers are required to have a ticket to validate in one of the validation machines before boarding the U-Bahn.
Take one of Berlin’s buses to see the city.They have upper decks, and routes 100 and 200 are the most scenic. You can travel from the Bahnhof Zoo east to Mitte while passing famous Berlin landmarks.
- Taking buses 216 and 218 are popular for traveling outside the city to the lake getaways of Wannsee Beach and Peacock Island.
- Bus routes that run 24 hours are marked with an “N.”
Flag or call a taxi.You can order a taxi by phone, but if your have limited minutes, you can flag one down or pick one up at a rank.
- Taxis wait outside theaters, clubs and venues at night.
- They also wait outside airports, hotels and stations around the clock.
- If you’re going less than 11/4 miles, and you flag a taxi, ask for the Kurzstreckentarif, the short-route fare. The driver is supposed to turn off the meter and charge no more than 4 Euros.
- You should tip about 10%.
Finding a Place to Stay in Berlin
Stay at one of Berlin’s many hostels if you’re on a budget.If you enjoy a more social experience where you stay, you’ll enjoy staying in a hostel where you can talk to other travelers and learn where they have been and are coming from. You might meet someone who survived an alligator attack.
- They are more communal in nature than hotels, and were originally made for solo travelers or backpackers who don’t plan on spending much time in their rooms.
- Some hostels have private rooms while many have communal bedrooms with bunkbeds. Ask the staff before booking if they have individual bedrooms available.
- Each hostel is different, but they still have all facilities and utilities hotels offer including bedrooms, bathrooms, free wifi and food and drinks.
- Hostels have roof terraces where you can overlook the city while having pizza and beer.
- Cities in Berlin such as Mitte, Kreuzberg, Neukolln, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain all have hostels to stay in.
Reserve an AirBnB if you’re comfortable renting someone’s home.You can search the AirBnB website for prices, sizes and locations. When you rent a room or home, the occupant usually stays somewhere else, so you have the place to yourself.
- One advantage to renting an AirBnB is that you get to stay in the private home or apartment of someone who lives in Berlin. It’s like stepping in another person’s shoes in another country. You will get a more authentic experience of the city by living in someone else’s home.
- Cost is somewhere between that of a hostel and a hotel. When you arrive, the owner or renter will meet you and give you a tour of the home, or they might leave their keys for you in a hidden location.
Book a hotel in Berlin.This is the more traditional way to go for most travelers. Hotels have a full staff, an onsite restaurant, room service, cleaning service and sometimes free breakfast.
- Hotels usually have gyms for people who like to workout.
- If you’re on a business trip, hotels sometimes have conference rooms and rooms where you can print and fax papers for work-related purposes.
- Hotels also have a security staff on the premises and dependable room locks.
Stay at a bed and breakfast for a more quaint and cozy vibe.If you go to a bed and breakfast, you can expect fewer amenities than that of a hotel, but you get homemade breakfast with coffee and tea.
- There are many bed and breakfasts situated throughout Berlin such as BnB Near Brandenburg Gate, Postdamerplaz and Apartment Akazien Residenz and many more that are all conveniently located near BrandenBerg Gate, Berlin Tegel Airport and Kurfürstendamm shopping boulevard.
- Some have early evening social events with wine and cheese.
- BnBs have cozier rooms, as well as common areas to socialize with guests.
Touring Around Berlin
Go on the Refugees Voices Tour, “Why We Are Here.” The tour takes you through historically significant places in Berlin to draw parallels between what has previously happened there and the current Syrian refugee crisis.
- You will be led by Syrian guides for a unique perspective on Berlin’s history.
Go to Prinzipal for an authentic 20’s-style speakeasy experience.Open from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., this venue is secretive and alluring with its unmarked green door with a bell for visitor’s to ring.
- Prinzipal offers cocktails and burlesque in an atmosphere reminiscent of the 1920s when speakeasies were forbidden.
Walk through a half-blasted World War II air raid bunker.The Berliner Underwelten, or Subterranean Berlin, tour will show you what people in World War II lived through when they had to wait out air raids and smuggle other people out of East Germany.
- The tour offers a look at Berlin’s underground structures like the abandoned subway stations, air raid shelters and a file system about slave workers during World War II.
- There’s an exhibit about Hitler’s “Germania,” the utopian society he envisioned for Berlin.
Visit the controversial Pergamon Museum.Housing original, reconstructed monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus, many people have argued that the collection should be returned to Turkey since the museum’s opening in 1930.
- Some artifacts remain in Russia from when the Red Army took many of the loose items as loot.
- For now, the main section of the museum is being renovated until 2019, but the entire south wing is open for tourists to see the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way of Babylon.
Go to the Brandenburg Gate for sightseeing in Pariser Platz.While it takes less than an hour to snap pictures of it, the tourist information center can provide you with more history surrounding this monument.
- Built in 1788, Brandenburg Gate has seen a lot of history, including the Napoleonic invasion and Nazi parades.
- During the cold war, the gate sat in no man’s land between East and West Berlin. Now it’s a symbol of Germany’s unity.
Take the Berlin Bike Tour to see popular historical sites in Berlin.The tour is 4.5 hours long, and you ride with a group of people to see Berlin from its birth to its role as the capital of the Nazi Third Reich, its place in the Cold War and how it became the modern-day capital of Germany. Bike rental and helmet are included in the cost of the tour.
- You will be guided to the Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate and more.
- You’ll ride alongside the Spree River, through Tiergarten Park and then stop at a beer garden for lunch. Lunch is at your own expense.
- Learn some German before you go to Berlin. Many Berliners speak some English, but it looks good when you learn some German pleasantries.
- Berlin is very environmentally friendly, so be sure not to litter.
Video: BERLIN PUBLIC TRANSPORT & TICKET INFO
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