How to get from Berlin airport (BER) to city center by public transport and transfer

Are you visiting the city, and want to go from the Berlin-Brandenburg airport (BER) to the center by public transport or hire a shuttle/TRANSFER (👉PRICES)?

👉 I’ll tell you which is the best way to get there, the price and some tips you need to avoid making mistakes with the tickets

How to get from BERLIN airport to the center

  1. Getting from Berlin airport to the city center
  2. How long does it take to get to the center of Berlin?
  3. Card transport savings and/or museums
  4. Tips to take public transport
  5. Useful stuff in Germany
  6. Tours in Berlin
  7. Where to stay in Berlin
  8. Is Germany safe to travel?
  9. Eating vegan in Germany
  10. What to do in Berlin

Berlin: the capital of Germany

If you are planning a trip to Germany (👉GERMANY GUIDE), you need to know that it is a country characterized by its museums, nature, Christmas markets, its controversial past and its impressive architecture.


If you’re not a citizen, here you can check the ✅REQUIREMENTS and get the VISA, and so you can travel peacefully without worrying about your health and safety, here you’ll find a 💥 TRAVEL INSURANCE. And don’t forget to get 🏠10€/10$ DISCOUNT on ACCOMODATION!


Berlin (👉BERLIN GUIDE) is a multicultural city that stands out from the rest European cities thanks to their own style, as you can see in their underground bars and clubs.

Although it also offers a great variety of activities. If you want to learn more about its history, I recommend you visit the Sachsenhausen camp and take a tour of the Nacism in Berlin.

Another option is to get on the tourist bus, or sail along the River Spree and enjoy the iconic landmarks on this Berlin boat tour.

How to get from Berlin airport (BER) to the city center

Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) is located less than 25 km from the center of Berlin.

You have 4 ways to get to the city center of Berlin: you can hire a  transfer service, take a taxi or (the cheapest way) get to the center by public transport. That is, by S-bahn (something like the subway) or by regional train.

Next, I describe all the options to get from Berlin airport to the city center, I tell you the price and I give you a couple of tips; and I’ll make a list of the stops (train and the S-bahn) so you can decide which one best suits your trip.

Transfer from Berlin airport

Hiring a TRANSFER (👉PRICES) is the most comfortable option to get to the center from Berlin airport. The driver waits for you in the arrivals hall, that is, in the area just after you have collected your luggage, and takes you directly to the hotel.

Important: remember that you have to book the service at least 12 hours in advance.

How to GET TO THE CENTER of Berlin by S-BAHN

The two S-bahn lines that go to the center of Berlin from terminals 1, 2 and 5 of the airport are lines S9 and  S45. In both cases there are trains leaving every 20 minutes.

Important!: Keep in mind that Berlin’s subway works by areas. There are 3 zones: A, B and C, the latter being the furthest from the city center and the area where the Berlin-Brandenburg airport (BER) is located.

This means that you have to buy the corresponding ticket when you get to the machines, otherwise you can be fined because the other areas are cheaper (I got fine once… and it’s really expensive).

The price of the single ticket to get from Berlin-Brandenburg airport to the city center is about €3.60.

Where does de S-bahn stop?

Both the S9 and the S45 cover a long journey and go through all of Berlin. Here you’ll find a summary of the main stops to get from the airport to the center of Berlin (this is where most of the hotels are located).

S-9

Neighborhoods: Friedrichsain, Charlottenbug  Treptow-Köpenick, Mitte

Stops: Treptower Park, Warschauer Straße, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Hackescher Markt, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten, Charlottenburg and Westkreuz

S45

Neighborhoods: Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Tempelhof

Stops: Neukölln, Hermannstraße, Tempelhof, Südkreuz

how to get by TRAIN from the airport of BERLIN to the city center

To get to the center of Berlin by train, you must take the Airport Express (FEX) or the regional trains RE7 and RB14. All of them stop at Terminal 1 and 2 of the airport. The regional trains stop is just below Terminal 1, and there are 4 scheduled departures every hour.

If your flight departs from Terminal 5, you will need to transfer at the same station to take the S9 or S45 to your terminal (the journey takes about 8 minutes).

The price of the single ticket (each way) is about €3.60.

how to get from berlin brandenburg airport to city center

¿Where does the TRAIN stop to get from the airport to Berlin center?

Unlike the previous case, I list all the stops made by the trains that go directly to the airport, since they make fewer stops.

RE7

Neighborhoods: Friedrichshain, Charlottenbug, Mitte

Stops: Ostkreuz, Ostbanhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Hauptbanhof, Charlottenburg and Zoologischer Garten

RB14

Neighborhoods: Friedrichsain, Charlottenbug, Mitte

Stops: Ostkreuz, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten and Charlottenburg

Airport Express (FEX)

Neighbourhoods: Mitte, Wedding and Friedrichshain

Stops: Hauptbahnhof, Gesundbrunnen, Ostkreuz

TIPS TO GET TO THE BERLIN CENTER from the AIRPORT

If you’re heading to Hauptbanhof (the central train station) I recommend taking the Airport Express (FEX) as it goes straight to the center. If you have booked your accommodation in Friedirchshain or close to Alexanderplatz, it is better to take the regional RB14 or RE7 since it makes fewer stops (compared to the S-bahn).

At first glance, public transport in Berlin may seem a bit complex and overwhelming, but later you will see that (although somewhat expensive) it is very well structured and very complete.

How long does it take to get from Berlin airport to the city center (T1 and T2)?

I’ll make a list of the estimated times to arrive from Berli-Brandenburg airport to the main stops in the center of Berlin. Keep in mind that the estímate time matches the fastest route, that is, if you choose to go by S-bahn it will take longer, since it makes more stops and is less fluid.

  • to Alexanderplatz: 25 minutes
  • to Hauptbanhof (main train station): 30 minutes
  • to Gesundbrunnen: 25 minutes
  • to Ostkreuz: 15 minutes
  • to Zoologischen Garten: 40 minutes

TIPS FOR GOING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN BERLIN

All countries have their own rules Germany is no exception. There are mainly 3 things you have to keep in mind to avoid problems with ticket collectors during your visit.

Warning: there are ticket collectors in all types of public transport without exception, and if you get caught in Berlin it is almost impossible to get rid of the fine.

1) It is important to know that in Germany the ticket is validated on the platform before boarding the metro, but there are no turnstiles that prevent entry. In other words, you have to validate even if it doesn’t look like it.

2) There is a line called Ring (that circular that goes around the city, S41 and S42) there are trains that run on both sides and it is very comfortable and fast to move around.

3) After validating your ticket, it is valid for the next 120 minutes, but only if you are moving in the same direction . It is not worth using it to return, but it is to make a stop and continue using the metro in the same direction (within the 2h allowed).

Save Money with the Berlin welcome card

To get around Berlin easily, you can opt for the Berlin WelcomeCard (you can buy it at this link) which will allow you unlimited use of public transport (flat rate) and offers discounts of up to 50% in more than 190 museums and Berlin attractions.

If you have small children, you will be happy to know that the card is free for children under 6 years of age. Prices for adults are as follows:

48h72h72h + museum isl.4 days5 days6 days
23 €33 €55 €40 €46 €49 €

Useful stuff for your trip to Germany

Below, you will find some products that will be very useful during your trip to Germany.

In addition, the options that I recommend are committed to the environment/social causes and are vegan.

Waterproof windbreaker

vegan+ environment commitment

Carrying a waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase is essential in case temperatures drop, it rains unexpectedly, or to go hiking.

When traveling, it’s important to choose a jacket that is lightweight, takes up little space and that you can use in different situations; that is to say, that transpires, is waterproof and has a hood to protect you properly from bad weather.

👉 Price for MAN and for WOMAN

3-in-1 hiking shoes

vegan + environment commitment

These La Sportiva shoes are designed to run in the mountains, thanks to this you can use them for hiking, go out to run and do tourism ; saving space in your suitcase.

They are made with goretex, which means they protect you from the inclement weather weather (such as rain, ice or cold) and are adherent to the ground. This makes them ideal for traveling due to their versatility.

👉 Price for MAN and for WOMAN

10l backpack for day trips and trekking

vegan + social & environment commitment

This 10 L backpack 10 is ideal for visitng cities or going hikimg. It has two compartments to organize your stuff properly and internal space for a hydration bag, as well as a side pocket to carry a bottle.

The size is suitable for 1 day trips and to go running, since it allows you to take everything you need with ease. In addition, it covers less of the back and thus avoids being overheated.

👉 PRICE +info

Save Money with the Berlin welcome card

To get around Berlin easily, you can opt for the Berlin WelcomeCard (you can buy it at this link) which will allow you unlimited use of public transport (flat rate) and offers discounts of up to 50% in more than 190 museums and Berlin attractions.

If you have small children, you will be happy to know that the card is free for children under 6 years of age. Prices for adults are as follows:

48h72h72h + museum isl.4 days5 days6 days
23 €33 €55 €40 €46 €49 €

Tours & activities in Berlin

In Berlin there are many places and activities to enjoy during your stay in the German capital.

I leave you a list with the activities and tours you can do around Berlin, to get to know this city in more depth.

Options also include free tours to help keep your travel budget from skyrocketing.

Where to stay in Berlin

The city of Berlin changes quite a bit depending on the area you visit. I would separate it into two zones depending on your preferences and the type of tourism you like.

EXPENSIVE ZONE AND LESS ALTERNATIVE

Broadly speaking, the area of Stadtmitte, Kurfürstendamm and Charlottenburg is more arranged and expensive (American part during the GDR). Here you can do a quieter and more usual type of tourism, focusing on the monuments, the opera, museums, shopping, etc…

YOUNG people + UNDERGROUND

If you are more into the alternative style and focused on young people, I recommend the neighborhoods of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln. Here there are many curious and more alternative bars, concerts in basements, parks to have a barbecue, nightclubs that are open 3 days 24 hours, festivals, etc…

¿Is it safe to travel to Germany?

Germany is a safe country to travel, and there are no risk areas where tourists are not recommended to go. If you are a victim of robbery or accident, you should call the police at 110.

Although it is a safe country, crimes also occur; so remember to follow these recommendations and hire a travel insurance

  • If you’re being robbed, don’t try to fight back physically.
  • Ve con cuidado al salir de noche, y mantente en lugares donde haya gente.
  • It’s best to be cautious at night, so stick to well-populated areas.
  • Keep your valuables close to your body and out of sight to avoid being a target for thieves (your camera, phone,..).
  • And finally, don’t carry your backpack on your back where it’s easy for someone to snatch it; carry it in front of you or use a belt bag or cross-body bag instead.

Eating vegan in Germany

Traditional German food is not exactly characterized by the scarcity of products of animal origin. Luckily, in this country you will find restaurants restaurants that offer many different cuisines and you will not be short of options when you go out to eat.

In general, it will not be difficult for you to find vegan food since most restaurants have vegan and vegetarian dishes on their menus and, in addition, there are also many restaurants that are entirely vegan.

If you want to cook to save a little, organic supermarkets are where you will find more options that fit your needs. And there are even german cities where you will find 100% vegan supermarkets!

Two practical tips for your stay:

  • Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
  • The quality of fruit and vegetables in German supermarkets is not the best. If you have a Turkish market or supermarket nearby, it’s better that you buy there the fruits and vegetables, nuts, hummus, muhammara, etc…

What to visit in Berlin

Besides the museums and the East Side Gallery, there are more great places to visit in Berlin. Below you will find a list of the touristic landmarks, but also some places that are out of the ordinary, so you can enjoy a mix between the popular and alternative side of Berlin.

THE CARNIVAL OF CULTURES

If you are planning on visiting the city in May-June, you’re in luck! Beacause around that time the Carnival of Cultures takes place in Berlin.

This is a street festival that includes concerts, activities for all ages and a parade of floats with everyone dressed up. It arose with the idea of celebrating the cultural diversity that exists in the city and is one of the best events of the year.

Carnival of SUBCULTURES (PUNKS IN BERLIN)

The Carnival of Subcultures is a very cool street party that I highly recommend. Every year the inhabitants of a squatted building in the center of Berlin called Köpi organize the underground version of the main carnival.

The vibe is punk and they also organize concerts and, in addition, there’s a war of tuned bicycles (some even spit fire). Later, the party continues inside the building, which becomes a club.

Thai park

At this Thai Park in Berlin you can enjoy real Thai street food. When summer arrives, the city’s Thai community makes stops at this park and cooks typical dishes from their country (they also offer massages). 

It’s something alternative and fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, compared to typical places for tourists. You go to the park, eat something, and lie on the grass while you drink a coconut or a mojito.

Weissensee Lake

In Berlin it is very cold and, when the good weather begins, everyone starts doing outdoor activities: whether it is going to the park, the lake, playing sports, etc…

If you fancy going for a swim in the lake without having to travel far (since the most beautiful ones are far from the center), you can choose to go to Weissensee lake.

It is very convenient to make a visit, because it is well connected by public transport (the tram stops in front of it) and it also has a quieter and more natural area (with ducks and swans!) and another with sand and a bar where you can drink or eat something. 

Warning: in Berlin it is normal to practice nudism, so don’t be surprised to see some ass in the air.

GO TO THE OPERA OR BALLET

Something that many people do not know is that going to the ballet or the opera is very cheap and the billboard gets renewed very regularly – in the same week you can see 2 or 3 different performances.

You can choose between the Deutsche Oper and the Komische Oper. The stagings can be classic, or modern and groundbreaking (some are amazing), thus approaching the younger audience.

Prices range from approximately €20 to €50 per person. And here comes the best: if you are a student or under 30 years old, you can buy the ticket you want for only €10 (awesome) showing up 1 hour before the performance.

Volkspark Friedrichshain

If you like lakes and parks, I recommend visiting the Volkspark Friedrichshain. It’s one of my favorite places in summer because of the atmosphere and its central location.

It is a very complete park: many people organize barbecues with friends or come to play sports. There are also bars, and a lake with ducks where you can’t swim, but you can sunbathe lying on the grass.

When the temperatures begin to rise and the good weather arrives, there’s also an outdoors cinema where you can see mainly independent films.

Görlitzerpark

If you are visiting Berlin and want to rest or eat something, you can bring a sandwich or buy a take-away meal and go to Görlitzerpark in Kreuzberg

If you like alternative places, Görlitzerpark has also peculiar bar that is full of graffiti. In front of the bar, there is an amphitheater, and if you are like you will find people playing music.

If you are traveling with children there is a farm-café with goats, donkeys, rabbits, chickens, geese, ducks and sheep with the aim that the little ones come into contact with animals and plants

La Fête de la Musique

On June 21, la Fête de la Musique takes place. Street concerts are organized throughout the city and anyone who wants to play is allowed to improvise on the street or in the parks.

The festival takes place during the day but there’s also a lot going on at night. It is a great time to go out dancing, or enjoy and learn about music from other countries, since Berlin is a multicultural city where people of different origins live.

Abandoned children’s hospital

This abandoned children’s hospital was opened in 1911, and it was the first and the largest hospital for newborns and children in all of Prussia .

However, ten years later, in January 1997, the hospital was closed permanently.

Since then it has been abandoned and deteriorating due to several fires that took place and damages occured over time. But it has achieved another type of charm: the one from graffiti and adventure.

If you like abandoned places, in Berlin there is also an Iraqi Embassy.

Devil’s Mountain (Teufelsberg)

The Devil’s Mountain is a totally different place from what you have seen before. If you like urban exploration or underground graffiti style, then you have to go there.

This is a hill built with rubble from the Second World War, and below the mountain a military and technical university of Nazism is buried.

Years later, an American spy station was built on the top. Now it is abandoned and open to the public so you can visit it legally.

Sisyphos Nightclub

Sisyphos is an underground nightclub in Berlin that has 5 rooms and an open air area. In the outdoor area, there’s a fake beach with sand, loungers and sofas

It’s built inside an old dog biscuit factory and the music they play is electro. The parties at Sisyphos are unstoppable, it’s open from Friday to Monday (without closing).

Bar Roses

Finding a definition for the Roses is an impossible task. At the entrance there’s a photo of Michael Jackson garnished with red roses, and the interior is adorned with leopard prints and photos of Virgin Mary and Madonna.

It is an unforgettable place to go for a drink before entering the club. Roses is a myth of the Berlin night scene and is also LGTBIQ+ friendly.

Madame Claude’s Bar

Madame Claude is found in a former brothel in the Kreuzberg neighborhood. It is a very peculiar bar due to the distribution of its furniture: it is both hanging from the floor and from the ceiling.

It is a very nice place to go for a drink and then continue the party in a nearby nightclub or bar, as it is located in one of the liveliest neighborhoods in Berlin. In addition, they also offer alternative music concerts in the basement.