Getting to Central Berlin

Berlin, Germany is a large city with an extensive mass transit system that includes subways, trains, buses, ferries and trams. If you are traveling to Berlin and plan on using public transportation, it is highly suggested that you obtain a city map to help navigate the various routes available. Free maps are available at airports, train stations and other locations throughout the city. They can also be downloaded or printed from the Internet. Berlin has an integrated ticket system allowing travelers to purchase one ticket to be used on any of the public transport options. Tickets are available at ticket counters within larger stations, on buses and trams, or can be purchased at any of the dozens of ticket machines located at all train, underground and urban rail stations. Several options are available for unlimited travel.

U-Bahn is the city's underground subway system and S-Bahn is the aboveground train system. An easy way to distinguish between the two is to remember "U" stands for underground and "S" for street-level. On a city map, the two system routes are clearly designated by either a "U" or an "S". Berlin is divided into three transportation zones. Zone A is the city center area on the inner S-Bahn rail ring. Zone B is the city area, which surrounds the outside of the rail ring. Zone C includes the rest of the Greater Berlin Metro area.

Berlin has two area airports. Tegel International Airport is located in the northwest area of the city and served by most of the large carriers. Buses operate to rail stations at Alexanderplatz, Hauptbahnhof and Zoologischer Garten. Taxis and rental cars are also available. Schönefeld Airport is southeast of Berlin and is the hub for discount air carriers easyJet and Ryanair. Buses operate between the terminal buildings and the railway station for S-Bahn and regional trains.

Berlin has an extensive network of canals, lakes and rivers. Ferryboats are also part of the public transportation system, with six passenger routes operating within the boundaries of the city of Berlin. Thousands of tourists hop aboard a ferry to enjoy a cruise on the Sperry River, which stops for boarding or disembarking at several locations.