BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION -- Berlin is an enormous city, but it has an excellent public transportation system. Taking the S-Bahn (elevated train), U-Bahn (underground), or bus will get you anywhere you want to go. All of them use the same fare system. Berlin is divided into three tariff zones: AB (2.60€ for a single fare), BC (2.90€ for a single fare), and ABC (3.20€ for a single fare). A single AB ticket is good for most journeys in central Berlin. Buy your tickets at any U-Bahn or S-Bahn station and validate them in the station machines before you board. (The entire system runs on an honor system.) Tickets are good for 2 hours. For information on all forms of Berlin’s public transportation, call tel. 030/19-449, or visit www.bvg.de.
If you’re planning more than two trips on public transportation in Berlin, you’ll save money by buying a Tageskarte (day pass) for 6.70€–7.20€, depending on the number of zones you want. The Tageskarte is good for unlimited transportation within the zones you purchase it for. You can save euros on transportation and sightseeing with a Berlin WelcomeCard, which covers unlimited public transport in zones AB and gives reductions on 160 sights and attractions. A 48-hour, 72-hour, 5-day pass costs 19€/25€/32€. A 72-hour pass including admission to Museum Island’s galleries and museums costs 34€. The Tageskarte and Berlin WelcomeCard can be purchased at any Berlin Infostore. For more information visit www.berlin-welcomecard.com.
BY S-BAHN -- Speedy and efficient, S-Bahn trains (www.s-bahn-berlin.de) provide an enjoyable way to explore Berlin. The service comprises 15 routes, which feed into three main lines going east–west, north–south, and circling around central Berlin. Purchase and validate your ticket at one of the red or yellow ticket-validation machines on the platform before boarding. The S-Bahn operates from 4am to 12:30am, later at weekends. S-Bahn entrances are marked with an S in a green background. Some S-Bahn lines intersect with U-Bahn lines, so you can transfer from one to the other. The S-Bahn is particularly handy if you are traveling from Bahnhof Zoo in western Berlin to Mitte in eastern Berlin or southwest to Grunewald and the lakes.
BY U-BAHN -- U-Bahn underground trains (www.bvg.de) provide another fast and efficient way to get around Berlin. Ten lines run to more than 170 stations from 4am until midnight, later at the weekend. At peak times, trains depart every 3 to 5 minutes. U-Bahn entrances are marked with a U in a blue background. Validate your ticket in one of the validation machines before boarding.
BY BUS -- If you’re not in a hurry, Berlin’s buses are a great way to get about and enjoy the views, especially from the upper deck. Routes 100 and 200 are particularly scenic and travel from Bahnhof Zoo east to Mitte, passing many Berlin landmarks along the way. Buy your ticket before boarding, not on the bus. You can download routes from www.bvg.de.
BY TAXI -- Taxis wait outside major hotels, stations, and airports round the clock. Most drivers speak some English. There’s a minimum charge of 3.20€, plus 1.65€ per kilometer. If you’re going less than 2km (1 1/4 miles) and flag down the cab, ask for the Kurzstreckentarif (short-route fare); the driver should switch off the meter and charge no more than 4€. Reputable companies include TaxiFunk Berlin GmbH (tel. 030-44-33-22) and Funk Taxi Berlin (tel. 030-26-10-26).
BY CAR -- Once in central Berlin, there’s no need for a car; it’s cheaper, quicker, and more carbon friendly to use the excellent public transport network, even for day trips. Pay-and-display parking costs around 2.50€ per hour from 9am to 6pm or 8pm. Clearly display your ticket on the dash.
BY BICYCLE -- Berlin’s network of cycling trails makes biking a popular way to get around. Bikes are a fun, eco-friendly way of exploring the sights. Most S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains have a dedicated car for bikes, but you need to buy an additional reduced fare ticket to take the bike on public transportation.
ON FOOT -- With its grand avenues, pedestrian-only streets, leafy parks, squares, and riverside and canalside promenades, Berlin is a city best enjoyed and discovered on foot. For information on guided walking tours.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.