Most international flights arrive at Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BER), 20km (12 miles) from the city center. The new airport (opened 2020) has a rail station under the main terminal, so you can reach the center of Berlin in 20 minutes. For current information on BBI and the two airports currently serving Berlin, go to www.berlin-airport.de.
Schönefeld airport, 18km (11 miles) southeast of the center was once its own airport (SXF) but is now Terminal 5 at Brandenburg (BER). It connects with destinations across Europe, Asia, and Africa, and is served by low-cost airlines like easyJet, Ryanair, and others. Its train station is Berlin Schönefeld Flughafen.
Airport Express trains (RE9; 29 min.) to Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which includes terminals 1 and 2, run roughly every 15 minutes from Berlin Hauptbahnhof. A regular S-Bahn service (S45 and S9) departs from the airport and takes about 45 minutes to reach central Berlin. Alternatively take the Airport Express train, departing every half-hour from 4:30am to 11pm and taking about 30 minutes to reach Hauptbahnhof (Berlin’s main train station), stopping en route at Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, and Friedrichstrasse. Tickets for either service cost 3.20€ and can be purchased from the machines on the platforms. Expect to pay around 40€ for the 45-minute taxi journey into town.
Tegel (TXL) airport, 8km (5 miles) northwest of the center, served European and long-haul destinations. It closed in October 2020.
You can reach Berlin by train from everywhere in Europe. Long-distance high-speed trains arrive at and depart from the Hauptbahnhof (main train station), Europa Platz 1 (tel. 0800-15-07-090 for train schedules; www.hbf-berlin.de), Europe’s newest and largest train station. Unless you arrive by a local, regional train, you’ll be pulling into this new, user-friendly terminal. On the main floor there’s a BERLIN infostore, the name given to Berlin’s tourist information centers. Whether you’re staying in western or eastern Berlin, getting to your hotel from the Hauptbahnhof couldn’t be easier. The entrance to the S-Bahn (elevated train) is on the second floor of the station; the entrance to the U-Bahn (subway or underground train) is on the first floor, and there are buses right outside.
Four Autobahn (freeway) routes enter Berlin from western Germany; three enter from the east. The drive from Frankfurt or Munich takes about 8 hours, depending on traffic. After you’re in Berlin, however, a car is a nuisance. Unless you know this huge city well, getting around by public transportation is far easier than by car
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