Berlin has two major airports, with convenient transportation to and from the city.
Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) - Located 8km northwest of the city, this is the main airport in Berlin and your likely port of entry. Tegel’s hexagonal design has terminals shooting from the center in all directions. However, it is easy to navigate and walking is minimal. The airport offers, shops, restaurants and a tourist office. The airport has 4 terminals, A, B, C and D.
Berlin Schoenefeld Airport (SXF) - Berlin’s second international airport is located 18 km southeast of city center, catering to charter flights and mostly low-budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair.
Berlin has an efficient and well-connected transportation system.
The U-Bahn (subway) and S-Bahn (light rail) - The U-Bahn is the most efficient method of getting around Berlin, while the S-Bahn covers longer journeys. Don’t forget to stamp your ticket using the stamp machine next to the ticket machine before getting onboard the train.
Night Travel - The U-Bahn runs every 15 minutes, even all night long on Friday, Saturday and public holidays. From Sunday to Thursday, the N1 and N2 night buses run along U-Bahn routes from 12.30am to 4am at 30-minute intervals. Metro Buses and Metro Trams also run nightly every 30 minutes.
Bicycle - Berlin is a cycle friendly city making this a pleasant mode of transport. Bikes can be rented for around €12 (approx $13.50) a day, or a number of inexpensive bike sharing schemes such as Mobike, Deezer nextbike and LIDL Bike in the city.
Prices for public transportation are based on three zones – A, B and C. The city is in zones A and B, while the outlying areas are zone C. Tickets are available from vending machines at stations and on trams, from bus drivers and BVG sales offices. Prices are about €2.80 (approx $3.20) one-way and €7 (approx $8) for a day pass. Pro tip: If taking more than two trips in a day, get a day pass. Tickets are valid for all forms of public transport. Children under 6 travel free and children aged 6-14 get a reduced rate.
Jan-Mar - Winters are cold with temperatures hovering around freezing. Expect highs of around 3°C (37°F) in January although winds from the east may make things feel even colder. Snow does happen occasionally but is not expected. February is the driest month.
Apr-Jun - Pleasant and mild weather with temperatures generally in the 4°C - 14°C (39-57°F) range. Rainfall is spread pretty evenly throughout the year so its safe to assume rain at some point during your visit.
Jul-Sep - July and August are the hottest months with average high temperatures at 23°C (73°F). Summer is also peak season as Berlin buzzes with locals and tourists enjoying the city. It can get a bit humid in this area of the world though nighttime temperatures tend to be cool.
Oct-Dec - Autumn is the most comfortable time of year weather wise, with cooler temperatures averaging 13°C (55°F). By December it feels very wintery, the days are shorter and temperatures struggle beyond 0°C (32°F).
The standard voltage is 230V/50Hz. Germany use Type F plugs which are two round pins, the same as used across mainland Europe so if you are travelling from the U.S. or outside of mainland Europe you will need a Type F plug adapter.
Germany use the Euro (EUR) in partnership with 18 other European countries. The best place to exchange your currency for the Euro is to use one of the major banks or an ATM (Geldautomat).
A true cosmopolitan melting pot, many different languages can be heard in Berlin, and English is widely used and understood. However, German is still the main language here. As with any major European city, the locals will really appreciate the effort you make to use the native language. Here are a few useful phrases:
East Side Gallery - When the Berlin wall came down in 1989, large chunks of it were left, and local artists have made their mark in a very inspiring way. Many of them expressed themselves by painting sections of the remaining wall with images of hope and violence. Today, the East Side Gallery is free and one of the best outdoor exhibits in Berlin.
Brandenburg Gate - A symbol of division during the cold war, it is now a national symbol of peace and unity. It was here in 1987 that President Reagan issued his stern plea to end the cold war by saying “Mr. Gorbachov – tear down this wall."
Checkpoint Charlie - The famous gateway between East and West Berlin. The reconstruction of the former communist checkpoint is complete with fake soldiers, but there is a nearby museum, the Rainer Hildebrandt, that is a great way to get the history of the area. It is small, so try and visit during the week for fewer crowds.
Reichstag – As the seat of German Parliament, this is one of Berlin’s most historic sites. It’s free To visit and you can climb the glass dome for a spectacular view of the city.
Museum Island – One island, five famous museums, and a great way to spend a couple of days. Museumsinsel is an outstanding ensemble of 5 world-renowned museums and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Bon voyage 👋