Berlin is an extraordinarily big city to get around in. Strolling around the city streets is a pleasure unparalleled as with a population of only four million people, it has one of the least population densities around the world. Thus you don’t get a feeling of being shut in by crowds like what you commonly experience in some of the other famous metropolis such as London and Manhattan. Berlin also has a well-integrated and excellent network of Public transportation that comprises of ferries, Berlin S-Bahn or suburban rails, trams, buses and Berlin U-Bahn or underground rail system.
If you travel by means of Public transportation in Berlin, you can reach any place within the city limits at any time of the day. All of the tourist attractions around Berlin are easily accessible on the Public transportation network in the city while also being a fairly cheap means of getting around. Maps are easy to find and they ably guide you on how to reach your desired destination so travelling on the Public transportation network is a very easy task.
The Public transportation network in Berlin is comprehensive, punctual, straightforward and extremely affordable. Here we take a look at the various means by which you can get around and travel to the various tourist attractions in and around the city limits.
If you are required to cover large distances, the S-Bahn network is the fastest means for you to get around. In order to figure out the direction in which the train is headed to, check the final destination on the signs that hang above the railway tracks. Central Berlin is served by three different S-Bahn lines:
- Outer Ring: It encircles Zone A or the place around the city center and serves as an important link between the outer districts such as Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg.
- Cross-Town service: This service runs in an east-west direction and travels through the heartland of Berlin. A line that is commonly used by visitors, it runs along some of the popular tourist destinations such as Alexanderplatz and Zoo. Apart from connecting the former eastern and western halves of the city, it is also the easiest means for getting over from one international railway station to another. Trains along this line make stops along some of the most popular museums and other places of tourist attraction along the way.
- North-South Express Line: This is one route that is not frequented by tourists to Berlin. However, if you need to reach places such as KZ Sachsenhausen or Potsdam, you will need to take the S1 trains on this route and travel in the direction of Oranienburg.
The U-Bahn or Metro service in Berlin is the easiest means by which you can get around the city as most of the areas are accessible on these services. The U-Bahn network is divided into three different tariff zones:
- Zone A: It is surrounded by the Outer Ring of the Berlin S-Bahn network and covers the territories around the city center and central districts of the city.
- Zone B: This network covers all the other regions in the city but is limited only within the territorial boundaries of Berlin.
- Zone C: Nearby surrounding areas such as oranienburg, Potsdam and Schoenefeld Airport are accessible on this zone.
There are combined tickets available for the zones and they can be bought from the ticket vending machines at one of the stations. You can also get hold of them from one of the many S-Bahn and BVG Sales Centers around Berlin. For visitors, the U2 line is likely to be most useful as it travels along such popular centers of tourist attraction as Friedrichstrasse shopping boulevard, the popular nightlife district at Prenzlauer Berg, Potsdamer Platz skyscrapers and Zoologischer Garten. While weekday services run till midnight, the services remain in operation round the clock during weekends.
Bus Services In Berlin
The city of Berlin is well served by an efficient and regular bus service. There are as many as seven different MetroBus lines around the German capital city and they remain in operation twenty-four hours a day. Berlin has close to two hundred regular bus services with sixty-five of them being dedicated services that run through the night at intervals of thirty minutes. Buses on routes 100 and 200, operating between Alexanderplatz and Zoologischer Garten, drive past a number of the popular tourist destinations in Berlin and can be considered a cheap alternative to many of the sightseeing tours that are in operation within the city.
Taxi service in Berlin
Public transportation in Berlin comprises of as many as seven thousand taxis running on the city streets. They can be found easily, especially if you are somewhere around the central districts. You can also opt to call one in advance and book it for your travels. If you find the yellow light on top of the vehicle turned on, you can hail it for your travels. Most of the drivers have sufficient knowledge of English so you will be able to reach your destination without facing much of a problem.
Tram network in Berlin
The tram network in Berlin comprises of as many as twenty-two different lines with close to four hundred different stops along the route that spans a length of nearly three hundred kilometers. The tram network is best used for reaching those areas that are poorly served by the U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks. When the city became united after the fall of the Berlin Wall, West Berlin did away with its tram network and replaced it with buses and U-Bahn services but East Berlin decided to keep and maintain its share of the tramways. As a result, while the eastern half of the city continues to undergo renovation and restoration work, the tramways remain as its greatest piece of heritage and is a popular attraction for the tourists.
Getting Around in Berlin
If you wish to travel around Berlin on your own means of conveyance, you will find that unlike most of the other European cities, this city is favorable for driving. However, one big issue is taking left turns on the city streets with drivers complaining that they are required to take right turns at intersections, encircle entire blocks and head straight because of unfavorable traffic rules. Biking is also popular in the leafy districts of what was once West Berlin. On the whole, Public transportationation in Berlin is something you will find convenient to use while travelling around the city and visiting its many tourist destinations.