How to get to Berlin by train
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Berlin is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe for all travelers. One of the most unique landmarks in Berlin is its famous Brandenburg Gate, which was built for King Frederick Wilhelm II. The Gate now represents German unity, and it is perhaps the most photogenic landmark in the capital city. Modern art enthusiasts should visit the Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art which is Germany’s first street art museum. Opened in 2017, the museum displays works from various graffiti artists from around the world and it’s located in Schöneberg, one of the city’s edgier areas. If you’re simply looking to enjoy a stroll, the Tiergarten, which spans 519 acres from central Berlin, will offer the relaxing vibes you need.
Berlin has an expansive and vibrant food scene with a good variety. Those looking for traditional German dishes should head over to Zur letzten Instanz, which is the oldest restaurant in Berlin. For a special twist, don’t hesitate to visit the Turkish Market, which offers amazing Turkish delicacies.
The main hub for intercity bus services is the Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof Berlin. For rail services, the Berlin Hauptbahnhof is the main train station. The Berlin Brandenburg Airport, located just outside of the city’s south-eastern border, is the main air travel hub of the city.
Occupying a grand modern glass and steel building on the River Spree, Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Hbf) is around 1.5 km from the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Also referred to as Berlin Central Station, the station is German capital's main railway station (hauptbahnhof). The lower platforms serve train lines that run north-south on Deutsche Bahn. The lower platforms are linked with upper platforms – for east-west services – via escalators and a middle floor containing shops, cafés, and other convenient facilities. It has additional connections with U-Bahn (metro) Line 5 and trams (streetcars). The intercity bus station lies on the opposite side of Europaplatz, with FlixBus providing services across Germany.
Popular train stations in Berlin:
Berlin Central Station
Central Bus Station
Alt-Tegel Bus Stop
What train companies travel to Berlin, Germany?
Located in Germany, Berlin is accessible by train from 42 other cities. You can choose from 145 daily scheduled trips when you search for trains to Berlin on Wanderu. FlixTrain usually has the most trains on any given day.
Looking for other ways to get there? Coach tickets to Berlin are also available..
Train companies serving Berlin
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Part of the FlixBus family, FlixTrain launched in 2018 to offer affordable and sustainable train travel in Germany. Its trains provide Wi-Fi, power outlets, air conditioning, onboard restrooms, and access to an entertainment portal full of movies, games, and music. In addition, each passenger gets a guaranteed seat, so you don't have to worry about standing in any aisles.
Frequently Asked Questions
The busiest train station in Berlin is Berlin Central Station. There are several other active stations in addition to this main station. The most popular train stations in Berlin are:
- Berlin Central Station
- Berlin Südkreuz
It is extremely easy and convenient to take a Deutsche Bahn train to Berlin’s Brandenburg International Airport (BER), since there is a major train station within the airport. The station is in the basement below the airport’s main terminal and just a short walk from check-in counters.
Even if your train takes you to one of the city’s four other train stations (which is likely, as most of them are larger), it’s just a matter of hopping on a connecting train to Brandenburg Berlin Airport, technically located in the town of Schönefeld. Depending on where you arrive in Berlin, you can take the regional trains RE7 or RB14, which travel between the airport and Berlin’s main train station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof. There’s also the Airport Express line (FEX) and local commuter trains S9 and S45.
- Search Wanderu to find the best deal.
- Book your train ticket in advance.
- Receive your ticket emailed by the train carrier.
- Board the train and relax during the journey.
- Arrive at the station and start exploring Berlin.
How to Get Around Berlin
Germany’s capital city has a fantastic public transportation infrastructure, so it’s super easy to get around regardless of your preferred method.
Berlin has arguably one of the most sophisticated train systems of any city in the entire world. The main train station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, or Berlin Central Station, is a bustling transit hub with international, regional, and local transportation options.
The most common trains are the U-Bahn underground trains (subway) and S-Bahn elevated rails. The S-Bahn is a commuter train, offering express service along a loop in the city core. Most visitors will primarily ride the U-Bahn, as it has expansive coverage with 10 lines and nearly 200 stops. The U-Bahn uses a zone system for routes and pricing and conveniently, the majority of the city’s best attractions are in Zones A and B. Both kinds of trains run from early morning until about 1:30am Monday through Friday, and 24 hours on weekends.
Riding the bus in Berlin is another good option, although it’s not nearly as popular as the city’s ultra-fast train system. A couple of advantages to buses, however, include that there are a handful that run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and they cover more remote areas of the city where trains do not travel.
For a quick and inexpensive immersion into Berlin, hop on one of the double-decker buses running Route 100 or 200. These sightseeing buses hit most of the city’s most popular highlights and offer a fun, easy way to get the lay of the land.
Rideshare Apps & Taxis
Ridesharing is still relatively new in Berlin, and often a very literal experience of sharing a ride. When you order a rideshare from one of the city’s two major providers, CleverShuttle and BerlKoenig, you’ll likely physically share the vehicle with other passengers. It takes a bit longer than a taxi, as you’ll drop off or pick up others along the way, but ridesharing in Berlin is extremely affordable, not to mention more eco-friendly.
Berliners have never been big on hiring private transportation; it makes perfect sense, since the city has such an advanced public transportation system. Because of that, taxis are rather expensive and used on an only-when-absolutely-necessary basis. You can hail a cream-colored cab from the street, but they’re more easily found outside of hotels and at the airport.
There are simply some occasions when it just makes more sense for you to drive your own vehicle in Berlin. Whether you need it just for a few hours or you’re looking to head out for a longer excursion, check Wanderu for the best rates and vehicle selection.
Must-See Places in Berlin
Housing Germany’s Parliament and serving as a shining symbol of the country’s reunification after a long, war-torn history, this iconic landmark is a must-see. Visiting the Reichstag Building is totally free, but you’ll need an advance reservation. Once there, be sure to walk around the glass dome for sweeping city views.
Another iconic German landmark is the Brandenburg Gate, an elaborate Neoclassical arch commissioned by a Prussian king in 1791. At one time, there were 14 gates to the city, and Brandenburg is the last one standing. It’s also within easy walking distance of the Reichstag, so it’s easy to visit both.
Berlin is so serious about its museums that it built a beautiful island in the middle of the city to host five of them. Museum Island is home to the Altes Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, and Pergamonmuseum. By far the star attraction is the incredibly well-preserved bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum.
Little-known to most, Zoo Berlin is home to more animal species than any other zoo in the world, including Germany’s only giant pandas! The zoo opened in 1844, and to this day remains a family-friendly activity for Berlin locals and visitors.
One of the most classic German experiences is enjoying an enormous stein of beer at a beer hall or garden. Fortunately, there are LOTS of places to do so in Berlin. One of the best is Hofbrauhaus, modeled after Munich’s iconic beer hall and complete with people dressed in traditional Lederhosen!
Germany Travel Tips for International Visitors
There are a few things that international visitors to Germany should keep in mind.
Currency: Euro (€)
Tipping: Accepted, but not required. Tip about 10% for good service
Legal drinking age: 18 years old (or 16 for beer)
Useful German phrases:
“Hallo” = Hello
“Bitte” = Please
“Danke” = Thank you
“Sprechen sie Englisch?” = Do you speak English?
Berlin Tips for Travelers
There are a few Berlin-specific customs and norms that visitors may not be familiar with.
Jaywalking isn’t cool in Berlin, and neither is walking or standing in the bike lane. Be sure to follow the orders of the little green traffic man on the stoplights.
Lots of businesses are closed on Sundays. The exceptions are museums, bars, restaurants, and other major tourist attractions, but you’ll still want to stock up on any groceries or essentials during the week.
In most of Europe, the after-bar meal of choice is unequivocally the kebab. But in Berlin, the winner is the Currywurst
- a grilled sausage drenched in tomato-based onion and curry sauce. Of course, no one is stopping you from trying this local delicacy for breakfast or lunch, either.
Wanderu is the simplest way to book coach and train travel.
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