Berlin: 3.5 Million residents, 12 boroughs and endless opportunities to get from A to B. At first sight the complicated network of lines seems pretty chaotic. We shed some light onto the darkness and present you the most important means of traffic in the city:
The typical beige-red S-Bahn-Trains not only shape the image of the city, they are also one of the most important means of transportation. There is a total of 15 lines and most of the time the trains travel above ground. The Ringbahn (Line 41 & 42) goes in circle around the city core in both directions; within the ring you find a major east-west-connection (Line 5, 7 & 75) and a major north-south-connection (Line 1, 2 & 25). Outside of the ring different lines of the S-Bahn lead out of the city, even deep into rural Brandenburg.
As the name suggests, the U-Bahn is an underground railroad, and at least in the city center most lines stick to this name. Only the lines U1 and U2 travel partly on an elevated railway viaduct above the streets. U-Bahn-Trains are generally a little smaller than S-Bahn-Trains and they are painted entirely yellow. Right here at Industriepalast Hostel you find line U1 which takes you to the best spots in trendy Kreuzberg, further to Schöneberg and even to the shopping area Kurfürstendamm in the west of Berlin.
Streetcar & Metrotram
In addition to S-Bahn and U-Bahn yellow streetcars can be found especially in the eastern parts of Berlin. Their tracks run mostly right on the street. The common network plans usually only include S-Bahn and U-Bahn; special network plans for the tramway can be found at any stop. Tramway lines called “Metrotram” typically go more often than other lines. Here at Warschauer Straße line M10 is waiting for you to take you deeper into Friedrichshain and the hip area Prenzlauer Berg, including Mauerpark, where Berlin’s most popular vintage and flea market takes place every weekend.
Scarcely anything in Berlin is as complicated as the network of busses. An almost infinite number of lines with various names wind through the streets of the city, following an order that is hard to fathom – even established residents know hardly more than a handful of bus lines. If you want to use the bus it is best to get all information concerning the connection and required changes beforehand. It is common practice here in Berlin to enter the bus at the front and to show the ticket to the driver or buy one on the spot. One of the most important bus lines is Bus TXL which takes you from Alexanderplatz, Hauptbahnhof or Zoologischer Garten to the Airport Berlin Tegel (TXL).
What else is around?
In addition to the S-Bahn some regional trains pass through the more important stations. The trains, usually painted red, are much faster than the S-Bahn-Trains, but go not as often and don’t stop everywhere on the way.
Taxicabs, too, are a feature of the streetscape, but they are usually more expensive than public transportation. It can be worth it for short hauls – if it is only a short distance always say “Kurzstrecke” beforehand, then it’s normally only 4,- €.
How often do the trains go?
During peak hours S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains go at least every 5 minutes; earlier in the morning or later at night only every 7 to 20 minutes. During the week they knock it off between 0:30 and 4:30 a.m., but often there is some night bus instead. On the weekend the trains run through the night.
What kind of ticket do I need?
Tickets can be purchased at the white and yellow ticket machines at every station. There are single fare tickets but if you are planning to use public transportation more than twice on one day go get a daysaver ticket. In the city a “Tageskarte AB” for 6.70€ is enough, only if you want to get out of the city (for instance to Airport Berlin-Schönefeld SFX) you need a ticket “Berlin ABC”. If you are staying here for a couple of days it is often worth getting a “Berlin Welcome Card”, which can be purchased directly at our reception.
Unlike in other cities you won’t find a turnstile system in the train stations, still you shouldn’t dodge the fare: ticket inspectors roam the trains quite often and who gets caught pays much more.
How do I find my connection?
If you still have troubles navigating through the jungle of public transportation we are always happy to look up a connection for you here at the reception. Smartphone users can download the free app “Allryder”, which leads you accurately from A to B and always back to Industriepalast Hostel.
Have heaps of fun checking out the endless opportunities of public transportation in Berlin,
Blogger at Industriepalast Hostel
is Berliner by choice and a passionate backpacker himself. As a receptionist he knows the real hostel life; as a blogger he's been writing for Industriepalast Hostel's Berlin blog since 2014.