Navigating Berlin’s public transport

straenbahn.jpgIf laid out in a single line, Berlin’s train and tram tracks would reach from Berlin to the Zugspitze mountain in the Alps. When there’s no train or tram heading where they want to go, Berlin residents catch a bus or ferry. Two companies operate the majority of Berlin’s public transportation services. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) is responsible for 10 underground trains, 22 tram lines, 149 bus lines and 6 ferries. The S-Bahn Berlin GmbH operates 15 commuter train services.

Berlin central station – Europe’s crossroads

berlinhbf2.jpgA reorganization of the rail network for Berlin and the surrounding region was launched in May 2006. The plan included a new main train station on the site of the old Lehrter Bahnhof station. The new station was named Train Station of the Year in 2007, just a year after its opening, so it appears to be a success. The 300,000 passengers and visitors who pass through the station every day are even more proof of that.

Rail passengers especially appreciate shorter travel times due to the frequency of the trains which leave for destinations on all points on the compass every 90 seconds. The station is one of Europe’s biggest and most modern rail hubs. It’s impressive not just for its huge capacity but also because it’s visually eye-catching. The station was designed by Meinhard von Gerkan and is spacious and flooded with light. A 321-m glass hall runs from east to west and is crossed in a north-south direction by the station concourse, which is 160 m long and 40 m wide.

Berlin’s airports: Three become one

flghfschoenefeld.jpgIf you want to fly out of Berlin, you currently still have the choice between the inner-city airport in Tegel or Schönefeld airport, which is just beyond the city limits in Brandenburg. Berlin’s third airport, the tradition-rich Tempelhof airport – where the famous “raisin bombers” landed with food and supplies for the people of West Berlin during the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948/49 – closed on October 31, 2008.