Berlin Public Transport Guide Bus Metro U Bahn S Bahn Trains & Trams

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Berlin Public Transport Overview

The term ‘bahn means train or rail. In Berlin an ‘S’ prefix before bahn ie ‘S.Bahn’ means that that is a ‘ Schnell’ train a fast local train runs on the surface at ground level.  If the word has a ‘U’ prefix ie ‘U Bahn’ it means that the train runs underground or is what many people in other cities refer to as a metro service.

Please  note that in Berlin the term ‘metro’ defines the bus and tram services only.

Berlin  Public transport is made up S Bahn and U Bahn rail services and an extensive bus network. In the eastern part of Berlin only there is a limited tram services though Tram services are being reinstated in West Berlin having being withdrawn 50 years ago. For ticketing  purposes these services operate over three travel zones. Most of these services are fairly well integrated and reasonably priced. Most period or season tickets can be used on any of these services.  Please see the ”Ticketing’  feature below. Ticket machines at stations and on trams accept coins and have instructions in English.

All public transport services in Berlin are run by BVG   website  e-mail:  Telephone 030/19 44 9  or Fax 030/256 49 256/

Berlin is also served by intercity trains to from all major German cities. It also has good connections with the rest of Europe . For information on these services please go to the following the DB (German Railways) website.

S  Bahn Services  In Berlin

These services are suburban services who’s route can be determined by the number alongside the destination on the front of the train. These trains  run through the centre of Berlin on three routes. From a tourist perspective the first two may be useful:

The  Stadbahn which runs from west to east linking key tourist areas such as Potsdam Zoo and Hauptbahnnof in the west and Alexanderplatz and Ostbanhnof on the east.

The Nord-Süd-Bahn: runs from north to south route and connects places such as Friedrichstrasse, Unter den Linden, Potsdamer Platz with the intercity stations at Berlin Gesundbrunnen and Sudlreuz/

There is a third S Bahn  Service called the Ringbahn which run in a circle around the perimeters of the city centre. It is probably not very useful for travelling between sights and attractions.

U  Bahn Services in Berlin

There are 9 U Bahn services which show their route number U1 – U9 and destination on the front of the train. Occasionally a former service U12 may operate temporarily when there are special events being held in Berlin. .At night at weekends U-Bahn trains run every 15 minutes

Bus Services In Berlin

There are approximately 150 bus routes in Berlin. Tourists are likely to find routes 100 and 200 the most useful. 54 of these routes offer a night bus service. Daytime bus services services usual operate from around 4.30/5am until 00/00/01am the following day. The majority of bus stops have route maps and easy to read timetables

Buses prefixed ‘M’, run every 30 minutes nightly.

If you have a valid ticket you can enter through any door. If you do not have a ticket you may purchase one for the single bus journey you are embarking on from the driver. Tickets puchased from machines at U- or S-Bahn stations are accepted. are valid.

Trams Services In Berlin

In Berlin there 21 tram routes and 5 of these operate at night. These services are predominantly on the eastern side of the city/ The  main terminus  for the tram services is at Hackescher Markt. Some of these services have been recently been in to parts of Western Berlin like ‘Wedding’/ They were originally from West Berlin in the 1960s.

Trams prefixed ‘M’, run every 30 minutes nightly.

Tickets for the trams can be purchased from the machines on the trams at the Hackescher Markt terminal and U-Bahn stations.


Ticketing information  For Berlin Public Transport 

Any valid ticket or pass can be used on the rail, underground bus or trams. Ticket machines at stations and on trams accept coins and have instructions in English. On station platforms you may also use banknotes. On buses only tickets can be purchased from the driver. Tickets may also be purchased from the information desks on the main S bahn stations.

A single ticket (Einzelticket) costs €2.10 enables you to travel one-way, including transfers, within the AB zone. You may also purchase €1.20 short journey ticket (Kurzatrecke) for journey of up to three rail or underground stops. It is also accepted for up to six stops on buses and trams.

A one day pass (Tageskarte) – valid until 03.00 am in the following morning costs €5.80. A seven day pass costs €25.40. Groups of up to five people can also purchase a special day ticket for groups (Kleingruppenkarte) costing €14.

The tourist office BVG and some hotels , the tourist office, and some hotels offer a range of of multi day cards. The ‘Welcome’ cards offer concessions at tourist places. The City Tour Cards offer 48 hours unlimited travel in the AB Zone plus concessions for €14.90 or 72 hours for €19.90.

Before you travel on the S – or U-Bahn, trains you must punch your ticket by on in the machine on the platform. On the buses and the trams, the machines are near the doors. on board.

Plain clothes inspectors travel on all services and if you have not a ticket or have stamped the one you have there is a on the spot fine of €40.



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