Berlin has an exceptionally good public transportation system that is efficient and easy for visitors to navigate. There is really no need to use any more expensive options to get around the city. Below you will find a brief overview of each of the main components of the public transit system in Berlin along with links to a more detailed page about each one.
U-Bahn and S-Bahn (Metro)
The backbone of public transport in Berlin is provided by the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn. The U-Bahn is mostly underground and operates along 10 lines numbered from U0 to U9. The S-Bahn has a total of 15 routes all starting with the letter S, but there are 3 core routes: an elevated east-west route, and underground north-south route and a perimeter ring route. The remaining routes all feed from those.
Trams supplement the U-Bahn and S-Bahn helping people connect with places that aren't as close to the stations. They are more prevalent in East Berlin.
Buses help fill the gaps where trains and trams can't take you. You'll find most attractions in Berlin are within walking distance of a train station, but in some cases it is quicker to take a bus when connecting from one train line to another rather than a more circuitous route. Our instant directions feature on each attraction will help you quickly find the best route to any attraction.
Ferries Berlin even has a total of 6 Ferry routes in their public transit system. These routes are short with some being just a 2 minute river crossing. The longest route is 25 minutes. They are covered by the same fare system as the rest of the transit system.
Berlin has an efficient and cohesive fare system that lets you travel freely between the different modes. They also offer some excellent multiday passes specifically for visitors to the city. These passes will even get you a discount at many attractions and restaurants. For the purpose of fares the system is divided in 3 zones — A,B and C. Transit fares in Berlin are very reasonable compared to other European cities.
There are no barriers or gates for boarding the metro, trains or trams. Just be sure to validate your ticket as there are plain clothes fare inspectors that can issue a fine for non-compliance. If you are boarding a bus you just show your valid ticket to the driver as you board.
Walking is another excellent and free option for exploring the much of the city. With a bit of planning you can easily walk from one attraction to another. Be sure to check out the self-guided walking tours on our site.
For more information, maps and schedules for the Berlin public transportation system visit the official BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) website.