The fare system in Berlin is actually reasonably straight forward and pretty easy to learn, but there are a few things you should know before travelling there.
While there are different agencies operating public transport in Berlin the fare system is completely unified making for seamless travel throughout the city.
Keeping it simple for you
Berlin has a unified fare system that lets you use the same fare or pass on any of the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, buses or trams and ferries throughout the city. The fare system is based on 3 zones designated A, B and C. Most of the city that you are likely to explore as a tourist will fall into zones A and B. Even zone A extends out to and includes travel on the urban ring route of the S-Bahn (Ringbahn - lines S8, S41, S42, S45, S46).
Where to Purchase
Tickets are available online from the BVG Website as well as from ticket vending machines in the stations. They are available from many vendors located in shops and businesses throughout the city. Some of the larger U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations have ticket counters in addition to the vending machines. Tickets can also be purchases from machines on trams or from the driver (cash only) on buses.
Important: Your ticket must be validated (time-stamped) when you start using it otherwise it is not a valid fare and you could be subjected to a fine if you are caught with an unvalidated ticket. There is generally no leniency offered to tourists in this regard. You can validate your ticket by inserting it in one of the yellow or red fare validators.
Tickets for riding public transport in Berlin are straightforward and follow a natural progression. The various ticket types are listed below. Below them you will find a table showing the corresponding fares.
Short-Trip Tickets: Short-Trip Tickets are the cheapest single trip ticket and, just as their name suggests, are intended for a short trip with no transfers. These will get you 3 stops on the U-Bahn or S-Bahn and up to 6 stops on buses or trams. You can also purchase a Short-Trip Ticket that is valid for 4 short trips at a discount.
Single Tickets: Single Tickets are intended for a single trip in one direction and prices are bases on the zones you are travelling through. Unlike the Shor-Trip Tickets they do allow transfers and have no restriction on the number of stops travelled providing you keep within the designated zones. They can be purchase for AB, BC or ABC. You can see the prices in the table below. You can also purchase a ticket that is valid for 4 single trips at a discount.
Day Tickets: Day Tickets are sold for the same zone combinations as Single Tickets, but they are valid all day in any direction within the specified zones. Then do not expire until 3 am of day following validation.
Small Group Day Tickets: Small Group Day Tickets are ideal for families or groups travelling together and offer great value. They work exactly like a regular day ticket, but they are valid for up to 5 people.
7 Day Tickets: 7 Day Tickets are a great option if you will be in Berlin for 5 to 7 days. They are available for the same zone combinations as the Single and Day Tickets, but they are valid through to midnight on the 7th calendar day after you validate them.
Berlin Welcome Card: The Berlin Welcome Card is a special pass designed for visitors and just might be your best option. They are sold for either zones A&B or A,B&C and for 48 hours, 72 hours or 5 days of travel. If you are travelling with children the ABC pass can be an particularly good value as they permit up to 3 children ages 6-14 to travel free with one adult and include transportation to and from -Schönefeld Airport and the city of Potsdam. Berlin Welcome Cards will also get you a discount of 25-50% at 200 restaurants and attractions throughout the city.
Berlin CityTour Card: The Berlin CityTour Card is a less expensive cousin to the Berlin Welcome Card. It provides the exact same options and benefits when it comes to transportation, but the discounts for restaurants and attractions start at 15% and there are 40 participating attractions instead of 200. It is an option worth considering, but the savings are minor and could easily be negated by the better discounts provided with the Welcome Card.
Children 5 and under are always free. Children ages 6 through 14 receive a reduced fare.
The following table has rates for all of the transit fares in the city of Berlin except monthly passes. We have highlighted the options that offer the best value to tourists and visitors to the city.
|Berlin Transport Ticket Prices||Zone AB||Zone BC||Zone ABC|
|Short-Trip Ticket - Reduced Fare||1,30€||1,30€||1,30€|
|Short-Trip 4-Trip Ticket||5,60€||5,60€||5,60€|
|Short-Trip 4-Trip Ticket - Reduced Fare||4,40€||4,40€||4,40€|
|Single-Trip Ticket - Reduced Fare||1,70€||2,20€||2,50€|
|Single 4-Trip Ticket||9,00€||12,00€||13,20€|
|Single 4-Trip Ticket - Reduced Fare||5,60€||8,40€||9,60€|
|Day Ticket - Reduced Fare||4,70€||5,10€||5,30€|
|Small Group Day Ticket (Up to 5 People)||19,90€||20,60€||20,80€|
|7 Day Ticket||30,00€||31,40€||37,50€|
|Berlin Welcome Card - 48 Hours||19,90€||NA||22,90€|
|Berlin Welcome Card - 72 Hours||28,90€||NA||30,90€|
|Berlin Welcome Card - 72 Hours including Museum Island (Free entry to 5 museums)||45,00€||NA||47,00€|
|Berlin Welcome Card - 5 Days||36,90€||NA||41,50€|
|Berlin Welcome Card - 6 Days||42,50€||NA||46,50€|
|Berlin CityTour Card - 48 Hours||16,90€||NA||17,90€|
|Berlin CityTour Card - 72 Hours||23,90€||NA||24,90€|
|Berlin CityTour Card - 5 Days||33,90€||NA||37,90€|
The above fares are subject to change. We will update them as soon as possible when changes are made, but you should verify them on the official website below.
Official Website: https://shop.bvg.de/index.php/tickets