Berlin is known for its rich history, especially in the 20th Century when it was a city divided by the infamous Berlin Wall. Today, it’s considered one of Europe’s coolest places to visit, in no small part down to the minimalist bars, variety of restaurants and of course, the nightlife. It's very easy to get around with monthly passes, day tickets or tourist tickets available at the ticket machines.
The city itself has a lot of choice in terms of transport. You can use the trams, buses, underground (U-Bahn), overground (S-Bahn) and inner-city trains to hop your way around the city. You can travel via high speed ICE train and arrive at numerous stations in Berlin from other cities in Germany, including Munich.
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Spring and Autumn are generally fairly mild and not as wet as in the UK. Summer is especially pleasant with highs often in the 30s. By contrast the winter is harsh, with the cold, dry air from the East making itself felt. Temperatures can vary from 35 degrees Celcius in summer to -20 Celcius or even colder in winter.
Fly from London Heathrow with British Airways to Tegel, 13km away north-west from the centre, and get the TXL Express bus to reach the centre within 40 minutes. You can fly to Schönefeld from Manchester or Luton, for example, with budget airlines such as EasyJet. The cheapest times to travel either early morning flights or on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Book flights about 3-4 weeks in advance to get the best deals.
Transport within Berlin is cheap and cheerful: buy an ABC ticket which is only 3-4 euros, or a day ABC ticket for 7 euros for unlimited travel on the tram, S-Bahn, U-Bahn and even inner-city regional trains - bargain!
You can fly cheaply from London with Easyjet or from Manchester with Ryanair. In winter months it is probably the cheapest time to visit Berlin, or if you book in advance. Don’t let the cold put you off - if you pack your thermals you’ll enjoy some great atmosphere in one of Europe’s liveliest cities.
BVG operates Berlin's public transport which includes trams, metros and buses, all except for the S-Bahn which belongs to Deutsche Bahn. A day ticket for zones A + B costs 7 EUR for unlimited transport use across even innercity regional trains. Driving in Berlin is not really recommended as it is busy; particularly in the city centre and around rush hour. Rush hour in Berlin is between 8:00 a.m to 10:00 a.m, then again when commuters are returning from work from 5:00 p.m to 6:30 p.m. Outside of these times, however, Berlin is quite a pleasure to drive around with its wide, spacious roads and a great deal of parking spaces. Parking for the whole day in the city centre can cost as much as €18.
Berlin is an extremely pedestrian-friendly city - particularly in the centre - where there are numerous squares and streets that have been entirely pedestrianised. However, don't underestimate its size - walking around the entire city can be long and tiresome. Want to hire a bike in Berlin? No problem. There is a bike-hire scheme as well as numerous private bike hire companies available at Spätis (24 hr shops) or hotels. Cycling is also a popular way to travel around the city because cycle paths are widely accessible in most parts of the city.
Berlin has several major train stations, with Berlin Hauptbahnhof (central station) being the largest. From Hauptbahnhof (also abbreviated to Hbf), you can travel to other parts of Germany on the high-speed ICE trains or you can get to almost anywhere in Berlin using the S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines, either the S5, S7, S75, and soon, the U5.
Several buses also stop at the station and there is the new M5 tram route, with the M8 and M10 routes serving the eastern parts of the city. Berlin Gesundbrunnen is a major station north of the city centre, providing connections to regional trains The station also lies on the Ringbahn line (the S41 goes clockwise and the S42 goes anti-clockwise) that circles the peripheries of the city, along with the S1, S2, S25 and U8.
The main bus station is called ZOB (Zentraler Omnibsbahnhof Berlin) which is in the west of the city with 35 platforms - making it one of the largest bus stations in Germany. Main bus providers are Flixbus, MeinFernbus and Berlin Linien Bus. The ZOB is located a short, well-sign posted walk from the S and U-Bahn station Kaiserdamm. Just follow the crowds.