Cheap Airport Express Trains to Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER)

The Airport Express and regional trains offer the fastest and cheapest public transportation to Flughafen Berlin-Brandenburg Willy Brandt (BER) from the Hauptbahnhof, Mitte, Kurfürstendamm, Zoologischer Garten, and downtown areas of Berlin.

Map of train routes to Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER
Note: some routes and numbers have changed for 2024 © VBB

Getting to Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport Willy Brandt (BER) is the cheapest, fastest, and simplest on the Airport Express trains (Flughafen Express FEX, RE8, and RB23) from many parts of Berlin. Up to four trains per hour connect the Hauptbahnhof with Berlin Airport in half an hour. The Airport Express (FEX) trains stop en route at Ostkreuz and Gesundbrunnen, while the regional trains (RE8 & RB23) also stop at amongst others Spandau, Charlottenburg, Zoologischer Garten, Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz, and Ostbahnhof. S-Bahn trains (S9) provide further connections to Berlin, regional trains go to Potsdam and other stations near Berlin, while long-distance trains (IC / EC / ICE) trains also stop at the airport. Pre-booked airport transfers are around €60 for a taxi ride from Berlin Airport to downtown.

A standard ABC Berlin public transportation ticket is valid on regional trains from Berlin Airport to any station (or bus stop) in Berlin. Deutsche Bahn (DB) provides all German Railways train schedules but allows for online ticket purchases only of long-distance trains. The Berlin Welcome Card is a good tourist option that includes transportation and discounts to major sights.

Berlin public transportation ticket prices in 2023: €3.20 for AB and €4.00 for ABC tickets. From 1 January 2024: €3.50 and €4.40.

Fast Airport Express Trains to Berlin Brandenburg Airport from Downtown

Three regional train services are available from downtown Berlin to Berlin Brandenburg Airport — all three are often referred to as Airport Express trains. The ticket prices are the same and the traveling times range between 35 and 39 minutes. Trains are available four times per hour, simply take the first train to depart, if it stops at the desired destination.

The train station at Berlin Airport is officially Flughafen BER — Terminal 1&2 was dropped from the name as Terminal 5 is now permanently closed.

The basic three trains from downtown Berlin to Berlin Brandenburg Airport are:

  • Flughafen Express (FEX) trains stop only at Berlin-Hauptbahnhof, Gesundbrunnen, and Ostkreuz. (Twice per hour)
  • Regional Express (RE8) trains stop at the traditional central Berlin (Stadtbahn) stations en route to Wismar. (Hourly)
  • Regional Bahn (RB23) trains stop at the traditional central Berlin (Stadtbahn) stations en route to Potsdam. (Hourly)

The traditional Berlin Stadtbahn stations include amongst others: Ostkreuz, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten, and Charlottenburg. Both RE8 and RB23 trains stop at all these stations and are thus often more convenient than the FEX trains.


By Flughafen Express Train (FEX) to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)

Flughafen Airport Express train at Flughafen BER Terminal 1 + 2 station in Berlin
© Anikka Bauer / Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg

The Airport Express (FEX – Flughafen Express) trains provide the fastest transportation between Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER) and Berlin Hauptbahnhof. The FEX trains run twice per hour and take around 39 minutes from the Hauptbahnhof to the Airport.

However, the FEX trains do not stop at the traditional Berlin-Stadtbahn stations, which are often the destination of choice for travelers to Berlin.

The Berlin Airport Express (FEX) trains stop only at:

  • Flughafen BER: the train station in the basement of Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
  • Berlin-Ostkreuz: change here for S-Bahn trains to central Berlin, or destinations to the east of Berlin.
  • Berlin-Gesundbrunnen: change here to S-Bahn S1 or S2, trains to destinations in the north of the city and Oranienburg.
  • Hauptbahnhof: Berlin main central station.

Until the FEX routing changes and traveling time drops to 20 minutes (around 2026), many travelers may often find the regional trains RE8 and RB23 more useful.

RB23 Airport Express to Flughafen BER from Potsdam via Berlin Hauptbahnhof

The Regional Bahn 23 (RB23) trains are often referred to as Airport Express trains as well. These RB23 trains usually connect Potsdam via central Berlin and Berlin Airport.

RB23 Airport Express trains run hourly to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) from Golm (1:16) and Potsdam Hbf (1:10) via amongst others Charlottenburg (42 min), Zoologischer Garten (39 min), Hauptbahnhof (36 min), Friedrichstraße (34 min), Alexanderplatz (30 min), Ostbahnhof (25 min), and Ostkreuz (20 min).

RE8 Airport Express to Berlin Brandenburg Airport

The Regional Express 8 (RE8) trains are similarly often referred to as Airport Express trains but follow a different route than the FEX trains through Berlin.

RB7 Airport Express trains run hourly to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) from Wismar (3h51) via amongst others Schwerin (3h10) and Wittenberge (2:10) and then through central Berlin with stops at Charlottenburg (42 min), Zoologischer Garten (39 min), Hauptbahnhof (36 min), Friedrichstraße (34 min), Alexanderplatz (30 min), Ostbahnhof (25 min), and Ostkreuz (20 min) before arriving at Flughafen BER train station in the basement of Berlin Brandenburg Airport.

By S-Bahn (S9 or S45) to Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Two S-Bahn trains stop at Flughafen BER, the train station in the basement of Berlin Brandenburg Airport, but these S-Bahn trains are much slower than the Airport Express trains when traveling to Central Berlin.

  • S9 – S-Bahn trains run from Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) via Ostkreuz to Spandau. It follows the same basic routing as RB23 through Berlin but stops at many more stations en route. The longer the journey, the bigger the time difference. Traveling time to the Hauptbahnhof is around 50 minutes but may save time if it cuts out an additional connection en route to the final destination.
  • S45 – S-Bahn trains run from Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) to Südkreuz, which has good connections to further S-Bahn trains, especially to destinations in the south of the city. Many intercity trains also stop at Südkreuz where transfers are much simpler than at the Hauptbahnhof, although Hauptbahnhof is a more pleasant place to wait in case of longer delays.

In contrast to the other trains, the S-Bahn trains stop at both Flughafen BER and S Schönefeld stations (previously Flughafen BER Terminal 5, which is now permanently closed). If using the wrong station, simply take the next train (the fare is covered) and note that Waßmannsdorf station between the two airport terminal stations has no links to the airport. Walking between Terminal 5 and the other terminals is not possible. Terminal 5 is no longer in use — all passenger flights arrive and depart from Berlin Airport Terminals 1 or 2.

For most travelers, trains are the easiest, fastest, and cheapest transportation to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), especially if the fare remains a standard ABC Berlin public transportation ticket. The stations in Berlin have many connections to other forms of public transportation to get passengers to their final destinations. S-Bahn trains, U-Bahn trains plus a short bus ride. Trains from Potsdam and long-distance trains also provide further public transportation options to Berlin Brandenburg Airport.

Berlin Public Transportation Bus and Trains Ticket Prices in 2024

Berlin public transportation prices in 2024 are as follows:

Prices in €AB TicketsABC Tickets
24-Hours (Group of 5)31.0033.00
Berlin Welcome Card 72h35.0040.00
7-Days (VBB Umweltkarte)41.5049.00
Deutschland Ticket Monthly Subscription49.0049.00

Note. Single tickets are valid for 120 minutes, transfers are allowed but no return or circular journeys. A Kurzstrecke (€4.20) is valid for 3 train or 6 bus stops — no transfers or journey interruptions. AB includes central Berlin, ABC the larger Berlin area including travel to the Airport, Potsdam, and Oranienburg.

Transportation to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)

Public transportation from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) to Berlin generally requires an ABC ticket — €4.40 in 2024. Many further deals and passes are available to travelers.

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About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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