The Airport Express trains offer the fastest and cheapest public transportation to the new Flughafen Berlin-Brandenburg Willy Brandt (BER / BBI) from the Hauptbahnhof, Mitte, Kurfürstendamm, and Zoologischer Garten areas of Berlin. Until this airport actually opens, travelers to Berlin will continue to use Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF) airports.
Getting to the new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport Willy Brandt (BER) is cheapest, fastest, and simplest on the Airport Express train from many parts of Berlin. Up to four trains per hour will connect the Hauptbahnhof with Berlin Airport in half an hour. The Airport Express train will also provide direct services from Spandau, Charlottenburg, Zoologischer Garten, Friedrichstrasse, Alexanderplatz, Ostbahnhof, Karlshorst, Potsdamer Platz, and Südkreuz to Berlin Airport. S-Bahn trains 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. Bus and U-Bahn services are also available to parts of Berlin. Suntransfers quotes around €50 for a taxi ride from Berlin Airport to downtown.
Transportation links discussed in this article will only operate once Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport Willy Brandt (BER – sometimes wrongly abbreviated to BBI) replace both Berlin-Tegel (TXL) and Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF) airports. The current estimate is somewhere in
2014, 2016, 2017x 2020 / eventually.
Currently (September 2012), a standard ABC Berlin public transportation ticket (€3) is valid on regional trains from Berlin Airport to any station in Berlin. Deutsche Bahn (DB) provides all German Railways train schedules but allow for online purchases only of long-distance trains.
See also Transportation to New Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) for a general overview of getting to Berlin Airport.
By Airport Express Train to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)
For many passengers, the Airport Express trains will provide the easiest transportation between Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER) and many parts of Berlin. Up to four Airport Express trains on three routes connect Berlin Brandenburg Airport with Berlin Hauptbahnhof (central main train station) and different parts of Berlin. Traveling time between Berlin Airport and Hauptbahnhof will be half an hour. In contrast to the station at Schönefeld Flughafen, trains will stop in the basement of Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) – a simple escalator ride from the check-in desks.
The three Airport Express routes to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) are the RE9 via Südkreuz to the Hauptbahnhof, RE7 from Zoologischer Garten via Ostbahnhof, and RB14 from Spandau via Hauptbahnhof and Ostbahnhof. For the time being, all Airport Express trains will take half an hour from Berlin Hauptbahnhof to the Flughafen irrespective of the routing.
RE9 Airport Express to Berlin Airport from Hauptbahnhof via Südkreuz
The RE9 Airport Express trains connect Berlin Hauptbahnhof (30 min) via Potsdamer Platz and Südkreuz (22 min) twice per hour. (This is a new route that was not previously used to Schönefeld Airport.) The RE9 Airport Express will be the most important connection between Berlin Airport and Hauptbahnhof with traveling time eventually falling to below 20 minutes.
RB14 Airport Express to Berlin Airport from Spandau via Hauptbahnhof & Ostbahnhof
The RB14 trains follow a more familiar routing to Berlin Brandenburg Airport similar to the Airport Express trains that connected Spandau and Berlin with Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF).
RB14 trains depart from Spandau in the western parts of Berlin and cross through the city via the main train stations – all with important S-Bahn and U-Bahn train and bus connections to other parts of Berlin. (RB14 trains may cover the distance from Nauen to Senftenberg via Berlin and Berlin Aiport.)
RB14 Airport Express trains run hourly to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) from Spandau (49 min) via Charlottenburg (42 min), Zoologischer Garten (39 min), Hauptbahnhof (30 min), Friedrichstraße (29 min), Alexanderplatz (26 min), Ostbahnhof (22 min), and Karlshorst (14 min).
RE7 Airport Express to Berlin Airport from Zoologischer Garten via Hauptbahnhof & Ostbahnhof
The RE7 Airport Express trains follow a more familiar routing as RB14 but runs only to and from Berlin Zoologischer Garten station at the Kurfürstendamm in the heart of the former West Berlin. (Some RE7 trains may actually arrive from as far afield as Dessau and Potsdam.)
RE7 Airport Express trains run hourly to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) from Zoologischer Garten (39 min) via the Hauptbahnhof (30 min), Friedrichstraße (29 min), Alexanderplatz (26 min), Ostbahnhof (22 min), and Karlshorst (14 min).
For most travelers, the Airport Express will provide the easiest, fastest, and cheapest access from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), especially if the fare remains a standard ABC Berlin public transportation ticket – currently €3.00 (September 2012). (Debate is raging whether an Airport Express surcharge would be tenable.) 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.