Berlin’s public transportation double-decker buses offer great routes for cheap city tours and sightseeing trips past the Reichstag and along Unter den Linden.
Berlin’s double-decker buses offer great opportunities for very cheap city sightseeing tours. Public bus routes 100 and 200 are very much designed with tourists in mind but several other bus routes offer great views of Berlin landmarks while transporting visitors to the German capital’s top sights. Hop-on hop-off bus services as well as traditional city sightseeing bus tours are also plentiful but few can really beat the convenience and low prices of the Berlin public transportation yellow double-decker buses.
Berlin Public Transportation’s Yellow Double-Decker Buses
Berlin’s public transportation network operates over 1,300 buses, which cover over 300,000 km daily. The front of Berlin’s public buses is always yellow with a black silhouette of the Brandenburg Gate even if the rest of the bus may be covered by advertisements.
Metro buses have M in the route number and run at least every ten minutes (often every five minutes) during the day. Express buses have X in the route number and run usually every five minutes.
All Berlin buses are wheelchair (and stroller) accessible. Drivers will get out of the bus to unfold ramps if necessary but usually Berlin buses kneel down sufficiently for wheelchair users to enter and exit the bus without assistance.
See the Top Sights in Berlin with Bus 100
Bus 100 is the best-known and most useful bus route for most visitors to Berlin. Bus 100 connects Zoologischer Garten train and bus station in the former West Berlin with Alexanderplatz in the heart of the former East Berlin in around half an hour.
En route, bus 100 goes through the Tiergarten park and passes amongst others the Berlin Zoo, Victory Column, Schloss Bellevue, Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Museum Island, and the Fernsehturm.
See Top Sights in Berlin from Bus 200
Bus 200 is an equally useful bus route for tourists visiting the top sights in Berlin. Like bus 100, it starts at Zoologischer Garten station but runs along the south side of the Tiergarten park via the Kulturforum and Potsdamer Platz before joining bus 100 down Unter den Linden to Alexander Platz.
Bus 200 continues from Alexanderplatz deeper into the Prenzlauer Berg area of the former East Germany.
Bus TXL from Berlin-Tegel Airport via Hauptbahnhof to Alexanderplatz
Bus TXL is well known as the easiest and cheapest public transportation option from Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL) to Berlin-Hauptbahnhof (main train station).
This Jet Express Bus is not a double-decker bus (and has more space for luggage) but still useful for sightseeing as it runs from Berlin-Hauptbahnhof via Unter den Linden to Alexanderplatz. However, as an Express bus it does not stop all minor stops along Unter den Linden.
Bus 109 and X9 from Berlin-Tegel Airport to Zoologischer Garten Station
Jet Express Bus X9 and bus 109 also run from Berlin-Tegel (TXL) Airport but to Zoologischer Garten station across from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Gedächtniskirche) in West Berlin. Bus X9 completes the journey in less than 20 minutes while bus 109 takes around 10 minutes more. Bus 109 stops more often and takes a longer route that includes much of Kurfürstendamm.
Buses TXL and most of the routes of 109 and X9 will disappear by November 2013 when Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) replaces Tegel and Schönefeld airports.
Berlin Bus M29 along Kurfürstendamm and on to Checkpoint Charlie
The most useful part of the M29 route for tourists is from Europa Platz and Tauentzienstraße to Check Point Charlie – the bus skirts the Kulturforum and Potsdamer Platz en route.
Metro Buses M41 and M85 from Berlin-Hauptbahnhof to Potsdamer Platz
Metrobus routes M85 and M41 run from Berlin-Hauptbahnhof via Potsdamer Platz to the outskirts of Berlin. M85 takes around 10 minutes from the Hauptbahnhof to Potsdamer Platz and the Kulturforum and en route passes the Reichstag building, Brandenburg Gate, and the Holocaust memorial. M41 reaches Potsdamer Platz in half the time but uses a tunnel and thus passengers miss out on the sights along route M85.
No buses, or other motorized transportation, pass through the Brandenburger Tor. Bus M85 is the only bus that passes right in front, or actually right behind, Berlin’s top symbol.
Berlin’s public buses, especially the top deck of the double-decker buses, are great for city sightseeing tours. Furthermore, tickets prices and Berlin discount passes are pleasantly cheap for a German city.