Long-distance intercity buses rather than trains offer the fastest and cheapest public transportation between Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF) and Dresden.
Several coach companies provide transportation on this route including Flixbus and Student Agency. Frequent direct buses take around 2 hours from Berlin Airport to Dresden while the train is around an hour slower and always require at least one transfer. Bus fares start as low as €5 but at busy times expect to pay around €20. For travelers to Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL) the train is time competitive.
Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF) is to the south of the German capital and around 170 km by road from Dresden. Private transfers and taxis are best booked in advance – compare rates as private airport shuttles on this less than two-hour drive may be expensive.
By Long-Distance Bus to Dresden from Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
Buses have replaced trains as the fastest and cheapest public transportation option for traveling between Dresden and Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. As several companies are operating on this route, price competition is rife with tickets as cheap as €5 not uncommon. Even peak hours fares rarely exceed €20.
Flixbus operates 14 journeys per day between Berlin-Schönefeld and Dresden. Student Agency has six. With so many services to the airport, it is not worth considering other stops in Berlin that requires a transfer to the municipal bus or trains.
The bus ride from Berlin-Schönefeld Airport to Dresden takes around two hours. The service is direct but may have some stops en route.
The buses operate throughout the day and late at night. The earliest bus arrivals at / departures from the airport are around 5 am and latest around midnight.
The Postbus generally gets the highest satisfaction ratings while Student Agency, a Czech company, offers the best cancellation options – currently free if canceled more than 30 minutes before departure. Buses almost always have toilets and drinks on board and free wifi (but that is not guaranteed).
The fine print of the different services differs but the conditions are roughly the same. Passengers with a reservation have a guaranteed seat – tickets are best reserved online in advance but if there is space available may also be bought from the driver. The reservation is for a specific bus – if you miss the bus for whatever reason, you need a new ticket.
Berlin-Schönefeld and Dresden are usually not the first or last stop of these buses so ask if the destinations are not clearly visible on the bus window.
Buses usually depart from Bayerische Straße on the southern side (opposite side from the old town center) at Dresden Hauptbahnhof main train station. Most buses (and trains) also call at Dresden-Neustadt station, which is often closer to tourist hotels and much smaller so easier to find the bus.
(Note: During 2016, all German Postbus and continental European Megabus routes were taken over and are bookable via Flixbus.)
By Train from Dresden to Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)
The Deutsche Bahn trains remain an option for traveling between Dresden and Berlin-Schönefeld Airport but buses are faster and generally cheaper. Trains may be sensible for travelers with rail passes, which are not valid on the bus.
At least one transfer is required when traveling by train from Dresden, as the trains do not stop at the airport itself. The change from an intercity (IC / EC) train is usually at Berlin-Südkreuz with an S-Bahn train to Schönefeld. Almost all trains also stop at Dresden-Neustadt, a smaller station than Dresden Hauptbahnhof and nearer to many hotels.
For the train schedule see the German Railways website:
The fastest connections take around 2h45. The slower, multiple transfer connections taking over 3 hours or travel via Leipzig are best avoided.
Advance purchase tickets valid only on the booked train cost around €21 while flexible tickets are €40 one-way in second class. Tickets bought online at German Railways or at vending machines are slightly cheaper than those bought from ticket windows. Ticket should be bought prior to boarding a train.
By Shared Blabla Car between Dresden and Berlin
Sharing a car for the ride between Dresden and Berlin-Schönefeld Airport is a further option. Blablacar is a good source but these rides are generally hard to book far in advance – rides are often only advertised a few days or even hours prior to departure. As Schönefeld Airport is to the south of Berlin, almost any ride offered between Berlin and Dresden should be suitable.
From Dresden to Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL)
Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL) is to the northwest of Berlin. Few long-distance buses stop at Tegel itself. If traveling from Dresden, the train is time competitive: take the train to Berlin-Hauptbahnhof and continue from here by JetExpress Bus TXL, a standard Berlin commuter bus but with more luggage space.
If using a long-distance bus from Dresden to Berlin-Tegel Airport, it is usually easiest to change at Alexanderplatz to JetExpress Bus TXL. Public transportation is more complicated from the ZOB (central bus station) even though it is closer to the airport.
See Public Transportation to Berlin-Tegel Airport (TXL) for more details.