Trains and buses provide fast and cheap transportation to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg BER-Terminal 5 (former Schönefeld Airport SXF) – a terminal used by low-cost airlines, including Ryanair and Wizz. Most travelers use transportation to BER-Terminal 1 + 2. Terminal 5 may remain closed for much of 2021.
The fastest and cheapest way to travel to Berlin Airport BER-Terminal 5 (former Schönefeld Airport SXF) from downtown Berlin is by train. S-Bahn trains — S9 and S45 — stop at Terminal 5 but regional trains (Airport Express FEX, RE7, and RB14) do not and require a transfer at Terminal 1-2. Buses are convenient to the U-Bahn station Rudow, for transfers between the airport terminal buildings, and sometimes at night.
Berlin Brandenburg International Willy Brandt Airport (BER / BBI) replaced Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) airports as the only airport serving the capital of Germany. The name of Schönefeld Airport terminal (SXF) changed to Berlin Airport Terminal 5 (BER T5) for flights using departure gates K, L, M, and Q — all other departures are from Terminal 1-2.
Check train timetables at Deutsche Bahn’s English website – (Berlin to BER-T5 / BER-T5 to Berlin). Online tickets are not available for short journeys inside cities such as the journey from Schönefeld to downtown Berlin but station vending machines work in English and are easy enough to use. Avoid schedules with more than one change, it may often be easier to simply wait for the next direct trains.
Transportation from Berlin Airport BER Terminal 5 (previous Schönefeld SXF) to Central Berlin Mitte
Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER Terminal 5 is basically the previous Schönefeld Airport building. It is to the south of Berlin on the northern edge of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport and only used by low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Wizz. Most airlines (including Easyjet) and passengers use Terminal 1-2, which is new, modern, and more conveniently reached from central Berlin.
The previous railway station at Schönefeld Airport changed its name to Berlin Airport BER Terminal 5 — try “Terminal 5” when searching in timetables. From here, it is a 400-m (1/4 mile) walk via a covered but open walkway to the airport.
- The transportation options listed below all use the same public transportation tickets. A ticket for zones ABC is needed – currently €3.80 and is valid for travel to virtually all parts of Berlin including transiting all the way across town to Berlin-Tegel Airport, Spandau, Oranienburg, or to Potsdam.
- See also Berlin Transportation Tickets and Passes for savings options when using buses and trains in Berlin.
S-Bahn Trains from Berlin Airport BER-Terminal 5 (Schönefeld SXF)
The Airport Express regional trains, which used to connect Schönefeld Airport with Berlin no longer stop at Terminal 5 but only at Terminal 1-2. It is an easy transfer — see the section below — but for many travelers, the slower S-Bahn trains to central Berlin may work out faster overall.
The most convenient public transportation option is usually S-Bahn train S9 (every 20 minutes) that runs from Berlin Brandenburg Airport Terminal 1-2 via BER-Terminal 5 and central Berlin to Spandau. Between BER Terminal 5 and Spandau, the S9 trains stop at amongst others Schöneweide, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse, Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten, and Charlottenburg.
Also useful for destinations to the south of the center is S-Bahn S45 (every 20 minutes) that also offer easy access to the U-Bahn lines at various stations en route. It connects Schönefeld with Südkreuz via amongst other Neukölln (U7), Hermansstraße (U8) and Tempelhof (U6). Südkreuz has good S-Bahn connections to the ring network or trains going north through the center, e.g. Potsdamer Platz, Brandenburger Tor and Friedrichstraße.
Cheap and Fast Airport Express Trains to Berlin Airport Terminal 1-2
The Airport Express trains are the fastest transportation options to Terminal 1-2 and often a good choice when traveling to Terminal 5 too. However, these trains do not stop at Terminal 5, so always require a change to the S-Bahn train or bus to transfer to the different terminals. It is not possible to walk between Terminal 1-2 and Terminal 5!
See transportation to Berlin Brandenburg Airport Terminal 1-2 for details on these trains and bear in mind that the slower S9 is often faster if not traveling to the Hauptbahnhof itself.
Trains from Terminal 5 (Schönefeld) to Potsdam
Travelers going to Potsdam with its lovely palaces, including Sans Souci from the time of Frederick the Great, can bypass traveling to downtown Berlin. Regional train RB22 goes directly from Terminal 1-2 to Potsdam but does not stop at Terminal 5. The more expensive Airport Shuttle Express Bus BER2 does stop at both Terminal 5 and Terminal 1-2 and provides an alternative to the train when traveling to Potsdam.
See Transportation from Potsdam to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) for more details.
Berlin Guidebook Recommendation:
Rick Steves Berlin Guide is a great choice for a first or short visit to Berlin. He does a good job of narrowing the huge city and wealth of attractions down to those generally of most interest to foreign travelers. The guide is easy to read, well organized, full of time and money saving tips with useful walking routes and self-guided tours to some of the top museums and best attractions.
Fast Buses from Berlin Airport BER Terminal 5 (Schönefeld SXF)
For foreign travelers, buses from Schönefeld Airport are generally less useful except to connect to the nearby S-Bahn and U-Bahn train stations. The U-Bahn train is often more convenient when traveling from the southern and southwestern suburbs of Berlin and also has the advantage that the buses stop directly at the airport terminal and not a bit further away like the trains.
JetExpressBus X7 and X71 connect Berlin Airport Terminal 5 and U-Bahn station Rudow (U-Bahn line U7) in 7 minutes (and in the opposite direction Terminal 5 and Terminal 1-2 in five minutes). Night bus N7 and bus 171 do the same route but continue to amongst others U-Bahn station Hermannplatz with more bus connections at night.
The Deutsche Bahn’s English website includes these buses and U-Bahn train options when searching timetables for specific addresses in Berlin. Use Terminal 5 for the airport and B for Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Ignore suggestions with multiple transfers, except during the early hours of the morning.
Long-distance, intercity buses usually stop at Schönefeld Airport in Mittelstraße in front of the train station. Although many of the buses travel to Berlin, passengers may not board inter-city buses from the airport to the city center. However, these intercity buses are a good option when traveling to for example Dresden, Prague, and many Polish destinations.
Transportation to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)
Public transportation from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) to Berlin generally requires an ABC ticket — €3.80 from 2021. Many further deals and passes are available to travelers.
- Public Transportation Options to Berlin Airport
- By Train to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (Airport Express / S-Bahn)
- By Bus and U-Bahn Trains to Berlin Brandenburg Airport
- Public Transportation to Berlin Airport BER Terminal 5 (previously Schönefeld SXF)
- By Train or Bus from Potsdam to Berlin Brandenburg Airport
- Prebook Berlin Airport Private Shuttle Transportation at Suntransfers
- Check train schedules at German Railways / Deutsche Bahn or BVG
For more on Berlin Transportation Passes see also:
- Top Cheap Berlin Public Transportation Tickets
- Tips on Public Transportation Tickets in Berlin
- Save with the Berlin Welcome or City Tour Card
- Cheap Public Transportation Bus Tours in Berlin
- Suntransfers and Welcome give online quotations for private airport transfers without first requiring personal details or flight numbers.
- Transportation to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) — from November 2020.