Getting to Berlin’s new Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt (BER) is easiest and cheapest by Airport Express train (FEX) from downtown Berlin Hauptbahnhof central main station. Regional trains, S and U Bahn trains, as well as buses, are further public transportation options when traveling to Germany’s third-largest airport.
Public transportation and especially trains provide the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way for getting to the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) in the German capital. The Airport Express trains (Flughafen Express FEX) are the fastest transportation for most travelers to downtown Berlin Hauptbahnhof and many parts of the city. Regional and S-Bahn trains are also useful for travelers heading to many parts of Berlin city. Direct trains connect Berlin Brandenburg Airport with Potsdam, Dresden, Rostock, and other cities in eastern Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Taxis and airport transfer shuttle services are of course also be available – Suntransfers quotes around €60 for a single trip from the airport to Berlin Mitte or Kurfürstendamm area.
The basic public transportation fare to Berlin Brandenburg Airport from downtown Berlin is a standard ABC ticket costing €3.80. the Berlin Welcome Card is a good savings option that includes transportation and discounts at sights in Berlin. Surcharges are payable on express buses and long-distance trains (e.g. ICE, IC, EC) but not on U, S, RB, RE, or FEX trains and Berlin public transportation buses (BVG).
Getting to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) on Public Transportation
Berlin Brandenburg International Willy Brandt Airport (BER) replaced Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) airports as the only airport serving the capital of Germany. Currently, all flights depart and arrive at Terminal 1 or Terminal 2. The public transportation options to both terminals are the same, as the terminals are basically the opposite ends of the same building with trains, busses, and taxis stopping at the center. Some budget airlines, eg Ryanair and Wizz, will eventually (probably in 2023) return to the old Schönefeld Airport terminal (SXF), which is now officially Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER Terminal 5 and uses slightly different public transportation services. Tegel Airport (TXL) closed completed early November 2020.
Getting to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is easy and cheap by train. It is expected that two-thirds of all passengers will use public transportation, and especially trains, to travel to and from the airport. Using the train to Berlin Brandenburg Airport is easier than was the case with Schönefeld.
Trains to New Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER)
Trains are the best and easiest option for most passengers traveling to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER). The airport terminal train station, “Flughafen BER Terminal 1 — 2“, is in the basement of the airport’s main terminal with the distance between the train and check-in counters as short as 50 meters.
From the airport to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, trains are available around every ten minutes — the duration of the journey depends mostly on the number of stops en route. The Flughafen Express trains (FEX) are the fastest. Regional Express (RE7) and Regional Bahn (RB14) are only marginally slower but if the destination is the main station, simply take the first train to depart. S-Bahn trains (S9) stop at more stations, which may be more convenient than the Hauptbahnhof, but is much slower if going all the way to central Berlin.
Further regional trains run to amongst others Potsdam, while long-distance trains provide fast access to amongst others Dresden and Rostock and eventually also to Poland and the Czech Republic.
The name of the train station in the basement of the airport terminal is Flughafen BER Terminal 1 — 2, while station “Flughafen BER Terminal 5” is the new name of the old Schönefeld Airport terminal station — most travelers will use neither this station nor this terminal. Use the S-Bahn or the very frequent bus X7 to travel between these two stations — walking is not possible between Terminal 1-2 and Terminal 5.
By Airport Express Train to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER)
Airport Express trains in three versions connect Berlin Brandenburg Airport with downtown Berlin:
The Flughafen Express (FEX) trains connect the airport and Berlin Hauptbahnhof central station twice per hour in 30 minutes. En route, the FEX trains stop only at Ostkreuz and Gesundbrunnen — neither station of much interest to most international tourists.
Regional trains (RE7 and RB14) traveling from Berlin Brandenburg Airport to Central Berlin stop from the Airport (Terminal 1 — 2) at Ostkreuz, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten, and Charlottenburg. RE7 and RB14 run once per hour each.
- RE7 (Regional Express 7) trains continue through west Berlin (Wannsee) and the suburbs of Potsdam to Dessau.
- RB14 (Regional Bahn 14) trains continue via Spandau to Nauen.
The Airport Express trains are thus available every 15 minutes to Berlin Hauptbahnhof, although the stops on RE7 and RB14 are often more convenient than traveling via the main station.
The Airport Express trains are regional trains (Nahverkehr) and regular Berlin transportation tickets may be used.
See By Airport Express Train to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) for more information on the routes and stops of the Airport Express trains. German Railways timetables to Berlin Brandenburg Airport or BVG to include U-Bahn trains, trams, and buses to the final destination in Berlin.
S-Bahn Trains to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER)
Two S-Bahn trains stop at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport to provide easy access from many parts of Berlin not directly served by the Airport Express trains. The S-Bahn trains stop at both Flughafen BER Terminal 1 — 2 station and Flughafen BER Terminal 5 (the former Schönefeld Airport station) — if using the wrong stop, simply take the next train, the fare is covered. (Note that a further stop between the two airport Terminal stations — Waßmannsdorf — has no links to the airport.)
- S9 – S-Bahn trains run from Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) via Ostkreuz to Spandau. S9 trains run right through central Berlin on the same route as the Airport Express RB14 and RE7 lines but stop at more stations, which depending on the final destination could cut out a transfer. Traveling time to the Hauptbahnhof on S9 is 50 minutes. S9 trains run three times per hour.
- 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.
U-Bahn Trains to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER)
Plans to extend Berlin’s U-Bahn train network all the way to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport floundered on cost grounds. As a result, the closest U-Bahn (metro) station to the new airport will be Rudow on line U7. As with Schönefeld, a simple bus connection is available between the new airport and Rudow U-Bahn train station.
Buses X7 and X71 (N7 at night) provide the 12-minute ride between Berlin Brandenburg Airport and Rudow to bring passengers to the Berlin metro system. During most of the day, buses and U-Bahn trains operate every five minutes. U7 provides a useful service to many travelers but most visitors to central Berlin will find the S-Bahn and Airport Express trains more useful.
These buses also provide a useful transfer option between Terminal 5 and Terminal 1-2 — it is not possible to walk between these terminal buildings.
High-Speed Deutsche Bahn Trains to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER)
High-speed ICE, IC, and EC trains of German Railways will also stop at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. This will be great for passengers arriving from other parts of Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
However, for passengers traveling to central Berlin, these trains will offer little advantage over the Airport Express and probably cost more too. Intercity trains and local trains will increase and become faster over the next couple of years.
Buses to Berlin Brandenburg Airport
A few bus services to Berlin Brandenburg Airport are worth noting as they provide useful services to parts of Berlin where using the trains will require detours and transfers. Bus X7 and X71 stop at both BER T1-2 and BER T5 – other buses usually depart only from Terminal 5.
Routes that are likely to be of use to some foreign travelers include:
- Bus X7 — airport to Rudow U-Bahn station in 12 minutes — every 5 minutes.
- Bus X71 – airport to Rudow U-Bahn station, Johannithaler Chaussee, and the U Alt-Mariendorf — three times per hour.
- Bus 164 to Köpenick (from Terminal 5).
See also By Bus and U-Bahn to Berlin Brandenburg Airport for a more detailed description of available bus services.
Transportation from Potsdam to Berlin Airport
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.
Transportation to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER)
Public transportation from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) to Berlin generally requires an ABC ticket — €3.80 in 2022. 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
Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) was in planning (and construction) for many years. The airport is right on the border between the two German states Berlin and Brandenburg, which explains the inclusion of the latter in the airport name. The IATA code for Berlin Brandenburg International Airport is BER, previously used as code for the whole Berlin area. Willy Brandt was added by the state governments to honor the former West Berlin mayor and West German chancellor – like most other German airports that honor persons, the full name will probably very rarely be used in practice. (BBI was used in the planning phase until it became clear the small airport Biju Patnaik in India has no intention of giving up its IATA code.)