Getting to Berlin’s new Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt (BER) airport is easiest by Airport Express train from downtown Berlin Hauptbahnhof central main station. S and U Bahn trains as well as buses can also be useful when traveling to Germany’s third largest airport.
Public transportation and especially trains provide the easiest way for getting to the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) in the German capital (due to open
October 27, 2013 eventually). The Airport Express trains provide the fastest transportation for most travelers to downtown Berlin Hauptbahnhof and many parts of the city. S-Bahn trains are also useful for travelers heading to many parts of Berlin city. Direct trains, including sometimes high-speed ICE trains, connect Berlin Brandenburg Airport with Potsdam, Dresden, 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 €50 for a single trip from the airport to Berlin Mitte or Kurfürstendamm area. The abbreviation BBI is often seen but is incorrect – BER is the official code for Berlin’s new airport.
The basic public transportation fare to Berlin Brandenburg Airport from downtown Berlin is a standard ABC ticket costing €3.00. Surcharges are payable on express buses and long-distance trains (e.g. ICE, IC, EC) but not on U, S, RB or RE trains.
Getting to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER) in Germany
Berlin Brandenburg International Willy Brandt Airport (BER) will replace Berlin Tegel (TXL) and Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) airports as the only airport serving the capital of Germany from
spring 2013 maybe sometime in 2014. The new airport will share some facilities with the old Schönefeld Airport and is thus to the southeast of Berlin and far less conveniently located than Tegel Airport (TXL) that will close.
Getting to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) will be easy by train as can be expected from a newly designed and modern airport located in Germany. It is hoped that at least half of all passengers will use trains to travel to and from the airport. Using the train to Berlin Brandenburg Airport will be a lot easier than was the case with Schönefeld.
Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) has been in planning 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. BBI was used in several advertising campaigns before it was realized, somewhat embarrassingly, that BBI was already used as an official IATA code for an airport in India. The IATA code for Berlin Brandenburg International Airport is thus 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 who honor persons, the full name will probably very rarely be used in practice.
Trains to New Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER)
Trains will be the best and easiest option for most passengers traveling to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER). The train station will be in the basement of the airport with the distance between train and check-in counters as short as 50 meter.
The Airport Express train provides the fastest transfers to Berlin Hauptbahnhof and central Berlin Mitte. S-Bahn trains are useful to especially the eastern and northeaster parts of Berlin but may also be useful to many southern and even western suburbs. Regional trains run to amongst others Potsdam, while long-distance trains provide fast access to Dresden, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
By Airport Express Train to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER)
German Railways’ Airport Express train provides the easiest and fastest transportation from Berlin Hauptbahnhof and downtown Mitte area to Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER). The Airport Express will connect Berlin Hauptbahnhof and the airport in half an hour up to four times per hour. The Airport Express is a regional train (Nahverkehr) and regular Berlin transportation tickets may be used. (Traveling time will fall to around 15 minutes in a few years’ time when a more direct route is completed.)
See By Airport Express Train to New Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) for more information on the routes and stops of the Airport Express trains.
S-Bahn Trains to Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg (BER)
Several S-Bahn trains will stop at Berlin Brandenburg International Airport to provide easy access from many parts of Berlin not directly served by the Airport Express train.
S9 – S-Bahn trains run from Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) via Ostkreuz to Pankow in northern Berlin. It offers great connections to other S-Bahn lines, especially at Ostkreuz station, where passengers can change to other S-Bahn lines going to Mitte and West Berlin. This is an alternative but slower route than taking the limited-stop Airport Express.
S45 – S-Bahn trains run from Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BBI / BER) to Bundesplatz. En route it stops at amongst others at Südkreuz, Innsbrucker Platz, and Hermannstrasse – all stations with great further transportation links – on the southern section of the S-Bahn ring that surrounds Berlin.
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 X11 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 traveler but most visitors to central Berlin will find the S-Bahn and Airport Express trains more useful.
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. (The Berlin Senate wants all trains starting or terminating in Berlin to pass via the airport.) This will be great for passengers arriving from other parts of Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. (Traveling time to Dresden will eventually fall to an hour.) However, for passengers traveling to central Berlin, these trains will offer little advantage over the Airport Express and probably cost more too.
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 – airport to Rudow U-Bahn station in 12 minutes.
- Bus X11 – airport to Rudow, Lichterfelde, and Dahlem area.
- BER1 – express bus to Steglitz Rathaus. (Worth the surcharge)
- BER2 – express bus to Potsdam (train is faster and cheaper), via Teltow.
See also By Bus and U-Bahn to Berlin Brandenburg Airport for a more detailed description of available bus services.