Flying to Berlin
Berlin is currently served by two main airports, Berlin-Tegel and Berlin-Schönefeld (01805/000186. www.berlin-airport.de). Tegel is located about 8km northwest of Berlin, and Schönefeld is in Brandenburg, 19km southeast of the city. The former is the closest if you're heading to the centre but both are served well by public transport as well as car hire services and taxis. Be aware that there are plans to close Tegel and expand Schönefeld to be the city's main airport (called Berlin Brandenburg International Airport) from 2011.
Getting to the city from Tegel
Buses: It’s pretty easy to get to Tegel from Berlin on public transportation-and much cheaper than using a taxi. BVG buses X9 and 109 run about every 10 to 15 minutes from the airport to the Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten, located in the centre of Berlin. One-way, the bus costs 4 euros. There’s also the Jetexpressbus TXL, which will take you to Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden for 3 euros.
Rail: The S-Bahn (street trains or overground) operates from here and joins up with the U-Bahn (underground trains) to get you anywhere in the centre. Tickets to the centre costs 2.10 euros: buy for zones A and B and don't forget to validate your ticket in the machine before you board. Once stamped, the tickets are valid for two hours on buses and trains.
Taxi: There’s a taxi service, which costs between 20-24 euros for a ride to central Berlin, depending on which part of the city you want to get to.
Getting to the city from Schönefeld
Buses: Bus no. 171 runs from the airport to Rudow, where you can transfer to the U-Bahn to get to Berlin. This costs 3 euros. The new Schnellbus SXF 1 runs between the station Südkreuz and airport Schönefeld for 6 euros.
Rail: You can get to the city centre by the S-Bahn (suburban train) lines S49 and S9 (45 min) and also with the AirportExpress trains (15-30 mins) that run between Hauptbahnhof, Zoologischer Garten, Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz and Ostbahnhof every half an hour. A ticket costs 2.80 euros: buy for zones A, B and C - don't forget to validate your ticket in the machine before you board. Once stamped, the tickets are valid for two hours on buses and trains.
Taxi: A taxi from Schönefeld to the centre of town will cost you between 30-40 euros, depending on which part of the city you want to get to.