People are flocking from all over the world to experience the majesty of Berlin; with 15 million passenger’s passing through the custom’s desk at Berlin’s Tegel airport in 2010 alone. Where did they all go next, though?
If you don’t speak German or have never been to Berlin before, it can be a little confusing working out where to go to get to your accommodation on time, especially considering Berlin’s huge public transportation network. Here’s the lowdown on how to get into the city as quickly as possible.
Tips for Berlin Tegel Airport Transfers
After that long flight it’s easy to be a little disoriented and a tad overwhelmed as you leave the terminal. However, Tegel is located very close to the centre of Berlin, only five miles from the city centre. So it’s very easy and very efficient to reach the city centre in no time at all
The first thing you need to bear in mind is that there are no trains running directly from the airport – only buses. You will most likely need to depart at one of the train stations and catch the appropriate train onward. To make this easier you should consider exactly where it is you’re going and memorise the station closest to your destination, be it S-Bahn (suburban train) or U-Bahn (underground train) station. Now, consider whether that’s in the east or the west of the city, as this should decide which bus you take. This map shows Berlin’s expansive rail network.
There are four bus options departing from Tegel airport. Three of these routes take you into West Berlin with one then taking you east afterward, while another bus takes you north.
The four bus options are the TXL, the 109, the X9 and the 128.
This bus is the one most people heading into the city will catch. It’s a direct bus to Alexanderplatz (the centre of eastern Berlin), but travels through the western half of Berlin. It stops at Beusselstraße S-Bahn station for those needing to catch the Ring-Bahn (train line encircling the city), from where you can catch the S41 train into east Berlin, or the S42 train west. The bus, however, continues onward to Hauptbahnhof (main station). It takes between 40 minutes and an hour (depending on traffic) to reach Alexanderplatz and you will be dropped right outside the main terminal.
At Hauptbahnhof you’ll be able to change onto the S-Bahn lines S3, S5, S7 and S75. These same S-Bahn lines are accessible once you’re at Alexanderplatz, as well as the underground lines U2, U5 and U8.
This bus is the one to take if you’re heading to the west of the city. Finishing at the Zoologischer Garten S-Bahn station, the route winds through west Berlin stopping at dozens of U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations from which you can change transport and quickly reach anywhere in Berlin.
At Zoologischer Garten S-Bahn station, you can change to S3, S5, S7, and S75 as well as the U-Bahn lines U9 and U2.
This bus takes a similar route as the 109, only with a more direct route and fewer stops. So if the western train hub Zoologischer Garten is where you’re heading, this will do the job of getting you there nicely, and within 20 minutes.
This bus runs parallel with Tegel airport, and is the right choice for anybody staying in in the northern part of the city. Within 10 minutes it will have you at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz U-Bahn station and at Osloer Straße U-Bahn station in around 20 minutes.
At Kurt-Schumacher-Platz you can change to U-Bahn line U6, and at Osloer Straße to U-Bahn line U8 or U9.
As Tegel airport is located in zone B, you should purchase a ticket for zones AB for each of the above bus routes. The price for a one-way ticket is 2.40€. You can collect your tickets either when you board the bus at the driver’s booth, or at any of the ticket machines outside the terminal.
All of the above buses depart from Tegel every 10 minutes or so, allowing for on-peak and off-peak periods, with the longest wait at off-peak times being 20 minutes.
There are always plenty taxis outside the terminal and they’re very easy to spot. The price of a taxi into the city centre will generally cost around 20–25€ or more. It will take around 20 minutes or so to get central (so only marginally quicker than the bus) and the price will be metered.
We hope this has been a helpful guide, and that you are now surer of what it is you need to do to get into the city center once you land at Tegel airport. If you have any question or any feedback for us, we’d love to hear it! Please comment below.