While other countries struggle with overpriced, crowded, and constantly behind-the-scenes public transportation, Berlin is famous for its affordability, ease, and punctuality. Simply put, it is one of the best systems in the world and, without a doubt, the best way to travel around the city. Despite this, new visitors to the city often try to navigate the admittedly complicated system of cards, tickets and rules. Here are seven great tips for using public transportation in Berlin
1. Don’t Forget To Validate
Before boarding a train in Berlin, be sure to have your ticket stamped, otherwise it is not valid for the journey. If you forget and are caught by one of the pesky inspectors, who run through plain clothes, you will have to pay a heavy fine. And they are unlikely to abandon you because you are a tourist.
2. The Difference Between The U-Bahn And S-Bahn
Looking at a map of Berlin’s vast public transport network can be mind-boggling at first glance – although the apps have undoubtedly made the task of planning a trip less complicated. The point to remember is that the U-Bahn trains are underground and that the S-Bahn runs at street level. As a general rule, if you need a U-Bahn train, go down the stairs and if you jump on an S-Bahn train, head to the elevated platforms.
3. Taking Night Trains
If you’re visiting Berlin on a Friday and a Saturday evening, you’re in luck. Not only because these are the first days of celebration, but the trains also run at 15-minute intervals throughout the night. If you have to go home on weekdays between 1am and 4am, then Berlin has a night bus service or ‘nachtbus’. Day tickets are valid until 3 am the next day.
4. One Size Fits All Ticket
Despite what may seem like a complicated system, tickets are delightfully simple. Once you have purchased and (of course) validated your “fahrkarte”, you can use it on trains, buses or trams for 2 hours in one direction.
5. You Need Cash
While Germany is the economic epicenter of Europe, they are surprisingly dependent on cash with very few places accepting payment by card. When it comes to transportation, and many bars too, money is king, so always make sure you have enough dollars on you.
6. Three Stop Ticket
While Germany is the economic epicenter of Europe, they are surprisingly dependent on cash with very few places accepting payment by card. When it comes to transportation, and many bars too, money is king, so always make sure you have enough cash on hand.
7. Go Digital
If you want to avoid the traditional mode of transportation and plan and buy your tickets online, then the FahrInfo Plus is just the ticket (or should I say e-ticket). It’s available for iOS and Android, but be wary of potential roaming chargers and battery life before greeting the paper ticket.