Location – the Where and the How
Knowing the right location to stay in when you first visit a city can be tricky. Berlin is a city like no other. Even though the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago, the city is still becoming a version of itself it one day hopes to be! The skyline is constantly scattered with cranes. Scaffolding is a common site. The ‘city centre’ is not as clearly defined as other big cities and even though the wall is gone, the divisions can still be felt: through architecture, fashion, demographics and culture.
So the best choice is to base yourself with easy access to all of the light and shade that is Berlin! Berlin Apartment is in an ideal location, just a short stroll away from historic Alexanderplatz. Great public transport is nearby and many of Berlin’s most popular tourist destinations are within walking distance. Trams, buses, taxis and trains are all within easy reach. Transit to both airports and the main station for regional and international trains is simple.
Getting to Barnimstrasse 12 – Berlin Apartment
Once you get to Alexanderplatz, the apartment is an easy 1 kilometre walk away.
If you need transport from Alexanderplatz to the apartment, there are taxis and trams close by.
- There is a taxi station in Dircksenstrasse, between the Alexanderplatz main station and the Galeria department store. The journey should take about 5 minutes and the fare on average will be under €6.00*. Make sure you have cash as drivers may not let you pay by card.
- Trams run from right outside the Alexanderplatz main station (between the station and the TV Tower), The M4, M5 and M6 all travel out of Alexanderplatz, along Ottobraunstrasse to the stop Mollstrasse. From this stop Barnimstrasse is your next street on the right. *Note: to get TO the apartment, do not board trams marked ‘Hackescher Markt’. They are going in the opposite direction. A short trip ticket (a ‘kurzstrecke’ in German) is €1.60* and you can buy tickets on the tram. Make sure you have small change to keep the drivers happy!
Arriving in Berlin
A great tip to help you get your bearings is to take advantage of the location feature on your smart phone. If you have a pre loaded map in your phone’s memory, you can open your favourite Map App and hit the location icon when you arrive. Check it every so often and you will see where you landed, how you transited into the city and where your destination location is in relation to everything else. The wonder of smart phones!
There are three main transport hubs for entry into Berlin – Tegel Airport, Schönefeld Airport and Berlin Hauptbahnhof (main train station). All three are well serviced by public transport and can deliver you seamlessly to Alexanderplatz in less than an hour.
TEGEL AIRPORT Tegel is Berlin’s main international airport and its location is about 12kms from Alexanderplatz in the north west of the city. Air Berlin, Lufthansa and many other European and international carriers operate from here. The airport is easy to navigate around due to its distinctive hexagonal shape, but there are a few terminals so if in doubt just follow the signs!
- The TXL bus will take you to Alexanderplatz and it leaves from right outside the terminal every 5 -10 minutes. The journey takes about 40 minutes. A Single Ticket (an ‘Einzelfahrscheine’ in German) is €2.70* and you can buy tickets on the bus. Make sure you have small change to keep the drivers happy!
- There are plenty of taxis at Tegel Airport and the taxi station is right outside the terminal. The journey should take about 30 minutes and the fare on average will be around €25.00*. Make sure you have cash as drivers may not let you pay by card.
SCHÖNEFELD AIRPORT Schönefeld also handles international air traffic as well as many of Europe’s budget carriers such as Easyjet and Germanwings. Flights arrive here from all over Europe with fares starting from as low as €20! Schönefeld airport’s location is in the south east of the city, about 23 kms away. This airport is not huge and it is well signposted. There are also a couple of information counters at ground level.
- The RE7 is a regional train that stops at the train station at the airport (which is called S Bahn Flughafen Schönefeld) and takes you direct to Alexanderplatz in about 30 minutes. There are three trains per hour.
- Schönefeld is in Zone C of the ticketing zones so you need to buy an ABC Zone Single Ticket (an ‘Einzelfahrscheine ABC’ in German) which is €3.30* and you can buy tickets in the terminal or on the train platform. Make sure you have small change for the machines and don’t forget to validate your ticket!
- There are a number of buses and trains that service Schönefeld airport but none are direct to Alexanderplatz. When you exit the terminal the buses are right out the front and there are signs with bus routes and times on them. The train is about 5 minutes walk away. Just look for the long covered walkway outside and in front of the terminal, to the left. You can also check the Berlin U and S Bahn map to familiarise yourself with Berlin’s train network.
- There are plenty of taxis at Schönefeld Airport and the taxi station is right outside the terminal. The journey should take about 35 minutes and the fare on average will be around €43.00*. Make sure you have cash as drivers may not let you pay by card.
HAUPTBAHNHOF Berlin’s main train station is a sparkling architectural jewel in the city’s crown. It handles local, regional, inter country and international trains and also contains great shopping! It is considered the biggest train station in Europe so check out the map before you arrive there! It’s location is great too – only a short walk to the Brandenburg gate from here and there is plenty of public transport available inside and outside.
- Train is the fastest option to get to Alexanderplatz. Once you arrive at Hauptbahnhof, head upstairs to the S Bahn platforms (follow the signs with green S symbols) and take the S7 (direction Ahrensfelde) or the S75 (direction Wartenberg). Alexanderplatz is the third stop.
- Taxi stations are available at the Washingtonplatz and Invalidenstrasse exits of the Hauptbahnhof. The journey should take about 10 minutes and the fare on average will be around €11.00*. Make sure you have cash as drivers may not let you pay by card.