This section of InsideTransit will help you to understand how the Berlin Transit system works, pricing, routings, tips, and more.
Allen’s System Overview:
So here is my review of the Berlin transit system (bus, tram, U & S bahn). My 30 second synopsis is that this is one of the best run systems I have ever traveled on. From the cleanliness of the cars (ok there is a TON of graffiti but that seems to be not just on the trains but an issue in Berlin overall), to the timeliness of the system, you can rely on Berlin’s transit to get you where you need to go, quickly and at a fare price.
There are the following types of transit in Berlin:
- Night Bus
- Metro Tram
- S Bahn
- U Bahn
The Bus system here is wide and traverses the entire city. At some stops, there are electronic signs showing you when the next bus will arrive. Bus 100 and 200 are "tourist" buses. Basically they visit the tourist sights so you can get a cheap sightseeing tour by riding one of these buses.
The Night Bus system runs (obviously) during the night and covers the city. The timing will be between 15-60 minutes per bus.
Trams run in the former east Berlin and can offer you a quick way to get where you need to go. Trams feature electronic signs at most stations showing when the next tram will arrive.
The S Bahn is basically the overground train network. There are several routes including a "ring" route that goes around Berlin and a few routes that cross through the city. It is important to check which train is next by the signs on the platform as the trains only have signs at the front and rear of the train. Without paying attention, it is easy to get on an incorrect train.
U Bahn, or underground train, is basically the subway system. There are many routes and each one will take you to a different destination. Train platforms feature electronic signs showing both which train is next and when it will arrive.
Interesting Quirks about the Berlin Transit System:
Some quirks sent in to InsideTransit by Till:
- With a regular ticket, (not a day pass, weekly or monthly) you are only supposed to use in one direction. So for example if you buy a pass for an hour and go from station A to B in 10 minutes and could theoretically go back because the hour is not over, you will still need to buy another ticket. Otherwise you get fined for that!
- The ring S-Bahn trains are endless, they go around and around and around. I once fell asleep on my way back home from a night out and went around the city twice. They also operate all day and night.
- Some subway stations have opening hours. You will not get in or out during the night.
- A system of night buses replaces many Metro Tram, Metro Bus and even some subway lines during the night. Still a lot of U-Bahns and S-Trains usually go all night, just not as often.