Berlin has a very efficient public transportation system with a smoothly integrated network of subway (U-bahn) and suburban (S-bahn) train lines, as well as buses and trams (almost exclusively in eastern Berlin). Get a map from any information booth. Don't be afraid to try buses and trams—in addition to being well marked, they often cut the most direct path to your destination.
From Sunday through Thursday, U-bahn service stops at around 12:45 am and S-bahn trains stop by 1:30 am. All-night bus and tram service operates seven nights a week (indicated by the letter N next to bus route numbers). On Friday and Saturday nights some S-bahn lines and all but one U-bahn line run all night; the U4 does not. Buses and trams marked with an M for Metro mostly serve destinations without an S-bahn or U-bahn link.
Most visitor destinations are in the broad reach of the fare zones A and B. The €2.70 ticket (fare zones A and B) and the €3.30 ticket (fare zones A, B, and C) allow you to make a one-way trip with an unlimited number of changes between trains, buses, and trams. There are reduced rates for children ages 6–13. Buy a Kurzstreckentarif ticket (€1.60) for short rides of up to six bus or tram stops or three U-bahn or S-bahn stops. The best deal if you plan to travel around the city extensively is the Tageskarte (day card for zones A and B), for €6.90, good on all transportation until 3 am (€7.40 for A, B, and C zones). A 7-Tage-Karte (seven-day ticket) costs €29.50 and allows unlimited travel for fare zones A and B; €36.50 buys all three fare zones.
Tickets are available from vending machines at U-bahn and S-bahn stations. After you purchase a ticket, you are responsible for validating it when you board the train or bus. Both Einzelfahrt and Kurzstreckentarif tickets are good for 120 minutes after validation. If you're caught without a ticket or with an unvalidated one, the fine is €60.
The BVG website makes planning trips on public transportation easy. Enter your origin and destination point into the"Journey Planner" to see a list of best routes and a schedule of the next three departure times. If you’re not sure which station is closest to you, simply type in your current address and the system will tell you (along with the time it takes to walk there).
Public Transit Information
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. 030/19449; www.bvg.de.
S-Bahn Berlin GmbH. 030/2974–3333; www.s-bahn-berlin.de.