Berlin, the capital city of Germany, draws in millions of tourists each year, who come to bask in the excitement of this old yet revitalized metropolis. Possessing a famous history, impressive landmarks and a lush landscape, the city provides you with countless opportunities to learn more about its past and culture, explore its diverse regions, mingle with friendly residents and, most importantly for a holiday, simply have fun. Well known for its lively nightlife, Berlin also offers enjoyable museums, performing arts events and festivals. Best of all, you can easily and affordably travel to this exciting city by whichever method you most prefer – by plane, car, train or bus.
International and domestic flights to Berlin arrive at either Tegel Airport, in the western section of the city, or Schönefeld Airport, in the east. Tegel is the city’s major international airport, with airlines such as British Airways, Air France and Delta operating out of it, as well as German carriers Air Berlin, for which Tegel is a hub, and Lufthansa. Budget airlines including Germanwings, British-based easyJet and Irish-based Ryanair operate out of Schönefeld. In the summer of 2012, Berlin will have only one airport, as the Schönefeld transforms and expands into the new Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport. When the new airport becomes operational, Tegel will close down.
If you want to stay close to the ground, traveling by car is the way to go. All motorways, or autobahns, within Germany and neighboring countries connect to the Berliner Ring (A10). The Berliner Ring is a circular motorway wrapped around the capital city, which connects to central Berlin via shorter motorways. Autobahn 115 (A115) connects you to southwest Berlin, A111 to the northwest, A114 to the north and A113 to the southeast. Be aware that Berlin is a low emission zone, and only cars that meet low-pollution standards can enter the city. So before you start your trip, make sure your vehicle meets the environmental standards, and obtain your low emissions sticker to display on your vehicle from an authorised garage.
Journeying by train is a relaxing way to begin your holiday, and there are several options to get you to Berlin. Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, provides exceptional service on their Intercity-Express, Intercity and Eurocity lines between major European cities and Berlin. From London, you can also take Eurostar to Paris or Brussels, and then connect to the City Night Line sleeper train, also run by Deutsche Bahn, for restful overnight travel into Berlin. The city’s modern, main railway station is Hauptbahnhof in lovely Mitte, which services both domestic and international trains.
Berlin is also accessible by bus from over 200 destinations, and is another affordable and convenient way to travel. Eurolines allows you to easily cross the continent on some of the most comfortable motor coaches in Europe including those operated by National Express, Deutsche Touring and Berlin Linien Bus. All incoming international motor coaches arrive at Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof, Berlin’s central bus terminal in charming Carlottenburg.
So what are you waiting for? Book your transport, book your European Travel Insurance, and get exploring!