Most tourists traveling to Berlin arrive by air. There are two airports in Berlin and several others that are used to reach Berlin. Tourists can then arrange for transportation into the Berlin area they are lodging at. Let’s begin with the closest airport.
Tegel Airport is an international airport about 9 km from downtown Berlin. Located on the northeast side of Berlin, this airport will be closed in 2012 and replaced with a new one. Designed with terminals around an open square, it is an easy airport to walk around. Tegel was the airport for West Berlin. Transportation into town is most efficient by taking the Airport Express trains. The drivers sell tickets at two stations a short walk from the terminal. If you need to reach the downtown, S-bahn or U-bahn line, the TXL, X9, or 109 buses will also get you to a transfer station. If you want to go directly to the U line, take the 128 line. Rental cars from Alamo, Budget, and Sixt are located in front of the P2 parking area near terminal D. Taxis can be found in front of Terminal A in the drop off area. Numerous airlines serve this airport. The airlines having the most flights daily include Air Berlin, Lufthansia and Germania.
Schonefeld Airport is located about 18 km from the center of Berlin in the south and was the airport for East Berlin. This airport mainly serves private and local flights. The fastest way into downtown Berlin is to use the Airport Express train to a downtown station. Bus X7 is an option for those needing to reach the trade fair ground area. There is also a bus N71 that reaches the U-bahn. Cars may be hired in front of Terminal A. The companies available include Alamo, Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, Avis and Budget. Motorhomes may also be rented here. Taxis may also be secured in front of Terminal A for the ride into the city or to a hotel. This airport will also close in 2012 when the Brandenburg Airport opens.
The Leipzip-Halle Airport
This is the airport for part of the Saxony area of Germany. Located 145 km from Berlin, this airport is the headquarters for the DHL cargo line. Some international airlines also fly to this location. To reach Berlin, due to the distance it is sometimes easier to arrange a flight into a Berlin airport through a local German airline such as Air Berlin or Germania. Another option is to take the Erfurt-Leipzip-Halle High Speed Rail Line to the Anhalt Railway Station at the north end of the line. This Railway can be taken into Berlin where contacts can be made to local transportation. The railroad station is at the far end of the airport over the bridge from the Central Terminal, a bit of a walk. Rental cars are available at the Central Terminal service desks, but the 145 km drive is long and in a foreign country and on the Autobahn.
This is the airport for the Dresden area of Germany and is the airport that serves flights from Eastern Europe to Germany. Dresden is the capital of the Saxony area of Germany. Headquarters for a branch of Lufthansia, this airport is surrounded by hotels and conference centers. Located about 156 km from Berlin, passengers usually transfer to another local airline to reach one of the Berlin airports. Other options include renting a car at the arrival station and using the Autobahn to reach Berlin. This is a direct drive using the A4 to the A13. In the basement of the main terminal, the Dresden S-bahn train can be taken to the Dresden Hauptbahnhof Railway Station in downtown Dresden. From this station, a connection to a direct train into Berlin can be made.
The Szczecin-Goleniow Solidarnosc Airport
This airport is also located about 156 km from Berlin in western Poland. This airport serves some connections from Eastern Europe that do not fly into Germany. To reach Berlin from this airport a flight is usually taken into a Berlin or other German Airport. There are short hops to either the Saxony Airports available, and both of these reach Berlin. Cars can be rented at the main terminal, but make sure the car can be driven into Germany. Many rental cars need additional insurance for this. The rental company can provide you a map to reach the Autobahn in Germany. The nearest train station is 7 km from the airport and does not link into the German train system. There are taxis, but for reasons of cost and crossing into a foreign country this is not a great idea even if you can find a taxi willing to drive the four hour journey.