Getting To Berlin
Germany’s capital has reinvented itself since the West and East reunited and has become one of Europe’s most important cities. It has a rich cultural heritage and history as showcased in the city’s museums, galleries, theaters, art, music and nightlife. Moreover, coming from a very colorful historical background, Berlin has become one of the most diverse and liveliest places in the world. This is why more and more tourists are taking interest in the city, making it one of the most famous destinations in the world. There are actually many ways you can travel to the city of Berlin – from trains to planes, and land vehicles such as cars and buses.
When Berlin was divided during the Cold Car, many infrastructures of the city including airports and train stations were built on both West and East Berlin. When these 2 parts were reunited, there has been a challenge to reunite these infrastructures to serve all of the people in the metropolitan area of Berlin.
Berlin has two entry points for air transportation – the Tegel International Airport located in the West and the Schönefeld in the East.
The Tegel International Airport is the major airport for international flagcarriers such as Air France-KLM, BA, Delta and Lufthansa. It is also the core for domestic flights. Tegel was originally designed as a pentagon, but today low-cost terminals manage most flights of another terminal.
The Airport of Schönefeld is the airport in the former East Berlin airport. It is found in the southeast part of the city and is the station for most low-cost airlines such as Germanwings, Ryanair and easyJet, and charter flights.
To merge these two airports, the new Airport Berlin Brandenburg International is being built at the Schönefeld and will be opening to the public in the fall of 2011. When all traffic has been transferred to the BBI (Berlin-Brandenburg), the Tegel airport will be closed down.
There are many direct flights between the city and major city destinations in Europe. Because of historical concerns, direct flights to the city of Berlin are limited. Thus, Lufthansa, the German flagcarrier flies mostly to Munich and Frankfurt and then offers connecting flights to Berlin hourly.
You can go to Berlin by bus from over 350 destinations all around Europe. Only one German bus corporation connects these cities to Berlin. The central bus terminal in Carlottenburg, Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof, welcomes the buses that arrive from various European destinations.
The EuroCity and the InterCity trains by the Deutsche Bahn , the national German train corporation, connects Berlin to different German and European destinations. Several night trains coming from Paris, Zurich, Amsterdam and Vienna travel to Berlin every single day. On the other hand, there are several train companies that offer a link to smaller cities in East Germany.
You can access the inner city of Berlin from the A10 or the Berliner Ring to which all main roads are connected. However, not all cars can enter the city center especially vehicles who don’t have a “Low Emissions” sticker. As of 2008, the city of Berlin obliges all cars to have this “Umweltzone” or Low Emmission Zone sticker.