As the city was divided into two during the Cold War, many major parts of Berlin's infrastructure — such as airports — were built on both the east and west side. After the demolition of the Wall, the challenge has been to merge these formerly independent systems into one that serves all people in the metropolitan Berlin area.
Whatever your departure and destination is, if you're planning to move by public rail transport, the Berlin-Brandenburg public transport company offers a very comfortable and customizable service in order to plan your trip: just go to their website and select departure and arrival stations, time of the day, day of the week and period of validity, and it will allow you to print/save a pdf with all the options for your trip, including changes, timetables, walking distance and so on.
Tegel International Airport (ICAO: EDDT, IATA: TXL) located in the north-west of the city is the main airport for international carriers (British Airways, Air France-KLM, United, LOT, etc.) and a hub for domestic flights on Lufthansa and Air Berlin. The original airport was designed as a hexagon but today two other terminals try to handle the flights of Air Berlin (most flights in Terminal C) and other budget carriers (mostly in terminal D). All flag carrier flights leave from the main terminal building A (Terminal B nowadays contains just the bus gates of Terminal A for Non-Schengen flights), and is also where all airlines lounges are. The airport might close on 2017 depending on the construction progress.
Buses from Tegel International Airport operate to Hauptbahnhof (bus TXL), and S+U Zoologischer Garten (buses X9 and 109) for the standard ticket fare . It takes around 45 minutes to Alexanderplatz - it is much quicker to get off at Hauptbahnhof or Zoologischer Garten and change to the S-Bahn (the bus ticket remains valid for this). (TXL takes less than 10 minutes to get to S-Bahn station Beusselstraße.) Caution! Do not take any train to the "Tegel railway (S-Bahn) station", which is not connected to the airport, but rather to the suburban village called Tegel. It is not possible to walk or to otherwise get easily to the airport from that station. The nearest train stations are Jakob-Kaiser Platz on the U-Bahn line U7, which is 5 minutes from the airport with bus X9/109, Kurt-Schumacher Platz on the U6, 10 minutes from the airport with bus 128, and Beusselstraße S41/S42 (the ring) connected to the airport with an express bus . Tegel International Airport does not have any railway station. Any indication to a Tegel railway station refers to the remote S-Bahn station, even if railway staff at stations in other cities might tell otherwise.
Various providers offer taxi and limousine service at Airport Tegel. As a normal paying guest, just take a taxi from the "official" stand. There is no chance getting a cheaper deal. Pay the official tariff, and persist on the taxi driver to switch on the meter. There is one caveat: Taxi clients may request a specific path to be used (e.g. use the freeway instead of city roads). Suggestions from drivers might lead you through an expensive detour. The magic formula to answer to all "tour suggestions" would be: "Please use the shortest way as you learned it at taxi school".
"Special deals" outside the meter are rare in Berlin. The Taxi service is extremely regulated here: Taxi driver unions and courts are - successfully - eager to ban any services which are not licensed according to the vigorous taxi licensing regulations from driving paying guests, and airport authorities will not allow any non-licensed car pick up clients at the terminals. Thus, there are no "deals" available at the terminals. There might be pre-booked limousine services available to businesses which frequently transfer people from the airport to the city.
There are numerous direct flight connections between Berlin and major German & European cities. For historical reasons intercontinental direct flights to Berlin were limited. The German flag carrier Lufthansa will mostly fly to its major hub airports Frankfurt and Munich and offer connecting flights to Berlin on a near hourly basis.
Berlin is very well connected to the German railway network, both by fast intercity links and regional trains. The City is a network junction for regional, national and international trains. To search for a train connection, please go to the homepage of the Deutsche Bahn.
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Berlin uses a zone system, but you are unlikely to need to go beyond zone A and B, except on trips to Potsdam or to the Schönefeld Airport (SXF). This is a very large area. The public transport system (U, S-Bahn, bus, tram, regional rail) uses a common ticket.
Standard tickets (€2.80 for A and B) are valid for any travel within two hours of validation, in a single direction, within the appropriate fare zones. There is no limit to transfers. For a single journey you can buy a cheap Kurzstrecke for €1.70, but this is only valid for 3 stops on the U-Bahn or S-Bahn (six stops by bus or tram); no transfers are permitted. Reduced tariffs apply for children 6 to 14. Under 6 y/o ride free.
Several options are available for unlimited travel. Prices listed here are only for zones A and B: prices for A, B, and C cost marginally more. There are also tickets for B and C. Check the machines for the actual prices.
BVG homepage: http://www.bvg.de/en/
Some more information about Berlin: https://www.visitberlin.de/en