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Potsdamer Platz - a famous square in Berlin
Bus and high-rise buildings in the evening light at Potsdamer Platz © visitBerlin, Foto: Philip Koschel

S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, and tram: so many ways to explore Berlin

7 ways to explore Berlin

Berlin is full of exciting sights located all over the city. So that you and your children can experience everything important from architecture, art, and culture with your own eyes, you don't have to book any fixed sightseeing tours. Instead, you can explore the capital quite simply on your own with S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, and tram.

1. Berlin's public transport: what you need to know

Berlin is divided into tariff zones A, B, and C , where A is the city centre. Depending on how far you want to travel, you can choose between a ticket for zones A+B, B+C, or A+B+C. For many places, the less expensive A+B ticketis sufficient. If you want to save money from buying tickets each time you board, the Berlin Welcome Card is  a great choice. It includes unlimited travel on all public transport for you and 3 children up to 14 years of age.

2. The S1: A reunified Berlin

The S1 forms an important north-south connection and takes you from the southwest to the far north of the city. On this journey through Zehlendorf, Schöneberg, Mitte, and Pankow, you will experience how dense forests turn into a pulsating city. This route covers such sights such as the Botanical Garden, the ruins of Anhalt Station, Potsdamer Platz, and Brandenburg Gate. Since it runs right along the former Wall, the S1 makes it possible to experience the divided and reunited Berlin.

3. S41 and S42: circling Berlin

Sunset at Oberbaumbrücke in summer
Sunset at Oberbaumbrücke in summer © Getty Images, Foto: elxeneize

If you and your children want to experience Berlin as a panorama, take the S41 or S42, the circle line of the S-Bahn. It circles the city centre of Berlin and gives an insight into many typical residential areas and neighbourhoods. The journey over the 37 kilometres takes about one hour. Of course, you can also get off at any of the stations and start exploring the outer districts. Particularly at important junctions such as Westkreuz, Gesundbrunnen, Ostkreuz, and Südkreuz, you can access other transport lines to take you to your destination.

4. U1: crossing the Spree on the Oberbaumbrücke!

Take the U1 from Friedrichshain in the east to Charlottenburg in the west. During your journey, you will cross the Oberbaumbrücke, which crosses the Spree to connect  Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Until you reach your destination on Uhlandstraße, you will pass many shopping opportunities. Maybe take a stop at Kurfürstendamm and marvel at the famous KaDeWe department store, often compared to London's Harrods. Right around the corner, you can admire the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church . The war-ravaged ruins of the church's remain standing as a plea for peace.

5. U2: Berlin's heritage line

Konnopke's Imbiss
Konnopke's Imbiss © (c) visumate

The U2 is one of the capital's oldest U-Bahn lines and connects east and west. It is ideal for extensive sightseeing from Schönhauser Allee to the final station in Ruhleben. You'll be close to Berlin's cult currywurst stand at Konnopke's, Alexanderplatz with its TV Tower, the Zoo, and the Volksbühne and Schillertheater. The entire journey takes just over 45 minutes.

6. Bus 100 and 200: Alexanderplatz to Zoo

If you spontaneously decide to take a city tour, hop on to buses 100 or 200 at Alexanderplatz. Take a seat with your children at the front of the top floor of the yellow double-decker. This will ensure you see all the sights you'll pass during your journey. The lines pass the State Opera House, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Berlin Cathedral, the House of World Cultures, the Victory Column, and Bellevue Palace before reaching their final destination at Zoo Station. To make sure you don't miss any important sight along the route, we have listed all the highlights of bus route 100 on our website.

7. Just get in and enjoy the ride!

 As you can see, it's easy to explore Berlin by S-Bahn, subway, tram and bus. Just climb aboard and see where your adventure takes you!