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Kreuzberg: Underground at the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin
Kreuzberg: Underground at the Oberbaumbrücke in Berlin © Getty Images, Foto: danilovi

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.

  • Please note: FFP2 masks are still compulsory in public transport in Berlin and Brandenburg due to the current situation.. Please wear a mask in S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains, buses and in trams. Children under 6 years of age do not have to wear a mask, children up to 14 years of age can alternatively wear a medical face mask.

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

view of the Friedrichstraße
view of the Friedrichstraße © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

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.

Berlin Welcome Card

2. The U5: The museum line

 Escalators of the Unter den Linden station on the U5 line in Berlin
The station Unter den Linden from the inside © Foto: A.Reetz-Graudenz

With Berlin's new metroline U5 you can reach the most important sights in Berlin quickly and comfortably. In just 41 minutes, you can take the U5 from the main train station to the eastern Berlin city limits to Hönow. The route takes you past the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Museum Island, the Rote Rathaus and Alexanderplatz. Then it goes through Friedrichshain into the countryside, for example to the Tierpark and the Gardens of the World.

Tickets for Tierpark Berlin

2. The S1: A reunified Berlin

S-Bahn im Berliner Hauptbahhof
© Zeitgeistmarketing

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

View from Elsebrücke while the sun sets to Oberbaumbrücke and TV Tower
View from the Elsebrücke © visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien

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!

Oberbaum Bridge  in spring
Oberbaum Bridge in spring © visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle

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

Sightseeing with the Bus 100 in Berlin
Bus 100 in Berlin © visitBerlin, Foto: Günter Steffen

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!

URBAN NATION Museum: ONE WALL project on the façade by Dave the Chimp and Friends
URBAN NATION Museum: ONE WALL project on the façade by Dave the Chimp and Friends © Foto: Nika Kramer

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!

Tip: With our free digital city guide for your smartphone, the ABOUT BERLIN app, you can put together your own tours and get to know many exciting places in Berlin. We also inspire you with current highlights and tour suggestions, for example on the topic of urban art in Berlin.

Download for free now!

In the App Store now: Download ABOUT BERLIN
In the Google Play Store now: Download ABOUT BERLIN

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