The Berlin public transport system is efficient, if expensive, and the combination of buses, trams, ferries, the U-Bahn (underground) and S-Bahn (commuter rail) reaches every part of the sprawling city and its surrounds. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn are the best ways of getting around; buses cover the parts of the city that cannot be reached by train, and East Berlin has a network of modernised, pre-war trams. One type of ticket is valid on all forms of transport and fares are divided into three colour-coded tariff zones. Driving in Berlin is easier than in most big cities, but in general is still not recommended, as traffic is heavy and parking difficult to find and expensive. Taxis are plentiful, but it is cheaper to hail one in the street than to call ahead at one of the many call stands around the city. Cycling is also recommended, especially in West Berlin, which is well-equipped with cycle paths and trains that have special cars where bicycles can be carried.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the last Sunday in October).
220 volts, 50Hz. European-style two-pin plugs are standard.
The unit of currency is the Euro (EUR), divided into 100 cents. ATMs and exchange bureaux are widely available. The major credit cards are becoming more widely accepted in large shops, hotels and restaurants, although Germans themselves prefer to carry cash. The quickest and most convenient way to change money is to obtain cash from one of the ATM machines that are ubiquitous features on all German streets. Banks are closed on weekends, but exchange bureaux at airports and main railway stations are open daily.
The international access code for Germany is +49. Telephone numbers in Germany can range from four to nine digits. There are surcharges on international calls made from hotels; it is often cheaper to use public telephone boxes in post offices, which use phone cards. The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international operators. Internet cafes are available in the main towns.
Emergencies: 110 (Police); 112 (Ambulance/Fire)
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Epiphany (some states)||6 Jan||6 Jan|
|Good Friday||3 Apr||25 Mar|
|Easter Monday||6 Apr||28 Mar|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|Ascension Day||14 May||5 May|
|Whit Monday||25 May||16 May|
|Corpus Christi||4 Jun||26 May|
|Day of German Unity||3 Oct||3 Oct|
|Day of Reformation||31 Oct||31 Oct|
|All Saints Day||1 Nov||1 Nov|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|St Stephens Day||26 Dec||26 Dec|
Berlin has a continental climate with cold winters, hot summers and fairly mild autumns and springs. Summer weather in Berlin is pleasant and sunny, the days are long and temperatures can sometimes exceed 86°F (30°C), particularly in July and August. However, the summer months are also unpredictable, and the weather can rapidly change from sunshine to cloud. It can also be fairly humid in summer in Berlin. Winter weather in Berlin, by contrast, is bitterly cold and damp, with plentiful snow and frosty days when temperatures hover at or just below freezing. Although snow falls between December and March the city seldom stays covered in snow for long. Rain can fall all year round and it is always a good idea to have an umbrella in Berlin, no matter what the season; the wettest months are June and August, and the driest months on average are October and February. Berlin is a year-round travel destination because so much of the city's appeal lies in its cultural and historical attractions, which are fabulous regardless of the weather. The most popular and probably the best time to visit Berlin is in the summer months when the sidewalk cafes, parks and gardens can be enjoyed to the utmost and there are numerous fun summer events.
The most convenient and cost effective way to get to and from the airport is by bus. Buses connect with the subway and overground train stations. Taxis are readily available outside the airport terminals on both levels.
Vehicle hire companies represented at the airport include Budget, Avis, Hertz, Europcar, National and Sixt.
Taxis are readily available outside the Berlin-Tegel Airport's Terminal A1. A taxi to the centre of Berlin takes approximately 20 minutes and costs between €35 and €40. Avoid touts and unlicensed taxis. Private hotel shuttle services to and from Berlin-Tegel Airport are also available.
The airport terminals are all connected by walkways.
Facilities include banks, bureaux de change, ATMs, a post office, business centres and baby rooms. There are several shops, including duty-free, and a selection of restaurants. Disabled facilities are good; travellers with special needs should contact their airline in advance.
There are a number of parking lots at Berlin-Tegel Airport, all within easy walking distance of the terminal building. Short-term parking in parking lot PK costs €2.50 for the first 15 minutes and €2.50 for every 15 minutes thereafter, up to a maximum daily charge of €140. P1 and P2 are medium-stay parking garages: fees start at €4 for the first hour and go up to €32 for the day. Parking lot P5 is for long-stay parking: 1 week costs €87.
Wifi is available throughout the airport. Hourly rates vary depending on the connection plan.