Local Public Transport

Berlin is on the move – the city has an extensive public transportation network consisting of underground railways, bus services, trams, trains and ferries that provide convenient access to the entire city and the surrounding region.

How to buy your ticket

With a ticket, you can use all forms of public transportation. For example, it is no problem if you wish to change over from an underground rail service to a bus connection. You need to buy the tickets before you begin your trip, and you can buy these at the numerous ticket machines located in practically every underground and suburban station, for example. These machines are easy to use and they support different languages. You can also buy tickets in the "Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe" (BVG) sales outlets and the Berlin S-bahn. Usually, the kiosks and newsagents in the underground rail stations also sell tickets. When travelling with the bus, you can also purchase your ticket directly from the driver.

Tickets need to be stamped

Do not forget to stamp your ticket. When using the regional transport services of Deutsche Bahn or the suburban or underground rail services, you can stamp your ticket directly on the platform. The red or yellow machines used to do this are not far from the ticket machines. When travelling by bus or tram, the stamping machines are located in the vehicles. Inspectors regularly check the tickets.  A ticket that has not been stamped is deemed to be invalid. If you are caught without a valid ticket, you must pay a €60 fine.

You can use these transport services in Berlin

  • The underground rail service in Berlin is extensive, with underground trains running every 5-10 minutes.
  • Suburban rail services run largely on elevated rails through the city. In the city centre, they run as often as every 10 minutes.
  • Normal buses usually run every 20 minutes.
  • Metro buses are also in service. The advantage of metro buses is that they run more frequently (usually every 10 minutes) and that they run at night.
  • Buses displaying an X are express buses that serve routes to the airports, for example the SFX and TXL buses.
  • Trams also run in some parts of Berlin - they arrive every 20 minutes. Just like the buses, the trams have a metro variant. The metro trams run more frequently (usually every 10 minutes) and also run at night.


The ticket prices depend on how long they are valid for and which fare zones they apply to.
Berlin is divided into three fare zones. Zone A covers the inner city region, whose boundaries are defined by the S-bahn service ring. Zone B reaches as far as the Berlin city limits, while Zone C includes the region surrounding Berlin, for example Berlin-Schönefeld and Potsdam.  You must select the zone when purchasing a ticket.
There is also a difference between a single ticket and a short distance ticket. The single ticket is valid for two hours in a single direction of travel. You can change vehicle or line, but you cannot change the direction of travel. With a short distance ticket, you can travel three stations with a suburban or underground rail service (including changing trains) or six stops with a bus or tram (without changing vehicles).
If you wish to use public transportation services regularly, day tickets, 7-day tickets and 1-month tickets are available as required. You can also find information on other tickets and fares on the BVG website.

Travelling at night?

During the week, the underground rail services run until 12:30 am and the S-bahn runs until 1:00 am. At night, night buses that follow the same routes replace the underground rail services. The metro buses and metro trams are also a practical option, because they run all night long during the week (every 30 minutes). On the weekend you do not have to worry about how you will get home in Berlin, because the underground and S-bahn run all night.


Tips and advice
  • You can easily plan your route online and obtain information on arrival times, changeovers and diversions.

  • If you use a smartphone, it is worth downloading the BVG "Fahrinfo" app. The app also offers the option of using your smartphone to buy a ticket.

  • Experience has shown that the Berlin underground rail service is the most reliable local public transportation service. It seldom has service reductions. Buses are frequently unable to adhere to the specified timetables because they are bound by road traffic conditions.


Do you have other questions?

If so please contact the International Scholar Services.