Home Germany Navigating the City and Using Public Transportation in Berlin

Navigating the City and Using Public Transportation in Berlin

by Taylor Mowery
Public transportation in Berlin going over the Oberbaumbrücke | AIFS Study Abroad

If there’s one thing the Germans are well known for, it’s their efficiency, and that efficiency is perhaps best seen in the public transportation in Berlin. Berlin’s S-Bahn, U-Bahn, and bus systems are all punctual, dependable, and easy to use.

While living in Berlin, there are a few things that you should know to help you navigate the city: learn when your ride comes, download the BVG app, and use Google maps.

1. Learn when your ride comes.

From my apartment to school, I took the S1 towards Wansee three stops, then transferred to the X83 bus for five stops.  On too many mornings, I missed the train I wanted (and consequently the bus) because I didn’t bother to learn when the S1 came to my station.  On weekdays during normal hours, the S-Bahn in Berlin comes every ten minutes, the U-Bahn comes every five, and the time for buses depends on which bus you take.  If you learn when your ride is coming, you’ll save yourself a headache.

2. Download the BVG App.

One of the most important things you can do while living in Berlin is download the BVG app.  The BVG is the company in control of the public transportation system. Their app is the most reliable source of information for the most efficient routes, time from point A to point B, and, most importantly, cancelled trains or buses. While I was in Berlin, there were two city-wide strikes that shut down the U-Bahn and the buses, and the BVG sent out notifications on the app to alert passengers that their commute would be affected. Your maps app can be useful in Berlin, but only the BVG app has daily, detailed information on trains and buses.

3. Utilize Google Maps.

Finally, use Google maps for walking around Berlin. The BVG should be your main source of information for public transportation, but Google Maps is the number one app for directions while on foot. You’ll want to explore as much of the city as possible, and walking is one of the best ways to do so. Getting to know your neighborhood, seeing more of the sights, and finding unique spots are all benefits of traversing your city on foot.

Navigating Berlin is a breeze, and with these tips you’ll be ahead of the game and ready to take on your new city. 

Public transportation in Berlin going over the Oberbaumbrücke | AIFS Study Abroad
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