Berlin Tegel Airport lies in the north-west corner of Berlin, just a 20-minute bus ride to the city centre and services most of the business travellers in and out of the city.
It has five small terminals, A-E:
Note: Most of the shops and restaurants are before security, so it's best to do your shopping and eating before you go through security. Also, once you're through security, you can't move between gates, so you will have to stay within a small area.
Due to close
The airport is due to close and be replaced by the new Berlin airport, 'BER' at the Berlin Schönefeld Airport site, further out in the south-west of the city. There have been famous delays to its construction, and its completion date is now expected no earlier than 2020.
As a result, Berlin Tegel has not seen much investment in the past decade and can feel old and a little overstretched.
There are no shops, just one café, and the odd vending machine once you go through security, so it's best to hang around before security for as long as you can.
The Mayer’s sales cart is the first port of call for pretzel fans. Hungry travellers will find freshly filled pretzels, mouth-watering muffins, a selection of sandwich specialities and lots more here.
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Getting into Berlin city centre is fairly easy, given that the local bus runs regularly, and taxi rides are fairly short.
Take the local TXL bus to the main train station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) in 20 minutes. There, you can change to the local S-Bahn train line or long-distance RE and ICE trains. Buses leave every seven minutes. You can stay on to go to the Brandenburg Gate, or Alexanderplatz in the east of the city (in around 40 minutes). For the west of the city, the 109 bus is best, taking you to Zoologischer Garten in around 30 minutes.
Note that buses can be crowded and held up in traffic at peak hours. It can be easier to take the bus to the nearest train station, Beusselstrasse, and enter the S-Bahn system from there - it's also advisable to go there on your return to the airport so your time on the road is limited. And don't forget to validate your ticket, or you will be fined by one of the many ticket inspectors.
Cost: EUR 2.80 for an AB zone ticket (covers S-Bahn, bus and tram journeys for two hours)
Buying tickets: Ticket desks in Terminal A, machines near the bus stop or through the BVG app (not possible on the bus)
Location: Bus stop outside the Terminal A
Berlin taxis are reliable, comfortable and reasonably priced. You'll find two ranks of cream-coloured Mercedes Benzes outside the airport, including larger vehicles for more than four people.
Cost: Around EUR 20 to Zoologischer Garten and EUR 26 to Alexanderplatz
Location: Ranks in the inner ring of Terminal A (Gates 6-9) and outside Terminals C and E
The hexagonal architecture of the main terminal and Tegel’s short distances make parking quick and easy. The centre of the hexagonal Terminal A is the short-term car park; it costs EUR 3.00 for the first 15 minutes and EUR 3.00 for every 15 minutes thereafter. Payment by EC card is possible.
For an easygoing tour of the city, all you need is the local bus. Take the X9 or 109 bus from Terminals A or B to Zoologischer Garten (30-40 minutes), then change onto the 100 bus for a tour of the major sights of Berlin. Get out at Alexanderplatz and take the JetExpressBus back to the airport. If there are between 3 and 5 of you, buy a Kleingruppen-Tageskarte for EUR 19.90 and your travel costs are covered.
Cost: EUR 2.80 for an AB-zone ticket
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