Public transport

There's hardly any capital in Europe with a better public transport network than Berlin. No matter what time of day or night, there's always a train or bus to drive you home.

The transport is mainly managed by BVG, a company owned by the state of Berlin. It is possible to get around using the U-Bahn (usually underground), S-Bahn (above ground train), Tram or Bus. Berlin has also a pretty good cycling infrastructure and most routes are easily navigable by bike.

The different means of transport can be identified through the following icons.


BVG launched in June, 2019 an app called Jelbi, which has info about all public transport network, including all transports above and shared transports such as public bicycles, Uber etc., allowing the ticket purchase with the cellphone, as well as vehicle reservation when that's the case. Download Jelbi from App Store or Google Play.

Jelbi app photo

How to buy transport tickets

Before you buy the tickets, you first need to decide which ticket to buy. There are a lot of different ticket types and prices, and this guide will not cover them all. Anyway, below you will find some information which might help you decide which ticket you should buy:

  • Berlin transport map is divided into 3 different zones:

    A everything inside the S-Bahn "ring" route (Ringbahn - see map below)

    B everything outside the S-Bahn ring and inside the city boundary. Airport Berlin Tegel (TXL) is located in this zone.

    C areas outside the city limits (e.g Schönefeld airport (SXF), Potsdam)

When you buy the ticket its price will change according to the combination of zones your ticket covers (there are 3 types, AB, BC or ABC). As an example, I usually buy the AB ticket (because it is obviously cheaper than the ABC ticket) and buy an "extension ticket" in the rare occasions when I need to go to the C zone.

mapa abc

  • Monthly tickets cost less per day than weekly tickets (which, in turn, cost less per day than daily ticket). It is also possible to get an yearly ticket (paid monthly) which cost around €60 per month. Note There are two types of monthly tickets available from a vending machine, "Monthly Ticket" and "Monthly Ticket Flexible". Always buy Monthly Ticket Flexible as it is valid for 30 days and you get to choose when those 30 days start from. On the other hand, a Monthly Ticket as mentioned on the vending machine, stops being valid at the end of calendar month. So if you buy a Monthly Ticket on 20th June, you will pay the full price but the ticket will still expire on 30th June.

  • You can buy tickets at BVG sales outlets (find their location here or at ticket machines (there are multiple in every U-Bahn and S-Bahn station).

    image image

  • Please always remember to validate you ticket before commencing your journey (does not apply to monthly and annual season tickets). There is a machine for that in every station, bus or tram - you will see it!

  • If you're going by (Metro)Tram there are ticket machines within the Tram itself, but you can only pay with coins.

Getting a yearly transport ticket

The yearly transport ticket/card is a cheaper alternative when compared to the monthly ticket, costing €63,42 per month (or €728, if paid without installments). This card is not sold in ticket machines, so you need to register online if you want to obtain one.

To do so:

  1. Open
  2. Click on "Abonnement abschließen" to start.
  3. Fill the form with your data (tip: use google translate). Having a bank account is mandatory.
  4. After you receive the confirmation email, you will need to wait some days until they "activate" your subscription and you receive the transport card at your address.


You can only request a yearly ticket for the start of the next month if you request it up to the 10th day of the current month.

After applying for a yearly ticket, you can also immediately request a Startkarte to bridge the period of time between the current date and the start date of your subscription (which is always on the first day of the month). The main advantage is that a Startkarte has a reduced fare per day, just like the yearly ticket. To request one, look for a "Customer Center" (Kundenzentren), available in any of the following S-Bahn stations:

Station business hours extra info
Alexanderplatz Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday / Sunday / public holiday: 09:00 - 18:30
Friedrichstraße Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday / Sunday / public holiday: 09:00 - 18:30
In the station building, entrance Friedrichstr. (Georgenstraße 14, 10117 Berlin)
Gesundbrunnen Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday / Sunday / public holiday: 09:00 - 18:30
In the DB Travel Center in the reception building
Hauptbahnhof Monday - Saturday: 07:00 - 22:00
Sunday: 08:00 - 22:00
Customer Center in the DB Travel Center (1st floor)
Lichtenberg Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday / Sunday / public holiday: 08:30 - 17:00
In the basement of the lobby
Ostbahnhof Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday / Sunday / public holiday: 08:30 - 17:00
Potsdam Hauptbahnhof Monday - Friday: 07:00 - 20:30
Saturday: 08:00 - 18:30
Sunday / public holiday: 08:00 - 17:00
in the railway station Potsdam: Babelsberger Straße 1, 14473 Potsdam
Spandau Monday - Friday: 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday / Sunday / public holiday: 08:30 - 18:00
Seegefelder Straße 1, 13597 Berlin

Check for updates in the bussines hours here.


  • All means of transport work 24h per day on Fridays and Saturdays. On weekdays, the U-Bahn stops between midnight and 01:00AM (depends on the line) while the S-Bahn generally stops around 01:30 AM.
  • If the U-Bahn / S-Bahn is closed, you can always get a Metro Bus, as they work 24/7 in ten minute intervals.
  • You can take someone else with you when using the monthly ticket. It is possible to do so Monday through Friday (8 p.m. to 3 a.m.) and for the whole day during weekends and holidays (more information here).
  • The public transport in Berlin is based in a "Honor System", so all the stations are barrier-free. Despite of that, always buy and have your ticket with you, or you can get a fine from one of the random ticket inspectors.
  • There are some useful apps that will help you to get around in the city. If you have an Android or an iPhone, look for "Citymapper" in Play Store/Apple Store. Google maps also allows you to download the maps for offline access, so that might be useful as well.
  • You can use the app BVG FahrInfo Plus for Android or Apple to buy tickets online.
  • This might be obvious, but let's make it clear: you can use your ticket in any type of transportation that you want. In other words, there is no "bus ticket" or "u-bahn ticket" in Berlin.
  • Most long duration tickets (daily/weekly/monthly) allow you to take your dog with you (more information here
  • If you buy a ticket from a bus driver (normal practice in Berlin), it is also valid for the S-Bahn, as long as you use it within two hours of your purchase.
  • When taking the bus, it is required polite to show the ticket to the bus driver (even though most of the drivers don't even look at it)
  • taking-the-bus

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