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The city has an efficient public-transportation system, a smoothly integrated network of subway (U-bahn) and suburban (S-bahn) train lines, buses, and trams (almost exclusively in eastern Berlin). Get a map from any information booth. Don't be afraid to try buses and trams—in addition to being well marked, they often cut the most direct path to your destination.
From Sunday through Thursday, U-bahn trains stop around 12:45 am and S-bahn trains stop by 1:30 am. All-night bus and tram service operates seven nights a week (indicated by the letter N next to route numbers). On Friday and Saturday nights some S-bahn and all U-bahn lines except U4 run all night. Buses and trams marked with an M mostly serve destinations without an S-bahn or U-bahn link.
Most visitor destinations are in the broad reach of the fare zones A and B. The €2.30 ticket (fare zones A and B) and the €3 ticket (fare zones A, B, and C) allow you to make a one-way trip with an unlimited number of changes between trains, buses, and trams. There are reduced rates for children ages 6–13. Buy a Kurzstreckentarif ticket (€1.40) for short rides of up to six bus or tram stops or three U-bahn or S-bahn stops. The best deal if you plan to travel around the city extensively is the Tageskarte (day card for zones A and B), for €6.30, good on all transportation until 3 am. (It's €6.80 for A, B, and C zones.) A 7-Tage-Karte (seven-day ticket) costs €27.20 and allows unlimited travel for fare zones A and B; €33.50 buys all three fare zones.
The Berlin WelcomeCard (sold by EurAid, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe offices, the tourist office, and some hotels) entitles one adult and three children up to age 6 to either two or three days of unlimited travel in the ABC zones for €18.90 or €24.90, respectively, and includes admission and tour discounts detailed in a booklet. The CityTourCard, good for two or three days of unlimited travel in the AB zones, costs €15.90 and €21.90, respectively, and details 50 discounts on a leaflet; up to three children under age 6 can accompany an adult.
Tickets are available from vending machines at U-bahn and S-bahn stations. After you purchase a ticket, you are responsible for validating it when you board the train or bus. Both Einzelfahrt and Kurzstreckentarif tickets are good for 120 minutes after validation. If you're caught without a ticket or with an unvalidated one, the fine is €40.
Disabilities and Accessibility.
The BVG website (www.bvg.de) makes planning any trip on public transportation easier. Enter your origin and destination point into their "Journey Planner" to see a list of your best routes, and a schedule of the next three departure times. If you're not sure which station is your closest, simply type in your current address and the system will tell you (along with the time it takes to walk there).
All major S-bahn and U-bahn stations have elevators, and most buses have hydraulic lifts. Check the public transportation maps or call the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. The Deutscher Service-Ring-Berlin e.V. runs a special bus service for travelers with physical disabilities, and is a good information source on all travel necessities, that is, wheelchair rental and other issues.
Public Transit Information
Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (030/19449. www.bvg.de.)
S-Bahn Berlin GmbH (030/2974–3333. www.s-bahn-berlin.de.)
VBB (030/2541–4141 for info. www.vbbonline.de. Weekdays 8–8, weekends 9–6.)
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