Berlin currently has two airports in operation. The largest, formerly located in West Berlin, Tegel Airport (TXL) is situated within the Berlin metropolitan area, with the airport of the former East Berlin, Schönefeld Airport (SXF), located just outside. Combined they handle over 23 million passengers per year. A third West Berlin Airport, Tempelhof, was closed in 2008 and its runway area is currently used as parkland, with its hangers and other buildings housing various businesses as well being used for festivals and events.
An expansion of Schönefeld Airport is currently underway and it is set to re-open, as Berlin Brandenburg Airport in 2013 and with the planned closure of Tegel, Schönefeld will process all of Berlin’s air arrivals. The building of the airport has been plagued with issues, however, and it is not immediately clear when it will open, or if indeed it will be able to cope with the level of traffic it will receive.
Both Tegel and Schönefeld are quite small by international standards and there are only a hand-full of dining and duty free shopping opportunities at each. Their small size, however, makes getting to your departure or arrivals gate a lot quicker.
Getting to and from Tegel Airport
Tegel is well serviced by a number of bus routes that deliver you promptly to the centre of Berlin Mitte.
The JetExpress TLX runs every 10-15 minutes and takes 26 minutes to reach Alexanderplatz, 21 mins to Brandenburger Tor and 15 mins to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Main train station). From these stations in central Berlin it is only a short train ride to the popular eastern boroughs of Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. An AB travel ticket is required which can be purchased from the bus driver at a cost of €2.40 and can be used for up to 2 hours on Berlin’s underground and overground rail network.
The X9 bus runs every 5 to 15 minutes and reaches Zoologisher Garten in 16 minutes, Kurfürstendamm in 12 minutes and Junfernheide in 6 mins. From these stations almost everywhere on the west side of Berlin including Charlottenburg and Schöneberg can be easily reached. An AB travel ticket is required which can be purchased from the bus driver at a cost of €2.40 and can be used for up to 2 hours on Berlin’s underground and overground rail network.
Depending on traffic and precise destination a taxi should take roughly 25 minutes to get to anywhere central and you should expect to pay around €25.
Getting to and from Schönefeld Airport
Train is definitely the best method of transport to travel to and from Schönefeld Airport. S-Bahn station Schönefeld is about a 5 minute walk from the terminal and from here trains depart every 10 minutes which embark on the roughly 40 minute journey into the centre of Berlin Mitte. An ABC travel ticket must be purchased (€3.10) from one of the many ticket machines at the station and validated before travel. Please consult the official website of the Berlin Transport Authority, here, for more detailed route information.
A taxi from Schönefeld Airport to the centre of Berlin will cost between €30 and €40 depending on the exact destination and amount of traffic and will take around 35 minutes.