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Berlin : Useful information - Facts & figures

This page offers tourist information about Berlin & Potsdam, telling you all you need to know for a stay in this city and in Germany.

Welcome to Potsdam - Airports & transfers Means of transport, bicycle, taxi in Potsdam Travelling in Germany : Useful Information Potsdam & Germany in figures Useful links to Potsdam

Welcome to Potsdam - Airports & transfers

Airport Tegel

Airport Tegel

The airport of the former West Berlin and currently the largest of the city. It is mainly used by major airlines. Transport connections: We recommend taking the bus 109 (17 minutes) to "S Charlottenburg/Gervinusstr." and then the regional train (RE1) or the S-Bahn (S7), the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) will be happy to inform you locally. For the taxi you expect approx. 60 € to Potsdam.
The Tegel Airport : www.berlin-airport.de

Guided introduction day from Berlin to Potsdam: We will pick you up at the airport by bus and guide you to your hotel in Berlin and Potsdam.

Airport Schönefeld

Airport schönefeld

This airport, situated just outside Berlin in South Eastern direction, was the East Berlin airport and today also is the preferred basis of budget airlines. Berlin and Brandenburg have long since been planning to transform it into a mega-airport and finally the project is on the way, works having begun in summer 2006, The opening is planned for the end of 2020. Transport connection: Transfer Schönefeld - Potsdam Hauptbahnhof: Departure hourly at 00:20 (13:20 14:20) with the regional train RB22 with a journey time of 50 minutes. Here is the timetable page. From the terminal to the S-Bahn station and DB-Bahnhof it is 10 minutes, plus the time to buy the ticket. Taxi to Potsdam approx. 70 €.
Der Airport Schönefeld : www.berlin-airport.de

Former Tempelhof Airport

The oldest airport of Berlin. The building dates from the times of Third Reich and still is the second biggest structure worldwide, after the Pentagon in Washington/U.S. During 1948 and ′49 when the Soviet army cut off West-Berlin by their blockade, it was the main airport of the air lift. As it lies only a few miles from the city centre, for a long time there have been plans to close it down. But the airport is still being used, especially by minor companies and for private jets. .
The future airport (end of 2020) : www.berlin-airport.de/en/ber
Berlin central station

Travelling by train

The railway is a good alternative to air planes, not only because you can enjoy the view of the lovely German countryside while travelling. German and foreign railway companies regularly offer train tickets at special conditions and at interesting package prices. The major stations are Hauptbahnhof (central), Ostbahnhof Spandau and Südkreuz.

Weblinks - Aviation

  • www.lufthansa.com
  • www.airfrance.fr
  • www.swiss.com
  • www.britishairways.com
  • www.americanairlines.de

Weblinks - By train

  • www.bahn.de
  • www.sncf.com
  • www.sbb.ch
  • www.belgiantrain.be
  • Berlin central station

Means of transport, bicycle, taxi in Potsdam

Means of transport Fahrrad Taxi potsdam

Means of transport

Potsdam is a relatively small city, at least for tourists who stay in the old town. Therefore it is better to walk. From the main station take bus 695 to Sanssouci Castle. Take bus 605 or tram 91 to Luisenplatz to visit the park before walking up the terraces to the castle (about 30 minutes). To get to Cecilienhof Castle, it is better to take the bus 603 from the Old Town, from the Platz der Einheit. You can buy the tickets from the driver or at the ticket machines (on the platform or in the tram), bring change. Take the ABC day ticket for €9,60 if you are in Berlin (don't forget to validate it).
Ubahn berlin

Public transport (BVG/DB)

The underground (U) : There are 9 underground lines (U-Bahn) circulating regularly and in short intervals. A line frequently used by tourists is U 2 because it takes you to the most interesting parts of the city: Ku’damm – Potsdamer Platz – Unter den Linden – Berlin-Mitte –Alexanderplatz – Prenzlauer Berg.
The city train (S) : These train lines (S-Bahn) mainly travel overground and you will enjoy the splendid view of the city when coming from Zoo Station and travelling direction Alexanderplatz. (lines S5, S7, S75 and S9). They also are a perfect connection to the suburbs and beautiful surroundings of Berlin. The airport of Schönefeld on the outskirts of Berlin is also directly connected to the city by train (S9, S45).
Metro Linien (M) : (Bus or tram) Not to be confounded with the Paris tube! This service was introduced in December, 2004 and stand for a few selected bus and streetcar lines that circulate more frequently than others (at least every 10 minutes) during hours. .
The bus lines : They operate throughout Berlin, but are less interesting for you, apart from lines 100 and 200, which are often used by tourists (from the zoo to Alexanderplatz).
The tram lines : The tram used to be the most important means of transportation, before World War II. Today, there are several important tram routes, but only in what formerly was East Berlin.
u bahn metro

Buy your transport tickets

The area covered by Berlin transport is divided into three zones A – B – C. The whole city is comprised within A and B. Travelling to Potsdam, Schönefeld and Sachenshausen requires a three-zone-ticket.

The single ticket AB is valid for two hours, but only for one way, and costs 2,90 € (ABC 3,60 €).

The day ticket AB costs 8,60 € per person (ABC 9,60). If you are travelling with a group, we recommend the group day ticket.

A "small group ticket" is valid for 5 people and costs 23,50 € (24,90 € for ABC).

If you stay 6 to 7 days, the weekly ticket is worth 34 € per person. With this ticket you can take one adult and up to 3 children (6-13 years) free of charge on weekends and weekdays from 8 p.m. onwards.

The tickets must be validated (stamped).

Further information is available on the website of the Berlin transport company : bvg.de - sbahn.berlin

Welcome Card

Welcome Card, the Pass for Berlin

With the Welcome Card you have free access to all public transport in Berlin and receive various discounts of up to 50% from 150 tourist partners (ships, museums, etc.). It is therefore particularly interesting if you want to take advantage of the many cultural and tourist offers. Here are the prices :

Berlin (tariff zone Berlin AB incl. Tegel airport) - valid for one adult and up to 3 children under 15 years
   • 48 hours for € 23 • 72 hours for € 33 • 5 days for € 46
Berlin + Potsdam (Berlin-Potsdam ABC, incl. Tegel and Schönefeld) valid for one adult and up to 3 children under 15 years.
   • 48 hours for € 28 • 72 hours für € 38 • 5 days for € 49
Berlin Welcome Card Museum Island, Zone Berlin AB, including free admission to the museums of the Museum Island
   • 72 hours for € 51 (ABC for € 55)

Order online or in Berlin (BVG or VisitBerlin). .
Take a bike

Berlin by bike

Berlin is a paradise for cyclists, not least because of its numerous cycle paths. But to move freely through this city full of greenery on historical paths is particularly attractive by bike.

Bike rental:
Take a bike - www.takeabike.de
Neustädtische Kirchstr. 8 - 10117 Berlin
+49/ (0)30. 20 65 47 30 (Neben Bahnhof Friedrichstraße)
Monday to Sunday from 9:30am to 7pm (December-Feburary: Closed)
Price: 4 hours 8 € - 24 hours 12,50 € - 2 days 9,50 € per day

Bike tour Berlin

Guided bike tour through Berlin & Potsdam

We offer you bike tours through Berlin, at your own pace and as long as you want (at least 4 hours). Ideal if you are with your family or in a small group (maximum 7-8 persons per guide). The meeting point is at Take a Bike or at the reception of your hotel. You can decide for a general discovery of the city or for the tour about the Berlin Wall and the daily life in the GDR (Prenzlauerberg).
More information about the city tours in Berlin or Potsdam here.

Bicycle rental in Potsdam
You can rent bicycles (reservation from 4-5 bicycles required or recommended) potsdam-per-pedales.de
Taxi berlin

Berlin taxis

Compared to other European capitals, taxi fares are relatively attractive, especially if you travel in small groups. You can order a large taxi (large capacity taxi / 7 people).

For a distance of less than 2 km, for 5 €, you can use the special tariff "short distance". Only with a taxi on the way (no telephone order or at a taxi stop). Tell the taxi driver "Kurzstrecke bitte". For several reasons we advise against using any commercial taxi platforms in Berlin.

All taxis have the same yellow-sandy color. There are many taxi stops, especially in front of hotels.

To order a taxi in Berlin :
+49 (0)30. 20 20 21 220 (english) oder 20 20 20 ou 26 10 26
The practical app TAXI BERLIN for Apple or Google Play
Funk Taxi Berlin

To order a taxi in Potsdam :
+49 (0)331. 29 29 29

Travelling in Germany : Useful Information

Foreign currencies and credit cards

Like most EU member states Germany introduced the euro (€) in January 2002 :
   • At Bahnhof Zoo from 8am to 9pm
   • At Airport Tegel from 7am to 9pm
   • At Airport Schönefeld from 7am to 10pm

Off course, you can also change in banks, but the exchange rate usually is better here. Credit cards are accepted in many places (VISA, Mastercard). But you should ask in advance whether it is possible to pay by card, just to make sure. Tip are not obligatory, but the standard is up to 10 maximum. Just round up the bill when paying.

Identity documents

Citizens of EU member states and several other countries only need a normal ID card. For many other nationalities a passport valid three months beyond the length of stay is sufficient. In any case, when planning your trip, you should ask at your local German consulate or embassy or at a travel agency about the visa requirements. Berlin still is rather safe, compared to other European cities. Anyway, one should always keep money, credit and ID card in separate places.
Tip: Take a photo of your identity cards with your mobile phone. Take special care of pick pockets in tourist areas such as train stations and airports. Ignore the people who want you to sign a "petition", of course it's all about money. The "Shell game" is not a game, but a fraudulent method of collaborative perpetrators, in which only the perpetrators win! Never stop at them.

Insurance

When staying in Europe, EU citizens (and Swiss) must have the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Citizens of other countries should thoroughly inquire at their health insurance about the necessary conditions to get their expenses for medical treatment in Germany reimbursed. If you are planning a long-term stay, you should consider an additional private insurance.

Important telephone numbers

   • Germany's international access code: +49
   • Ambulance/Fire Brigade: 112
   • Police : 110
   • Doctor Emergency Line: 31 00 31
   • Poisoning Emergency Line: 19 24 0
   • Dentist Emergency Line: 89 00 43 33

Embassies in Berlin

   • United States America: Pariser Platz, (030) 8 30 50
   • British Embassy: Wilhelmstraße 70, (030) 20 45 70
   • Embassy Canada: Leipziger Platz 17, (030) 20 31 20
   • Embassy France: Pariser Platz 5, (030) 590 03 90 00
   • Embassy Suisse: Otto-von Bismarck-Allee 4a, (030) 390 40 00
   • Embassy Belgium: Jägerstr. 52-53, (030) 206 420
   • Botschaft Österreich: Stauffenbergstrasse 1, (030) 20 28 7-0
   • Embassy Luxemburg: Klingelhöferstr. 7, (030) 263 95 70

Germany, Brandenburg & Potsdam by numbers

Potsdam by numbers

City :

Potsdam

Country :

Federal Republic of Germany

Federal State :

Brandenburg

Area :

188,61 km²

Elevation :

29-114 m.

Postal codes :

14401-14482

Population :
175.710 (2017) - 128.000 (1999!) - 143.000 (1988!)

Lord Mayor :

Mike SCHUBERT (SPD from 2018)

Parlement (City) :
Die Linke 14 - SPD 13 - CDU 9 - Die Grünen 7 - "Andere" 4 - BürgerBündnis 3 - AFD 3 - FDP 1 - PD 1 - BVB 1 / Total 56 (2014)

Official website :

www.potsdam.de



Guide Jean-Pierre Andreae

City guided tour in Potsdam

Jean-Pierre Andreae, professional guide, offers you a one-day guided tour of Potsdam, at your own pace and from your hotel.

The Federal State of Brandenburg by numbers

Federal State :

Brandenburg

State Capital :

Potsdam

Foundation :

1947 / 1990

languages :

German - (Low German, Sorbian)

Population :

2.504.000

Area :

29 654 km²

Density :

84 hab./km²

GDP Per capita :

27 675 € (Germany 39.477 €)

Unemployment :

6,5 % (01.2019) - ! 18,8 % (2003)

The largest cities :
Potsdam (175.000 inhabitants) - Cottbus (101.000) - Brandenburg an der Havel (71.900)- Frankfurt an der Oder (58 200) - Oanienburg (44.000)

Minister-President :

Dietmar WOIDKE (SPD)

Parlement (Land) :
SPD 30 - CDU 21 - Die Linke 17 - AFD 10 - Die Grünen 6 - + 4 / Total 88 (2014)

Oficial website :

www.brandenburg.de

The Federal Republic of Germany by numbers

Country :

Federal Republic of Germany (23. Mai 1949)

Capital :

Berlin since 3 october 1990

Area :

357 578 km²

Elevation :

0-2962 meter (Zugspitze)

Population :

83.000.000

Density :

232 inhabitants/km²

GDP Per capita :

39.477 € (Lux. 92.000 - Fr. 34.100 - Bul. 7.100 €)

unemployment :

4,9% (Bremen 9,7% - Bayern 2,8% - Berlin 7,7%)

Federal President :

Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) since 2017

Chancellor :

Angela MERKEL (CDU) since november 2005

Governing parties :

Coalition CDU-CSU/SPD

19. Bundestag (September 2017):
CDU/CSU 246 - SPD 152 - AFD 91 - FDP 80 - Die Linke 69 - Die Grünen 67 - Fraktionslos 4 / Total 709

Official website :

www.deutschland.de

www.bundestag.de

Germany by numbers

16 Federal States : (Inhabitants x 1000 & ranking largest states) :

   • North Rhine-Westphalia (17,91 inhab. / 4.)
   • Bavaria (12,99 / 1.)
   • Baden-Würtemberg (11,02 / 3.)
   • Lower Saxony (7,96 / 2.)
   • Hesse (6,24 / 7.)
   • Saxony (4,08 / 10.)
   • Rhineland-Palatinate (4,07 / 9.)
   • Berlin (3,61 / 14.)
   • Schleswig-Holstein (2,88 / 12.)
   • Brandenburg (2,50 / 5.)
   • Saxony-Anhalt (2,22 / 8.)
   • Thuringia (2,15 / 11.)
   • Hamburg (1,83 / 15.)
   • Mecklemburg-Vorpommern (1,61 / 6.)
   • Saarland (0,99 / 13.)
   • Bremen (0,68 / 16.)

The largest cities :

   • Berlin 3,48 million inhabitants
   • Hamburg 1,83 million inhabitants
   • Munich 1,53 million inhabitants
   • Cologne 1,08 million inhabitants
   • Frankfurt 0,74 million inhabitants

Berlin: Politics - Economy - Climate - Population

Rotes Rathaus

Politik

Berlin is one of 16 German federal states and consists of 12 districts (23 by 2000). The governing Governing Maire of Berlin is Michael Müller (SPD), the government is formed by a coalition of SPD (Social Democrats), the Greens (Grüne) and the Left (Links) elected in September 2016.

The Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany is Angela MERKEL. The new government quarter is mainly located in the Spreebogen, while the individual ministries are distributed throughout the city. The government is one of the most important employers in Berlin.

The hierarchical No. 1 is the Federal President with Frank-Walter Steinmeier since March 2017. He is elected by an assembly consisting of members of the Bundestag (709 in 2019) and an equal number of political and public representatives from the 16 federal states.

Economy

Berlin was the largest industrial centre in Germany until the beginning of Nazi rule in 1933. The reunification of the two Germans had a catastrophic effect on the nationalised industry of the GDR (many companies did not survive 9 November 1989). This made Berlin a city with a very high unemployment rate. However, Berlin is now slowly beginning to recover from these pressures. Berlin has become a tourist destination, and the number of overnight stays is growing steadily. The appearance of the city is constantly changing: new districts (around the main station or at the East Side Gallery), renovation of old historic buildings (Humboldt Forum/ Palace for 2020, the Museum Island with the master plan or the "Flussbad" project), construction of new underground lines (U5 for 2020/21) and new stations (2006 main station), new airport (2020 state 2010).
Berlin has become a tourist destination, and the number of overnight stays is growing steadily. The appearance of the city is constantly changing: new districts (around the main station or at the East Side Gallery), renovation of old historic buildings (Humboldt Forum/ Palace for 2020, the Museum Island with the master plan or the "Flussbad" project), construction of new underground lines (U5 for 2020/21) and new stations (2006 main station), new airport (2020 state 2010).

Not only the relocation of the government headquarters to Berlin and the growing tourism have made the city very attractive in the meantime, but also in the field of media, for example through the establishment of the European headquarters of Universal, MTV and other independent brands. The other companies closely associated with the city are Siemens, Bayer, Bombardier, Daimler-Benz, ABB, IBM, Coca Cola, Samsung, etc. Berlin is a metropolis that invites to study and research, thanks to the numerous universities (Free University and Humboldt University) and colleges; names of great personalities such as Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Heinrich Heine, Adelbert von Chamisso, Karl Marx or Kurt Tucholsky are associated with the older Humboldt University. Berlin is a metropolis in full upswing.

PIB per capita: 38 032 € (2017) - Unemployment rate: 7,6 % (12.2018)
Tourists per year (nights):
4 984 379 (2003) - 7 585 000 (2007) - 12 970 000 (2017)
Wetter berlin

Climate in Berlin

Berlin has a temperate climate, with Atlantic influences from the North West as well as continental influences from the East. During summer, the average temperature lies around 22-23°C (72°F), in winter around 2-3°C (35°F). Extreme heat in summer does not occur as often as in the South of Germany. Sometimes during winter, temperatures may fall down to –15°C at night. Anyway, you should not forget to take a pair of warm walking shoes if you plan to visit Berlin in winter, which is the ideal season to explore its diverse museums and cultural life. In summer, you will appreciate the many green oasis in the city and the lakes inviting you for a swim. The average rainfall is 580 mm per year, well balanced between the months.

On this website you can look up the exact time of sunrise and sunset in Berlin : www.sonnenuntergang.de

Geography & Population

Berlin covers an area of 892 sq. km., i.e. eight times the size of Paris or the equivalent of New York; the city stretches 38 km from north to south and 45 m from west to east. Around the year1920, Berlin was the biggest city of the world! The city's highest elevation is Müggelberg "mountain" of 115 m and, since 1969, its tallest building is the Television Tower with 368 m. Enjoy the view from its restaurant and platform, situated at 203 m, that revolves around its axis every 30 minutes. Berlin lies at an average level of 64 m; the city centre at a level of only 32 m above sea level.

LATitude 52° 31' 00"
LONgitude 13° 23' 40"

Berlin is a city of lakes, rives and canals. River Spree crosses through the city from east to west. The biggest lake is "Müggelsee" in the east of the city. Abundance of water is one of the reasons why Berlin only in 1857 got a public water supply and distribution system. There are several beaches and bathing places if you feel like a swim. The Polish border lies at a distance of 70 km from Berlin.

The current population (12/2017) of Berlin is 3.613.495. Despite this elevated number (2nd biggest city in the EU), this is still one million less than before WW II. 2.3 million live in the western part of the city and 1.1 in the eastern districts. 13.2% of the population are of non-German nationality. 23,000 births per year (Prenzlauer Berg borough had the highest birth rate in Germany) stand for a young city which, of course is partly due to the numerous colleges and universities. No major demographic changes are expected in the coming years.

Opening Hours of the Berlin Shops

Compared to other federal states, Berlin has relatively generous laws for shop opening hours. In recent years, shops could be opened freely whenever they wanted, even at night from Monday to Saturday. Department stores (KaDeWe, Galerie, Lafayette) usually open at 10 am and grocery stores at 8 am. In the evening the shops are usually closed at 8 pm or 9 pm. In residential areas some supermarkets (REWE, EDEKA) can be open until 11-12pm.

Shopping Sunday

As a rule, there are 10 Sundays a year on which the shops are open from about 1pm to 8pm, the dates are set gradually by the Senate. These openings are often related to major events (Berlinale, Marthon, Advent Sunday, etc.).

Useful links to Potsdam, Berlin & Germany

Links to Berlin history and tourism

   • Wikipedia - The free Internet encyclopedia - BePotsrlin
   • Preußen Chronik - All about Prussia and the Hohenzollern from the RBB
   • Chronik der Wende - The fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification online
   • Potsdam.de - Official website of the city of Potsdam
   • Info-Potsdam - Information and history of Potsdam
   • Senatsverwaltung - Department for Urban Development and Housing
   • Berlin - The internet presence of the city of Berlin
   • Berlin en ligne - A very complete and practical site about Berlin (Fr)

Politics and administration

   • Potsdam.de - Official website of the city of Potsdam
   • Info-Potsdam - Information and history of Potsdam
   • Bundesregierung - The Internet Presence of the Federal Government
   • Bundestag - The website of the German Bundestag (Registration)

Transport - Railway and airlines

   • BVG - Berlin public transport
   • DB - Deutsche Bahn
   • SNCF - The French State Railways
   • CFF/SBB - Swiss Federal Railways
   • SNCB - The Belgian Railway
   • Lufthansa - Best Airline in Europe (Awards 2019)
   • britishairways.com - British Airways
   • americanairlines.de - American Airlines

Miscellaneous

   • Potsdamtourismus.de - Potsdam Marketing und Service GmbH

LatLon-Potsdam offers you more useful links and information on these websites: Culture & Tips - Highlights 2021 - Sightseeing - Museums - Hotels & restaurants Potsdam - Hotels in Berlin - Potsdam City Tours
Guided tours in Potsdam

The guided tours with Jean-Pierre Andreae

Your private guide will give you good tips during the personalised sightseeing tour for you and your family in Potsdam.

A guided tour of Potsdam in English is the best way to understand and appreciate a city with its Prussian past and many palaces. Contact me for a personalized guided tour.

Jean-Pierre Andreae also offers you personalised and private guided tours of Berlin as well as thematic guided tours. For groups and travel agencies, it offers various services and guided tours adapted to your needs.

Booking a guided tour

By email to andreae@premiumguideberlin.com or by telephone +49 (0)151 25 37 37 37