How to Get From Berlin Schoenefeld Airport to the City Centre (and back again)

Most cheap flights to Berlin come into Berlin Schoenefeld Airport (SXF) . As compared with Tegel airport, Schoenefeld is a bit further out so getting there and back from central Berlin central takes a bit more time and effort.

Taxis from Schoenefeld Airport to Berlin

One option is obviously a taxi. But this is really expensive and a ride from Schoenefeld to the centre of Berlin will set you back a good €40 (depending on where you are going – a taxi from the airport to Kruzberg will be about €30. And it isn’t especially quick either. You should expect the journey to last about 30-45 minutes (give or take a bit depending on the traffic).

There are always plenty of taxis, so finding one is no problem. You’ll see them queued up outside the front of the airport terminal building.

Only about a quarter of Berlin’s taxi drivers speak English, but as long as you have an address or hotel name you’ll be fine. If you speak no German it might help to print out the hotel address, as your pronunciation may be completely unintelligible.

By train from Schoenefeld Airport to Berlin

The train from Berlin to Schoenefeld

Hard to go on the wrong one (though I have)

The very much cheaper option than a taxi is to use the train (Bahn in German). A ticket that will get you anywhere in Berlin will set you back a mere €2.80. Choose the ‘ABC’ single journey ticket (Einzelfahrschein). It is hard to beat that on price.

Now here is the top tip for getting to/ from the airport quickly. A lot of visitors make the mistake of jumping onto the S-Bahn when they arrive. Now it is true that all the guide books advise this because the S-Bahn departs every 10 minutes or so. But it is a slow service that stops all the time and can, if you are travelling late at night, easily take you an hour to get to the middle of Berlin. A far better, quicker and more comfortable option is to use the Regional trains.

So…. make sure you are taking an Express Train (RB7) rather than the SBahn (S9 or S45).

These Express trains run to and from central Berlin (Mitte) every half hour from 5am-11.30pm and take approx 25 min to/from Alexanderplatz; 30 min to/from Berlin Hauptbahnhof and 35 Min to/from Zoologischer Garten.There are two of these every hour (look for the RB7 or RB14) and, as of the time of writing, they leave the airport station at 25 minutes and 55 minutes past the hour. The trains are big and comfortable and run a far quicker service.

After trying both the regional and S-Bahn trains many, many times and having been stuck on a slow S-Bahn at close to midnight for well over an hour (with me cursing all the way) I now only use the regional trains. If it so happens that I clear security and all of that and only get to the station at 30 minutes past I still avoid the S-Bahn and just grab a beer in the underground snack bar at the station. It is still quicker for me to get to Alexanderplatz even with a 25 minute wait then it would be for me to jump on the S-Bahn.

And if you do find yourself on either the S9 or the S45 in error, don’t panic, you’ll make it in the end. The S9 runs every 20 minutes and if all goes smoothly,it will take you approx 40 min to/from Alexander Platz and 50 minutes to/from Zoo, while the S45 connects to the Ringbahn and also runs every 20 minutes.

Be aware that the airport itself is a 5 minute walk away from its train station.

Check out timetables, platform numbers and fare prices on the BVG website, which has a convenient English option as well as the option to plan your onward journey once you’ve arrived in the city centre: http://www.bvg.de

Either way, when getting from Schoenefeld Airport into town it is hard to beat the train, whichever one you use, on cost or convenience.

By Train from Berlin to Schoenefeld Airport

Getting to Schoenefeld airpot by train is also really quick and easy. The regional trains stop at all of the main train stations (including Alexanderplatz, Hauptbahnhof and Ostbahnhof).

They also go twice an hour and are easy to spot. Just look for the signs showing an airplane (see picture).

What time do the trains to Schoenefeld start?

The trains start really early in the morning on weekdays and run pretty much all the way through.

The first train starts at 4:42 on weekdays. They run a little less regularly on the weekend with the first train usually at about 5:42 (leaving from Alexanderplatz).

I’ve posted an indicative timetable of the regional train which runs to the airport on the maps and other useful info page.

 

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  1. Very helpful info!
    I have a flight out of Berlin-Schoenefeld at 7:10 AM. Could anyone tell me if the regional trains run in the early morning, in time for me to make that flight, or should I make other arrangements?

  2. Hi Fred
    You can catch trains out from 5:14 in morning (leaving Alexanderplatz) during weekdays. But it is best to check that they are still running at the BVG website.

  3. Jon,

    Does the Einzelfahrschein ticket also cost the same 2,80 Euros? or does it cost extra to take the reigonal train?

    Thanks,
    Jon

    • Hi

      You can use the same ticket on the regional train. There’s no extra charge for the quick ride.
      Enjoy your visit to Berlin and if you found this answer and site useful I’d be really thankful if you could give us a Google plus or facebook like.

      Thanks
      Jon

  4. Hi!
    I arrive at Schoenefeld Airport on New Years day and I’m staying in the Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof. The internet would suggest i get the train to Zoologischer Garten – is this right?
    Thank you
    Siobhan

    • Hi Siobhan
      That’s right. You take the RE7 train and it goes straight to Zoologischer Garten and the train ride should take about 30-35 minutes.

      Enjoy your holiday and expect to see lots of hung-over people after a wild new year’s eve party.

      Jon

  5. Hi Jon, great website! I have been looking on the BVG journey planner and most journeys suggest S9 trains or RB14 with little difference in times, I just wandered if the service has improved at all or the website is generous with its timings?

    Thanks for you help!

    Liam

  6. Hi, We are coming to Berlin on Thursday staying until Monday and will take the train that you suggested. Our Hotel is Victors Residenz Berlin Hotel Am Friedrichshain Berlin 10407. Any idea how we can get there from the main station. I was going to get a taxi but I would like to get there under my own steam and spend the money saved on things such as drink and presents. Thanks. We are leaving home on Wed so if you could reply by Wednesday afternoon that woud be ideal. Thanks. S

    • Hi Susan
      It is really easy for you to get there by public transport using Berlin’s great tram system. The journey will only take you 5-10 minutes from Alex.
      This is what you need to do.
      From Alexanderplatz you want to take a very short walk (basically into the main square) and then catch the M4 Tram going in the direction of Falkenberg. You then get off at Am Friedrichshain stop.
      The trams run every few minutes throughout the day.
      You can get more details on this tram’s route from the BVG website.

      Good luck and enjoy your visit.

  7. Hi there Jon,

    I am visiting Berlin on the 1st May to 4th May. I am arriving into Schoenefield Airport and I was wondering could you help me regarding the best way to get to my hotel by train? The hotel address is below.
    TRYP Berlin Mitte Hotel

    Address Chausseestr. 33, Mitte
    Berlin, 10115
    Germany

  8. Hi.
    We are coming to Berlin on Thursday. And want the train from Schoenefeld Airport to Berlin Mitte. I believe the clock will be about 10.30 A.M. We are staying at Wombat City Hostel, Alte Schönhauser strasse 2, 10119 Berlin.
    Any idea how we can get there from either Alexanderplatz; Berlin Hauptbahnhof or Zoologischer Gartenthe main station? Thanks

  9. Hi Jon,
    Your site has been very useful and although I have been to Berlin before, we are flying in for a concert and want to maximise our time.
    Thanks for the advise and I will recommend it to others heading to Berlin.
    kind regards
    Steve

  10. This is so helpful! I am staying in the Schoeneberg district (the gay bit), is there a bahn that runs straight to there?? Help! Thanks.

    • Hi
      Without knowing exactly which is the closest station to where you are staying I can’t help hugely, but the S-Bahn does run out in that direction and you can usually change to the U-bahn in places such as Zoo Station to get exactly where you are going.

  11. I’m delighted I came across your site and was wondering if you or any of your readers can give me some advice about recruitment in Germany. I’m working for a company that is looking to expand into Berlin and was wondering if anyone had any advice on the best places to advertise locally. We are looking for English speaking businessmanagers so any advice would be greatly appreciated. We’ve advertised on Linkedin and Monster.com but haven’t had much luck attracting the right applicants.

  12. hi in visiting Berlin on Saturday 21st December and wonder what train i should catch from schonfeld airport to the radisson blu hotel Karl Liebknecht Strasse 3, Berlin,
    thanks

  13. Hi, We will be arriving at Schonfeld Airport in 14th February 2016 at 17.05 and would be grateful if you could advise on what train/trains to get to get us to Ramada Plaza City Centre Berlin. Many thanks Ann Conway

  14. Pingback: How To Get From Schoenefeld To Alexanderplatz | How To Get

  15. We are reaching Schoenefeld Airport around 2300 and need to go to Hilton Berlin. What would be the best option, other than taking a taxi. Is it safe to travel in a train at that time of the night?
    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Avtar