Travel Information

General Information

Timezone

Germany is on Central European Time: One hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Money

ATMs are found throughout the centre of Berlin and are the most convenient way of obtaining cash. You will normally be charged a fee for withdrawing cash, but the exchange rate is usually good. The use of credit cards is not as prevalent as some other countries (notably the United States). It is therefore wise to always carry sufficent cash to meet most needs.

Foreign currency and travellers' cheques can be exchanged in most banks. "Wechselstuben" (Bureaux de Change) will be open outside normal banking hours and give better rates than banks, where changing money often involves long queues.

Postal Services

Most post offices (simply Post in German) are open from 8am to 6pm Monday thru Friday, and 8am to 1pm Saturday. For non-local mail use the "Andere Richtungen" slot in postboxes. Letters up to 20g (7oz) to anywhere in Germany and the EU need 0.55 cents in postage. Postcards require 0.45 cents. For anywhere outside the EU a 20g airmail letter costs 1.55 euro, a postcard 1 euro.

Telephone

English speaking operator-services can be obtained by calling 11837

Climate

The average temperature in the beginning of June ranges from 22-24 degrees Celsius. This Spring has been quite beautiful, but evenings can be a little cold (a jacket or sweater can be a good idea). Rain is a possibility (it's Spring afterall) but we remain optimistic that this won't occur for the four days of the meeting.

Travelling in Berlin

To and From the Airport

Tegel airport is located in the northwest of Berlin. If you arrive here you might want to take the TXL bus, which waits in front of the airport. The TXL is a kind of airport shuttle, running frequently, that brings you to the city-centre and back to the airport.

Schönefeld airport is located in the southeast of Berlin. If you arrive here you might want to take the S9 (one of the S-Bahn lines — one of the two public transport train systems in Berlin) and can be found at the nearby S-Bahn trainstation. When you leave from Schönefeld Airport you also take the S9 from the city back to the airport.

To plan your travel-itinery once you landed, please check on www.berliner-stadtplan.com where your hostel or hotel is located and then use www.bvg.de to plan your travel itinery to get there quick and safe. While travelling you might want to use the public-transportation map, which gives you a pretty clear overview of where which trains go. You can download it here.

Public Transportation in Berlin

There’re four ways to travel: Bus (sometimes also called metrobus), S-Bahn (runs mostly above ground and can be recognized by a white S on green circle), U-Bahn (runs mostly underground and can be recognized by white U on blue background), and Tram.

Usually you can get around pretty well using only the S- and U-Bahn. But to find out which lines to use when you want to go somewhere specific, again use the www.berliner-stadtplan.com and www.bvg.de websites to help find your way.

Ticket-Prices: Inside Berlin (Districts A and B — which is all you'll most likely need) you can either buy a single ticket (adult AB) which is 2.10 euros and lasts for two hours. Alternatively you can buy an all-day-ticket, which costs around 5.40 euros. With those tickets you can use all public transportation (S-Bahn, U-Bahn and buses).

After you bought your tickets at the ticket-automat — which can be found on any S- and U-Bahnstation, or on a bus buy directly from the driver — you have to stamp them to make them valid. This can be done by placing them in the funny red boxes on every train station (or on the bus). The fine for riding without a ticket is 40 euros.

On the weekend, beginning Friday-night and ending Sunday night 1am most public transportation lines will run 24 hours with 15 or 20 minutes between the trains at night. During the week trains, buses and trams will stop running at 1am at the latest and start running again 4am earliest. Check the BVG.de Website to find out about frequency and duration.

Taxis

Taxis are plentiful and cheap in Berlin. The city itself is relatively small. So don't be afraid of grabbing a cab to get somewhere fast or to get back to your hotel after a night of socializing.

The basic fee just for getting in any cabin Berlin is 3 euros. For a trip of about 10km you will pay about 15 euro total (this would be equivalent of going from the Academy to say Kreuzberg). If you want to go less than 3km you should tell the driver “Kurzstrecke” as you enter (which basically means short distance) and you won’t have to pay more than 3 euros for the ride. But don’t forget to say this as you enter and not at the end of the journey.


Taxi-Ruf (24hours): +49-(0)30-210101 [they also take Visa and Creditcards]

Cab-Call: +49-(0)30-261026

Taxi Funk: +49-(0)30-443322

City-Funk: +49-(0)30-21 02 02

 

In Case of Difficulties

Berliners are friendly and tolerant (most even talk English) so it's easy to find help and hard to get lost. The city itself is safe to walk at night (though like all cities it has it's more dangerous spots). Generally with a little common sense it would be difficult to get into trouble.

In case anything does goes wrong you can call:

Police: 112
Emergency-calls and Fire-department: 110