I'm going to stay 2 nights in Berlin. Since I have no experience with German language neither with subways, I'm afraid to be lost. Also (believe me, is true) I don't have a smart-phone (with Google maps, Internet and so on).

I'll arrive at Berlin HBF and my hotel is near Deutsche Oper.

So, I'd like to buy a ticket to use in Berlin for the whole day or maybe for 2 or 3 days.

In this way I don't need to worry if I take the wrong subway or train or bus.

I'd like to use this ticket to go (if possible) from anywhere to anywhere (in the A or B area, if I well understood the notion of areas in Berlin).

Is there this kind of ticket? How it is called? Can I buy it at HBF?

And the most important: should I validate any time I enter in the transport or only the first time?

4 Answers 4


You can find some good information on all the possible Berlin public transport tickets on their English language website here. They have a few different short time-period based tickets, which include various tourist discounts. The discounts may or may not be of interest.

Otherwise, you can get a day ticket (Tagesticket) for the AB zones for €6.90. That'll be valid on the day that you stamp it, and until 3am the day after. For a 2 day stay, buy two of those from the ticket machine, stamp the first one on day 1, and the second on day 2. (There's also a weekly AB ticket for about 30 euros, valid for 7 days, but that's enough more that two daily tickets seems better. To go a very long way out, you'd need an ABC ticket for €7.40 a day - zone and route map here)

The ticket machines have an option to switch into English on them, and are fairly helpful.

Otherwise, it's fairly easy to navigate Berlin without knowing German. Many of the announcements are in English (though shorter), and a fair number of signs are. About the only time you'll have problems is during disruptions, but then just look lost and ask around and someone friendly will translate / help!

  • 1
    (+1) Announcements during disruptions are tough. In German of course but also blazingly fast, with poor sound and often a strong Berlin accent.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 5, 2015 at 19:32
  • 7 euros!? Nice. Not so costly. Also, thanks for the link. There should be some main U line for the main tourist places, I guess. I'm studying the map.
    – Sigur
    Jun 5, 2015 at 19:37
  • U-Bahn and S-Bahn should cover the main sights you want. The 100 and 200 bus are handy as a cheap-but-mostly-effective tour bus!
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 5, 2015 at 20:19
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    @Gagravarr: Add the information that the outer zones can be used with only 7.40 € (the region to use is ABC) and the German name for the day ticket is "Tagesticket". No use to build an own answer for that Jun 7, 2015 at 0:51
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    @Sigur Yes. You can use any public transportation including S-Bahn,bus and U-Bahn inside the region. U-Bahn (U) is like a small train on two rails, but it moves above the ground (bridges), on the ground (road) and underground, so calling it subway is a bit misleading. The U-Bahn connects stations 100-300 m apart. The S-Bahn (S) is like a local train, moves fast (over 100 kph) and is disconnected from the roads by bridges. It is ideal to get fast from A to B and it stops every km or so. Jun 17, 2015 at 17:59

I have not been to Berlin but a short google search did get me a page about a travel pass that also gives free entry to some museums, with a page in English. The site gives the option to buy online, as well as telling you where you can buy the pass. I can not help you whether you need to activate the pass, but when you first enter any public transport hold it in your hand and look around with a question in your eyes and someone will tell you what to do. (And maybe the site or the pass will tell you. And likely in English as well, as it is aimed at tourists.)

Do not worry about not speaking German, most locals will speak some English and many of them will be fluent. And all but the most hurried will help you out when you do find yourself stuck. And even when you happen to find one of the few people who does not speak English at all, show a piece of paper with where you want to go (like a map or a leaflet of a museum) and they will point at where you need to go.

  • Ow, that site you post is interesting. I'll spent some time reading almost everything. Thanks.
    – Sigur
    Jun 5, 2015 at 19:23

You'll find that in Berlin especially you won't be asked for your ticket whenever you board your bus or U-Bahn train. I wasn't asked for a ticket at any point, although it is polite to show it to your driver if you are boarding your bus at the front.

Inspectors are often disguised though, on my U-Bahn to the airport the inspectors unzipped their jackets to reveal ID tags and started asking for tickets in the middle of the carriage. It was all rather dramatic.

An AB ticket is probably all you need, I had a five day ABC ticket and allowed me on pretty much all public transport throughout Berlin - Bus, train, S-Bahn. Getting around Berlin is easy, most hotels will offer you a travel map and train lines/bus routes are often marked on there.

Most Germans speak English, and there are a lot of signs in English. I never felt lost and I travelled alone.

Do note: Always remember to stamp your ticket after you have purchased it. There are stamp machines on the trains and buses, if you don't stamp your ticket it will not be valid and inspectors will charge you a penalty. You only need to stamp it once for it to be valid (not every time you get on a bus/train).

  • "It was all rather dramatic." - shouldn't be, everyone is used to it. Though you say it was to the airport, so maybe you had a higher than average percentage of foreigners. (which could also be why they decided to check that particular train) Feb 14, 2020 at 16:03

Berlin also has the Hop on Hop off sightseeing bus tours, which is a good way to get to the main tourist attractions without getting lost for not a lot of money. We found subways are great, but you don't see much.

  • 3
    Can you add some details to your answer?
    – VMAtm
    Jun 8, 2015 at 12:37

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