Berlin’s largest airport, Tegel is located already in the city and is only a short U-Bahn ride from the center. Berlin Schönefeld, on the other hand, is the second largest airport in Berlin, It mainly hosts low fare/second tier airlines that offer cheap domestic and international flights within Europe. As a result of the daily large amount of passengers traveling through SXF, the airport offers a wide variety of transportation means to the city center of Berlin.
Although Schönefeld airport taxis are the most convenient option, a sophisticated network of buses and railways are also offered as a reliable alternative heading to most central stations and districts of the city.
Depending on the choice of transportation the time required to reach the heart of Berlin can range from 30 to 60 minutes. Let’s look at the means of transportation a bit more closely.
The taxis at Schönefeld Airport are available at ranks all through the day. The vehicles are easily recognized by their creamy white/beige color as well as clearly illuminated by yellow/black roof signs. Due to the chaotic traffic conditions during rush hours at Schönefeld Airport, travelers might need to wait 5 to 15 minutes for an available vehicle. Although taking a taxi from Schönefeld airport is considered to be the safest way of traveling to the centre of Berlin, the ride will usually take more than 40 minutes because of the traffic along a 49 EUR tariff. In order to avoid queue lines taxi rides can be booked along with the plane ticket!
Berlin's Schönefeld Airport offers a wide range of day and night buses to accommodate all travelers. Although their routes are slightly different, all of the final destinations fall within the district of downtown Berlin. The fastest of the buses is the X7 express which is available every 10 minutes except a 4 hour stop from 1.15 a.m. to 5.30 a.m. The 163 and 171 are the least preferred options, since they will make multiple stops before reaching the centre of the city, traveling 45 to 55 minutes depending on traffic. Finally, the N60 and N7 buses will take around 30 minutes to reach their respective destinations. Since Schönefeld Airport is located in the outer most zone of Berlin (zone C), the public transit tickets cost 3.40 EUR and 2.50 EUR the reduced available for kids aging 6 to 14. Tickets can be purchased from machines within the airport or the tickets office in the main terminal. All bus stations at Schönefeld Airport are located right outside terminal A and B. You can check the bus schedule here. Generally, bus is not the most comfortable choice of transportation to the city center as personal belongings are always exposed and frequent stops can become uncomfortable.
Berlin’s railway system is a very efficient mean of transportation. Plus, the train station is just a five-minute walk from the airport, via an enclosed walkway. To get to the city center from the Schönefeld Airport there are two options. One could take the S9, on the S-Bahn local railway which runs every 5-20 minutes, depending on the time day, with a duration of 40 minutes. The other option is the Airport express trains: RE7 and RB14, a regional railway. The Airport Express is the easiest and most comfortable way to travel. This train ride is just 30 minutes, but the train only passes twice per hour. A one-way ticket to the city-center costs 3.40 EUR, regardless of the train you choose. Trains are a very efficient way to get to the city center of Berlin from Schönefeld airport! Check the train schedule here.
As everywhere else, you can also book a transfer. The cost will depend on the type of venicle you choose starting at 27 EUR for a bus and 42 EUR for a car.