This post will show you how to use the TXL Bus to get from Tegel Airport to destinations in Berlin such as Hauptbahnhof Central Station and Alexanderplatz.
Unfortunately, Tegel Airport, located a few miles northwest of central Berlin, has no direct connections to the U-Bahn or S-Bahn trains.
You might be asking yourself: What exactly is U-Bahn and S-Bahn?
U-Bahn, short for Untergrundbahn, is simply an underground railway or subway. The S-Bahn, short for Schnellbahn, is simply an overground or fast local train. These trains will be covered in future posts.
Fortunately, passengers can use another option to reach their destination. The TXL (Tegal Aiport) Bus. The TXL Bus is a quick and cheap option for passengers wanting to reach destinations across Berlin.
As you can see from the chart above, from the airport, you can reach Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the main railway station, in about 22 minutes. It takes about 37 minutes to reach Alexanderplatz. At both stations, you can transfer to the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, and long distance ICE and IC trains .
This guide will show you how to find the TXL Bus stop at the airport, how to purchase tickets, and how to travel on the bus like a pro.
After retrieving my bags and passing through customs and immigration, I entered the arrivals hall of Terminal E. This is where my journey began.
If you are in another terminal, follow the signs towards the bus stops and Terminal E.
After you pass through customs and immigration and exit into the arrivals hall, look to your left for the signs pointing towards Haupthalle (Main Hall), Terminals A-D, and the bus icon.
You have two options: using the elevator or taking the stairs.
If you need to use an elevator, exit the arrivals hall through these two doors towards Haupthalle (Main Hall), Terminals A-D, and the bus icon. After you pass through these doors, take the elevator up towards the Main Hall.
Since there was a line waiting for the elevator, I decided to take the stairs. If you have heavy luggage, this might not be a good option.
Follow these stairs up towards Haupthalle (Main Hall), Terminals A-D, and the bus icon.
Once you reach the top of the stairs, turn right. You are now inside the Main Hall.
After turning right, follow the signs and walk slightly to the right towards the exit for Terminal D and the bus icon.
If you need cash, specially Euro, then you will find an ATM machine near the exit towards Terminal D and the bus icon.
Since you need smaller bills for the bus fare, I recommend taking out small bills from the ATM. Otherwise, you will have to get change inside the Main Hall or purchase something to get smaller bills and coins.
Continue towards the exit and leave the Main Hall.
Once you exit the building, turn left and you will find the airport bus stop.
If you want to find the TXL Bus, head towards the Route 2 stop.
Look up for the signs indicating the stop numbers.
The stop you want is for Route 2 (TXL Flughafen Tegel S+U Alexanderpl. via Hauptbahnhof). S+U indicates that the bus stops at Berlin Alexanderplatz Station with connections to the S-Bahn and U-Bahn.
Now look to your left to find the automated ticket vending machines.
Using the automated ticket vending machines to purchase TXL Bus tickets
To purchase your tickets for the bus, use these machines.
If there is a line waiting to buy tickets at this machine, there are more machines near the entrance of the airport back into the main hall.
If you don’t know how to read German, then you can select your language. Other than German, language options included English, French, Polish, Spanish, and Turkish.
In my case, and probably in your case, you will probably select English.
Tegel Airport falls within zone B while central Berlin falls within zone A. If you will be heading to central Berlin, then you should select the Zone AB ticket.
I selected a single ticket (Einzelfahrschein) for Zone AB. This single journey ticket was good for travel in one direction on the bus, S-Bahn, and U-Bahn, connections included, up to 2 hours in Zone AB. In those 2 hours, you cannot head back in the direction of the airport.
A few other ticket options:
If you know you will be using public transportation in Berlin multiple times within the next 24 hours, then you can choose the option for a day ticket. A day ticket cost 7 Euros and is good from the day of validation until 3:00AM the next day.
If you need to travel up to 6 stops on the bus only, then you can choose a short distance ticket (Kurzstrecke) for 1,70 Euros. Connections are not allowed. If you need to connect, you will need to purchase a new ticket at your connection destination.
Select the number of tickets you need (1-4) or more.
Select buy now.
A one-way adult fare on the TXL Bus was 2,70 Euros, EUR, or €.
If you decided to purchase a day ticket (7 Euros) or short trip ticket (1,70 Euros), then you will pay accordingly at this point.
You will receive change on your purchase as long as you make your purchase using coins (5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent, 1€, 2€) or banknotes (5€ and 10€).
International credit cards and ATM cards did not work for me. They may or may not work in your situation.
Your ticket is now being printed.
Your ticket for the TXL Bus and any change will drop into this tray underneath the screen.
With ticket in hand, it was now time to validate my ticket. You must validate your ticket before boarding the bus. You can face fines if you fail to validate your ticket before boarding.
To validate your ticket, insert your ticket into the validation machine located to the right of the automated ticket machine.
The validation machine will place a time stamp on your ticket.
If you look closely at the top of your ticket, you should now see a time stamp.
With my ticket now validated, I was ready to board the TXL Bus into Berlin.
Boarding the TXL Bus
As the title states, it was now time to board the bus.
Double check that you are at the Route 2 stop. On the front and the sides of the bus you should be able to see “TXL S+U Alexanderpl. via Hauptbahnhof”. If you are expecting the TXL Bus and you do not see this information, then do not board the bus.
Since many passengers use the TXL Bus, these buses fill up quickly, especially with a lot of luggage. If you are not in a rush or the bus looks full, then I highly recommend that you wait for the next bus to arrive. Since the TXL Bus departs every 7 minutes, it’s better to wait for the next bus so you can grab a seat.
If you forget to validate your ticket at purchase, then you can do it on board the TXL Bus using one of the two validation machines near each door.
Once you are on board the bus, you can take a seat or stand if you have large luggage or if the bus is full. Expect the bus to be quite full when first departing the airport. As the bus makes its way through the city, more space should free up.
The next stop for the bus was listed on a small information screen towards the front of the bus. My stop was for Spandauer Str./Marienkirche as you can see listed.
When you see your bus stop listed, press the Stop button found in many locations around the bus.
When the bus comes to a complete stop, collecting your belongings and exit the bus.
Welcome to Berlin.