The Berlin bus system is punctual and efficient, as you would expect! The yellow buses are obviously slower than the trains, but travelling by bus in Berlin is sometimes the best way to get around, whether to enjoy the view or as a simple way to get places.
Using Buses in Berlin
Berlin’s yellow buses. Image sludgegulper, via Flickr
There are four types of Berlin bus: normal buses, metro buses, express buses and night buses. Like all the other public transport in Berlin, the city is divided into three zones, and the same ticket can be used on buses, U-Bahn, S-Bahn and trams. There are a number of different tickets you can buy, and depending on how often you plan to be travelling you can buy a single ticket (which can be used repeatedly for up to two hours); a four-ride ticket; or a daily, weekly or monthly travelcard. Unlike the tram and trains, you don’t purchase your ticket or validate it in a machine, rather, you just show your ticket to the driver, or buy it as you get on the bus.
The normal buses are numbered 100 to 399, and in the center of town, stop at every stop automatically. They run throughout the day, and at night are replaced by the night buses along some of the routes. The most famous and useful bus for visitors is Bus 100, which runs from the Alexanderplatz to the Berlin Zoo. If you have a day travelcard, you can use it to get between the most popular sites in Berlin, such as Museum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, the Tiergarten and the shopping street, Kurfürstendamm. You can get on and off the bus, or stay on and watch from the top of the double-decker bus. Bus 200 follows a similar route, except for driving down the southern part of the Tiergarten instead of the north.
The Metro buses are bigger, faster buses running every ten minutes, 24 hours a day. There are seventeen of these, as well as thirteen Express bus routes which have fewer stops, and therefore get places faster. The most useful Express buses in Berlin are probably X9 and TXL, which run from Tegel Airport to the Berlin Zoo and to Alexanderplatz, respectively.
Night Buses in Berlin
The night buses in Berlin are very useful if you’re out enjoying the nightlife in Berlin until the early hours of the morning. You’ll see a variety of people up there on the night bus, from sleepy partygoers to workers getting ready for early-morning shifts at work. The buses run between around 1am and 5am. Night buses N1 to N9 more-or-less follow the U-Bahn routes that shut down overnight. The night bus costs the same as a bus in the day.
Also, remember that the Metro buses run 24 hours a day.