Driving to Berlin is a good choice for those coming from other cities in Germany or mainland Europe. The highways in Germany are wide and have no speed limit, and Berlin is fairly well signposted. However, you should be aware of a few things before you set out driving to Berlin.
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First, the Autobahn. Although most Autobahn highways famously don’t have a speed limit, some do. Make sure you pay attention to the signs on the road, because in places where the speed limit is posted, it is rigorously enforced, even with foreigners. Also, be careful when driving at top speeds, and don’t drive faster than you feel is safe. A good guestimate during the day is 130 kph (80 mph), depending on the conditions. Holding cellphones, speeding, and driving after drinking alcohol are all forbidden, and again, there is a visible police presence enforcing these laws.
Driving to Berlin
Once you get close to Berlin, you’ll have to navigate towards the center. Berlin’s highways can get congested, so it’s better to stay on main roads as long as possible, until you need to turn off. There are two main ringroads around Berlin: the A10 on the outer city limits, and the A100 around the center of the city. Driving across the city from the east to west, or vice versa, you should stick to the big roads, such as Unter den Linden and Strasse des 17 Juni, for example. Watch out for cyclists as you drive through Berlin – they’re everywhere.
Low Emission Zone
Berlin has recently declared a low-emission Green Zone in the center of the city. In practice, this means that all cars have to comply with anti-pollution standards and have a green sticker to prove it. If your car is fairly new, then all you need is the sticker, known as Umweltplakette. You can buy it in a number of shops around Berlin, ask your hotel to arrange one for you (contact them well in advance), or order it online.
It’s worth pointing out that Berlin is very conscious of the law, and if you do anything wrong you will be told so by other bossy drivers, in the best case, and be fined by the police in the worst case.