Originally the main airport of East Berlin, Schonefeld Airport is now one of two airports serving Berlin. Although there are plans in place to upgrade the facilities and unite all the air traffic in one main airport, until that really happens Schonefeld Airport is here to stay. Here are a few tips on what to do at the airport, and how to get to and from central Berlin.
Schonefeld Airport. Image unicellular via Flickr
Schonefeld is slightly smaller than its companion in West Berlin, Tegel International Airport. It mainly handles budget airlines, such as Ryanair and Easyjet, as well as flights from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. There are four small terminals, although Terminal C doesn’t handle regular flights. Because of plans to eventually close the airport down, and move all the services over to the new Brandenburg Airport nearby, Schonefeld hasn’t been renovated for a while and looks and feels a bit worn down. Nonetheless, it’s functional and easy to get around.
There are a few cafes and restaurants in the airport, as well as a burger bar and, surprisingly, an Irish Pub. On the second floor, there is an observation deck. The airport has a policy of making as few public announcements as possible, so the terminal is fairly quiet.
The airport is connected to the city by the S-Bahn network, and has a train station five minutes’ walk away from the main terminal building. Although taking the S-Bahn into town seems to make the most sense, it is sometimes quicker to take the regional express trains, which have less stops on the way. Take RE7 or RB14, which get to Alexanderplatz in 20 minutes, or the Zoologischer Garten in 35 minutes. A single ticket costs just over 3 Euros, and you can purchase tickets from the machines in Terminal A, or from the railway station. You can also buy discount travelcards, group tickets or the Berlin Welcome card and start saving money.