The Berlin tram tracks system sprawls out through the city, particularly throughout East Berlin, and nicely complements the buses, U-Bahn and S-Bahn. The Berlin tram system is one of the oldest and largest in the world, and are often a good way of getting around in Berlin.
Using the Tram in Berlin
Berlin’s bright yellow trams. Image y Ian YVR, via Flickr
The Berlin tram network is made up of 22 lines, all but two in East Berlin, and a total of 430km of tram tracks throughout the city. The tracks extend fairly far out to the remote parts of the city, and even within the center of the city, are a somewhat slower way of traveling than the U- or S-Bahn. The trams use the same zone and ticketing system as the other transport networks, dividing the city into zones A, B, and C (most tourists only require zones A and B); and providing a number of different ticket options – single ride, day pass, week pass, and small-group pass (up to 5 people for a full day). You can buy the tickets from machines at the tram stops, and you have to validate the ticket the first time you use, by stamping it in one of the validating machines located at the station or on the tram. Although nobody checks your ticket, if you don’t have a valid ticket when an undercover inspector demands one, you’ll be fined 40 Euro.
Nine of the tram lines , the ones with M in front of their number, are Metro lines which run 24 hours a day. The other trams stop running at around 1am, and in some cases are replaced by night buses. The tram has stops fairly frequently along its lines, but won’t stop if nobody requests the stop. Especially at night, when there are less people using the trams, you should press the button on the pole or on the ceiling next to your seat, or press the button by the door. If you want to plan your route ahead of time, try to get an extended transport map, available at the bigger railway stations, or check the official online journey planner .
The Tram as an Attraction
The National Geographic recently placed Berlin’s Tram Line 68 in their list of Top Ten tram rides in the world, noting the ride to the picturesque Alt-Schmöckwitz village on the edge of the city. The old town of Köpenick, which has now been incorporated into the city of Berlin, is also a nice destination to travel to by tram. In general, riding the tram is a better way to enjoy the scenery than other modes of transport, although riding through long stretches of East German housing projects aren’t necessarily the prettiest parts of the city to see.