Getting there

By air

For many travellers, flying is the quickest and often the cheapest way to get to Berlin and in recent years traffic from low-cost carriers such as EasyJet and RyanAir has led to a veritable boom in air travel. The city has two airports, the most remote of which - Schönefeld - is only around 30 minutes by train from the centre. Berlin's other airport, Tegel, is much closer to the western city center but is due to close in 2012.

By train

Once the heart of the German Empire's railway network, Berlin's rail connections are beginning to recover from decades of war and division. A new high speed-line to the west has cut travel times from western Germany radically - the fasted link from Frankfurt takes just 3.5 hours - and a new tunnel through the city centre, opened in May 2006, has further reduced journey times especially from the north and south.

(And for those travelling from Novosibirsk in the heart of Russia, there's a weekly train which takes just four days to reach Berlin.)

By car

Berlin is accessible by Autobahn from all directions, although most routes are busy and often subject to long tailbacks, despite an extensive programme of repair and widening since renunification.

Once you're in Berlin you'll notice it's a comparatively traffic jam-free city with wide roads and an expanding urban motorway network. Around half of all Berlin households do not own a car, so outside of the most central areas there's even lots of parking space. Beware though that where parking is at a premium, various charging schemes are in place and you'll need to get a ticket from the nearest parking meter.