Berlin Hbf

Berlin, (Germany)

Journeys from Berlin

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About the station

This guide to Berlin's main, central station, its hauptbahnhof, will take you through what to look out for when using the station to depart from or arrive in the German capital by train.
It also explains how to access other areas of the city from Berlin Hbf, how to transfer to and from both the new Brandenburg Airport and Potsdam by train -  and suggest convenient places to stay near the station.

Berlin Hauptbahnhof/Hbf definitely has the wow factor - but it can be easy to be intimidated when using the station for the first time, due to its huge scale.


The most casual of glances at a map of Germany, will reveal that Berlin is somewhat tucked away in the north-east corner of the country.
Therefore most other major cities in Germany are some distance from its capital.

But this is not a problem if you want to head to and from Berlin by train, as now there are now, not one, but two high speed rail  lines which converge on the city!
So all other major cities in Germany are connected to Berlin by ICE trains, on journeys which take no more than five hours.

If you would like help with planning a train journey to or from Berlin, or want to include the city on a European train travel itinerary, take a look at ShowMeTheJourney's new Concierge Service.


Five Things Worth knowing about Berlin Hbf:

(1) Some trains depart from gleis (platforms/tracks) above street level, while others use gleis (platforms/tracks) below ground, in what is often referred to as the 'tief' part of the station.

(2) Elevators (aufzugs) and escalators connect the multiple levels in the station, so Berlin Hbf is a step-free station.

(3) Berlin Hbf is located in the geographical centre of the city, but when it was constructed it was in a sparsely occupied area of Berlin, because the Berlin Wall passed through the area now occupied by the city's central railway station.
Therefore most of the key destinations in the city are some distance away from Berlin Hbf.

(4) The long distance trains to/from the city don't now call at the main station in West Berlin -  Zoologischer Garten, or at Alexanderplatz, the station in the heart of East Berlin.
So when heading to West Berlin from the west, the quickest option can be to change trains at Berlin Spandau station.
When heading to Alexanderplatz from the east, change trains at Ostkreuz/Berlin Ost.

(5) Like many other main city centre stations in Germany (the hauptbahnhofs) Berlin Hbf is a shopping mall that trains also happen to depart from and arrive at.
The three levels between the trains house numerous shops, restaurants and food/drink outlets.
So if you're following a holiday itinerary, Berlin Hbf is a very convenient location for picking up additional supplies at the pharmacy or clothing store.


What's Where in Berlin Hbf:

The station's excellent signposting will help you navigate the station, but this summary of where the key facilities are located should hopefully be useful too:
Berlin's Hauptbahnhof (Berlin's Central Station) is on five levels - from top to bottom they are:

(i) the location of gleis (platforms/tracks) 11 -16
All of the S-Bahn (local trains) use gleis (platforms/tracks) 15 and 16

(ii) The concourse below (one above street level) is the location of the main ticket desk and reservation office - the Reisezentrum.
The DB 1st class lounge, one of the Information desks at the station and some of the left luggage lockers are also located here.

(iii) The street level concourse has exits (ausgangs) at each end - both of which have taxi ranks.
The main departure board at the station is located here, as well as information desks, the car hire desks and the restrooms - with showers.

(iv) The concourse below street level is where the entrance to the U-Bahn (Metro) is located.
Other left luggage lockers are also on this concourse.

(v) The lowest level in the station is the location of gleis (platforms/tracks) 1 - 8.
This part of the station can be referred to as 'Berlin Hbf (tief)'.

1st Class Lounge
Bus Station
Car Hire
Information Desk
Left Luggage
Step Free
Taxi Rank
Terminus Station

Useful links

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Departing By Train from the main station in Berlin

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Arriving By Train at the main station in Berlin

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Our Pick of Guides to Berlin

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To Berlin Brandenburg Airport By Train:

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The Other Main Line Stations in Berlin

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Convenient Hotels/Hostels for Berlin Hbf

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To The Potsdam Palaces By Train from central Berlin

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Our General Guide to Using German Stations

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