Ready at last, Berlin’s €4 billion airport has opened its doors to passengers
Last week saw the long-awaited opening of Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport, the German capital’s travel hub that will replace the current Tegel and Schonefeld airports.
Lying south of the city, the new airport comprising three terminals and two runways became operational on 31 October 2020. It has capacity for 27 million passengers initially and will be the focus for all international and domestic flights coming into and leaving Berlin.
Schonefeld will be integrated into Berlin Brandenburg as Terminal 5 and is 8 minutes away by S-Bahn train, while Tegel operations will gradually transfer to Berlin Brandenburg before 8 November when Tegel is due to close.
With eight floors and a glass facade, Terminal 1 is the largest of the three terminals at Berlin Brandenburg. It hosts 118 check-in desks and 36 security lanes in departures with a further five for transit passengers located between the two runways.
Berlin’s new gateway to the world is located beside the A113 motorway, and so is easily accessible by car. Those that prefer to travel by rail can choose from several trains departing the airport for Berlin every hour. The new Airport Express service reaches the city’s central station in just 35 minutes, or S9 and S45 S-Bahn trains leave every 20 minutes and also stop at Terminal 5.
There are also direct rail connections to several alternative destinations in the state of Brandenburg, making it easy for clients to combine the city of Berlin with rural Brandenburg. As well as hourly regional trains to Potsdam (route RB22), the RE7 rail route takes visitors to the Baumkronenpfad tree top walk in Beelitz-Heilstatten, and the Flaming Skate in-line skating circuits. The nearest houseboat charter is 30 minutes away via a 734 bus to Zeuthen.
At a time when social distancing rules apply, Brandenburg is a wise destination choice for travellers seeking a safe holiday. With one third of the state taken up by nature reserves, there’s plenty of water, wide-open spaces and countryside for walking and cycling. Meanwhile, those wanting to stay in rural Brandenburg can take excursions to the city with ease. They can choose from golfing, shopping on Kurfürstendamm avenue, rafting on the Havel, cycling the Mauerweg (Berlin Wall Trail) or splashing around at the Tropical Islands family attraction to combine with city sights, such as the Brandenburg Gate.
Or, in Potsdam, clients can visit the Barberini Art Museum to see 34 paintings by Monet – the largest collection of the artist’s works outside of Paris – and explore the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam Unesco World Heritage Site. If clients are visiting before October 2021, the exhibition in Cecilienhof Palace to mark the 75th anniversary of the Potsdam Conference is also a top cultural recommendation.