When using their public transportation system, it’s important to note there is a process. You’ll see ticket machines that look like the one to the left. Don’t worry, you can change the language to English or whichever on you’re most comfortable with.
Most of Berlin resides in the AB zone but as you can see on the right, there are a few areas that are in the C zone. If the ticket controllers enter the train and check for tickets and you have the wrong ticket, you will get pulled off the train at the next stop in front of everyone and fined. This is a promise. Make sure you understand the zone you’re going to.
With that being said, you’ll see a few options for buying tickets such as a
- Short ticket (this is used if you’re traveling up to 4 stops)
- One-time ticket
- Day pass
- Weekly pass
- Monthly pass
Once you decide on the pass you want, you’ll need to stamp it at a machine that looks like the one below.
If you don’t and the controllers check the tickets, again, you’ll be pulled off the train and fined. If you follow the rules you’ll be fine. It’s easy to be in a rush so you don’t miss your train and forget to stamp the ticket, but that can be a costly 60EUR fine which can put a dent in your travel money if you’re unprepared.
However, there are apps that make the ticket buying experience much easier. One of them is the BVG app. It’s in English and easy to navigate. That’s the app I use and I’ve never had a problem. When the controllers come around, you’ll show them your screen which looks like this.
When in doubt, you can always ask someone nearby. Most speak English but it’s best to start by saying “entschuldigung (pronounced “en-schul-dee-gung”, sprechen Sie Englisch?” to win them over first before assuming and expecting them to speak English with you. Remember, you are in Germany. I hope this helps!