Moving On: Transport Links
Although we find it hard to believe that anyone would want to move on, away from Berlin, - after all, most of us got stuck here at one time or other, apart from the true Berliners - there is a world out there beyond the German capital, however hard it is to believe.
So if you are determined to leave us, here are some tips to making your onward journey an easier one?
We certainly know our way around the cheap airline flying to and from Berlin. If you need help with finding a good deal on your airfair just ask at reception.
In general we recommend:
- Easy jet - the lovely girls and boys in orange - www.easyjet.com
- Air berlin - prices include a sandwich that is actually eatable - www.airberlin.com
- German Wings - first budget airline flying to destinations outside of Europe - www.germanwings.com
The Circus has a cooperation with the Gullivers Bus Company, which is a bonus because it means we can sell tickets over the reception and you don’t have to get out of your pyjamas to book your onward journey. Gullivers offers numerous international routes on modern, clean and safe coaches for very competitive prices compared to the train services.
Some of the popular routes for our guests include Amsterdam (Euro 42.40 one way for students and the Under 26 / Euro 53.00 otherwise), London (Euro 69.60/ Euro 87.00), Paris (Euro 60.80/ Euro 76.00), and Prague (Euro 34.20/ Euro 38.00).
Ask at the reception, or visit Gullivers online at www.gullivers.de (Tel: +49 30 3110211)
Mitfahrzentralen (Hitch-Hiking Agencies)
Hitchhiking is a great way to meet local people and travel “differently”, but unfortunately it is not as safe as it may have been back when Jack Kerouac took to the road to travel across America with only a pack and some sandwiches from his Mum. Happily, in Germany there exists a safe system where an agency puts you in contact with a driver, and the worst that can happen is a boring conversation.
The price is split into two parts: the agency fee, and the maximum price the driver is allowed to ask you for the journey to contribute towards gas. Some examples include: Amsterdam (max Euro 35.00), Prague (max Euro 22.00), Hamburg (max Euro 10.00), and Munich (max Euro 25.00). You will need to call ahead, and be flexible, as there are not always people travelling on the day you wish to go.
Some of the bigger Mitfahrzentrale agencies include:
- Citynetz (www.citynetz-mitfahrzentrale.de), Tel: +49 30 19444
- Mitfahrzentrale am Zoo (www.mfzoo.de), Tel: +49 30 19440
The German railways system is excellent; especially the high speed ICE and IC trains. They are fast, comfortable, reliable but there is one down side. The Deutsche Bahn (DB) is basically a long distance monopolist, and is one of the most expensive in Europe. It is possible to get good deals, the longer you book in advance, but this of course means limited flexibility for the traveller.
There are often specials on offer, such as Weekend tickets in which up to five travellers can travel for around Euro 35.00, but only on regional trains, and sometimes there are even sales on in places such as Lidl supermarket where you can pick up Deutsche Bahn tickets cheaply alongside your discounted bread and salami.
For those coming from outside of Europe and know that train is the way you wish to go, it makes complete sense to invest in one of those rail passes, especially if much of your travelling will take place in Western Europe. Check with your local travel agent.
For Deutsche Bahn timetables and ticket information, check out: www.bahn.de
Also, there is another service that comes through Berlin that has the advantage of being much cheaper that the Bahn, although there is only one train a day in each direction. The Interconnex (www.interconnex.info) travels through Berlin between the Baltic Sea and Leipzig and Dresden, and has clean, fast trains that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.