Berlin’s U-Bahn system lends itself to so much mystery. Descending into dark tunnels, there’s no idea of what is going on outside, and who or what exactly the train drivers are honking their horns at underground. We’re still not certain of the answer to that question, but here are some practical, fun facts about Berlin’s beloved underground.
Berlin’s public transport consists of several integrated networks – but what’s the U-Bahn?
The U-Bahn is Berlin’s urban underground railway system. The yellow trains are iconic, and run every two to five minutes during peak hours, and every five minutes for the remainder of the day or every 10 minutes in the evenings. Delays are just a part of Berlin life. Luckily there will be a busker playing his guitar or violin in the station that will help you pass the time.
One in three people in jail are there for not paying transport tickets
Drinking on the U-Bahn – or anywhere in Berlin – is basically allowed, despite the small signs that tell you not to
Berlin is a city where people mind their own business. Thanks to the wonderful unofficial institution that is the späti, grabbing a drink to accompany you on your journey underground is easy. It’s not uncommon to see people sitting on the train with a beer in hand at any given time of the day, and nobody minds – as long as you act respectfully. Which lead to the next tip…
The U-Bahn is OK with you being weird
The Berlin Transport Authority (BVG) wanted to send out the message that it’s not important how you look, where you come from, or what skin color you have – they’re just there to take you from one place to another.
In 2015, BVG released a video campaign that took Europe by storm. The video featured rapper Kazim Akboga in official BVG uniform, riding the underground rapping a tune with the hook “Ist mir egal,” meaning “I don’t care.” What exactly was BVG’s carefree message? That you can ride a horse, do the splits, be a bearded woman, wear a rabbit costume, grate cheese, chop onions, spontaneously striptease, bring a dog in a shark costume, basically – whoever you are, they don’t care. The only thing they care about is that you’ve got a valid ticket to ride the train.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.