Parking in Berlin
The only thing that gets more difficult is parking your car, but you actually have this issue in every big European city. In most cases, tourists have to drive around for an hour before they can find a parking space in the centre of the city. However, parking is often easier outside the city centre.
Parking in Berlin hotels
Most hotels in Berlin offer parking spaces. These often have camera surveillance and you pay around €15,- per day. The price you pay for parking varies by the hotel. There are hotels with parking from €5,- but also hotels that charge €30,- for it. Naturally, parking spaces in the city centre are more expensive than outside the city centre.
Public (free) parking places in Berlin
If you’re going to discover the city, we would recommend leaving your car in the hotel garage because Berlin’s public transport system is very good, and often faster than the car. You also save on parking costs in the city and the risk that your car will be broken into (foreign cars often run the risk of being robbed) remains zero to none. Parking is generally pricey in Berlin, but relatively cheap compared to other (Dutch) cities. The prices vary between €0.50 and €3,- per hour. There are also a number of parking garages in Berlin where you can park for free.
Free parking in Berlin:
- Deutsche Oper (Mitte), 300 free parking spaces.
- Ernst Reuter Haus (Charlottenburg), 100 free parking spaces during the week.
- Karl-Marx-Allee (Kreuzberg), free parking directly along the street.
- Beselerkaserne Berlin (Spandau), 200 free parking spaces.
- Allee Center Berlin (Lichtenberg), 300 free parking spaces.
Park & Ride (P&R) outside the city centre
You can also choose to drive to the outskirts of the city by car and travel further by public transport. The Park & Ride of Berliner Verkehrstriebe works roughly the same as P&R of the NS, the Dutch Railway Corporation. It offers cheap (mostly free) parking and easy traveling on public transport. Ideal if you do not have an environmental sticker or if you do not like to drive in the city centre.
Here is an overview of different P&R locations outside the city centre:
- Northwest – along with the S1, S25 and U6:
Hermsdorf S-Bahn, Waidmannslust S-Bahn, Wittenau S-Bahn, Tegel U-Bahn, Eichborndamm S-Bahn, Kurt-Schuhmacher-Platz U-Bahn.
- Southwest – along the S1 and S7:
S-Bahnhof Wannsee, S-Bahnhof Nikolassee.
- South – along the S2, S8 and S9:
S-Bahnhof Lichtenrade, S-Bahnhof Schichauweg, S-Bahnhof Buckower Chaussee, S-Bahnhof Marienfelde, S-Bahnhof Priesterweg, U-Bahnhof Parchimer Allee, U-Bahnhof Alt-Mariendorf, U-Bahnhof Rudow, S-Bahnhof Grünau, S -Bahnhof Alt-Glienicke.
- East – along the S3, S5 and S75:
S-Bahnhof Karlshorst, S-Bahnhof Wuhlheide, S-Bahnhof Friedrichshagen, S-Bahnhof Rahnsdorf, S-Bahnhof Mahlsdorf, S-Bahnhof Wuhletal, S-Bahnhof Biesdorf, S-Bahnhof Lichtenberg, S-Bahnhof Springpfuhl, S-Bahnhof Marzahn, Raoul-Wallenberg-Allee S-Bahnhof, Mehrower Allee S-Bahnhof.
- Northeast – along the S2 and S75:
Hohenschönhausen S-Bahnhof, Wartenberg S-Bahnhof, Pankow-Heinersdorf S-Bahnhof, Blankenburg S-Bahnhof, Buch S-Bahnhof.
Parking at the Berlin airports
Berlin has two airports in use, Schönefeld and Tegel. Both airports offer sufficient parking space. There are several parking places to park your car for a short or longer period of time. The prices range from €2.50 per hour to €39,- for eight days. Both airports are easily accessible by public transport.
German traffic rules
Speed limits in Berlin
- A maximum speed of 50 km/hour applies within built-up areas.
- Outside the built-up area, a maximum speed of 100 km/h applies.
- An advised speed of 130 km/hour applies on the Autobahn unless otherwise indicated with signs. This is an advised speed and therefore not a mandatory maximum speed. So you can drive faster, but you run the risk that if something happens you are not covered by your car insurance. So think about it!
The fines for speeding offenses in Berlin:
- Up to 10 km/h: €10,-
- 16-20 km/h: €30,-
- 21-25 km/h: €40,-
- 26-40 km/h: €75,-
- 41-50 km/h: €100,-
Note: These are subject to change by the municipality. Fines are higher in built-up areas. If you break the speeding rules in areas where the speed limit is 26 km/h, a driving suspension of up to three months may be imposed.
Cars are required to have an environmental sticker in the centre of Berlin. If you do not have this, you can get an €80,- fine.
Parking violations in the Berlin city centre
Fines: €10,- to €50,-, plus any towing costs. This could be for parking in the wrong/disabled spot etc.
Cars are required to carry winter gear in winter conditions. Winter equipment is understood to mean mainly the well-known winter tires but also sufficient windscreen washer fluid. Cars are also required to have winter tires in snow and freezing weather conditions. Not using winter tires can lead to (joint) liability in the event of accidents. The fine for driving with unsuitable tires is € 40; in the event of danger or nuisance, the fine may be increased.
Environmental (milieu) zone in Berlin
Berlin has introduced an environmental zone to ban environmentally polluting cars from the city centre. The entire area that lies within the Ringbahn (this is the route of the S-Bahn that runs in a circle around the city centre) is now an environmental zone. This covers an area of 88 km2, where 1 million people live. The maximum limit of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) content has been exceeded, and measures have been taken to protect residents in this area. When you want to enter the environmental zone you will see signs informing you that you are entering it. You can also choose to buy an environmental sticker at any gas stations in Germany. If you think the milieu sticker is too much of a hassle, you can choose to look for a hotel that is located outside the milieu zone. Of course, these are some hotels a little further from the city centre and are often cheaper. You can park your car there and there are often good connections with the metro or S-Bahn to the city centre.
If the Milieu Sticker is too much stress for you, you can also choose to take the train to Berlin.