A business traveler’s guide to Berlin

Berlin, Germany’s vibrant and bustling capital city, is a main European business hub. It’s home to industries like life sciences, media and music, information and communication technologies, transportation, environmental sciences and more. Whether you’re traveling there for meetings or conferences – here’s a guide to navigating the city, with tips from local resident and BCD staffer Stefan Neumann.

Stefan Neumann Director IT Service Coordination Europe pictured outside BCDs Berlin office

Berlin blends complex history, architecture, and culture with 21st century sensibilities. The city offers a number of venues and locations for all kinds of meetings and events. Hotels across all categories are always in close distance no matter if you stay in the city center or more on the outskirts. Hotel nights or AirBnB rentals are reasonably priced, helping keep T&E low. Although you can find a taxi anywhere around, the easiest and cheapest way to move around is to go by bus, train or streetcar which typically leave/operate every 5-10 minutes.

Visitors can easily find places for team activities and dinner, as most restaurants do not close before midnight or later. Overall, the prices are quite moderate whilst offering good meals and service. Certainly try the famous classic Berlin döner kebab, a warm pita bread sandwich filled with meat, fresh veggies and three kinds of sauces. To get it, head to Mustafa´s Gemüse Kebap, a small street stall and perpetual favorite where even celebrities have been known to cue up and wait.

Getting to Berlin


Berlin is served by Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER). Try the Airport Express train or the Airport Bus service for a hassle-free transfer.

Stefan says: Berlin has for historic reasons two city centers. To get from the airports to either City-East or City-West, I prefer to go by taxi followed by train and public transportation.

Transportation options

Available transportation options include taxis, shuttles, public transport connections and rideshare. Berlin boasts an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, S-Bahn (suburban trains), and U-Bahn (metro). For business travelers, the Berlin WelcomeCard, offering unlimited travel on public transport, might be a convenient option. Taxis are readily available, but if you prefer driving, car rental services are also abundant. However, keep in mind that parking can be limited and expensive in central area. It’s wise and sustainably responsible to rely on public transport for most intra-city travels.

Stefan says: Rush hour typically lasts between 7:30h – 9:30h in the morning and 15:30h – 17:30h in the afternoon. Although it may take a bit longer to get to your destination, typically you will not get stuck in a traffic jam.

Renting a car

If you decide to rent a car for your business trip, make sure to book in advance, especially during summer’s season, from June to August. Major car rental companies like Sixt, Hertz, and Europcar operate at the airport and various locations within the city. Berlin’s road network can be confusing for newcomers, so opt for a GPS navigation system to help ease driving. Do yourself a favor and get familiar with German traffic rules and regulations, including speed limits and parking restrictions, to avoid any fines or penalties.

Before you go to Berlin

Exploring Berlin by train

Germany is renowned for its efficient and punctual train services, and Berlin is no exception. Deutsche Bahn operates high-speed ICE trains connecting Berlin with major cities across Germany and neighboring countries. For shorter distances within Berlin or nearby regions, the S-Bahn and regional trains are convenient and cost-effective options. If you’re a frequent traveler, consider purchasing a Deutsche Bahn Business Card, offering perks like flexible ticket options and access to DB lounges at train stations.

Ride shares

Popular ride-sharing services like Uber, Bolt (formerly known as Taxify), and Free Now (formerly mytaxi) operate in the city. They are particularly useful for getting around the city quickly, especially during late hours or in areas with limited public transport options. Consult your company travel policy for guidance on use. Additionally, always ensure that you’re using a reputable and licensed ride-sharing service for safety and security reasons.

Co-working spaces

Berlin is home to numerous coworking spaces, catering to the diverse needs of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business travelers. Here are some options in the city:

WeWork: With multiple locations across Berlin, WeWork offers modern coworking spaces equipped with high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and community events. Popular locations include Sony Center, Ku’Damm, and Potsdamer Platz.

Factory Berlin: Located in the heart of Berlin’s startup scene, Factory Berlin provides a vibrant community for innovators and creatives. Amenities include event spaces, workshops, and a café.

Ahoy! Berlin: Situated in a historic building in the Mitte district, Ahoy! Berlin offers flexible coworking options, including hot desks, dedicated desks, and private offices. Members enjoy perks like networking events and access to a rooftop terrace.

Bleisure in Berlin

Stefan says: What I like most about Berlin is that it is a melting pot and that there is not just one downtown area but numerous in each borough. Therefore, the cultural offer is very diverse. You can choose from three opera houses, Varieté and musical theaters, exhibitions, and enjoy street art and performance. For city views, the RBB Dachlounge (RBB roof top lounge), the Victory Column or the Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin television tower) offer great panoramic views across Berlin. If you prefer a self-guided, I would recommend buying a day-ticket for public transportation and use the Bus 100 line.

If your schedule permits, visit Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with five museums of archaeology and art. Iconic landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), the Berlin Wall Memorial, and the Reichstag Building are good choices for history buffs. To see splendorous architecture from the present, head to the Potsdamer Platz shopping and nightlife district.

Sustainability champions will appreciate that Berlin is mentioned in the Top 10 Greenest Cities in the world ranking and you can find larger areas for recreation even within the center of Berlin, like the Tiergarten Park, the Tempelhofer Feld what used to be the runways used during WWII airlift or enjoy Zoo Berlin, which presents one of the most comprehensive collections of species in the world.

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