Car Rental Berlin
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Why rent a car in Berlin?
Berlin is a great place to rent a car. Heavily decentralized, it is famous for its unique neighborhoods. All parts of Berlin have something different to offer. Thanks to its great location, the city is also near other interesting places like the Baltic coast, other famous German cities in the north and the south of the country, and neighboring countries like Poland and the Czech Republic.
Top ways to enter Berlin
- Berlin Tegel Airport: Also known as Otto Lilienthal Airport, Berlin Tegel is the main international airport serving the German capital. The airport offers many domestic and European connections, as well as a number of intercontinental flights. Located in the northern part of Berlin, it is just 8 km (5 mi) northwest of the city center.
- Berlin Schoenefeld Airport: Not as big as Tegel, but served by many low-cost carriers, flying to Schoenefeld is often a cheaper alternative to reach Berlin. The airport serves nearly 13 million passengers annually and is located about 18 km (11 mi) southeast of the city center. As of late 2020, Schoenefeld Airport’s infrastructure is set to be incorporated into the neighboring Berlin Brandenburg Airport that is currently under construction.
- Leipzig/Halle Airport: Serving two large cities in Eastern Germany, Leipzig/Halle Airport is especially popular with leisure airlines that connect it to destinations in Southern Europe. The airport is located about 173 km (107 mi) south of Berlin and can be reached in two hours by car.
- Dresden Airport: Served by 12 different airlines, Dresden Airport has flights to and from Spain, the United Kingdom, Greece, Switzerland, and other European countries. The drive to Berlin takes just slightly longer than 2 hours.
- By rail: If you’re arriving in Berlin, you can conveniently pick up your rental car at the Hauptbanhoff, the Zoo Train Station, the Friedrichstrasse Station or at some of the other train stations of Berlin.
Useful city facts
- Berlin has a temperate oceanic climate with warm summers, cool winters, and rather high precipitation throughout the year. The average temperature is 25 °C (77 °F) in July, the warmest month, and 0.6 °C (33 °F) in January. There are at least a few days with snow every year.
- Berlin is made up of 12 boroughs that are further divided into localities. Many of the neighborhoods are culturally and architecturally distinct. Native Berliners take great pride in their neighborhoods of origin and will often refer to themselves as being from their neighborhood instead of saying they’re from Berlin. Spandau is picturesque and historic, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is the busiest part and has the best restaurants, and Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg has very active art, music, and theater scene. The most populous borough is Pankow and the most densely populated one is Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.
Top destinations and activities
- Berlin Cathedral. Der Berliner Dom is not only the largest church of the city, it’s also the most famous one. Built in a Neo-renaissance style in 1905, it lost its roof during the bombing of the Second World War, but the rest of the building withstood, and was later renovated to receive back its former glory. Nowadays, in addition to being a major tourist landmark, it also still functions as a parish church.
- Topography of Terror. Documenting the crimes of the Nazi regime against the Jewish people and other minorities before and during the World War Two, this open-air museum is not an easy to place to visit at first, but of those who do go there, very few regret it; not only does it provide an important, if terrifying, history lesson, it also tells the story of the strength of human resilience.
- Brandenburg Gate. Built more than 200 years ago, the gate is a beautiful architectural monument, but also a symbol of the fall of the Berlin Wall that again united the east and the west of the city in 1989. For many locals, it is the most important place in the city. Right at the gate begins Unter den Linden, the most famous boulevard of Berlin.
Traffic and parking tips
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph) in populated or built-up areas. There is no national speed limit on the autobahns (highways) and many of them don’t have a set speed limit. However, contrary to what is sometimes stated, about 50% of the autobahns do have their own individual speed limits, so carefully follow the speed limit signs on each road that you’re driving on.
- Where the speed limits are enforced, the tolerance for speeding is low. Driving just 3 km/h (2 mph) above the speed limit can, and often will, lead to fines. Many roads that do have speed limits have radars in place.
- Some autobahns have a minimum speed limit that applies to specific lanes, for example, a minimum speed of 110 km/h (68 mph) for the left and 90 km/h (56 mph) for the center lane.
- Because of the very high speeds used by some on the German autobahns, be extra careful before switching lanes.
- It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. This is strictly enforced and the fines are high.
- Children under the age of 12 have to use a child safety seat.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers. Exceeding these limits can lead to high fines and a license ban.
- The car’s registration and insurance documents must be in it at all times.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The general emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
Although Germany has a large number of high-speed motorways, only vehicles that weigh more than 7,5 tons need to pay a toll. This excludes practically all types of rental cars.
There are two tolled tunnels in Germany, the Herren Tunnel in Schleswig-Holstein and the Warnow Tunnel in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Neither of them is near Berlin.
Find out more about the toll roads in Germany on the European toll road website.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Potsdam. The capital city of the Brandenburg state that completely surrounds Berlin, Potsdam is a tranquil and picturesque place, especially if you’re visiting it after Berlin. Travelers love exploring the Sanssouci park with its many avenues, Roman baths, and the picture gallery, as well as the city’s many palaces. Potsdam is just a 45-minute drive southwest of Berlin.
- The Spreewald. A green area of forests and meadows is crisscrossed by the river Spree that gives it its name. Thanks to its impressive landscapes and ecological importance, Spreewald is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Come here for long hikes, wildlife spotting, and a breath of fresh air after city life. The forest is just an hour’s drive east of Berlin.
- Usedom. An island in the Baltic Sea, but well connected to the German mainland with numerous bridges, Usedom is another great place for relaxing, especially during the summer months when you can swim, sunbathe, and do water sports. If you’re coming with your own vehicle that’s not too small in size, it’s quite possible to also explore the many wilderness areas of the island, probably the closest thing to a safari that you can find in Germany. Located 225 km (140 mi) north of Berlin, Usedom can be reached in less than three hours.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car in Berlin is the Skoda Fabia. Many travelers also like the Ford Focus and the Fiat Panda. The most popular car type is compact, followed by economy and mini.
- Leipzig. Previously part of East Germany, Leipzig has been rising slowly, but recently the city has fully come into its own. A growing hub of technology, science, and art, and home to awesome museums and many city festivals, not to mention beautiful nature areas nearby, the city is called “the New Munich” by some people in Germany. Better yet, it is just 190 km (118 mi) southwest of Berlin and can be reached in just a tad more than two hours.
- Hamburg. Germany’s second largest city is just as freethinking, innovative, and cultured as Berlin, but its location on the North Sea and proximity to Denmark gives it something of a Scandinavian flavor. Hamburg is about 290 km (180 mi) from Berlin, but thanks to those awesome German highways, it can be reached in just a bit over three hours by car.
- Prague. Some people find it too full of tourists, but if there’s any truth in that, then only because Prague offers so much to see and do. The Czech capital is one of the most beautiful cities of Europe, mixing Eastern, Western, and Central European influences in architecture, cuisine, and lifestyle. It takes less than four hours to reach it by car from Berlin, so drive there and see for yourself! Do keep in mind, though, that you’ll be crossing a national border, so first ask your rental car provider if they permit it.
How can I save money on my rental car?
These are some of the things to keep in mind when booking a rental car in Germany’s capital:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Zagreb is the cheapest in September when renting a car is about 29% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 50% cheaper than renting a vehicle in May. Come visit Berlin in early spring!
Top 20 Cities near Berlin
Munich Car Rentals from $53.48 per day504.2 km / 313.3 miles away
Frankfurt Car Rentals from $41.94 per day423.3 km / 263.1 miles away
Dusseldorf Car Rentals from $26.34 per day473.1 km / 294.0 miles away
Cologne Car Rentals from $32.16 per day475.0 km / 295.2 miles away
Stuttgart Car Rentals from $26.84 per day517.0 km / 321.3 miles away
Hamburg Car Rentals from $28.76 per day257.1 km / 159.8 miles away
Weeze Car Rentals from $49.08 per day504.4 km / 313.4 miles away
Nurnberg Car Rentals from $36.36 per day372.8 km / 231.7 miles away
Dortmund Car Rentals from $45.19 per day409.4 km / 254.4 miles away
Hannover Car Rentals from $30.51 per day249.5 km / 155.0 miles away
Bremen Car Rentals from $31.47 per day313.6 km / 194.8 miles away
Memmingen Car Rentals from $45.15 per day551.8 km / 342.8 miles away
Friedrichshafen Car Rentals from $45.75 per day605.6 km / 376.3 miles away
Leipzig Car Rentals from $41.94 per day144.0 km / 89.5 miles away
Dresden Car Rentals from $32.49 per day157.2 km / 97.7 miles away
Hahn/Lautzenhausen Car Rentals from $33.69 per day512.3 km / 318.3 miles away
Mannheim Car Rentals from $52.19 per day480.0 km / 298.3 miles away
Münster Car Rentals from $49.08 per day388.6 km / 241.5 miles away
Rosenheim Car Rentals from $45.75 per day527.3 km / 327.7 miles away
Paderborn Car Rentals from $52.96 per day340.2 km / 211.4 miles away
Top 19 Locations near Berlin
Berlin Adlershof Car Rentals from $21.97 per day
Berlin Central Station (Hauptbahnhof) Car Rentals from $70.19 per day
Berlin Mitte Chausseestrasse Car Rentals from $96.32 per day
Berlin Steglitz Car Rentals from $96.32 per day
Berlin Gendarmenmarkt/Hilton Hotel Car Rentals from $64.54 per day
Berlin Friedrichshain/Treptow Car Rentals from $96.32 per day
Berlin Zoo Train Station Car Rentals from $62.93 per day3.2 km / 2.0 miles away
Berlin Tegel Airport Car Rentals from $34.15 per day6.7 km / 4.2 miles away
Berlin Schoenefeld Airport Car Rentals from $52.66 per day19.2 km / 11.9 miles away
Leipzig/Halle Airport Car Rentals from $41.94 per day144.0 km / 89.5 miles away
Dresden Airport Car Rentals from $32.49 per day157.2 km / 97.7 miles away
Hannover Airport Car Rentals from $30.51 per day249.5 km / 155.0 miles away
Hamburg Central Train Station Car Rentals from $49.59 per day252.2 km / 156.7 miles away
Hamburg Airport Car Rentals from $28.76 per day257.1 km / 159.8 miles away
Bremen Airport Car Rentals from $31.47 per day313.6 km / 194.8 miles away
Paderborn Lippstadt Airport Car Rentals from $52.96 per day340.2 km / 211.4 miles away
Nurnberg Airport Car Rentals from $36.36 per day372.8 km / 231.7 miles away
Nurnberg Railway Station Car Rentals from $48.03 per day377.9 km / 234.8 miles away
Münster Osnabrück Airport Car Rentals from $49.08 per day388.6 km / 241.5 miles away
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