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Berlin is full of history, and you can really feel it in the air when you spend time there. Renting a Berlin hire car is a great way to get around the city. A visit to see the Berlin wall, now the East Side Gallery, is a must, and if you're particularly interested in the history of East Germany, you'll probably fancy a visit to the DDR museum too. Berlin is the capital of hip, which can be seen in the supersized nightclubs, quirky cafés and themed restaurants around the city.
Berlin is served by two international airports. The main one is Berlin Tegel Airport, around 25 minutes' drive from the city centre in a Berlin rental car, and the other is Berlin Schönefeld Airport, a slightly longer 30-minute drive away. Potsdam, just under 40 minutes away when you rent a car in Berlin, is a small town with charming architecture and several stunning palaces to check out.
You can rent a car in Berlin city centre or from either of the city's airports. ParkMe is an online service with live information about which car parks are full and which have spaces to park. You can also find several hotels that offer parking spaces.
The following companies offer car rentals in Berlin:
Berlin is a great central location for excursions to other parts of Germany and Europe. Much of Dresden, which is two hours and 10 minutes' drive away with a Berlin hire car, was destroyed in the Second World War, and several of the city's iconic buildings have since been rebuilt, including Dresden Castle and Frauenkirche, a Baroque church. Hamburg is less than three hours' drive from Berlin, and one of the highlights is Miniatur Wunderland, a massive model railway featuring international landmarks. For nightlife, a visit to Reeperbahn, the entertainment centre of Hamburg, is well worth checking out.
Hanover is three hours and 40 minutes from Berlin by car, and once there you can enjoy the Herrenhausen Gardens, a 17th century garden featuring an open air theatre and one of the tallest fountains in Europe. Prague in the Czech Republic takes roughly the same amount of time to reach when you rent a car in Berlin. The best way to enjoy Prague is simply to walk around and enjoy the stunning buildings and the famous Charles Bridge. Be sure to stop off and take a look at the astronomical clock in Wenceslas Square, which puts on a spectacular mechanical display every hour – it's the oldest clock of its kind still in operation.
When driving in Germany, stay on the right-hand side of the road and overtake on the left. The speed limit is 31mph in built up areas and 62mph outside of built up areas. On the motorway (autobahn), the requirement is to drive at a safe speed for the vehicle and conditions, and some motorways will be signposted with a speed limit of 81mph. The driver is responsible for ensuring that everyone in the car is wearing a seatbelt while travelling, including in the back, if they are fitted.
To start organising your trip to Berlin and other parts of Germany, use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
Most international flights fly to Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL), 5 miles northwest of the city. Berlin Schönefeld (SXF), the city’s secondary airport, is 14 miles away, so getting into the centre is never an issue. Thanks to their facilities, opting for car hire makes for a simple and care-free start to your holiday. You’ll find car rental agencies such as Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt in both airports – you can browse these all using the Expedia search tool.
If you’d rather pick up a hire car from the city itself, then a short train journey will get you from the airport to Alexanderplatz – the city’s central shopping district. Here, you’ll find various rental agencies. Enterprise-Rent-A-Car is less than a stone's throw from the Berlin Wall, and is also walking distance from city’s main train station.
Central Berlin is a designated environmental zone – meaning only cars with a green sticker are permitted to drive through. When renting a car, double check that your vehicle has this permit stuck on its windscreen if you’re wanting visit these areas via car.
Drivers in Berlin often make use of the city’s excellent park and ride facilities. These are also perfect for holidaymakers looking to leave their vehicle to walk and fully absorb the city. You can’t take your holiday selfies whilst driving! Travelling outward, the Berliner Ring – or the BAB 10 – is the longest ring road in Europe, making up 122 miles of motorway. If you’re looking to travel to other nearby German cities, such as Frankfurt, you’ll find connecting roads which make your journey both easy and enjoyable.
There are many myths alleging more relaxed German speed limits, but most motorways allow drivers to travel at speeds of up to 81 miles per hour. This can vary in rural parts of Germany, but it’ll be signposted to save any confusion.
To take a road trip and experience some of the local wildlife, drive to Pfaueninsel – better known as Peacock Island. Like the name suggests, its main attractions include the multi-coloured birds. Alongside them, you’ll see fairy-tale castles which are signature of the area. You can access the island by ferry from Wannsee Station, which is a 45 minute car journey from the German capital.
Germany’s excellent network of motorways stretch across the nation and beyond. Thanks to this, attractive foreign cities like Prague are just four hours’ drive from the centre of Berlin.