Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
Did you know that 80% of Berlin´s U–Bahn network, which covers over 146 km of tunnels, viaducts and stations, runs underground? And that you can see 35 kilometres of that underground world during an unforgettable “Cabrio U-Bahn Fahrt” organised by the BVG, Berlin Public Transport Company?
Held weekly between April and October each year (the winter break is necessary to keep the guests from freezing to the point of collapse), the tours take place always on Fridays at 7 pm and 10.20 pm respectively. They need to be booked early, though: the three open carriages pulled by a small heavy-duty electric engine offer seats to lucky 150 ticket-holders per tour.
And if you should be among the lucky 150, you are up for an unforgettable trip through the regular U-Bahn tunnels as well as through those not accessible to regular mortals. You will see stations which spent decades dormant under the divided city, tunnels which were built but never served their original purpose and the underground maintenance areas at places where you would have never expected to see them present (like the large system of tracks and tunnels stretching under Hermannplatz up to Schönleinstrasse in Kreuzberg/Neukölln).
You will experience the sudden chill felt when approaching the section of the tunnel running deep under the river bed and see the chill getting even bigger when you realise, how much water is pressing on the ceiling right above your head. You will get dizzy seeing your little train descend even deeper into the belly of Berlin and then slowly climb up again. You will be waving at the fully surprised and (most of the time) thrilled passengers waiting for their regular trains on the platforms and scream your Hallo!´s loud to win against the thundering clang of the train wheels. And all this time you will be listening to a fascinating tale of the underground told by a brilliant tour guide (who tells it only in German for now but that might change soon), while wishing you were able to look, listen and take gazillions of photos simultaneously (tested: not doable).
If you are interested in booking the tour – and you should do so with or without an active knowledge of German for you can always get prepared or read up on things afterwards – visit the page of the BVG here. Since the season 2015 is about to end, you can plan your Berlin underground adventure for 2016: future reservations for regular tickets at EUR 50 (EUR 35 for children under 14) can be made from February 8th. And do trust us: it is worth every single cent:-)
Here are some private pictures from the tour taken on October 9th, 2015.