Berlin: Railway station and airport

The building of Hauptbahnhof in Berlin was a real prestige project. The glass building over four floors that emerged is impressive to say the least. But it suffers from that most irritating of modern construction diseases, shopping mallism. Instead of left luggage, there are places to buy stuff. Actually, the shortage of left luggage space is excused on the grounds of security as the station is in the proximity to the Bundestag and the Kanzlerresidenz. (There are a few lockers located adjaceent to the parking area, and a staffed facility on the main concourse – but when I visited, the queue was very long). Contrast with Köln Hauptbahnhof, posted 6 November 2011.

Travel advice: if you have cases that you want to leave, go somewhere else. I’m not sure if the other stations – Ostbahnhof, Friedrichstrasse or Alexanderplatz – have left luggage facilities. Watch this space.

As for Shoenefeld Airport, it is a real disaster. Very few seats, plenty of shops, though few places to buy a drink and sit down and relax prior to departure. If you are travelling easyJet, the ground staff are very strict with the one bag policy. Expect to be surcharged if you can’t get your manbag inside your case and it still fit into the measuring frame that they have.

The entry to the gates is appalling. Dank corridors take passengers to passport control causing confusion and long queues. Maybe worth taking Lufthansa from Tegel.

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