There are currently two large Berlin airports, with a third that was, until recently, in use, and a fourth in construction. Although Berlin's airports are neither flashy nor large (yet), they do an excellent job of getting you from point A to point B with little to no hassle.
Berlin-Tegel Airport [TXL], or lovely Otto Lilienthal Airport, is the largest one of them currently serving the Berlin metropolis.
Tegel was constructed in the late 1940s, and is located in the northern borough of Reinickendorf. With more than 14 million visitors annually, Tegel is most likely the airport that you'll arrive at if you fly into Berlin. It's one of the hubs for Air Berlin, and receives daily nonstop flights from many major cities, including New York.
Although it doesn't offer much in the way of shopping or food, it's a very easy airport to navigate and security checks are a breeze.
To the southeast of Berlin is the second airport still in use — Berlin-Schönefeld Airport [SXF].
Schönefeld, which currently serves mainly low-budget airlines like RyanAir and EasyJet, was originally built in the 1930s as an airplane plant, but since went on to become an airport in its own right. You won't find any ultra-long haul flights taking off from Schönefeld, but if you're interested in going to Israel or a destination in Europe or Northern Africa, you may be in luck.
The new large Berlin-Brandenberg Airport [BER] is, basically, going to extend the existing Schönefeld Airport and is set to open in 2011.
This new airport is being build because Tegel and Schönefeld are just not large enough to meet the demand they (and our Capital ;-) generate. Berlin-Brandenburg Airport will fix this and allow for 30 to 50 million passengers to travel through Berlin annually. Although the airport won't open for quite a while longer, it's sure to cause more airlines to service Berlin, which means fewer layovers for you, dear fellow Berliner.
Plans are also in place to extend the public transport system so that, finally, high-speed trains are going to stob right at the terminals.
Located nearly in the middle of Berlin is the now closed Berlin-Tempelhof Airport.
Tempelhof was built in the 1920s and is the founding location of German flag-carrier Lufthansa. After World War II, during the Berlin Blockade, Tempelhof was the airport that US and British aircrafts delivered supplies to during the Berlin Airlift.
The Berlin-Tempelhof Airport, which is a beautiful example of early 20th century architecture, was closed in October of 2008 due to airport consolidation.
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