Hotel and travel information for Berlin

Providing information to make your travel and onsite logistics the best possible experience
Image of Berlin, Germany

Welcome to Berlin

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. It is a place of culture, politics, media, and science, and its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, and research facilities. Significant industries also include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction, and electronics.

The city is home to world-renowned universities such as the Humboldt University, the Technical University, the University of the Arts, along with several more. The area is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and a very high quality of living. Join your colleagues in this vibrant city as you share research and enjoy the beauty of Germany.

Travel to Germany

Every traveller arriving in Germany must be vaccinated, recovered, or tested (3G – Gesund, Genesen, und Getested). Consult your preferred airline for further information and details regarding return flights.

Travelling to an SPIE Europe event, you should check:

Travel restrictions: SPIE recommends downloading the Re-Open EU app.  This gives an overview of all European countries and any related travel restrictions.

Event related requirements: SPIE requests that attendees are fully vaccinated as defined by their country of origin, or recovered from COVID and have a negative test. Please be prepared to show the relevant document.

Some European countries have further restrictions for those attending events.  In Germany, this means that observance of the VR rule (Vaccinated or Recovered). 

Your country of departure's restrictions and quarantine requirements: Your country may have its own vaccination or testing policies for departure or return. Check your local government agencies for any vaccination, testing, or quarantine requirements.

Your airline carrier's policies: Check with your airline to make sure you understand their policies and requirements.

SPIE health and safety information: Size and location of the event can dictate different requirements for participation. Please check the event health and safety page for details.

Estrel Berlin Hotel & Congress Center

A world-class experience. Learn more about the conference hotel and all it has to offer. Book within the SPIE hotel block for best pricing. See options below.

Travel to Berlin

Enjoy the city renowned for its vibrant cultural scene; a city of art, artists, and museums. Check out the information below for:

  • airport travel
  • public transit services
  • car rental
  • driving directions and parking
  • tourist attractions

Explore Berlin / Explore Germany

Visa information

Image of Berlin, Germany

Transportation information

Airport information

BER, the brand-new Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg, is located to the Southeast of the city and is serviced by every major airline.

Transportation from the airport 

  • Airport Express (FEX) and regional trains (RE7, RB14) run several times an hour between Berlin Central Station and the station "Flughafen BER - Terminal 1-2". The S9 and S45 commuter trains run every 20 minutes to Berlin city centre.
  • Furthermore, an Intercity BER T1-2 connects Rostock and Dresden several times a day.
  • To get to the ESTREL Hotel, take S45 from the airport to stop Köllnische Heide, then change into Bus M41 continuing for two stops along Sonnenallee to stop “Zigrastr”.

Recommended Apps

Car rental 

Hertz Car Rental 

Further information to be provided soon.

Contact Hertz:
 • In the United States call 1-800-654-2240
 • In Canada call 1-800-263-0600, or 1-416-620-9620 in Toronto
 • In Europe and Asia call a Hertz Reservation Center or travel agent
 • Outside of these areas call 1-405-749-4434

Driving directions and parking 

The Estrel Berlin’s convenient location and ideal transportation connections mean that it is easy to reach both by car and when using public transport. Highway access is only 1.5 kilometres away. The distance to the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) is 13km. The Sonnenallee S-Bahn commuter train station can be reached on foot in only three minutes, and a bus stop (Zigrastr.) and taxi rank are located right in front of the hotel.

Things to do  

  • Visitors to Berlin are sure to head for the famous Brandenburg Gate, the TV Tower with its stunning views, and the historic Reichstag parliament building.
  • A visit to the Berlin Wall Memorial in Bernauer Strasse is also a definite must, followed by some serious shopping in the many stores lining Kurfürstendamm Boulevard.
  • Other major sights include the East Side Gallery and Checkpoint Charlie, as well as the Berlin Zoo – especially popular with families. The impressive Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a special highlight.
  • The best way to explore the city and hear the most exciting stories about Berlin is on a sightseeing tour – by bus, bike, boat, or on foot.
  • For urban explorers, visiting Berlin is simply a must. Discover the city’s unexpected hidden gems, such as the former listening station on Teufelsberg hill.

The Berlin Welcome Card, issued by Visit Berlin, is the official tourist card of the city. It is valid for a minimum of 48 hours in Berlin & Potsdam, and provides a minimum of 25% discount with more than 180 partners, including museums and other attractions such as palaces, boat trips, restaurants, stages, city tours, and others. There are variations of the card, and more details can be found by using the link provided.