Sleeping in Airports

7 Things to do on a layover at Berlin Schönefeld Airport

If you have found yourself with a layover at Berlin Schönefeld Airport, you may now be wondering what to do with your time….besides sleep! The smaller of the two Berlin area airports, Berlin Schönefeld Airport is home to primarily low-cost carriers. This small, old airport will eventually be incorporated into the Berlin Brandenburg Airport, which is supposed to open in the next few years. Don’t expect much improvement in the meantime.

If you spend more than a few hours here, your needs will be met, but you won’t be impressed. With that in mind, here are seven things to do on a layover at Berlin Schönefeld Airport.

1. Grab a bite to eat

Airport DiningCompared to other small, low-cost carrier airports, Schönefeld has a decent selection of dining options. Several spots offer traditional German fare and local beers. An Irish bar, a Burger King, and a few Marche Bakery locations to round out your choices. The 24-hour options are located in Terminals A and D.

2. Relax in a lounge

Airport LoungesDespite the lack of amenities, there is one airport lounge – Green Wings Lounge in Terminal A, Floor 2. Any traveller, regardless of airline or service flown, can pay for entry. Buy a pass online ahead of time or take advantage of your lounge membership program to get in. See our Berlin Schönefeld Airport Guide for lounge locations and amenities.

3. Watch planes land and take off

An observation deck is open for visitors who like watching the airport traffic as planes come and can be found in Terminal A on Floor 2. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (April-October) and 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (November-March); the cost is €3 for adults and €2 for kids.

4. Shop

ShoppingYour shopping options here are limited. Expect a smallish Duty-Free area and a few typical airport shops offering last-minute toiletries, souvenirs, to-go snacks, and magazines and books. Pick up more unique souvenirs at the hip #veryberlin shop.

5. Surf the Web

Stay connected to friends and family, update your social media accounts or surf the internet courtesy of the airport’s free unlimited WiFi.

6. Explore Berlin

Layover SightseeingTake advantage of layovers over 6 hours and do some exploring. Popular sites include:

  • The Berlin Wall, where pieces are kept intact and often covered in art (various locations; Checkpoint Charlie has a large piece).
  • Brandenburg Gate was ground zero during the Cold War; today, it symbolizes the unified city. Snap a picture, and then head to the nearby Reichstag, home of the Parliament, or the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe for some sombre reflection in a unique sculptural setting.
  • Wander through world-class art and history museums at Museum Island, like the Pergamon and Neues Museum.

For more ideas, check out our Berlin Airport Layover Sightseeing article.

Berlin Schönefeld Airport is less than 18 km from the city centre, and several bus lines and taxis serve the airport directly. S-Bahn trains S9 and S45 are located at the railway station, a 5-minute walk via a covered walkway.

Re-entering security is sometimes a slow process, so plan for enough time.

7. Sleep

Airport SleeperOverall, you should be okay getting away with a night here, but don’t expect to get too much sleep between limited seating options and a potential wake-up from security. The seating areas are limited, and if you can grab a seat, they’re metal and old – though no armrests, so we’ll take it. Overall, Pre-Security has more sleeping options than Airside. The Landside eateries are especially popular for their benches. For quiet space, Terminal B’s 3rd Floor is pretty quiet as it’s rarely used overnight. The entrance of Terminal D has a decent number of metal benches, and the nearby cafe has some couches, so if you arrive early enough, you may luck out. If this sleeping situation doesn’t quite cut it, there are a few hotels nearby – some within walking distance – where you can shell out some cash for a proper hotel room. See our Berlin Schönefeld Airport Guide for locations.

These are just a few things to do on a layover at Berlin Schönefeld Airport. Visit our Berlin Schönefeld Airport Guide for more information about services and facilities, such as food, WiFi, mobile charging, luggage storage, nearby airport hotels, and much more.