How to get around
Berlin has a fabulous public transport system, the VVB, including metro, bus, tram, and even ferries. The two companies BVG and S-Bahn run the transportation facilities. As a habit everybody complains about the public transport but in comparison to other cities of similar size it is very comfortable. If you are enrolled at one of Berlin’s universities (as the Master students are at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU)) you have already paid for a BVG ticket for October to March (winter term) and April to September (summer term). The public transport net is divided into three sections A, B and C. Your ticket entitles you to travel within all three sections. Furthermore you can be accompanied by children up to the age of six and you can take your bike with you. If you call 19449 you can ask for travel itineraries. You can also check for yourself on the web at http://www.fahrinfo-berlin.de/
There are seven different means of public transportation. The six major ones are U-Bahn, S-Bahn, metro buses and buses, within the eastern parts of the city the metro tram and tram, and a minor one, ferries. There are six ferries, three of which are in service year-round and three of which are only in service during the season, i.e. from Good Friday to the third of October (German National Holiday). BVG also offers a very good and reliable night-time service provided by some U-Bahns and bus lines (N buses). To find your way it is important to know the respective numbers of the line you want to travel on and its direction. This is indicated by the final destination. As not every run goes to the farthest possible end of the line you sometimes have to check if a particular run goes far enough.
Although at first it might seem a little scary, you can also bike around the city which is especially fun on warm summer nights. On bbbike you can enter your start and destination and you will be offered a detailed route including travel time.
If you want to leave Berlin and explore its surroundings beyond public transport sections ABC or want to visit other parts of Germany or its neighbours, you can travel by train with Deutsche Bahn. Train tickets may be rather expensive if you do not plan and buy your travel a few weeks in advance. However, for special destinations there are less expensive offers such as the Weekend Ticket and the Ostseeticket (Baltic Sea).
The cheapest way to getting around in Germany: get a "Mitfahrgelegenheit" (lift) from one of the many people driving around on Germany's autobahns. From (and to) Berlin there is almost every time of the day many cars going to other major cities usually with the option to get off in between. It's around half or a third the price of public trains. Several sites offer riding times and phone numbers of drivers who offer a ride. It's very popular with students and usually safe (enough...), since drivers have to prove their identity to the websites.