“Berlin culture is what drew me here. Though it can be frustrating at times, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”*

(*Quote in a recent USA Today article on Berlin’s airport project, Berlin’s Bungled Airport Belies German Efficiency.)


            Berlin Brandenburg Airport

Photo credit: Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg


That is a common sentiment heard throughout Berlin from those like myself who have moved to the capital of reunified Germany. Whether it is the creative scene, the start-up culture, the history, the cheap rent, the street life or a combination of those things, there is an allure to this city whose identity is still fluid and defies many German stereotypes.

As someone who travels regularly outside of Germany, I have a vested interest in seeing the debut of the new Berlin airport. I am tired of the over-used airports that currently serve Berlin and naturally would enjoy one with smoother public transport connections.

Yet, there is a big, sentimental part of me that knows I will miss the “old school” days of Berlin under construction and the inconveniences of a dumpy airport. Even in my part of the city, the removal of a makeshift staircase to the train stop has sparked some inner turmoil. Part of me feels—do I dare say it?—proud of this city’s resilience to modernity and the lure of wealth, appearance and status. I like the dirty, grungy and trashed parts of this city; they have not succumbed to the pressure to be more than they are.

Sure, some of it could simply be laziness or apathy. Or bureaucracy. But I find the inefficiency to be refreshing. It’s real. Berlin isn’t polished and it doesn’t ever want to be. I doubt it could if it tried.

As much as I would like to roll my suitcase through a well-planned airport and wait comfortably at a gate, I am content with the cramped TXL for now. And if now actually turned into years, I might not complain.

Why is Berlin’s new airport project such a mess?  Berlin’s Bungled Airport Belies German Efficiency.


About the Author

Katie is fascinated by culture and was drawn to the unique atmosphere of Berlin in 2013. You might see her in Friedrichshain, chatting with her local Späti owner or chasing after the M10 tram.
Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in Berlin
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