Hello. I have posted before here on this subject. Please bear with me, as I am just trying to "refine" my ideas a bit, hopefully with a little input from the helpful posters here @ TA. We will arrive next May (15th) into Tegel at 7:00 a.m. with nearly a 23 hour layover before our very early departure flight the next morning from Tegel @ 6:00 a.m. Because our departure flight is a 6:00 a.m. (and we will have to be up at 3:00 and off to the airport at 4:00 a.m.) and my apprehension regarding being late for this flight, I have decided to stay at the Mercure Airport hotel, even though I am aware that most people here on TA advise against staying near the airport. I am aware that there is absolutely nothing to do in the vicinity.
The advice I am seeking is, what distance from the Mercure are public transportation options into Berlin? Where do I pick up a train, and is it pretty easy for a novice to Berlin to understand the transit system (we are from a tiny town in the US where there is NO public transit - no kidding!!) Are any signs on the subway/buses in English?
Despite the fact that we are not young and will be exhausted from our particular travel arrangements (nearly 18 hours from the time we leave our home, drive 1.5 hours to the airport, fly from MDT-ORD-TXL, plus layover in ORD), we want to see at least some of Berlin. At this point I am hoping we can drop our bags at the hotel, take a bus or rail into Berlin, arrange a walking tour of Berlin, eat lunch, and maybe if we are ambitious and not too weary from our travels, go check out the zoo for a few hours.
Thank you in advance for any advice & information.