There is only one settlement on the island, also called Borkum. As in 2006, there are 5,500 people living there.
Borkum is served by the ferries to the towns of Emden (Germany) and Eemshaven (Netherlands, near the city of Groningen). The harbour is connected with the Borkum town by a narrow gauge railway, called Borkumer Kleinbahn. The railway is 7,5 km long, and the gauge is 900 mm. Normally, trains are pulled by the diesel locomotives, but in the summer steam locomotives are also used as an attraction for the tourists.
Both ferry services and the railway are operated by AG Ems company.
There is also a small airport on the island.