Cycling through Berlin
If you like both history and contemporary culture, it’s hard to imagine a better destination than Berlin. Around every street corner you will find something which is either reminiscent of Germany’s diverse past or that shows Berlin from its most progressive side.
In Berlin there is a special coexistence between different eras. The traces of Germany’s heyday, the disastrous consequences of the Second World War and the everyday life of the Cold War are as present as modern Berlin and its cultural expressions, city life and shopping. But how do you deal with Berlin’s exciting offerings? The best way to get a grip of everything is to get on the bike and roll through the city – with the wind of history hitting your face.
Many miles to enjoy
Berlin is one of Europe’s best cycling cities and city planners are continuously working to improve conditions for cyclists by further expanding the number of cycle paths that today stretch for 900 kilometres across the city. This great focus on cycling not only makes cycling routes more numerous and safer for the city’s residents, but also opens the door to tourists choosing to discover the wider Berlin area by bicycle. As a result, a large range of bike renters have emerged.
‘Berlin is one of Europe’s best cycling cities.’
Rent or borrow
In Berlin there are lots of different bike rental options to choose from, and many offer both regular bikes and electric bikes. If you want to discover the city on your own, just find a rental place, pick out a bike and get going. Many hotels also have partnerships with landlords, so you can book a bike together with your accommodation. If you have a smaller budget, you can simply borrow a bike through the non-profit organisation BikeSurf.org. Rental is free of charge, but donations are welcome. Should you be interested in booking a guided bike tour, there are a number of rental companies that also offer bike sightseeing with a guide, often with different themes depending on what you are interested in. Just google Berlin + bike + tour and an abundance of choices will come up.
Explore as far as you can
Discovering a city from a bicycle saddle has its advantages – you get between sights quickly, and on the way you can experience city life in a different way than if you take the metro or jump on a bus. Simply put, you can see more and easily get further out of the city centre than you might if you just walk. However, if for some reason you do not want to cycle all the way, in Berlin you can take your bike on the train or metro (you just need to buy an extra ticket for the bike at one of the ticket machines at the stops).
‘Take the bike route that goes along the former stretch of the Berlin Wall.’
Follow the wall and experience history
As mentioned, Berlin is a city full of interesting history and it can be difficult to see everything. But for a historical trip, take the official Mauerverlauf bike route that goes along the former stretch of the Berlin Wall. The tour is 5.7 km long and on the way you will find the history of the wall, sections and watchtowers left behind, murals and various memorials. During the bike ride, you will also pass famous places such as the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz and Checkpoint Charlie.
Even a city can offer opportunities for bathing
If you visit Berlin in the summer, you don’t have to worry about missing out on the opportunity for a nice time at a beach. The famous lake Wannsee outside Berlin is a refuge for many Berliners during the warmest days of the summer, with various water activities and cooling baths to visit. From central Berlin, the Wannsee Route RR1 cycle path goes all the way out to Wannsee. The route is 28 km long and on your way you will pass the Konzerthaus of Berlin, the Jewish Museum and the Glienicke bridge, which was used during the Cold War to exchange captured spies.
A closing warning. Although Berlin is a fantastic cycling city, traffic can be challenging even for the best, especially at rush hour. Unfortunately, it is unusual for bicycle rental companies to offer Hövding, but don’t let that prevent you from discovering Berlin on two wheels. Just make sure to wear a helmet, and make sure it is CE marked when you rent your bike. Willkommen in Berlin!