Berlin by Bike
Cult(ure) metropolis close at hand: Discovering Berlin by Bike
Pulsating, young and dynamic: Berlin. By bicycle you can discover the flair of the capital city and many of its hidden treasures. Distances can be covered in comfort and your day trip can be a totally relaxed discovery tour of different worlds, past and present, city center action and peaceful green oases.
Cyclists are as much a part of Berlin as the Reichstag or the Peace Monument: There are meanwhile some 650 kilometers of cycle paths at the disposal of cyclists in Berlin and these bicycle routes are consistently being expanded.
All the most important places in the city can be arrived at safely and comfortably by bicycle, for example from the Schlossplatz in the city center there is a well conceived network of bicycle routes leading out into the surrounding suburbs.
There are also seven long-distance cycle routes such as Berlin – Usedom, approximately 330 kilometers from the capital Berlin to the Baltic Sea island holiday resort, that take you alongside huge meadow and forest landscapes, past lakes and rivers and historic places of interest, through a rich world of flora and fauna.
For your discovery tour of Berlin by cycle you really don’t need expensive gear: City bikes with three or more gears are okay for tours around the city. If tours in terms of kilometers are quite comfortable then you can plan enough time for breaks and enjoy the attractions and the atmosphere of the city.
In the S- and U-Bahn, trams and trains of regional transport systems it is always possible to take your bike with you at any time and in this way you can very quickly arrive at a starting point for your excursion into nature, leaving the city boundaries behind you. On your bike!
We would like to show you here four special tours: Two are local tours with places of historic interest and two tours are lovely scenic tours of areas surrounding Berlin.
Historical: from the Rotes Rathaus to the Brandenburg Gate
The administrative district Berlin-Mitte is the historic center of Berlin: Old and new stand side by side in this district. Here are all the traces of an eventful historic past – numerous new buildings now form part of the new city image.
Your tour begins at the S-Bahnhof Alexanderplatz and after five kilometers the S-Bahn station Unter den Linden. From here you cycle mostly on small streets with little traffic but also some short distances on streets with a lot of traffic.
Along this route are numerous historic sights: The Rotes Rathaus with its unusually brilliant clinker brick facade, the Schlossplatz on the Spree Island, the Lustgarten and the Museum Island, the State Opera House, the impressive Humboldt University, the Gendarme Market. At the end you arrive at the splendid boulevard Unter den Linden which as always, exudes its special flair and makes you think about former times of magnificence. The final station is the Brandenburg Gate, and from here on the cycle route to the “Strasse des 17. Juni” and a tour through the embassy quarter.
Exciting tour along the Berlin Wall
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall many traces of the border system have been superceded; by bicycle you can however, still follow the course of the Wall and numerous stations along it and now a great deal of information is available, for example in the Wall Documentation Center or in the museum at Checkpoint Charlie.
This tour begins at the S-Bahnhof: From Bornholmer Strasse the 17 kilometer tour has a number of stages. You cycle past the Mauerpark and the Versöhnungskirche to the memorials Bernauer Strasse and Invalidenfriedhof, then through the new government quarter to the Brandenburg Gate.
With emphasis on German history the route leads past the Holocaust Memorial, to Potsdam Platz and the documentation center “Topography of Terrors”. After a short stop at Checkpoint Charlie the tour ends at the East Side Gallery, an almost 1300 meter long section of the Wall, painted by 118 artists from 21 countries and thus the longest permanent Open-Air Gallery of the world. A spectacular conclusion to this exciting tour.
Green oasis Bachtal: Fascinating for everyone and learning for kids
For all those who want to escape big city action if only for a few hours, then in Berlin there are many possibilities for recuperation. One example, you could easily begin your tour at the S-Bahnhof – for example at Birkenwerder, to the north of Berlin and near to Oranienburg.
The charming Bachtal is rewarding destination at any time of the year and fascinates with a huge variety of flora and fauna. From the S-Bahnhof Birkenwerder there are indications for your further route to the original Briesetal where you can enjoy a comfortable cycle tour along the west banks of the Briesetal, along the banks of Lake Constance.
Settlements along the Briese are also well documented in terms of their special features – interesting excursions for the family! From Briese you could then take a longer journey through the valley to Zühlsdorf or make a shorter round-trip with return journey to the S-Bahnhof Borgsdorf about 3 kilometers away.
Sea air on Lake Blankenfelder See
A short excursion can be made on the cycle route from Blankenfelde via the lake Blankenfelder See to Rangsdorf: The tour begins at the station Blankenfelde and leads first of all along a nature trail. 40 years ago this was an extensive water area but in the meantime the water has become land – the lake has become a low moor area and meanwhile rare bird types have made this area their home. The fish otter, long threatened with extinction, has now made its home here.
After all the many impressions on this natural trail anyone who still wants to have sea air can continue on a lovely forest path in the direction south to Rangsdorf with its idyllic beaches, a splendid sea view and typical roofed wicker beach chairs.
Tours have been taken from the two cycle tour guides “Berlin per Rad entdecken” by Sabine Jözwiak and Ulrich Gries (BVA, Bielefeld 2005) and “Ab ins Grüne: Ausflüge mit der Berliner S-Bahn” by Klaus Scheddel. A city map for cyclists in Berlin published by ADFC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Fahrradclub) is available under: www.adfc-berlin.de