There are many good reasons for cycling in the city, ranging from the obvious health and environmental benefits to the way bike riders get to weave effortlessly through traffic jams; riding a bike in Berlin is an especially attractive idea, thanks to the relatively flat terrain, broad streets, and a reasonably good bike-lane infrastructure. The German capital is a marvellous place to cycle. 🚴♂️ 🚴♀️
We created this itinerary so that anyone could approach it; there's no need of a demanding fitness level, you just need to be able to ride a bike ;). Cycling non-stop, this tour would take a couple hours, but we hope that you'll stop several times to admire and appreciate this new, fresh and green city for the whole day. You will have the chance, following our guide, to see many buildings and architectural singleness of Berlin, to have an overall picture of the German Capital. Are you ready? Let's Begin!
Brandenburg Gate is Berlin's most famous landmark. A symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War, it is now a national symbol of peace and unity. We'll start our tour from this popular spot, where you'll have the chance to rent a bike and return it once completed the itinerary.
Leave the massive monument behind and you'll cross the majestic Tiergarten: a famous 630-acre (255-hectare) park that, before World War II was Berlin’s diplomatic quarter and the site of the War Ministry; a deer preserve until the 18th century. The park was destroyed in World War II, but it has been replanted; its “English garden” was donated by the British. The Berlin Zoological Garden and Aquarium, in the southwest corner of the park, has also been restored and is again among the finest in Europe.
Make your way to the middle of the park. To get to the next spot, use the underground passage way... The column was designed by Heinrich Strack in the 1800s to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War. The massive bronze sculpture of “Victoria” (designed by Friedrich Drake) measures over 8 meters and weighs 35 tons. The monument sits in the middle of Tiergarten Park (not its original location) and has become one of Berlin’s major tourist attractions.
On your way to the institutional district, you'll come across two architectural wonders, of different periods and purpose. Situated on an area of twenty hectares (about 50 acres) beside the River Spree, Schloss Bellevue ("Belle vue" meaning beautiful view in French) was built for Prince August Ferdinand of Prussia, the younger brother of King Frederick II of Prussia. It sits on the north edge of the large Tiergarten park and served as the Prince's summer residence. Today it is the official residence of the German president.
Close to Bellevue Palace, you'll see the marvelous structure of the House of World Cultures: the name says it all: a house for culture from all over the world. It’s the place for discovering new and unfamiliar forms of expression, and for discussions and experimentation. The ‘pregnant oyster’ is what Berliners supposedly call the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, because of its round, gently curving roof. And there are also hidden pearls to discover inside it. But as appropriate as the nickname might be, no-one actually uses it, because its real name so accurately describes what goes on there.
Following the itinerary, you'll reach the Reichstag, this building with the famous glass dome is one of the most frequently visited sights in Berlin. It is the seat of the German parliament, the Bundestag. The original building is designed by Paul Wallot and modelled after the Memorial Hall in Philadelphia. Decorative motifs, sculptures notand mosaics are contributed by the artist Otto Lessing. The Reichstag was completed in 1894 although it doesn’t acquire its iconic dedication to “the German People” until 1916 when the words Dem Deutschen Volke are inscribed on its façade. At the time Kaiser Wilhelm II regards the building as “the pinnacle of bad taste” (not in my opinion :)). There is a certain irony in the fact that the building’s glass cupola is not featured in Foster’s original plans for the renovation of the Reichstag. The dome sits directly above the debating chamber. A mirrored cone at its centre directs light into the Reichstag, increasing the building’s energy efficiency and affording visitors a view of the parliamentary proceedings below. The dome itself can be visited by prior registration and is reached by two large steel ramps that curve up towards it in the form of a double helix.
Set close to the Reichstag Parliament building, Berlin’s modern and elegant Federal Chancellery, with its open architecture, embodies a clear message of transparency – and was designed in that spirit from the start.
Going back on Unter den Linden Avenue, where you'll have the opportunity to take a look at this incredibly wide alley ( where usually the military parade took place), you'll reach Bebelplatz: with its magnificent buildings, this square is one of Berlin’s most attractive spots - and it has also been the scene of some of the city’s darker history. Bebelplatz in the centre of Berlin has seen everything – from the bright dawn of the Enlightenment to the dark days of Nazism. Even today, there are reminders of its turbulent history.
The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) was built between 1894 and 1905 on an island in the river Spree now known as Museum Island. The church, the largest in the city, was heavily damaged during the war and only reopened in 1993. Despite its name, the Berlin Cathedral is not an actual cathedral since the church is not the seat of a bishop.
Berlin’s Museumsinsel, is home to the legendary bust of Nefertiti and the Pergamon Altar as well as five museums with works from Ancient Egypt, Byzantium, and Berlin. Berlin’s Museum Island is a magnificent total artwork, a truly outstanding ensemble of five world-renowned museums. Apart from the legendary bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the most famous and important cultural exhibits on show here include the breathtaking Pergamon Altar and the stunning Ishtar Gate. In 1999, the Museum Island complex was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage.
From Museum Island, go straight across the Spree and you'll reach our next layover: Alexander Platz. This central square in the heart of Berlin was brought to life in the early 19th century. The former Trade Square Ochsenplatz was renamed by the Russian Tsar Alexander the first.The central location has always ensured that Alexanderplatz was used as the most important landmark of Berlin. This honor is largely due to the Fernsehturm (or TV-Tower) which is located directly next to Alexanderplatz. The TV-Tower can be seen from almost any position in Berlin and therefore it is a great meeting-point and way to recognize where you are currently located. Besides being easy to find Alexanderplatz is also a great meeting-point because it is so easy to reach other attractions in Berlin.
Close to Alexander Platz, take some time to visit the pretty district of Hackescher Markt: a real highlight of city life in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin, with art galleries and an Old Town side that are worth seeing. What’s more, the spot continues to be a popular place for local art and graffiti, and remains a landmark for impressive architecture.
On your way to Gendarmenmarkt, open your eyes to the beautiful medieval district of Nikolai Viertel: Berlin’s oldest residential quarter, despite most of its medieval-looking streets and quaint houses were in fact built after the war. It was the heart of the new settlements of Berlin and Cölln on either side of the Spree, now connected by Mühlendamm. Until the Second World War, the quarter was characterized by taverns, shops, courtyards and tradesmen’s workshops. The houses were reconstructed according to historical records, giving the illusion that a part of old Berlin had returned. The prefabricated Communist high-rises all around make it look like a dolls’ village. With its idyllic charm and many restaurants, cafés and pubs, it’s one of the city’s most popular attractions.
Once arrived, you'll realize yourself why the harmonious Gendarmenmarkt is known as one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. It was created at the end of the seventeenth century as a marketplace, the Linden Markt. The current name is derived from the Gens d'Armes, an elite Prussian mounted regiment that was quartered here from 1736 to 1773. In 1777, the square was redeveloped after plans by Georg Christian Unger. The ensemble of the concert house and two church buildings embellished with towers is in perfect harmony. In summer, orchestras play the most beautiful classical melodies at the Classic Open Air, and in winter the square transforms into a winter wonderland with a Christmas market.
On your way to the last stop of our itinerary, you shouldn't miss this important tourist spot: Checkpoint Charlie; one of the ultimate symbols of the Cold War, came to epitomize the separation between east and west. For nearly thirty years, this checkpoint represented not only a divided Germany but a world in political turmoil. Today, a line of bricks traces the path where the Berlin Wall once stood and visitors will find a replica of the Checkpoint Charlie booth and sign at the original site. The original booth is in the Allied Museum in Zehlendorf.
Come On! A little extra effort and we'll end this majestic day in one of the most incredible places Berlin has to offer: the Potsdamer Platz area has always had a significant place in the city’s commerce, culture and entertainment scene. So much so that, before World War II, it was home to the most bustling traffic intersection in Europe. The area was left desolate after the war, but it has been the site of major redevelopment projects since then. So much so that it now hosts exciting commerce venues, art collections, theaters, insane architecture, gastronomy, festivals and great areas to chill and hang out with friends.
We'll leave you to your evening in the Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz; a modern architectural ensemble combining steel and glass in Berlin's new heart. It has established itself as an international hub of business, communication and culture. The Forum, a covered public square, constitutes the center of the seven buildings this ensemble is comprised of. The Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz is where history and modernity meet in a unique manner, the perfect epilogue of a day in the name of Berlin's diversity... I hope you've enjoyed today's tour and...have a beer! You earned it ;) Prost!