Best Bike Tours in Berlin

There are few more fun and healthy ways to get around Berlin than taking a bike tour through its streets. Whether on a guided tour or on your own, with this means of transport you can reach all the main monuments.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

9 min read

Best Bike Tours in Berlin

Bicycle, Berlin | © Luca Bracco

Thanks to the almost total absence of hills, the German capital is perfect for getting around by bicycle. The best thing is that not only can the city's inhabitants take advantage of this aspect, but its visitors can also tour and see all of Berlin's attractions using this means of transport.

The different guided bike tours offered in the city are designed so that anyone can do them, regardless of age or fitness level. Despite Berlin's traffic, the tours are very easy to complete and, in addition, there are many stops to contemplate the monuments that punctuate them.

1. The best of Berlin in a small group

Biking the Holocaust Memorial:| ©Miriam Langsam
Biking the Holocaust Memorial:| ©Miriam Langsam

This approximately three-and-a-half-hour tour of the city of Berlin is ideal for a first contact with its main attractions. Accompanied by an expert guide, along the way you will receive information on each of the things you see.

The tour takes advantage of part of the nearly 620 kilometers of bike lanes that run through the German capital and make it one of the most comfortable on the continent to use this means of transport.

Thanks to the tour, you will have an excellent introduction to the extensive and interesting history of Berlin. In addition, it is a tour that does not focus on a single topic, but offers a very complete perspective on everything related to the German city.

What is the usual itinerary for this type of tour?

  • Berlin Kulturbrauerei: a very interesting example of the city's industrial architecture from the late 19th century.
  • Berlin Wall Memorial: a reminder of the wall that divided the city for decades and a tribute to the deaths of those who tried to cross it.
  • Brandenburg Gate: one of the symbols of the city and is located on the Pariser Platz. It is, therefore, one of the must-see monuments in the center of Berlin.
  • Reichstag: the seat of the lower house of the German Parliament since 1999. If you visit it later walking I recommend you to go up to its dome to enjoy incredible views. Here I leave you information about tickets.
  • Holocaust Memorial: monument to remember the 6 million Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. One of the essential visits of the city.
  • Tiergarten: beautiful park in which are located the Berlin Zoo (a great visit if you have gone with children to the city) and the Victory Column.
  • Checkpoint Charlie: one of the symbols of the Cold War. Here was one of the crossroads between West Berlin and East Berlin. Possibly, you know it because it has been mentioned in a lot of spy movies.
  • Gendarmenmarkt: for many, the most beautiful square in the city. If you have traveled to Berlin at Christmas time, here you will find one of the most important Christmas markets.
  • Museum Island: this area is home to some of the most important museums in Berlin. Stay well with the area, as a visit to the Museum Island is a must if you are in the city.
  • Berlin Cathedral: a beautiful protestant church.

Recommended if... you like cycling and want to get a first impression of the city and then visit it at your leisure.

Book a bike tour in Berlin

2. Berlin historical bike tour: soak up the fascinating history of the city.

St. Nicholas Church| ©Adam Brown
St. Nicholas Church| ©Adam Brown

Berlin's history is perfectly reflected in its streets. Despite having been largely destroyed in World War II, the reconstructions and what remains standing, as well as the new memorial buildings, allow you to get a good idea of the city's past with this bike tour.

For three and a half hours, the guide accompanying your small group of cyclists will explain to you perfectly the main events that occurred at each place along the route. During the tour you will see everything from Berlin' s Prussian heritage to its more recent history, including the ravages of the Nazi Third Reich and the remnants of the Cold War.

These types of historical tours usually follow a similar itinerary to the following

  • St. Nicholas Church: the Nikolaikirche has been one of Berlin's landmarks for over 800 years.
  • New Jewish Synagogue: this religious temple will help you to learn more about the history of the Jews in the city.
  • Berlin Wall Memorial: this place remains as a reminder of the division of Germany during the Cold War. Here you will be able to see the last remains of the wall and behind it some land where border fortifications were placed in the 80s of the last century. With the explanations of your guide you can learn a little better this fundamental part of the history of the whole world during the twentieth century.
  • Reichstag: historically speaking, the current seat of the Lower House of Parliament once housed the government of the Weimar Republic in the interwar period. In 1933 it was taken over by the Nazis and its burning is a fundamental part of their rise to power.
  • Brandenburg Gate: built in the 18th century, this monument is one of the most important in the German capital.
  • Holocaust Memorial: your bike ride will make a stop for you to get close to the most important monument in Berlin, the one that remembers the Jews murdered by the Nazis.
  • Former headquarters of the Gestapo: in the so-called Topography of Terror was the headquarters of the Nazi secret police, the Gestapo. Today a museum has been erected on the site that recounts the atrocities committed by this police force.
  • Checkpoint Charlie: one of the main border crossings in the divided Berlin after World War II
  • Memorial at Bebelplatz: its fame is due to having been one of the places where the Nazis burned banned books.
  • Museum Island: the group will tour the island to learn about the museums and their history.

Recommended if... you are passionate about history and want to have an expert guide to give you the most important facts about it.

Book a bike tour in Berlin

3. Discover some of Berlin's most alternative neighborhoods.

East Side Gallery Bike Tour| ©Eric Gilliland
East Side Gallery Bike Tour| ©Eric Gilliland

For many years, Berlin had the reputation of being a city with a very alternative atmosphere. You can still see it today in many of the city's nightlife venues, as well as in many of the neighborhoods you should visit. This bike tour leaves the center of Berlin for a three and a half hour ride through some of these areas.

Normally, these tours start in Prenzlauer Berg and go through various areas along the Spree River. The most interesting part of the tour is the Kreuzberg district and its alternative culture.

Typical itinerary of a tour of alternative Berlin

  • Kulturbrauerei buildings: these buildings began as the headquarters of a brewery. In addition to their architectural value, their importance today is due to their function as the cultural center of the Kollwitz district.
  • Volkspark Friedrichshain: the oldest park in the city and a place where many Berliners come to relax on the lawn.
  • Friedrichshain: after reunification, this area became one of the centers of alternative culture in Berlin. Many artists, students and punks concentrated here, creating a neighborhood with a personality different from the rest of the city.
  • Boxhagener Platz and the RAW Tempel: if you want to enjoy Berlin's nightlife, take note of these areas, as they are among the most atmospheric in the city.
  • East Side Gallery: without a doubt, one of the points of the itinerary that you will like the most. Located next to the river, it is considered the largest outdoor art gallery in the world. In its almost one and a half kilometers of extension you will be able to see some remains of the Berlin Wall that were decorated by different artists after its fall.
  • Kreuzberg: the whole Kreuzberg district is worth a visit, from the backyards to the parks. The colorful SO36 district stands out especially, where alternative lifestyles still make themselves felt even more strongly.

Recommended if... you are one of those who like to discover the less touristy parts of the city and explore the more alternative neighborhoods.

Book a bike tour in Berlin

4. Rent a bike and organize your own tour

Nextbike| ©Martin
Nextbike| ©Martin

One option for bike tours is to simply rent a bike and create your own itinerary. Although you will go without a guide and you may get lost at some point, the truth is that Berlin is a very appropriate city for this activity.

If you are in good shape, you will not have to limit yourself to walking the streets of the capital and you will be able to make a short excursion to the surroundings without too much effort.

There are several routes recommended by the city's own tourist authorities. Here are a couple of examples, but if you investigate I have no doubt that you will find more.

  • Ride along the Spree: one of the most pleasant routes for cycling in the interior of Berlin is to follow the banks of the Spree River. It is a very quiet and comfortable route that will allow you to see the Museum Island and other monuments of Mitte.
  • Walk through Tiergarten: although it is not a very long route, you can always imitate the many Berliners who take advantage of the arrival of good weather to cycle through this park. It is also a great way to reach Charlottenburg Palace and the surrounding neighborhood.

Where to rent a bike if you want to go on your own

One of the advantages of Berlin for bike lovers is that they will have no problem finding companies that rent them. For your reference, here are a few names:

  • Nextbike: is a Bike Sharing project that allows you to use bicycles for free. Find out the conditions if you want to participate.
  • Deutsche Bahn: their bike rental service is called Call a Bike. You only have to call to receive all the necessary information.
  • Velotaxi: it is not strictly a bicycle rental company, but a kind of cab that uses this means of transport. The best thing is that it is half the price of a normal cab and that it fits two people (no luggage).
  • Alex rent a bike: a fairly inexpensive bike rental company.

What is usually included in the bike tours in Berlin

Around Berlin by Bike| ©Stefano Mura
Around Berlin by Bike| ©Stefano Mura

To begin with, these bike tours have the presence of a guide with a double function: that you do not get lost along the way and explain everything you are seeing. This is, in my opinion, what makes the difference between going on your own and doing it organized.

Of course, they will also leave you the bike itself so that you can make the tour. All of them meet the minimum requirements set by the city's legislation.

On the other hand, many of them include the loan of a helmet (although it is not mandatory) and some other element of protection. Finally, although less frequent, there are some tours that also provide a poncho in case it rains.

Book a bike tour in Berlin

Some tips for cycling in Berlin

Cycling around Berlin| ©Rich Bowen
Cycling around Berlin| ©Rich Bowen

It is always important to keep a few things in mind when taking a bike in an unfamiliar city. Berlin, although very bike-friendly, is no exception, so it's best to follow a few tips.

For starters, use the special bike lanes whenever you can. Luckily, most of the main streets have one, although they can be on the road or on the sidewalk, depending on the area.

A very positive aspect is that cars and buses are usually very respectful of cyclists in areas where there is no bike lane. However, I advise you to be extra cautious and not to be overconfident.

On the other hand, in the German capital you will be able to benefit from the many signs that help cyclists to reach their destination or at least the most important places in the city.

Among the most basic safety rules are to check right and left turns and to watch out for pedestrians. Helmets are not mandatory, but lights and brakes are mandatory. Of course, you must also respect the traffic lights, both the special ones for cyclists and the general ones.

It is forbidden to ride on the sidewalk, as well as to talk on your cell phone or listen to music with a headset.

Book a bike tour in Berlin