Cycling In Berlin: The 5 Best Things (And Tips)
As some of you may know, I've chosen road bikes as my primary mode of transportation. I've ridden mountain and fixed for several years, but the versatility of a road bike won me over. I decided to put together a list of 5 things that I appreciate about cycling in Berlin since I moved here. Don't worry, this is for all cyclists, not just “roadies.”
Lots of Bike Paths!
There are bike paths almost everywhere! A lot of them are separated from the road or are VERY clearly marked so that you and the drivers can see them. Like the reddish one, there are even turning lanes which make them a bit more organized. Berlin seems to be under construction continuously, and with that, come new bike paths!
When you're in the city, there are parks around every corner. Some are huge, like Tiergarten, and others are in small, residential areas. When you're out of the city, things change dramatically. Long stretches of road guide you out towards Wandlitz and other lakes. Vast, open fields guide you out to Brandenburg. If you fancy a climb, navigating south, through the city, will take you to Grunewald!
I’m drooling already from thinking about Mohnkranz! There are "Bäckeries" everywhere! They provide you with the necessary Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cakes). There is always some kind of delicious pastry to try, and if you're starving, a lot of them have little sandwiches or "Brötchen" for you to stuff in your pockets.
Cars Give You Space (for the most part)
Now this can be a hit or miss with people. Being that Berlin is a busy city, there are a lot more cars, and it's reasonably packed in the city. Since there are bike paths next to most roads, some drivers don't like having a cyclist in "their lane." Only thing is, if you're riding in a group or faster than the cyclists on the bike path, it's much more satisfying to ride in the street. Like anywhere else, if there is an angry driver, just let them be angry and go about your ride. Remember, YOU are the one enjoying your freedom outdoors.
The History, Architecture, and Art
I was curious to know when Berlin came up in history. Brittanica notes that Berlin was first recorded in the year 1244, which means there's a ton of history down every road you ride. Not all of it is old, though. Riding along the Berlin Wall will show you some of the “younger” historical landmarks. In some places, you'll find buildings that are 600 years old if you go just outside the city a bit. Oddly enough, one of the most beautiful buildings, The Berlin (Berliner Dom) Cathedral, is only about 115 years old.
ALWAYS have cash on you - A lot of places still don't use credit card machines. If you get a flat, need a taxi or an emergency drink or snack, it will come in handy.
If you don't know where you're going, keep your phone on you! - I've almost taken a train a couple of hours north because I didn't know exactly where I was going. Don't be like past Mitchell and think you know…if you don't.
Find a bike tour guide! - They'll be able to guide you on a bicycle tour anywhere around Berlin. There are great places for group rides like Rapha Berlin or a slew of other bike tours that will rent bikes and show you around.
Hopefully, this is enough motivation to come cycle in Berlin. If you're interested, maybe I'll do a "5 Worst Things.." article, but for now, let's appreciate the "Wunderbar" city, that is, Berlin!
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