The Spandau bicycle route begins at the forecourt of Schloss Charlottenburg. Leave Sophie Charlotte’s summer residence behind you and come to the old villa colony at Westend. This is where the border of Charlottenburg was back in the 19th century – here in front of the city gates affluent Berliners planned their villas following the example set by London. Even today Westend is still one of the most up-market districts of Berlin. Hardly have you ridden through Westend, than you come to an enormous square in front of an even more enormous building: the Olympic Stadium. Originally built by the Nazis for the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in an excessively gigantic style, it is today – following an extensive renovation – the home of Hertha BSC football club. Passing to the north of the stadium, you ride through the district of Ruhleben, which lies in a small valley picturesquely surrounded by a terminal ice-age moraine.
In Ruhleben you can also get a short snack of Swedish köttbullar and hotdogs in the IKEA restaurant there. Completely hidden behind the Swedish furniture house is the small island village of “Tiefwerder”, romantically surrounded between the Havel and an old meander and affectionately called “Little Venice” by its inhabitants.
The next place of note we reach is the Spandau Altstadt (Old Town). Situated at the confluence of the Spree and Havel, Spandau was first mentioned in a document in 1289. Not only the largely preserved streets and alleys of the old town are impressive –the Spandau Zitadelle (Citadel), a renaissance fortress situated on an island in the Havel, is also well worth making a detour to visit. Continuing on from Spandau Altstadt, you pleasantly ride through the diverse green parts of Staaken to the suburbs of Falkensee. The regional railway will then bring the exhausted cyclist back to Berlin.