This cycling tour starts at the Industriepalast Hostel at Warschauer Straße 43-44. From the front of the hotel, head right down Warschauer Straße towards Kreuzberg. Turn right into Mühlenstraße. You’ll find the East Side Gallery on the opposite street.
East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery in the Friedrichshain district of Berlin is the longest open-air gallery in the world. Along its 1,316 metre length, over 100 artists from all over the world give their commentary on the political changes of the years 1989/1990. Keep cycling down Mühlenstraße until the street widens into Stralauer Platz. At the next intersection, turn left and cycle over the Schillingbrücke. On the riverbank by the bridge you’ll find the trendy club MAGDAlena am Ostbahnhof (formerly: Maria am Ostbahnhof).
After crossing the bridge, continue along Engeldamm until you reach Michaelkirchplatz in front of the Catholic Sankt-Michael-Kirche. Here, turn left onto Legiendamm where you’ll cycle past Engelbecken, a real legacy of divided Berlin. Engelbecken is a small park with a lake in the middle. A gravel path leads away from the water’s edge. Take a moment to take in this charming spot with its evergreen garden and rose garden. Stay on Legiendamm until you come to Waldemarstraße. Turn left. About two blocks later, you’ll come to Mariannenplatz on the left. Just past the corner of Mariannenplatz, turn into the street with the same name.
Mariannenplatz is a large, park-like square with a spacious lawn. The grounds are home to the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, a former hospital that squatters took over in 1971. Today, it houses a cultural centre with galleries and working spaces for artists.
Insiders’ tip: the “3 Schwestern” café-restaurant
The Künstlerhaus Bethanien is home to “3 Schwestern”, an inviting café-restaurant that offers “fine food and primitive rock’n’roll”. A great place to stop and refuel.
Turn right into Wrangelstraße and cycle through part of the “Wrangelkiez” neighbourhood. Until reunification, the Wrangelkiez was a remote part of West Berlin. When the Wall fell, the neighbourhood became once again part of the centre of Berlin. Today, the Wrangelkiez is a trendy district known for its nightlife. Stay on Wrangelstraße for a couple of blocks and then turn right onto Pücklerstraße. Ride for two blocks and take a right onto Waldemarstraße. At the next intersection, make a left onto Manteuffelstraße, and keep going until you reach Oranienstraße.
Continue along Oranienstraße, and turn left onto Oranienplatz. Turn left again at Dresdner Straße. Straight ahead you’ll see the back of the Neues Kreuzberger Zentrum (New Kreuzberg Centre) at Kottbusser Tor. Kottbusser Tor, affectionately known as “Kotti”, is a very busy intersection with a U-Bahn station in the middle.
Insider Tip: Doyum Grillhaus
At Doyum Grillhaus at Admiralstraße 36-37, you can refuel on kebabs and other Turkish specialities. Cycle once round the roundabout and take a right onto Reichenberger Straße. Follow the street until you come to Lausitzer Straße and turn left here. Take a right at the next intersection, which is Wiener Straße.
Wiener Straße is an extension of Oranienstraße. On the left, you’ll cycle past Görlitzer Park – a former train station that’s now used as a park. Wiener Straße is also home to the fictional pub “Einfall”, where Frank, the main character of the novel Herr Lehmann by Sven Regener, works. Continue along Wiener Straße until you reach Glogauer Straße, and turn left here. Cycle straight through Görlitzer Park. On the other side of the park you’ll come to Falckensteinstraße.
Insider Tip: shop at ebertundweber
At 44 Falckensteinstraße you can buy books and postcards from small presses at ebertundweber.
Keep going along Falckensteinstraße until it becomes Oberbaumstraße. This street leads directly to the Oberbaumbrücke, the bridge that connects the neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain and a landmark of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district.
Insiders’ tip: take great photos from the Oberbaumbrücke
The Oberbaumbrücke offers a fantastic view of the Spree and the Berlin skyline. It’s a great place for taking photos. Cycle over the Oberbaumbrücke to the other bank of the Spree, and straight into Warschauer Straße. You have reached your destination. Kindly supported by Industriepalast Hostel.