This tour starts at Kastanienallee 65, by the Hotel Kastanienhof. Turn left from the front door of the hotel and follow Kastanienallee until it turns into the steep Weinbergsweg. To the right is Weinbergspark (also known as “Volkspark am Weinberg”). Coast down the Weinbergsweg until you reach Rosenthaler Platz. This was once the site of the Rosenthaler Tor, the only gate in Berlin's medieval city wall through which Jews were allowed to pass.
At Rosenthaler Platz, turn left onto Rosenthalerstraße. But do be careful at this busy intersection - it's best if you walk your bike across the pedestrian crossing to the other side of the street and only start riding again once you're at the traffic lights. From here, ride straight down Rosenthalerstraße and follow the street through the Spandauer Vorstadt to Hackescher Markt.
The Hackescher Markt is a major crossroads where roads, several tram lines and the S-Bahn all intersect. This is also where you will find the Hackesche Höfe, famous for its numerous, artistically designed courtyards with shops, cinema, cabarets, cafés and restaurants.
Now take a right onto Oranienburger Straße. If you've worked up an appetite, then the Hasir restaurant at Oranienburgerstraße 4 is the perfect place to stop off for a delicious break. Here you can enjoy delicious Turkish cuisine in a traditional Berlin courtyard that has been transformed into an Anatolian oasis. Now continue riding past Monbijoupark to the Neue Synagoge. This Jewish house of worship was established in 1866 and saved from destruction during the 1938 Kristallnacht by the courageous actions of a police officer, only to be severely damaged by a British bomb in 1943. The building was finally lovingly restored in 1995 and has since been opened up to the public once again.
Monbijoustraße and Monbijoubrücke
Now backtrack a little on Oranienburger Straße and turn right onto Monbijoustraße, following the street towards the monumental Monbijoubrücke (Monbijou Bridge). As you ride over this bridge, you'll cross the River Spree twice as well as the tip of the Museumsinsel. Take a left and ride down the street named Am Kupfergraben past the Museumsinsel (Museum Island).
Insider Tip: top quality coffee at the tip of the Museumsinsel
Located right at the tip of the Museum Island, the Café im Bode-Museum (Café at the Bode Museum) promises unique delights in a unique setting. Just head on in to enjoy the fantastic atmosphere.
Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
There are five museums on the Museumsinsel, which has now been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the Pergamonmuseum, the Neues Museum (New Museum), the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the Bode-Museum and the Altes Museum (Old Museum). In addition to the countless treasures of global cultural history on display, the world-famous Nefertiti has also found a new home on the Museum Island. Follow the street until you get to Bodestraße, then take a left. Now you’ll cross the Spree again and cycle past the back of the Altes Museum. Go straight on, follow Burgstraße over the bridge to the other bank of the Spree and continue on from here to the left. Follow Burgstraße and towards your left you'll see the rear view of the Museum Island. Take a right onto Neue Promenade and cross the pedestrian plaza in front of the Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station on the street called “Am Zwirngraben”. The street name harks back to the old fortifications of the medieval wall.
Cross the street named An der Spandauer Brücke, continue straight on to Dircksenstraße and follow it until you can turn left onto Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße.
Insider Tip: Restaurants in the S-Bahn Underpasses
A special treat: enjoy some great food and drink while the tables rattle as the S-Bahn passes overhead.
Ride down Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße, which is named after the famous politician and women's rights activist Rosa Luxemburg. Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße leads directly to the Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz.
Volksbühne near Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz
This impressive building has dominated the square since 1890. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the theatre has been under the leadership of Berlin director and producer Frank Castorf, whose productions frequently provoke discussions and make headlines.
The tour now moves on towards trendy Prenzlauer Berg. Ride to the left past the Volksbühne and cross Torstraße. This is where Schönhauser Allee begins. The crossing was once the site of the Schönhauser Tor (Schönhauser Gate) in Berlin's medieval wall. Stay on Schönhauser Allee, even though you’ll have to pedal a bit harder now. After all, you're climbing the Prenzlauer Berg. But don't worry: this "mountain" is only 14 metres high, which of course stands out against the otherwise flat Berlin landscape.
On the left side you can see the Pfefferberg, a former brewery which is now used by a variety of institutions, initiatives, businesses and creative types. A fascinating place with the kind of diversity which is typical of Berlin.
Insider Tip: Spanish Delights at the Pfefferberg
If you fancy taking a break to enjoy some Spanish delicacies, then make your way to the Pfefferberg, Schönhauser Allee 176. There you'll find TAURO, a Spanish culinary paradise with cocktail and tapas bar, restaurants, wine tasting area and a Spanish-Mediterranean deli.
Jüdischer Friedhof (Jewish Cemetery), Schönhauser Allee
Keep riding straight ahead, past Senefelder Platz and the monument to Alois Senefelder, inventor of lithography and pioneer of modern offset printing. After a few meters, you'll pass the Jüdischer Friedhof Schönhauser Allee. The Jüdischer Friedhof Schönhauser Allee (Jewish Cemetery) was in use from 1827 to 1880 and is the final resting place for over 23,000 Berlin Jews. Numerous famous residents are buried here, including painter Max Liebermann and composer Giacomo Meyerbeer.
As you continue on Schönhauser Allee, you'll soon see the yellowish corner tower of the Kulturbrauerei (meaning culture brewery). The Kulturbrauerei is another former brewery founded by pharmacist Heinrich Prell, which was later acquired and extended by Jobst Schultheiss. Today, the Kulturbrauerei is a cultural centre with a large event space, theatre, cinema, restaurants, galleries, shops and much more. On Sredzkistraße turn left onto Choriner Straße. When you reach the next corner (Choriner Straße at Oderberger Street 61) you’ll find another gastronomic gem: the Restaurant Bogus, where you can discover the delights of Russian and Siberian cuisine for yourself. The bike tour continues via Choriner Straße to Schwedter Straße, where you take a right. After a few metres, you'll reach Kastanienallee. Take a left and you'll arrive back at the tour’s starting point, the Hotel Kastanienhof. Kindly supported by Hotel Kastanienhof.