This cycling tour begins at the Mercure Hotel Berlin City at 38 Invalidenstraße. From the front door of the hotel, go to the right along Invalidenstraße and head east. Cross over Chauseestraße and turn left behind the Nordbahnhof rail station into Gartenstraße.
The Nordbahnhof was once one of Berlin major terminal stations. It initially served long-distance trains and then suburban trains later on. Today, only S-Bahn trains, trams and buses stop here.
Continue along Gartenstraße and then take a right at the next intersection onto Bernauer Straße. Bernauer Straße is one of the symbols of divided Germany: the Berlin Wall ran along this street until the reunification.
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial)
This site is a national memorial to Berlin Wall, the division of Berlin, and those who were killed at the Wall. The memorial consists of the Kapelle der Versöhnung (Chapel of Reconciliation), the Dokumentationszentrum (Documentation Centre), and a section of the former border fortifications.
Ride along Bernauer Straße until it becomes Eberswalder Straße. To the left is Mauerpark, a popular park which hosts a large flea market and an open-air karaoke event on Sundays.
In a couple of blocks, you'll come upon the Eberswalder Straße U-Bahn station, one of the busiest intersections in Berlin. Here, the elevated U-Bahn, trams, cars, cyclists and pedestrians cross paths. At the weekends, it’s a popular place to meet up to hang out in Mauerpark and go to the surrounding bars, restaurants and cafés.
Insider Tip: Currywurst at Konnopke's
You refuel with one of the famous currywurst from Konnopke's under the elevated railway bridge on the central reservation of Schönhauser Allee.
At the Eberswalder Straße intersection, take a quick right onto Schönhauser Allee and then immediately turn right again onto Kastanienallee. This avenue is jokingly known as “Casting-Allee” because casting agents are said to have discovered so many beauties here.
Insider Tip: Prater Pilsner in the Beer Garden
Just after the Eberswalder intersection on the right-hand side you’ll find Berlin's oldest beer garden, the Prater. In summer you can enjoy home-brewed beer here under the huge chestnut trees that give the Kastanienallee its name. In winter, the action moves inside the cosy restaurant.
Ride down Kastanienallee, which after several blocks will become the Weinbergsweg as it passes the Weinbergspark to your right. Then after another short stretch, you'll be at Rosenthaler Platz. Do watch out for the tram tracks! Until the 19th Century, this was the site of the Rosenthaler Tor, one of the few gates through which Jews could enter the city.
Get off your bike at this busy intersection and cross over Brunnenstraße at the pedestrian signal. After crossing, hop back on your bike and ride down Brunnenstraße until it becomes Rosenthaler Straße, which will take you through the Rosenthal suburb.
The Hackescher Markt is a busy traffic junction in the Spandau suburb. Numerous cafés, bars and shops invite you to take some time to shop and relax. Particularly interesting: the Hackesche Höfe, a beautifully restored building with eight rear courtyards. Walk your bike past the square in front of the Hackescher Markt S-Bahn station and then continue riding to the left onto Burgstraße. Burgstraße curves to the right onto a bridge over the Spree onto Museumsinsel (Museum Island). Stay on Burgstaße after it becomes Bodestraße and then cross the river again. Immediately after crossing the second bridge, turn right Am Kupfergraben.
Insider Tip: Museumsinsel
Museum Island is the northern tip of the Spree Island. It is home to five major museums: the Pergamonmuseum, the Neues Museum (New Museum), the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the Bode-Museum and the Altes Museum (Old Museum).
The Banks of the Spree
Continue riding along the riverbank on Am Kupfergraben. Follow the curve of the river as the road changes names to Am Weidendamm and then Reichstagufer.
Insider Tip: Tränenpalast
To the left just before the railway bridge is the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears). This building was constructed in 1962 as the departure hall for the Friedrichstraße border crossing station. The place got its name because of the many tearful farewells that were made here. After reunification, it became an events venue; it now hosts the permanent exhibition "GrenzErfahrungen. Alltag der deutschen Teilung " (Border Experiences: Everyday Life in Divided Germany).
Continue riding along the Spree riverbank. You'll ride behind the Reichstag, home to the German Bundestag, see the Paul Löbe House, and come to the bend in the river, where the road becomes Ludwig-Erhard-Ufer.
Insider Tip: Reichstag (Bundestag)
The former Reichstag building is one of the most famous buildings in Berlin. It was built in 1894 and severely damaged in the Second World War. After the reunification, the building was restored and a spectacular glass dome was added. Since 1999, the Reichstag has been the seat of the German Bundestag. Visits are only possible after registration. Continue riding along the riverbank. You'll pass the Kanzleramt, the official offices of the Federal Chancellery, which supports the Federal Chancellor. It was built in 2001.
Haus der Kulturen der Welt
After a few more minutes, you'll see the golden "pregnant oyster" of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures ). The building was built as a congress hall and has been a venue for inter-cultural events since 1989. Continue along the riverbank until you reach John-Foster-Dulles-Allee. Continue following the river until you come to the Spreeweg. Take a right here and then turn immediately left onto the Bellevue-Ufer.
To the left of Bellevue-Ufer, you'll see Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace), the official residence of the German President. This stately building was built in 1786 and has been the President's residence since 1994. To the left of the palace is the Office of the Federal President. Stay on Bellevue-Ufer and ride past the Bellevue palace park. After a while, the name of the road changes to Holsteiner Ufer. When you get to the Moabiter Brücke, cross the Spree and follow Helgoländer Weg on the opposite bank of the river, heading east. Stay on the road until it becomes Lüneburger Straße. When the road curves to the left, keep tp the right and cycle along the riverbank. Then just keep riding along the riverbank.
Insider Tip: Stop for a bite in the Zollpackhof
As you continue along the riverbank, you’ll find the Zollpackhof on your left, opposite the Kanzleramt. There you can grab some delicious food and refreshing drinks in the restaurant and beer garden.
As you continue riding along the riverbank, you'll come to an intersection. To your left, you'll see the striking building of Hauptbahnhof, Berlin's new main station. Opened in 2006, this junction station is the most important train station in Berlin.
Take a left onto Friedrich-List-Ufer and ride past the train station. At the next intersection, take a right onto Invalidenstraße. Follow Invalidenstraße to no. 38. And you're now at the end of the tour. Kindly supported by Mercure Hotel Berlin City.