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Kaufhaus des Westens at Kurfürstendamm
Kaufhaus des Westens at Kurfürstendamm © visitBerlin, Foto: Thomas Kierok

Tour 22 - Cycling Tour from City West to East Berlin

This cycling tour through the centre of Berlin starts at the BEST WESTERN Hotel Kantstraße Berlin, Kantstraße 111. From the hotel entrance, travel eastwards (to the right) along Kantstraße for about 1.3 km, crossing Savignyplatz, until you come to Uhlandstraße. Take a right onto Uhlandstraße, cross under the S-Bahn tracks and ride another long block until you reach Kurfürstendamm.

Kurfürstendamm

Kurfürstendamm, also nicknamed “Ku'damm”, is the most famous street in western Berlin. Here you can stroll, shop and dine to your heart's content. In about three blocks, you'll cross the Café Kranzler on the left side of the street and then another long block ahead the Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) on Breitscheidplatz.

Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church)

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, completed in 1895, has been dubbed the "hollow tooth" because its spire was hollowed out in the Second World War. The ruins of the Memorial Church were left in place as a war memorial and later expanded in 1961 with a modern church building designed by Egon Eiermann.

KaDeWe

As the road curves to the right from the Gedächtniskirche and Breitscheidplatz, it becomes the Tauentzienstraße. In about four blocks, you'll come upon the luxurious department store, Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe). KaDeWe's gourmet food department on the sixth floor is justifiably famous.

An der Urania

Past KaDeWe, ride through Wittenbergplatz and continue as the road becomes the Kleiststraße. Ride for two short blocks. At the next major intersection, turn left to the street An der Urania, named after the Urania, an educational institution providing science education for everyone.

Lützowplatz

Stay on this street for the next block as it crosses Kurfürstenstraße and becomes Schillstraße. In another block, you will see Lützowplatz to your right. Continue straight ahead, take the bridge over the Landwehrkanal and continue straight on Klingelhöferstraße on the other side of the bridge.

Insider Tip: Bauhaus-Archiv Museum für Gestaltung

Take a short detour into the history of German design: In this museum you will discover the cultural impact of the Bauhaus, the most important school of architecture, design and art in the 20th century.

Hofjägerallee

Stay on Klingelhöfer Straße for two blocks until it becomes Hofjägerallee. Hofjägerallee takes you through the park Großer Tiergarten to the famous Siegessäule, the column crowned by the golden statue of Victoria, nicknamed "Goldelse" by the locals.

Tiergartenstraße

Retrace your journey on Hofjägerallee and at the southern edge of the Tiergarten, turn left (to the east) onto Tiergartenstraße. You will pass several embassy buildings on the right hand side of the street. After about a kilometre, turn right onto Matthäikirchstraße, home to the Kulturforum.

Kulturforum

The Kulturforum is home to several major cultural institutions including the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery), the Philharmonie (Philharmonic Hall), the Kammermusiksaal (Chamber Music Hall), the Staatsbibliothek (National Library), the Gemäldegalerie (Painting Gallery) and much more. Drive through the Kulturforum as the road curves to the left until you come to Potsdamer Straße. Take a left and ride for about 600 metres until you reach Potsdamer Platz.

Tour map

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Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz was the busiest traffic circle in 1920s Europe. During the years of post-war German division, it was reduced to a large big, dusty wasteland in no man's land. Potsdamer Platz has been completely re-built after reunification. It is now home to some interesting buildings, such as the Sony Center and the red brick skyscraper.

Insider Tip: Ampelmännchen Shop

This shop celebrates a beloved relic from the GDR, the little man from the pedestrian crossing lights (the Ampelmännchen), in every shape and form imaginable. This is a great place to pick up some unusual souvenirs of Berlin.

Ebertstraße

From Potsdamer Platz, take a left onto Ebertstraße and continue cycling straight ahead. In about 400 metres, you will see on the right the impressive field of steles which make up the Holocaust Memorial. Another block ahead and you will have reached the Brandenburg Gate.

The Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most famous sights of Berlin. Built in 1791, during the division of Germany it was surrounded on both sides by the Berlin Wall, as it stood right on the border between East and West. It has since become the symbol of German reunification. Ride through the gate into the former East Berlin.

Unter den Linden

Cross Pariser Platz and straight onto Unter den Linden. This grand boulevard is home to the rebuilt Adlon Hotel, the impressive Russian embassy and many other historic buildings. After 1.4 km, you will cross over the Spree and arrive at Schloßplatz.

Schloßplatz

The Schloßplatz (Palace Square) was the site of the Berlin Stadtschloß (City Palace) until it was blown up in 1950. On part of the site, the GDR government later built its Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic), torn down in 2008. In 2013, the foundation stone was laid for the reconstruction of the Stadtschloß.

Museumsinsel

You are now on the Museumsinsel (Museum Island); this large island in the middle of the Spree is home to several important museums which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Pergamonmuseum, the Neues Museum (New Museum), the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the Bode-Museum and the Altes Museum (Old Museum). Ride past the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) on the left, cross the Spree again and continue straight ahead onto Karl-Liebknecht-Straße.

Alexanderplatz

In another block on the right, you can't miss Alexanderplatz and the famous TV Tower erected here in 1969 as the second highest TV tower in the world at the time. The silver sphere atop the tower houses the revolving Telecafé restaurant, a great place to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy sensational 360° views over the city.

Holzmarktstraße

Ride past the TV Tower and under the elevated S-Bahn tracks. Take an immediate right onto Alexanderplatz. Ride past the S-Bahn station for about two blocks, cross Grunerstraße and the road becomes Dircksenstraße. Continue riding along the S-Bahn tracks on Dircksenstraße for about three blocks until you come to Holzmarkstraße. Take a left. Continue riding until you cross under the S-Bahn tracks again. In about a block, the street will be renamed Stralauer Platz. Stay on the same street after it becomes Mühlenstraße.

East Side Gallery

Along Mühlenstraße, you will ride along the East Side Gallery on the right-hand side. The East Side Gallery is the longest open-air gallery in the world, consisting of 100 paintings along 1,316 metres of the original Berlin Wall. The pieces were painted by 118 artists from 21 countries after the fall of the Wall.

Kreuzberg

At the end of the East Side Gallery, take a right over the Spree and cross the Oberbaumbrücke. The road curves to the right, following the elevated U-Bahn tracks and becomes Skalitzer Straße. Continue to ride parallel to the elevated tracks for about 1.6 km. Carefully cross the roundabout at Kottbusser Tor and continue straight as the road becomes Gitschiner Straße.

Hallesches Ufer

To your left, you will see the Landwehrkanal. Follow the road as it snakes along parallel to the Landwehrkanal. The road will change names to Hallesches Ufer, then Reichpietschufer, and finally Von-der-Heydt-Straße as you come back to the Bauhaus Archiv. Once you pass the Bauhaus Archiv, take a left at the big intersection onto Schillstraße. Ride back through Lützowplatz and one more block until you come to Kurfürstenstraße.

Kantstraße

Take a right onto Kurfürstenstraße and follow it for five blocks until it merges into Budapester Straße. On your left you will see the Gedächtniskirche. Just past the church, take a left onto Kantstraße. Ride until house number 111 – you have reached the end of the tour.