Tour 25 - Cycling Tour through City West
This cycling tour through western Berlin starts at Kurfürstendamm.
Kurfürstendamm is Berlin's most popular shopping area with chic boutiques, shops of numerous well-known brands, and major department stores. Ride along Kurfürstendamm and enjoy glancing in the lavish shop windows. In about three blocks, you will come upon the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, standing on Breitscheidplatz.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The original church was partially destroyed in the war and was left standing as an impressive reminder to pursue peace and reconciliation. Back on Kurfürstendamm, follow the street as it curves to the right and becomes Tauentzienstraße. In about four blocks, you'll come to Wittenbergplatz, after passing by the world-famous KaDeWe department store.
KaDeWe offers seven floors of international luxury fashion, high quality design, and gourmet foods. Park you bikes and enjoy a tour of KaDeWe. Continue riding east along Wittenbergplatz and continue straight ahead on Kleiststraße for a block until you come to An der Urania, where you will take a left. Stay on this street for about 600 metres until you cross the Landwehr Canal and take an immediate right onto Lützowufer which runs alongside the canal. To your left, you'll see the Bauhaus Archive/Museum of Design Berlin, home to an impressive collection of Modernist design. The path then merges onto Reichpietschufer and you will see the Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand (Memorial to the German Resistance) to your left off of Stauffenbergstraße.
Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand
The memorial recalls the German resistance to the Hitler regime. At the corner of Stauffenbergstraße, you'll also notice the wavy façade of the Shell-Haus from the 1920s and then, a little further along, the Neue Nationalgalerie, home to the city's modern and contemporary art collections (currently closed for renovations). At the corner, take a left onto Potsdamer Straße. On the other side of the Neue Nationalgalerie are the other building sin the Kulturforum: the Gemäldegalerie, housing Old Masters, the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Applied Arts), and the Philharmonie concert hall with its tent-like roof. On the right-hand side of the street is the imposing State Library, with the skyscrapers on Potsdamer Platz rising behind it. Ride a couple of blocks to Potsdamer Platz, home to cafés, restaurants and snack bars that are the perfect place for a break.
After the fall of the Wall, Potsdamer Platz was built from scratch and is now an urban centre with theatres, cinemas and fascinating architecture. Continue on Potsdamer Straße and take a left onto Ebertstraße. In about three blocks, you will see the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial) on the right.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The field of 2,711 concrete pillars of differing heights serves as the nation's central place of remembrance and as a warning to the future. Stay on Ebertstraße for another block and you'll be at Berlin's most famous landmark: the Brandenburg Gate.
Once located directly within the two sides of the Berlin Wall, the Brandenburg Gate is a potent symbol of the German reunification. Tip: You might want to take a short detour to the Reichstag, the seat of the German Bundestag. It is located about a block north of the Brandenburg Gate. The terrace and dome of the Reichstag can be toured, but advance registration is usually required.
Climbing the steps up the column is rewarded with a fantastic view over the Tiergarten across the city centre. Ride around the Großer Stern roundabout and continue riding along Straße des 17. Juni. On Saturdays and Sundays, you'll run into a flea and art market on the street. Lock up your bikes and go hunting for bargains at Berlin's oldest and largest flea market. About 1.8 km after the Victory Column, you'll cross the Landwehr Canal again and come across the Charlottenburg Gate, the counterpart to the Brandenburg Gate 4 km to the east. It was erected by the city of Charlottenburg in the early 20th century. Ride one long block through the campus of the Technical University and you'll come upon the massive roundabout at Ernst-Reuter-Platz. Take a right at the second exit onto Otto-Suhr-Allee and pedal 2 km straight ahead to Charlottenburg Palace.
This magnificent palace with its many halls and exquisite picture collections is worth a visit as are its extensive gardens. Ride a couple of blocks past the palace gates and take a left onto Dankelmannstraße. In about six blocks, you'll cross the multi-lane Bismarckstraße and continue straight ahead onto Witzlebenstraße.
Tip: To your right is the Park am Lietzensee, where you might want to take a break at the Stella Alpina al Lago boat house and enjoy the view across the lake over to the Radio Tower.
Then it's time to head back into the hustle and bustle of the city. Follow the outside of the park along Lietzenseeufer and turn right into the Witzlebenstraße until you come to Neue Kantstraße, where you will take a left. In just over a kilometre, you'll come upon the Wilmersdorferstraße pedestrian zone. Lock up your bikes and take a stroll along the street and check out the Wilmersdorfer Arcaden offering a wide range of shops. After your break, continue on Kantstraße for another kilometre until you come to Savignyplatz.
This charming square is surrounded by restaurants, cafés and shops, especially book stores.