In video: Cycling Tour along the Berlin Wall
A different way to explore history: cycle along the former path of the Berlin Wall to find spots for some great photos. In just 1.5 hours, you'll cover 12 kilometres and lots of Berlin and world history. If you don't have a bike handy, you can always rent one from one of the many stations found around Berlin. It's that simple! You can even save more with the Berlin WelcomeCard at these providers.
Starting point: Warschauer Straße
Our cycling tour begins in the trendy Friedrichshain neighbourhood, especially at the Warschauer Straße station (S+U). From here, we head towards the River Spree. Just 500 metres from our starting point, you'll come to our first sight: the East Side Gallery. This memorial and open-air museum is the longest contiguous section of the wall that still stands. Artists from around the world came here one year after the Wall was opened and embellished what were once drab grey blocks of concrete. The most famous work is most likely the "Brotherly Kiss" between Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev. While you're there, take a look back to the south and the Oberbaumbrücke.
Small coffee break
We now head across the Schillingbrücke to Kreuzberg. We will next stop at the Engelbecken, a reflecting pool with a café which is the perfect spot for a coffee break. The pool is all that is left of the former Luisenstadt canal which once flowed between the Landwehr Canal and the Spree. Follow the park along the former canal path to Oranienstraße. It's not far to the next highlight: the former border crossing known as Checkpoint Charlie, where we're sure to run into a crowd. They all pose with the soldiers or go to the Berlin Wall Museum. We've made it halfway! This former border crossing on Friedrichstraße was only open to certain people such as Allied military personnel, diplomatic staff, and East German functionaries after the Wall was built in 1961. Everyone else was prohibited from crossing here.
Just 5 minutes to the west and we're suddenly at the one of the busiest intersections in the capital. The Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz is the perfect spot to compare and contrast the Berlin of old with the Berlin of today. All you have to do is look up at the unusual roof shaped like a circus tent. Now let's ride along Ebertstraße to the Brandenburg Gate. What was once the western gate of the city of Berlin became a symbol of the city's division and eventual reunification after being marooned for almost three decades between the two sides of the Wall. Time for a few snapshots and selfies. Then the tour takes us through the government quarter.
Towards the finish line
We cross the Spree at the Kronprinzenbrücke, ride along Kapelleufer and Alexanderufer and then turn right onto Invalidenstraße. Just a few hundred metres to go. Behind the Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station, turn onto Bernauer Straße. Here you will find the Berlin Wall Memorial. From the observation tower, you can see just how extensive and wide the former no-man's land once was. The Documentation Centre tells the entire story of the Wall's construction and eventual opening. Time for one last ride and we will have arrived.
Destination: the Mauerpark
This park is located exactly on the border between Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg and was therefore once the border between East and West. Here you can rest and relax. On weekends, the park becomes home to karaoke and a flea market. Young people like to come here to relax, too. Maybe you have some new ideas for tours through the capital. There's a lot to discover!