SIGHT­SEE­ING

When in Ber­lin, Annabelle Mal­lia does as the Ber­lin­ers do and jumps on a bike.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Cy­cling is well and truly in­grained in the Ber­lin cul­ture, so start ped­al­ing.

Agood sign of whether cy­cling has taken off in a city is the va­ri­ety of peo­ple who do it. In Ber­lin, it’s ev­ery­one: busi­ness­men in suits, older ladies in el­e­gant fash­ions, and young moms with a bike seat on the back or trailer in tow. Cy­cling here is well and truly in­grained in the cul­ture.

Although you can get around per­fectly well on the city’s ef­fi­cient public trans­port sys­tem, cy­cling in Ber­lin, par­tic­u­larly on a warm sum­mer’s day, is a breeze. The Ger­man cap­i­tal is al­most com­pletely flat and has more than 600k (373mi) of bike paths. Cy­clists ac­count for ap­prox­i­mately 15 per­cent of to­tal traf­fic, mean­ing driv­ers are very at­tuned to watch­ing for bikes. What’s more, ac­quir­ing a bike is easy, with nu­mer­ous rental sta­tions across the city and rea­son­able prices, start­ing at € 8 per day.

Best of all is how much you can dis­cover on two wheels, ei­ther on your own or as part of a guided bike tour with com­pa­nies such as Fat Tire Bike Tours (www. fat­tire­bike­tours.com) or

Ber­lin on Bike (www. berli­non­bike.de). Ex­plore the city sights, en­joy a pleas­ant ride through Tier­garten park, fol­low the canals through mul­ti­cul­tural Kreuzberg, or take a ride south­west to the city’s scenic lakes be­fore con­tin­u­ing on to the or­nate palaces of Pots­dam. One of the most in­ter­est­ing and his­tor­i­cal rides lies on the Ber­lin Wall Trail, which leads you along the course of the city’s for­mer di­vide;

Vis­it­Ber­lin (www. vis­it­ber­lin.de) has all the de­tails you’ll need for nav­i­gat­ing. And if you’re too ex­hausted to pedal back home af­ter a long day of sight­see­ing, you need only buy an ex­tra Fahrrad ticket for your two-wheeled com­pan­ion to ac­com­pany you on the S- or U- Bahn.

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