If you have never experienced a bike tour before you really should. I was a bike tour first-timer when I signed up for the All in One City Bike Tour with our friends at Fat Tire Bike Tours. Even given that the day I decided to go on the weather was very cold, (absolutely freezing to be honest) it was a very enjoyable and interesting experience which at the end of I had a smile on my face.
Getting on a tour is very easy just wander down to Alexanderplatz right in front of the TV tower where you will see Fat Tire representatives with placards – you can´t miss them. They usually wait for about ten minutes to let more people arrive, before taking you around the corner to their shop and get you sorted with a bike. As quite a large number of people had assembled we were split in two groups. The bikes are very easy to handle, adjust seat sizes, bike stand, and change gears. A nice couple of touches are that all the bikes have individual names on them, usually of famous people, so you don´t forget which one is yours and little plastic animal squeaky toys to use in place of bells, silly but fun.
Our tour guide Kate, from Australia, was excellent throughout the day. Knowledgeable, friendly and with a good sense of humour. You could see she loved the city, enjoyed her job and managed to keep our spirits up pretty well even in the cold weather. Cycling around as part of a group means that you meet other people, can have a joke and a laugh. I initially thought that the 4-5 hours could be a little on the long side but the tour actually keeps moving nicely and what with stopping for lunch and everything the time does go quite quickly.
Starting of at the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz our All-In-One Tour took us to many important and historically interesting places in Berlin.
You will get the chance to see the Neptune Fountain, built in 1891, it was designed by Reinhold Begas and depicts the Roman god Neptune and four women who represent the four main rivers of Prussia: Elbe, Rhine, Vistula and Oder.
Another stop will be at one of the grandest public squares in Berlin, the Gendarmenmarkt which houses three major buildings the Konzerthaus (Concert house) and the French and German cathedrals.
The Berlin Wall came to symbolize the divided city. Many people attempted to make it over the wall to freedom. Some used ingenuity to escape like abseiling over or building a hot air balloon, others were not so successful and met a fatal end like the man who tried to escape two months before the Wall came down.
Tip: You can go to the top of the Reichstag and see the Sir Norman Foster designed glass dome. It´s free too but you have to book your time slot at least a few days in advance online.
Doing a bike tour is ideal if you are new to the city or have limited time. Remember you don´t get to spend much time at the stops at popular sights as there are a lot of them on the Tour. The tour is a good way though to find sights you would like to spend more time on another day.
Just a couple of words of warning, make sure you are warmly dressed if you´re out on a chilly day. Also lunch can be at around 2.30 or 3.00pm so it´s advisable to maybe get a decent breakfast in the morning so you don´t get hunger pangs. Remember to bring enough money for lunch, it was around 13 to 14 euros for a main dish such as Weiner Schnitzel or goulash. I opted for the goulash with dumplings which was tasty.
We hope you choose to take a bike tour with Fat Tire and enjoy it as much as we did. We would love to hear from you telling us what you personally thought of the tour, so drop us a line or two.