Where did the Berlin Wall use to stand
Roundtrip on the traces of the Berlin Wall
You can look forward to a unique bike trip on the traces of the latest of German history: The Berlin Wall is one of the most touching constructions of the 20th century and when in fell on 9th November 1989, this event made the whole world move. After this historical day, the fortifications that secured the border between east and west for so long were torn down. Today, only pieces are left of the Berlin Wall, but what remains are the border tracks serving as bike trails carrying a maximum of have more historical meaning. Some former border fortifications such as watch towers watchtowers or control points have been reconstructed and put under monument protection. Many of them host interesting museums and documentation centres. One may be surprised that the bike trail leads through a very interesting and beautiful landscape. Yet, the most interesting part of the bike trail leads right through the middle of Berlin on 18 km. This is how you will discover sights like the Brandenburger Gate and the beautiful avenue “Unter den Linden” in a town district dominated by government buildings. A special highlight will be a night spent in the town centre of Berlin. The bike trail is mostly paved and easy to cycle on, the stages have been designed to be rather short to leave you enough time for the variety of sights Berlin has to offer.
1. day Arriving in Potsdam
Arrive on time, it will be worth it! You will get to know one of Germany’s most impressive towns. Visit the palace of Sanssouci with its wide park to marvel at Frederick the Great’s summer residence and do not miss out on the historical parts of Potsdam like the Russian colony Alexandrowka, the Dutch quarter and the former Bohemian webber’s district. The famous film park Babelsberg, the leisure cruisers of Potsdam and the many parks only wait for you to come visit.
2. day Potsdam - Spandau, 35 km
A first highlight comes up after only a short while as the Glienicke bridge guides your way out of town. After having existed for more than 300 years, the bridge came to attract world wide attention within only a few days. It became the legendary scene of the Cold War as the United States and the Soviet Union exchanged spies here. Today, the bridge unites Potsdam and the federal capital of Berlin again. Past Cecilienhof castle, where the Potsdam Conference was held in the summer of 1945 to decide over Germany’s partition into occupation zones, you will cycle to the Wannsee in Sacrow. Just by the Groß-Glienicke lake, you will encounter an original piece of the Berlin Wall before entering Spandau with Fort Hahnenberg, built in 1888 to protect the armament storage that Spandau was at the time. After 1952, Spandau was situated in the border area to become a kind of sleeping beauty in 1961. Apart from the occasional visits of the border guards, things stayed calm around here and nature took this chance to conquer the fortification back. Spandau and its small old town with the citadel are definitely worth a visit.
3. day Spandau - Hohen Neuendorf 40 km
The first kilometers of the morning take you through the Spandauer Forst, a strip of mixed forest situated in the former restricted zone of the GDR. The forest impresses with its great biodiversity and was designated a nature reserve of Europe-wide importance. Along the well vegetated channel of Nieder-Neuendorf, the bike trail leads you past the thousand-year-old oak trees. They are true giants: Seven oak trees, 25 metres high and a perimeter of between 3,87 and 6,15 metres! Past the lake of Laßzinsee, a small Eldorado for water and marsh birds, you will continue to the shore of the Havel, where the inner-German border used to pass. Take a worthwhile break at the former watchtower Nieder Neuendorf originally built in 1987 and redone to be put under monumental protection later on.
Today, a small museum treats the separation of the two Germanys and the history of the border constructions. During GDR times, it served for the surveillance of this border strip and was the control point of 18 further watchtowers. The four storeys used to host a few offices, a detention cell, a recreation room for the guards and the surveillance room in steadily occupied by at least two border guards. In no time, the last kilometres along the Stolper Heide pass by to lead you to today’s destination in Hohen Neuendorf.
4. day Hohen Neuendorf –Berlin City 37 km
The Berlin Wall bike trail takes you through the nature reserve Tegeler Fließtal, where a neat marshy landscape surrounds you. A sidetrip to the well-preserved village centre and the ancient church of Lübars is worth the additional time. The village is the only one that has been preserved in the area of today’s urban Berlin. Agrictulture activities are still pursuit nowadays, especially in the field of horse breeding. Past the dead railway lines of the heath-trail (“Heidekrautbahn”) and past the Mark Brandenburg Quarter (“Märkisches Viertel”), a high-rise apartment park built between 1963 and 1974 in direct proximity of the Berlin Wall, your way leads towards the centre of Berlin as the density of meaningful sights increases. Discover the Börsebrücke and Bornholmer Straße, famous as the place of the first opening of the border on November 11th 1989. Following it, you will then pass the memorial site Bernauer Straße, where on August 13th 1961 refugees tried to escape through the windows of their houses onto the sidewalk that already belonged to West Berlin. Next comes up the “Invalidenfriedhof”, once divided into by the Berlin Wall. Also let the new central station of Berlin and the government district impress you. The Brandenburg Gate, the beautiful avenue “Unter den Linden” and the Potsdam square used to be no-man’s-land and are further highlights of anyone’s visit today. Spend your night in the centre of Berlin to profit from the great variety of night entertainment the German capital has to offer.
5. day Berlin City - Berlin Grünau 41 km
Past the fomer Stasi-headquarters your bike takes you to Checkpoint Charlie, which used to be, between 1961 and 1990, one of the most well-known border checkpoints of Berlin. On Friedrichstraße, it used to interconnect the Soviet sector with the US-sector, thus the town district “Mitte” of East Berlin with the town district “Kreuzberg” of West Berlin. The control point was only open to associates of the allied forces and embassies, foreign citizens, collaborates of the permanent representation of the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR-officials. It often became the scene of spectacular escapes. Today, Checkpoint Charlie is a memorial site and one of Berlin’s most famous sights. Now, the Spree river with the East Side Gallery are the next stage of your route. Here, by Mühlenstraße, you will get to visit the longest preserved piece of the Berlin Wall on the town’s grounds. In 1990, artists from all over the world painted these last remaining 1,3 kilometres of the Berlin Wall. Across the most beautiful bridge of Berlin, the Oberbaumbrücke dating from the 18th century, your bike takes you to the Landwehrkanal and across the trench Heidekampgraben to the Teltow channel in the town districts of Neukölln and Schönefeld. Would you like to experience Berlin by night once again? The close metro stations allow you to get back to the town centre in only 30 minutes.
6. day Berlin Grünau - Potsdam 47 km
Today, the Berlin Wall bike trail goes zigzagways along the southern edge of the town. You will discover Gropiusstadt, a residential estate of apartment towers and constructed blocks, giving shelter to 50.000 persons. In Marienfelde, an assembly and transit point helped more than 1,3 million refugees from the GDR to access the western German states until 1990. Today, a memorial site and a museum have been erected in this place. You will now encounter a real ghost town: On 110 hectars of military restricted area, the US-army was trained for armed urban warfare. In a cosy pace, you will then follow the beautiful Teltow channel and the Königsweg-trail to the former checkpoint Dreilinden. The control building, the roadhouse, the gas station and the terminal ramp for trucks are under monument protection today. Finally, the shore of the Griebnitzsee takes you back to Potsdam.
7. day Departing from Potsdam
Today after breakfast, your eventful bike tour on the traces of the latest German history along the Berlin Wall bike trail comes to its end.
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Minimum number of participants
Velociped can withdraw from the tour twenty-one days before the starting date of the tour, at the latest, in case the minimum number of participants stated under the tour description is not attained. You will duly be informed without any delay in case of a withdrawal. Velociped will of course refund the paid tour price immediately. Please note our General Terms and Conditions.
Category A: Comfortable middle-class hotels
Category B: smaller, family-run inns and hotels
For bike & boat trips you will find facility details on cabins and shared rooms in the tour description.
Prices are per person.
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- tips for tour preparation
- touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
- 25% reduction for children under 14 years of age in a room with two people paying the full price
- 15% reduction for children under 14 years of age in their own room
Below you will find specific information about the tour "Berlin Wall Trail". If you have further questions about this trip, please simply call us: Phone: 06421 – 886890.
Arrival by train
Potsdam is easily accessible by train from all major cities in Germany. Our partner hotels are all within walking distance (5 - 10 minutes) from the next railway station. Current schedule information and price information can be found at: www.bahn.de.
Parking facilities at the hotel
Our partner hotels always provide parking possibilities (subject to a fee) for the entire duration of your bike trip. There are always plenty of parking spots available, no pre-reservation is necessary. Detailed information on parking at your hotel, you will receive together with the detailed travel documents two weeks prior to departure.
Condition of cycle paths
During your tour "on new bike trails around Berlin" you cycle on a variety of different bike paths and small side streets. The selected cycle routes have been created or paved within the last years and therefore of the highest quality. But there are also short passages of dirt road, sand or copplestone. The route is mostly flat. On day 4 and day 5 in the "Schorfheide" and the "Märkischen Schweiz" there are some hilly sections. The selected trails are well signposted and the route is signposted throughout with additional Velociped stickers (white V on green background).
Available rental bikes
If you choose to rent a velocipede-rental bike for the tour, we take it to your first hotel and bring pick it up at your destination. You can choose between woman’s and men's bicycles either with 7-speed gear shift and coaster brake or 21-speed gear shift and freewheel or electric bikes. All ladies' bikes have a low opening that makes mounting and dismounting much easier. The bikes are suitable for all ladies from 150 cm in height and for all gentlemen from 165 cm in height. You simply specify your wishes at time of booking.
7 days hotline service
In case of chain breakdown, flooding or other bad surprises that makes a continuation of your tour impossible: no problem, we also work during weekends and you can reach us 24 hours-round-the-clock in case of emergency.
The past 300 years have seen the transformation of Potsdam from a garrison town to one of Europe’s most imposing royal capitals. The Prussian kings erected architectural masterpieces in and around Potsdam, among them numerous baroque creations and 17 palaces surrounded by opulent landscape parks.
Potsdam, Glienicker Brücke
The Glienick Bridge connects Berlin and Potsdam via the Havel. At the time of the Berlin Wall the border was exactly in the middle of the bridge. There was no border crossing here. In the more than 300 years of its history, the Glienicker Bridge has only managed to attract the attention of the world in just a few days. And this with the help of such people who otherwise shun the light of the public like the devil the holy water: agents. Because of their seclusion (and because there was no fear of traffic, as in other "regular" border crossings), the border crossing point on the bridge on three days of the years 1962, 1985 and 1986 became spectacular exchanges of international agents from East and West used.
Cecilienhof is the castle, in which from 17 July to 2 August 1945 the Potsdam Conference of the Victory Powers of the Second World War took place. It is the last palace building of the Hohenzollern dynasty. Emperor Wilhelm II had Cecilienhof built from 1914 to 1917 for his eldest son Crown Prince Wilhelm and his wife Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin in the north of the New Garden. The castle, built of brick and wood, fits well into the natural environment. The castle now houses a hotel. In the museum one can find out about the Potsdam Agreement and the changing history of the house.
Spandau Citadel is considered the best preserved Renaissance fortification in northern Europe. There has been a fort on this site since the 11th century. Completed in 1230, the Julius tower is one of the oldest surviving structures in Berlin. The citadel's current exterior was created at the end of the 16th century by Italian architects. Today, it is open to the public.
The Old Town of Spandau
The urban outline of Spandau was already developed in the 13th century and can still be traced back to the old town. The structure of buildings has constantly changed over the centuries as a result of fires, wars, and demolitions. Rebuilding after the Second World War greatly affected the original structure of the cultural heritage. Despite this development, building types of the different building periods have been preserved. In their totality, they form the typical small-town mix that documents the history of several centuries and the location of Spandau between the provinces and the city
Nieder Neuendorf Watchtower
The Nieder Neuendorfer Tower has been preserved as one of the last frontier watchtowers and documents the "Berlin Wall", which was once here. To the east of the village center of Nieder Neuendorf are the Havel and Nieder Neuendorfe Lake, in the middle of which the border between the GDR and West Berlin ran in the middle of 1949-90. From the 13th of August 1961, the GDR government set up border security facilities on the western bank. This included the watch tower built in 1987. It served to oversee this frontier and was also the gateway for 18 additional border guard towers. Since the completion of its refurbishment in 1999, the Nieder Neuendorf "Grenzwachturm" has been a documentation center for the division of Germany and the border installations accessible to the public.
Soviet War Memorial, Treptow Park
The Soviet Memorial in Treptow Park was built in 1949. It was commissioned by the Soviet troops to honor the Red Army soldiers killed during World War II. The central place of the facility is an artificially designed mound. This is dominated by the sculpture "The Liberator". The figure depicts a soldier wearing a sword in his right hand and a child on his left arm. A swastika is just breaking under his boots. In 1994 the military ceremony for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Germany was held at the memorial by Chancellor Helmut Kohl and President Boris Yeltsin.
The Wall Park includes a section of the wall between the former districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding. Today, the border between the districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Gesundbrunnen runs here. Since there are comparatively few green areas in the densely populated Prenzlauer Berg, the Mauerpark has developed into a popular place for recreation, which offers a home for jugglers, artists, musicians and families, and has made a name for itself in Berlin.
Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall Memorial runs along both sides of Bernauer Strasse. The border on Bernauer Strasse ran between two city districts, Wedding and Mitte, and drew a line right here between West Berlin and East Berlin. The boundary line created an unusual situation: The buildings on the south side of the street still belonged to East Berlin, but the sidewalk right in front of these buildings was already a part of West Berlin. The photographs taken at Bernauer Strasse in 1961 were seen all over the world: They show people trying to escape to West Berlin by jumping from the windows and rooftops of houses on the border. Today on the side of the street that belonged to West Berlin, you’ll find the newly erected Visitor Center and the Documentation Center with a viewing platform. At the Visitor Center located at Bernauer Str. 119, two films are shown and information is available about the entire memorial site and what it has to offer. The Documentation Center at Bernauer Str. 111 shows an exhibition about the division of the city.
It is the scene of several thrillers and espionage novels ranging from James Bond's "Octo-pussy" to "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" by John le Carré: Checkpoint Charlie. Starting on 22 September 1961 at most famous East German-West German border crossing, allied soldiers registered members of the American, British and French armed forces before their trip to East Berlin. Because of its role as a transition point for the members of the Allied forces, the Friedrichstraße border checkpoint in October 1961 was the scene of the so-called tank stand off. Today an installation by the artist Frank Thiel commemorates this incident as well as a plaque at the former border. Nearby can also be found the "Berlin Wall Museum - Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie," which again had a replica of the first Allied guardhouse set up on the median strip of the Friedrichstraße.
East Side Gallery
An East German Trabant car, which appears to be breaking through the concrete. Honecker and Breschnew locked in a kiss of brotherly, socialistic love. With the East Side Gallery, a segment of the Berlin Wall has been turned into the longest open air gallery in the world. The Kunstmeile, or art mile in English, which is located along the banks of the river Spree in Friedrichshain, is 1316 metre long and therefore the longest segment of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. Right after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery was painted by 118 artists from 21 different countries. Using various artistic means, the artists commented on the political events that took place in 1989 and 1990 in over 100 works of art found on the eastern side of the wall.
Berlin's double-decker bridge Oberbaum Bridge (Oberbaumbrücke), built in 1895, links the two Berlin districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain separated by the River Spree. Traffic runs on the lower part and U-Bahn trains (U1) on the second level. It was built on the site of a previous timber bridge built in 1724 when the construction of an elevated railway required a reinforced structure. A Cold War landmark of division between between east and west from 1961 to 1989, armed guards patrolled the banks of the river as a border area. The bridge was one of the crossover checkpoints from West to East.
Palace of Tears
Leave-taking and longing, hope and despair, joy and fear — the building constructed in 1962 at Berlin’s Friedrichstraße station is tied to a broad spectrum of personal emotions and experiences. Until 1990, the departure hall built under East Germany’s SED regime was a border crossing from the GDR to West Berlin. Berliners soon dubbed this modern steel-and-glass construction, the scene of so many painful farewells, the “Palace of Tears”. The "Palace of Tears" reopened in September by the Foundation Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland with the permanant exhibition "Border experience. Everyday life in divided Germany. Original material, films and interviews with contemporary witnesses documents the effects of the border in Germany's everyday life.
The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin's most important monuments – a landmark and symbol all in one with over two hundred years of history. A former symbol of the divided city, it drew visitors who used to climb an observation platform in order to get a glimpse of the world behind the Iron Curtain, on the other side of the barren "death-strip" which separated East from West Berlin, geographically and politically. It was here that on June 12, 1987, Ronald Regan issued his stern command to his cold war adversary admonishing him with the words: "Mr. Gorbachov – tear down this wall!". When Germany was reunified following the fall of the Berlin in November 1989 Brandenburg Gate quickly reinvented itself into the New Berlin's symbol of unity. It was officially opened to traffic on December 22, 1989 and 100,000 people came to celebrate the occasion.