We’re not usually the touristy-tour types, but were recommended the Fat Tire tours as a great way to see a lot of Berlin’s historic sites in one swoop. We took the tour on Monday afternoon when the scorching-hot weather was a bit more chilled out – not that it was a tough cycle as we stopped every few minutes for a new sight. Berlin is a much more laid-back city to cycle around than London with a mutual respect (or at least tolerance) between pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, so it was very enjoyable.
The 6-mile ride took us through a big chunk of the centre-west of the city including most of the main squares, churches and palaces, the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie, into the pretty Tiergarten (with a beer stop in the middle), and more sober sites such as Hitler’s death place and the Memorial to Murdered Jews. Our guide Nick was funny and informative, filling in my woeful knowledge gaps of German history.
On a semi-related note, we also visited the Stasi Museum which is way out in the east of the city. It’s quite hard to find the entrance amongst the complex of faceless concrete buildings that made up the Stasi HQ, but once you’re in the museum contains a good collection of memorabilia, including all the ingenious places they hid cameras and spy equipment. There’s a whole floor of rooms – offices, boardrooms and even a kitchen – done out in the style of the time which makes it feel quite eerie, like the officers have only just upped and left.
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