Oh Berlin and its commute. The public transit system with its trains, street cars (S-Bahn) and underground train (U-Bahn) is amazing. It is well connected and you can get anywhere in the city, probably faster than by taxi or car. The price, however, is not so amazing. A single trip costs 2.70 Euro – which can only be used in one direction. A short trip (meaning maximum 4 stations one way) costs 1.70 Euro. In my opinion, I can walk four stations and would rather get some exercise and get to explore the city at the same time. To each their own, right? But what’s the solution for the longer distances that are coming up at 58 minutes walking on GoogleMaps? This is where my favourite childhood pasttime was re-ignited, and I began looking into ways to buy or rent a bike.
Option One | BUYING A USED BIKE
eBay Kleinanzeigen (similar to Kijiji) is a great online marketplace to find second-hand items and there is of course a lot of used bikes listed there. Unfortunately, for us, this was actually pretty inconvenient for a few reasons. For one, actually getting the physical bike would be a challenge since we need two and would still need to find a way to meet two different sellers. Then, of course, you never really know the conditions of the bikes when you getting a deal of 40 Euro per bike! There is plenty of used bike stores around the city, but with prices started at a few hundred euros, we were hesitant.
Option Two | RENTING A BIKE
Personally, I thought that this option would be extremely easy, but to my surprise it was a little tricky to figure out. Cities like Paris and Amsterdam have great bike rental services that are searchable on Google and have online sign up options. After registering, you get a unique code and walk up to one of the countless rent-a-bike station stations throughout the city and you’re on your way! While online searching for this in Berlin, though, I just was not able to find this type of service but only more private companies which rent bikes for around 12 – 18 Euro per day. To utilize this, you have to pick up and return the bike at the main office of the company, which is not what I wanted to use the bikes for. I wanted to rent a bike from a convenient pick up station, get to my destination and drop it off, do my thing, and later rent a bike to go back home. After much English and German searches online, I FINALLY discovered a service called “Call A Bike” by Deutsche Bahn, the country’s national train system. You sign up online, use your Smartphone App to rent the bike and drop off the bike at one of the many stations throughout Berlin, and you get billed automatically every month. There are two monthly plans, one with a flat 9 Euro charge and each first 30 minutes are free, or a 3 Euro yearly charge and the user pays 1 Euro for each 30 minutes of use. It is perfect to get to places, and especially convenient by using the App to locate bikes close by. Best bike rental option in Berlin, all you need is a Smartphone!