Buying and riding a bicycle in Berlin

Buying and riding a bicycle in Berlin

Having a bicycle in Berlin is great. Berlin is very flat, and it has a big network of bike paths. In this guide, you will learn how to buy a bike in Berlin, what rules you must follow, and how to deal with bicycle theft.

Where to buy a bicycle in Berlin

Buying a new bicycle

There are hundreds of bicycle shops in Berlin. Here are some of the biggest ones:

Buying a used bicycle

You can save money by buying a used bicycle. There are many places where you can find used bicycles:

Many used bicycles are stolen. If you are caught riding a stolen bicycle, it can be a problem1. Before you buy a used bicycle, find its frame number (Rahmennummer) or registration tag (Fahrradkennzeichen), and enter it in this database, this database and this database.

You should also sign a sales contract like this one. If the bike is stolen, the seller will often refuse to sign a contract1.

Renting a bicycle

If you only stay in Berlin for a few months, you can rent a bicycle instead.

Bicycle repairs

There are many bike repair shops (Fahrradwerkstatt) in every neighbourhood. If you just need air in your tires, use this map of public bicycle pumps. You can also buy a bicycle pump for less than 10€.

Self-service workshops

If you want to repair your bicycle yourself, there are also self-service repair stations (Selbsthilfewerkstatt) around the city. Many of them have friendly people who can teach you how to do it.

Bicycle theft

Bike theft is very common in Berlin1. Over 30 000 bicycles are stolen every year1. Always lock your bike with a strong bicycle lock (Fahrradschloß). Do not leave your bike locked on the street or at a train station overnight. If possible, lock your bike in a private area like a courtyard or a cellar.

Bicycle registration

The Berlin police can label your bike, and register it in their database. If your bike is stolen, it will be harder to resell. If the police finds your bike, they can return it to you. This is is a free service. You can find bicycle registration events here.

You should also write down your bicycle's frame number (Rahmennummer). If your bicycle is stolen, you can use this number to report the theft. This page shows you how to find your Rahmennummer.

Bike theft insurance

If you have an expensive bike, you can get household insurance (Hausratversicherung) that covers bike theft. For example, Coya's household insurance covers bicycles for an extra 3€ per month.

What to do if your bike gets stolen

Report the theft to the Berlin police. You can do it online. If your bicycle is found again, they will let you know. You should also look at this list of recovered bicycles.

Bicycle requirements in Berlin

Your bicycle must have lights, reflectors, a bell and working brakes. The Berlin Police sometimes controls bicycles.

Some equipment is not required, and some equipment is forbidden:

Road rules for cyclists in Germany

These are some of the most important road rules for cyclists. Those rules apply for all of Germany, not just Berlin. If you break the law on a bicycle, you can lose points on your driving licence1.

Right of way

If you ride a bicycle in Germany, you must understand who has the right of way. This website explains it really well.

Bringing bicycles on public transit

You can bring your bicycle on the train (S-Bahn and U-Bahn), and on the N1 to N9 night buses1. You can't bring your bicycle in the tram, or in other buses. On the U-Bahn, don't bring your bicycle in the first carriage. Some carriages also have a "no bicycles" sign near the door.1 On the S-Bahn, only use the carriages with a bicycle sign near the door.1

Bicycle trailers, bicycles with more than two wheels, scooters and motorcycles are not allowed on the train. Electric bicycles are allowed.1

Bicycle tickets

You must buy a bicycle ticket (Fahrradticket) for your bicycle. If you have a folding bike, you do not need a bicycle ticket, but your bike must be folded in the train. If you have a student ticket (Schülerticket) or an apprentice ticket (Ausbildungsticket), you don't need a bicycle ticket.

On the S-Bahn, only use carriages with a bicycle sign near the door.
On the U-Bahn, don't bring your bicycle in carriages with this sticker.
On the U-Bahn, don't bring your bicycle in the first carriage.