Use „bike swapping“ to explore Berlin on two wheels

Lately, it feels as if Berlin is making a real effort to become a bit more bike friendly. More and more bike lanes are set up and one seems to find a sharable bike on every corner. So what better way is there to explore the city than by bike!? You defnitely get a better sense of how Berlin’s different districts are connected (in contrast to a you that is mostly living underground) and you even get a daily workout in. If you don’t have the stamina to look for your own cheap bike at a flea market (and also don’t want to go through the hassle of reselling your bike when you leave) you can use a bike swapping service that allows you to use a bike for an extended period of time, before you can get rid of it fairly easy. The big advantage of a bike swapping service in comparison to a bike sharing service is that you are actually owning the bike for the duration you are using the service. Also! Swap bikes are way more comfortable, since they are regular bikes and not funny looking space ships (which could be said about most of the sharable bikes. Of course, you can try and judge them yourself).

S w a p f i e t s

The swapping service that many people use in Berlin is Swapfiets. You can read more about their service, how it works exactly (FAQ), their bikes, and how you can sign up here. To give you a quick overview, this is how it works: you get a bike subsciription that you are able to cancel monthly. For example, you want to use your bike for three months. You sign up and then cancel your membership at the end of your second month. A monthly subscription costs 15€/month (student price, no deposit or start-up costs). Included are a fully equipped bike, a lock and a full swapping service. Swapping service means, if anything is broken or doesn’t work anymore, your bike is swapped for a new one within 24 hours. This way you always have a full functioning bike at hand.