One of the greatest ways to get around Berlin is by bike and Deutsche Bahn’s Call-a-Bike is a really convenient way of hiring one. The silver and red bikes are usually scattered all over the city. When you need one you hire it by the minute and when you are done you just lock it up and leave it at a busy corner for the next person to use.
How to register for Call-a-Bike
To register you need to sign up with Deutsche-Bahn and give them a credit card. They’ll then test it by deducting a starting €5 from your account. Don’t worry, you don’t lose the money. It gets put towards your bike rentals. When you need a bike you can look up on the Internet where the nearest is. They all have little locators built in so the system knows in real time where all of the free bikes are. Or you could just grab one on the sidewalk. Busy intersections usually have a couple although in the peak summer months it can be hard to find one. Once you’ve found your Call-a-Bike just call the phone number on the side of the bike and get an unlock code. This starts the clock ticking on your rental. If you stop and want to keep the bike for later you can lock it again while still paying the per-minute rental. When you are done you let them know and lock the bike and that stops the clock.
For short trips and convenience it is hard to beat Call-a-Bike but if you are planning on doing a lot of cycling over two to three days then you might be better off hiring a bike from one of the many rental shops that are all over Berlin. These bike rentals usually charge on a sliding scale so it is cheaper by the day if you rent for a couple of days and is most expensive if you just need a bike for a few hours. For short trips or one way rides, though, it is hard to beat Call-a-Bike.
The easiest way to register is to call their hotline on : 07000 522 5522 (from within Germany)
The number to call from abroad to get Call-a-Bike is : +49 (0)345 292 970. Don’t worry, they usually have someone who speaks English on the phone.