+++Update 05/2022: Tier now also offer e-bikes. Mobike has filed for insolvency and ceased operations in Germany.+++
+++Update 10/2020: Byke is not operating anymore. Lime only offers E-Scooter.+++
+++Update 07/2018: oBike is insolvent. Ofo withdraws from the German market.+++
Apart from bike rental shops throughout the city, bike sharing in Berlin such as Jump, Donkey Republic or nextbike makes it super easy to get a rental bike on every corner. Here’s a comprehensive guide on all providers including hire tips. There are some pros and cons on bike sharing in Berlin. First they provide cities with easy access to bikes, affect climate change and air pollution positively, improve the health of cyclists and lessen the demand for parking spaces. Especially for tourists they provide an easy and handy way of exploring Berlin. No need to check opening hours of local bike rental shops as you can just hire and return it basically everywhere.
Nowadays almost every big city provides a good selection of cycle hire options and these are growing all the time. As for Berlin several bike sharing schemes started in the past years, some already left the market. The bike share schemes solely provide you with a bike as easy and quickly as possible. Local bike hire shops always offer added value, such as child seats, trailers, locks or bags. Or you may rent an eBike or MTB. It’s up to you what you need and where you want to rent a bike in Berlin.
The most exciting development regarding bike rentals are the schemes now popping up through Berlin. These currently include Donkey Republic, Call a Bike, mobike, nextbike, Jump or Sacoora. The advantage of the bicycle hire schemes is the automated self-service, which offers a convenient and flexible drop off at docking stations or sometimes even anywhere within the business area. Users mostly need to register before hiring bikes.
Deutsche Bahn has been offering rental bikes in Berlin and other cities for several years. The business area is also mainly located within the Berlin S-Bahn-Ring. With the corresponding app you can see the available rental bikes and drop-off zones nearby. Choose a bike in the app us, go to the bike and with two clicks you are ready to go. You can lock and unlock the bike as often as you like. The Call a Bike can be handed in at fixed stations or return zones. If you return your bike outside these zones, a fee of 1€ will be added. The return will be automatically recognised and a confirmation will be displayed.
Parking outside designated areas: 1€
A bike sharing company from Copenhagen. They also provide dockless bike sharing in more than 40 cities worldwide. The bikes use electronic locks that can be opened via their app. If you want to rent a bike from Donkey Republic you need to register in the app. With that you can locate a free bicycle near you. Go to the pick-up location, click ͞Unlock͟ and the bike’s electronic lock will release the bike. You can hire up to 5 bikes at once and you can lock and unlock your bike as often as you like. If you want to return it, just lock it at the location where you picked it up and end your rental in the app. If you want to return it somewhere else you need to buy Flex Drop-Off, with which you can choose from various drop-off locations.
Uber has also been offering e-bikes for rent in Berlin for some time now. This makes it the only provider of e-bikes for bike sharing in Berlin. The big advantage: The rental bikes can be rented in the Uber App. So if you already have an account there, you don’t need an additional app or login. To rent a bike, simply open the app, search for a bike nearby, go there and unlock the bike in the app. To do this, pull the lock on the back right out of its anchorage and then you are ready to go. You can park the bike as often as you like. To do this, simply press Pause in the app. To finish the ride, you need to lock the e-bike using the cable lock on the rear wheel. You may only park it within the area shown in your app.
1€ entry fee
German-based Nextbike provides bikes in more than 100 cities in 24 countries. You can register via their free mobile app, website, hotline or on-street terminals. Bikes can only be hired and returned at Nextbike’s docking stations with or without terminals. If you want to rent a bike, you need to enter the bike number in the app, bike computer, terminal or hotline. After that you will get a four-digit code to your mobile phone to unlock the bicycle. When returning the bike needs to be placed in the dock and confirmed via app or terminal. One user account can hire up to 4 bikes in all countries. The business area is mainly within the S-Bahn ring.
€10/every additional 30 minutes
In addition to e-scooters and scooters, the Berlin-based company Tier now also offers e-bike rentals, which are available without stations throughout Berlin. To use the e-bikes, you have to register in the TIER app beforehand. The rental fee consists of a fixed amount of €1 per rental and a variable portion depending on the rental period.
Not a bike scheme with self service in the classical sense. But they have a huge network of partner shops with which they can provide up to 2,000 bicycles at 130 renting points throughout Berlin. Rental points can be everything from a hotel, a beauty studio up to a souvenir shop. Advantage is that if you’re staying in one of their partner hotel or hostels you can easily hire your bike right at the door step. They also employ a maintenance team to assist you if you need a help.
Bike sharing is an easy way to hire a bike in Berlin. You can find a bike on every corner and after a quick registration you can just start cycling through the city. So especially for Berlin it helps to be pre-registered for at least one of the above mentioned providers. And some of them also operate in different cities in Germany and Europe, so your next cycling tour in another city is set.
However, there are also some disadvantages. Apart from Bike and Berlin you need a smartphone with wifi connection to hire and drop off the bikes. Plus if you need something special like a children’s seat or a helmet, it is advisable to check out one of the many bike rental shops in Berlin.
Nextbike, Deutsche Bahn Mobike, Donkey Republic, Sacoora, Uber.