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Keys to the city

Two days in Amsterdam, Berlin or Madrid? Hire a bike, head to galleries and then rest

By James Woodall   January 2012

Hello to Berlin: the Brandenburg Gate

A secret to unlocking at least two north European capitals, Berlin and Amsterdam, is the bicycle. Amsterdam is famous for the two-wheeler, but with Berlin, you think of the Wall, then of no Wall, Norman Foster’s cupola on the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, perhaps Italy vs France in the 2006 World Cup Final (with Zidane’s entertaining head-butt)—but bikes?

Most of the city’s streets are, for a start, laid out with ample bike lanes. Cycling down Straße des 17 Juni through the Brandenburg Gate, on to Unter den Linden and up into Prenzlauer Berg is…

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