Mike’s Bike Tours, Munich & Amsterdam


Germany / Mike's Bike Tours / Netherlands

One of the best things you can do when you visit a new city for the first time is to experience it by bike. Not only will you get to see more in a shorter amount of time, by taking a bike tour you will also gain knowledge about what you’re going to see that you otherwise wouldn’t had you gone alone. Next time you’re visiting either Munich in Germany or Amsterdam in the Netherlands, look up Mike’s Bike Tours and they will show you the hidden gems each city has to offer.

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Munich

Mike’s Bike Tour of Munich takes in all the major sites of Munich lasting for just over four hours, and while to some people that might sound daunting it really isn’t at all particularly when an hour of this time is spent in a beer garden. We started off our tour by meeting under the clock tower of the Old Town Hall at 11:15am, there was a large gathering of people so there would have been about six or seven groups once everyone was split up.

Our guide for the day was Chris, an Aussie expat living in Munich and knew two of the girls from our Busabout Iberian Adventure Tour who were also doing the same bike tour today so we hang out together. This is one of the great things about doing Busabout tour, a lot of people are probably doing the exact same thing as you and more the merrier. We grabbed our bikes which are scattered around the streets of Munich in clusters and then we were on our way to explore the sights of Munich.

One of our first stops along our bike tour was outside the Bavarian State Theatre where we learnt about the impressive efforts of restoring Munich to its former glory after most of the city was destroyed during World War II. It was here where we were introduced to a favourite game on Mike’s Bike Tours where if it was spotted that people who were not part of the group were trying to listen to the commentary we were getting from the guide we would all then suddenly have to crouch down until they left. We ended up having to do that a few times and even then one guy still didn’t get the hint to go away.

We continued down the road to look inside one of the courtyards of the Munich Residenz, home to the Bavarian Monarchs. Today the building is a museum for everyone to go inside and enjoy. From here we moved on to one of the most famous places in Munich for all the wrong reasons. The Feldherrnhalle or Field Marshall’s Hall, translated into English, is a monument dedicated to the Bavarian Army built in 1841. During the 1923 filed coup attempt by Hitler at the Putsch Beer Hall, this was the site of a battle ending the Nazi Party’s failed attempt at overthrowing the government and where 16 members of the Nazi Party were killed. It served as a sacred area for the Nazi Party whilst in power, with the events of that night resulting in Hitler being arrested, charged with treason and jailed.

While we were here we were given 10 minutes to look around the area and to have a quick glance inside the Theatine Church which is right next to the square and at the time was undergoing restoration works with scaffolding covering the exterior. From here we continued onto what was the beginning of our travels through parkland and we stopped outside the Bayerische Staatskanzlei which is the home to the Bavarian State Government and plays a similar role as the German Chancellery in Berlin but for the Bavarian region.

As we continued on from this point we made our way into the English Garden and headed for our next stop which was lunch in a Beer Garden in the middle of the park. Arriving at Chinesischen Turm Beer Garden we were given a run down on how this busy place works and were off to score some delicious German treats. It gets really busy here so be prepared to participate in a little bit of push and shove to get where you need to go, once inside you grab a tray and line up to grab your beer.

You then head over to the area that is serving the food you want from pork knuckle to all sorts of Bratwurst sausages. It is a little chaotic given it looks like there is an orderly line, but no-one really knows where the line goes so you end up pushing in anyway. Grabbing the beer first also ensured that i walked out of there with new muscles that I didn’t have before having to hold that whilst waiting for food and holding a tray. On the way out once you have everything you want you pay and are given a token, this token is exchangeable for €1.00 upon returning your beer glass. Otherwise you can just keep it if you wish and you don’t get your €1.00 back again, however probably not something you want to lug around with you whilst on a bike tour.

After lunch we continued on cycling through the main area of the English Garden where Munich locals like to sun-bake nude, not really an impressive sight at all. Why is it always the wrinkly old men who sun-bake nude and not the young females trying to turn their skin a golden brown? Fair to say there were many disappointed males on the bike tour. We arrived at one of the park’s famous spots just near the entrance where many people gather to watch surfers take to the waves. Yes you’re right in saying that Munich is nowhere near the ocean and that would be correct, however Munich puts on some impressive waves within its river and many people take advantage of this.

We started making our way back to where it all started. Our route included passing a statue on the other side of the river bank called the Angel of Peace, which started construction in 1896 to celebrate 25 years of peace after the Franco-German War. We continued on, gaining some speed on our bikes as we made it to Maximilianeum which is the Bavarian State Parliament.

From here it wasn’t far back to the Mike’s Bike Tour’s shop where we returned our bikes. Whether you’re going to Munich for Oktoberfest or not I can highly recommend going on Mike’s Bike Tour of Munich and doing a bike tour of any city is one of my favourite things to do and it’s always a treat to see and learn things you otherwise wouldn’t have done so if you didn’t take the tour.

Munich City Tour

Departure Time: 11:15am & 4:00pm
Duration: 4 hours

Price:
Adult: €31.00
Concession: €21.00
Children: €16.00

Amsterdam

As well as the original tour in Munich, Mike’s Bike Tours also has a tour on offer in Amsterdam. I was lucky enough to go on the tour of Amsterdam when I was on the Topdeck Mega European Tour back in 2012 that stops in the capital of the Netherlands on day 47 & 48. One of the optional activities is to jump on the bike nice and early in the morning before the official tours of the day start with the shop located just across the road for the notoriously bad hostel in Amsterdam and proud of it, Hans Brinker.

You can’t really pass up an opportunity to take a bike tour in Amsterdam given bikes and Amsterdam go hand in hand, you’re lucky to get through the day if you haven’t been run down by a bike which is especially the case if you’re Australian and look the wrong way every time you try and cross the road.

We started our tour by selecting our bikes and trying them out on the road while we waited for everyone to be ready. For me being the tall person I am and wearing a purple jumper today I stood out the most in the group therefore I was asked to be the Ass-Man. The Ass-Man has one simple task and that is to stay at the back of the group the whole time so if I was with the group they would know no-one was left behind.

Amsterdam is one of the best cities to take a bike tour, bikes have right of way everywhere in Amsterdam so you can cruise around on the streets without incident. We were shown all the main sites around the city and navigated the various canals and were given tips on what things we should see with our free afternoon. One of the highlights at the beginning was stopping off at the famed ‘I amsterdam‘ sign where we all climbed it to have a group photo taken.

At the end of the tour for being at the back the whole time (I really hate being at the back of the group) I was given a sticker with the bike tour logo, a lighter and also a package containing a condom saying “The safest ride in town”. Everyone thought that was pretty amusing.

Amsterdam City Tour

Departure Time: 11:45am check-in 12:00pm
Duration: 3 hours

Price:
Adult: €25.00
Concession: €22.00
Children: €22.00

Just your average guy doing his 9 - 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer...

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