If you are half-decent at riding a bike and are not intimidated by traffic then definitely hop on a bike tour as a means of introducing yourself to a new city. These tour guides have a way of making historical sightseeing interesting and a lot of fun! They are also good at making you feel comfortable on your bike even if you are not the best cyclist in the world. Remember you are riding around in a large group – the chances of getting hit by a car are very slim (particularly in Germany where the penalties for drivers are very high!). A bike tour is a great way to get your bearings in a new city while also learning a bit about its history.
Salzburg, Austria: Sound of Music Bike Tour
Fraulein Maria’s Bicycle Tour is a great option if you are visiting Salzburg in the summertime. This Sound of Music bike tour starts in front of the Mirabellplatz Gardens and lasts about 3.5 hours. It’s great for all ages (they even have tandem bikes available if you’re traveling with little ones), and is fun for movie-lovers and non-movie-lovers alike.
This tour gives you the best of both worlds – the sights in the countryside as well as those in the city where the big tour coaches cannot physically go. Some sights include the ‘splashing’ fountain, the ‘do rae me’ steps, the gazebo, and of course the fronts and backs of the houses used in the movie. There may not be as much singing involved on the bike tour as there is on the bus tours, however you really can’t beat the experience of cycling around in the foothills of the Alps.
Remember your sunscreen and if you mention you are staying at Yoho International Youth Hostel you will get a few euros off the price of the tour!
Munich, Germany: Sightseeing City Bike Tour
Mike’s Bikes Tours is a great way to see Munich in a day (unfortunately that’s all the time I had to spend in the city). Meet your guide under the archway of the Old Town Hall in Marienplatz. Our guide Kyle did a great job at introducing us to our surroundings before walking us down to the shop where we were able to pick out our bikes. He knew his history but also knew how to make it fun. The tour brought us to many historical sites around the city as well as a lovely ride through the scenic Englischer Garten (ignore the nudists!). Halfway through the tour we stopped for lunch at the Chineischer Turm Biergarten (lunch and beer not included in the price of the tour) – a beautiful spot located at the heart of the gardens. I highly recommend the wheat beer and a pretzel!
For Mike’s Bike Tours in Amsterdam click here.
3 euros off the price of the tour if you have a copy of Rick Steve’s Germany with you!
For more information on touring other cities around the globe, visit StudentUniverse travel guides (great for those studying abroad or backpacking).