Near Eining: Danube and cyclist ©Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V. (Frank Blümler Photograph)
May 22, 2017

Pedal power - celebrating 200 years of the bicycle

No matter how you get around, travelling is always an exciting affair – yet it's all the more special when you hop on a bike. But did you know that the bicycle was invented in Germany? This year marks the anniversary of this momentous achievement, and Germany will be celebrating the occasion in style!

It was the invention that changed everything – on 12 June 1817, Karl Drais rode a human-powered, two-wheeled 'running machine' of his own design through Mannheim. This vehicle – also known as a dandy horse or draisine – served as the precursor to the modern bicycle.

200 years later, almost to the day, the bicycle has become the most popular form of transport around the world, and its future looks bright. Germany has plenty of events lined up throughout the year to celebrate this historic occasion, so why not come along and rediscover the joy of cycling? Strap on your helmet and get pedalling!

Ride away from the everyday

It doesn't matter when or where you feel the urge to join your fellow cycling enthusiasts – all through 2017, and from the north to the south, Germany plans to celebrate with all kinds of bike-related events. There's something for everyone, from night rides and mountain bike courses to scavenger hunts, pedelec tours and bicycle markets. The programme even features exhibitions and short film competitions! Germany also has more than 200 long-distance cycle routes, which are great for discovering the sights and attractions in the cities and getting out and about in the great outdoors.

The Technoseum in Mannheim has even showcased the history of the bicycle in a dedicated exhibition, which runs up to the end of June 2017. It's well worth a visit – especially if you're arriving on two wheels. For more information, visit

Discover Destination Germany with our interactive map