Travel Tips
min read

Pedal Your Way Through the World's Most Bike-Friendly Cities

May 15, 2024
·
by
Alexis Miller

For the adventurous tourist seeking an eco-friendly and immersive way to explore a city, there's nothing quite like cycling. Biking allows you to navigate at your own pace, discover hidden gems, and experience the local culture up close. 

In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey through some of the world's most bike-friendly cities, highlighting what makes them a cycling paradise.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Infrastructure 

With over 400km of dedicated bike lanes, Amsterdam is a cyclist's dream. The flat terrain and extensive network make it easy to navigate the city safely.

Bike Culture 

Cycling is a way of life here, with bikes outnumbering residents. It's the primary mode of transport for locals and tourists alike.

Rental and Sharing

Bike rentals are widely available, and the city's bike-sharing system, OV-fiets, is convenient and affordable.

Policy and Support

The city government heavily invests in cycling infrastructure and promotes pro-cycling policies.

Itinerary

  • Start at Vondelpark: A beautiful and expansive park perfect for a leisurely ride.
  • Museumplein: Cycle to this cultural hub to visit the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum.
  • Jordaan District: Ride through this picturesque neighborhood with narrow streets, canals, and charming houses.
  • Anne Frank House: Visit this historic site and learn about Anne Frank’s story.
  • Canal Belt: End your tour with a ride along the iconic canal belt, enjoying the unique architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Along the way, stop for a riverboat cruise through the famous canals.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Infrastructure

Copenhagen boasts an extensive network of dedicated bike lanes, including "cycle superhighways" connecting the city to the suburbs.

Bike Culture

Cycling is deeply ingrained in Danish culture, with over 60% of residents commuting by bike.

Rental and Sharing

The city's bike-sharing system, Bycyklen, is user-friendly and widespread.

Policy and Support

Copenhagen's government strongly supports cycling, investing heavily in infrastructure and implementing pro-cycling policies.

Itinerary

  • Begin at Nyhavn: The colorful waterfront district is perfect for photos and a great starting point.
  • The Little Mermaid: Cycle to this famous statue inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.
  • Amalienborg Palace: Ride to the royal residence and watch the changing of the guard.
  • Tivoli Gardens: Visit one of the world's oldest amusement parks for a mix of fun and history.
  • Freetown Christiania: End your ride in this unique, alternative neighborhood known for its art and communal living.

Berlin, Germany

Infrastructure

Berlin has an extensive network of bike lanes and paths, making it easy to navigate the city safely.

Bike Culture

Cycling is increasing in popularity in Berlin, with a growing community of cyclists and support from local initiatives.

Rental and Sharing

Bike rentals are abundant, and the city's bike-sharing system, nextbike, is widely available.

Policy and Support

The city government is investing in cycling infrastructure and implementing pro-cycling measures.

Itinerary

  • Start at Brandenburg Gate: A historical landmark and symbol of Berlin.
  • Tiergarten Park: Cycle through this vast, lush park in the heart of the city.
  • Reichstag Building: Ride to the German parliament and enjoy the glass dome for panoramic views.
  • Berlin Wall Memorial: Visit this site to understand the city's divided past.
  • Museum Island: End your tour with a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site with several renowned museums.

Barcelona, Spain

Infrastructure

Barcelona has expanded its network of dedicated bike lanes in recent years, improving safety and connectivity.

Bike Culture

Cycling is increasing in popularity, with a growing number of locals and tourists embracing biking.

Rental and Sharing

The city's bike-sharing system, Bicing, is widely used and convenient.

Policy and Support

The municipal government strongly supports cycling, investing in infrastructure and promoting bike usage.

Itinerary

  • Begin at La Rambla: Start your journey on this famous street, bustling with activity and culture.
  • Gothic Quarter: Explore the narrow medieval streets filled with history.
  • Sagrada Familia: Cycle to Gaudí’s masterpiece for an architectural marvel.
  • Park Güell: Ride to this whimsical park with more of Gaudí’s work and stunning city views.
  • Beachfront: Finish your tour along the beachfront promenade, enjoying the sea breeze and vibrant atmosphere.

Strasbourg, France

Infrastructure

Strasbourg offers over 560km of dedicated bike paths, making it easy to navigate the city safely.

Bike Culture

Cycling is a popular and culturally embraced mode of transport in Strasbourg.

Rental and Sharing

Bike rentals are widely available, and the city's bike-sharing system, Vélhop, is user-friendly and convenient.

Policy and Support

The city's urban planning prioritizes cycling, with ongoing investments in infrastructure and pro-cycling measures.

Itinerary

  • Start in La Petite France: Explore this picturesque area with its half-timbered houses and canals.
  • Strasbourg Cathedral: Visit this stunning Gothic cathedral.
  • Orangerie Park: Cycle to this beautiful park with a small zoo and serene lake.
  • European Parliament: Ride to the heart of European politics.
  • Ill River Pathways: End your journey along the scenic paths following the Ill River. Stop off for a riverboat tour while you’re there.

Montreal, Canada

Infrastructure

Montreal offers a mix of dedicated bike lanes and bike-friendly streets, with ongoing expansions to the network.

Bike Culture

The city embraces cycling, with a vibrant biking community and numerous cycling events and festivals.

Rental and Sharing

BIXI, Montreal's bike-sharing system, is extensive and user-friendly, with over 7,000 bikes and 600 stations.

Policy and Support

The city government actively promotes cycling and invests in infrastructure improvements.

Itinerary

  • Start in Old Montreal: Explore cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and landmarks like the Notre-Dame Basilica.
  • Lachine Canal: Cycle along this scenic canal with parks, cafes, and lovely water views.
  • Mount Royal Park: Head to this large green space for a bit of a climb and stunning city views from the top.
  • Plateau Mont-Royal: Ride through this artsy neighborhood with vibrant street art, boutiques, and cafes.
  • Jean-Talon Market: Finish at this bustling market to enjoy local produce and delicacies.

Portland, Oregon, USA

Infrastructure

Portland boasts an extensive network of bike lanes, bike-friendly streets, and off-street paths.

Bike Culture

The city has a strong cycling community, with numerous bike shops, events, and advocacy groups.

Rental and Sharing

Bike rentals are widely available, and the city's bike-share program, BIKETOWN, is popular and convenient.

Policy and Support

Portland has bike-friendly laws and ongoing investments in cycling infrastructure.

Itinerary

  • Start at Tom McCall Waterfront Park: Ride along the Willamette River with beautiful views of the city skyline.
  • Eastbank Esplanade: Cross the river and cycle along this scenic pathway.
  • Powell's City of Books: Visit this iconic bookstore, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.
  • Washington Park: Head to this expansive park with attractions like the Japanese Garden and the Oregon Zoo.
  • Pearl District: End your ride in this trendy neighborhood with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants.

Conclusion

These seven cities demonstrate that investing in cycling infrastructure, promoting bike culture, and implementing pro-cycling policies can create a haven for cyclists and those interested in exploring the city via bike. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or a curious tourist, these bike-friendly cities offer a unique and environmentally conscious way to explore, making your travel experience all the more memorable. So, grab a bike and start pedaling your way through these incredible destinations!

Stay connected during your explorations – whether you’re biking somewhere specific or plan to follow one of the itineraries above. GigSky will keep you online – offering eSIM plans in over 190 countries and regions.