Cycling Through the 4 Most Bike-Friendly Cities in Europe

There are many bike-friendly cities in Europe. Use this travel guide to learn more about the best European cities to cycle and plan your bike tours fast and easy!

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This image shows people on their bikes smiling, on the streets of Copenhagen, one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.
Biking in the streets of Copenhagen, one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe. Vadim Ungureanu/Bigstock.com

Cycling provides tourists with the perfect opportunity to explore a city, as well as saving some money if they choose that instead of public transportation. Europe offers great opportunities for bikers of all levels to explore beautiful, historical sites on two wheels. In fact, it’s safe to say that Europe is the part of the world that has embraced the use of bikes the most. Both locals and tourists know by heart that moving around the city is far less troubling by bike than by car. That’s why here we bring you a list of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.

Amsterdam is full of bike lovers

This image shows bikers, pedestrians and car drivers on an Amsterdam street.
Biking in Amsterdam is super easy because both pedestrians, bikers and drivers are very patient and respectful of each other. No wonder why it’s one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.

There are a plenty of narrow roads and tiny bridges in Amsterdam, which makes it difficult for tourists to travel by car. That’s why they prefer to explore the city on a bike, besides Amsterdam has a lot to offer for bikers. The city has bike paths that add up to 400 km (248.5 miles), adding to the reasons why its popularity in the city is constantly growing. Tourists coming to the city for the first time are usually shocked to see so many bicycles on the streets.

The truth is that pretty much everyone cycles there, the only exception being the people who can’t cycle. Locals choose to use a bike to travel to and from work, as well as everyday shopping and errands. Some parents even use a bike to transport their kids to schools. Cycling has even become a popular means of transportation for police and politicians. We recommend cycling along the eastern bank of the Amstel River because it has gorgeous views. The traffic is not busy there either, so bikers find it a little less intimidating than the city streets.

Cycling along the Berlin Wall

This image shows people biking home in Berlin, one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.
Biking home in Berlin, one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe. @MayFayStudio via Twenty20

Berlin also belongs to the category of Europe’s most friendly cities for tourists. Biking is constantly gaining popularity in Berlin and the city’s cycling path network expands year after year. The city impresses bikers with its large selection of cycling paths. Oftentimes, travelers choose to take advantage of a bike to get around Berlin and see the major city’s attractions.

Now, the most popular site to bike are Berlin’s East Side Gallery and the Brandenburg Gate; however, cycling along the Berlin Wall it’s the best place of all. Another important thing that tourists should be aware of is that public transport is equipped with special seats for bikers. That way, cyclists can take their bikes to the public transport during their travel tours.

Those travelers who would like to explore the city on a bike should also consider the Deutsche Bahn’s Call-a-Bike system. The Call-a-Bike scheme has become a good alternative to public transport in Berlin. The Call-a-Bike system works 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Travelers can register at the system using either a website or an app. You can rent a bike for 30 minutes at the price of EUR 1, for 24 hours at the price of EUR 15 and for 1 year at the price of EUR 3.

Copenhagen, a biking mecca

This image shows hundreds of bikes in a Copenhagen Metro Station.
There are tens of thousands of bikes in Copenhagen.

Now this is a city that every cyclist should visit at least once during their lifetime because it has one of the most convenient infrastructures for bikers. Copenhagen is the city with its own bicycle culture and cycling traditions, as shown in the featured image. The city is known in the biking world for the so-called “Copenhagen Wheel”. This type of device is used by bikers all over the world. The device is attached to the wheel and helps a cyclist power a bike when it’s necessary to go uphill.

Biking is incredibly popular in Copenhagen these days. About 50 % of locals use bikes to get around the city on a daily basis. Also, a lot of cycling paths are available in the city, which makes it even easier and more pleasant to do. Parents will often transport their smallest kids through the city in little wagons attached to the front of their bikes. That’s one of the cutest images that we personally liked while we were staying in Copenhagen. We even added it to our list of the most unexpectedly cool things we loved about the city.

Tourists can also use a bike to navigate the city and see its sights. CPH is one of the best places to rent a bike in Copenhagen because they offer different types of bikes as well as city bike tours. CPH is involved in charity projects. The company has already sent 1000 used bicycles to different African villages. Prices on bike rental tours range from 50 kr. to 6500 kr.

Paris: a rich biking history

This image shows Parisian bike lovers hanging out near the Eiffel Tower, a perfect example of why Paris is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.
Parisian bike lovers hanging out near the Eiffel Tower, a perfect example of why Paris is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe.

Biking in Paris has a rich and interesting history, which of course makes it one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe. The new type of the public bike hire scheme was introduced in the city in 2007. The project was very successful and the cycling began to gain a huge popularity in Paris very quickly. Later, Velib became the world’s number one bike hire system.

It’s a great idea to take advantage of Velib bike rentals in Paris. First of all, bikers should register online at the system and download the Velib app. As a result, they will be able to get the most up-to-date information about bikes and docking stations available. Travelers need to subscribe to daily or annual Velib’s plans to rent bikes. According to the system’s rules, it’s possible to change a bike every 30 minutes.

Biking tourists can also enjoy beautiful sightseeing of the city, since it’s pretty easy to get around it by bike. Nowadays, the city has a large network of cycling paths and a plenty of bicycle parking stations. The docking stations work around the clock, so travelers or locals have an opportunity to rent a bike anytime. It will not take a biker too long to navigate the city’s districts and visit all popular tourist attractions of the city.

During your Paris day bike tour you should definitely go to the west side of the city and visit such a famous place as Bois de Boulogne. It’s one of the most beautiful wooded parks on Earth. Bois de Boulogne is the place where bikers can enjoy cycling and the beauty of the nature. Lakes, ponds and streams provide cyclists with picturesque natural views.

Conclusion

Lots of people dressed in old-fashioned tweed clothes and holding their bikes in front of Stockholm City Hall during the Bike in Tweed event. Stockholm is one of the greatest bike-friendly cities in Europe. Hans_Chr/Bigstock.com
Lots of people dressed in old-fashioned tweed clothes and holding their bikes in front of Stockholm City Hall during the Bike in Tweed event. Stockholm is one of the greatest bike-friendly cities in Europe. Hans_Chr/Bigstock.com

There are many more great bike-friendly cities in Europe, like Stockholm and Malmö (Sweden), Utrecht (Netherlands) and Seville (Spain). Barcelona (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Vienna (Austria), Hamburg (Germany), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Antwerp (Belgium), Bordeaux and Nantes (France) are also worth mentioning.

Finally, you should know that it’s never too late nor too early to get on the biking train. Most of the world has yet to adapt itself to be more bike-friendly, but you can always find where to. Now, if you’re in Europe, you’re probably in the best place to start a biking lifestyle, so don’t hesitate. Do research about the biking rules wherever you go and always wear a helmet. We hope that you stay safe and enjoy your bike rides, not just around urban areas but also close to nature.

Do you know any other bike-friendly cities in Europe that we didn’t mention here? What’s your favorite one? And what are the most bike-friendly cities close to where you live? Tell us in the comments section below!

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