Travel tips

5 of the Best Bicycling Cities in Europe

Bicycles on rail in Amsterdam near canal

Diego Portela/Via Flickr

We are all aware that bicycling is both a great form of exercise and a very green method of transportation. That being said, it is also a fantastic way to get around town when visiting European cities. The convenience of biking with Europe’s reputation as a cycler’s paradise, allows for a more flexible and cultural experience. Recently, the European Union has committed to supporting cycling as a safe, efficient, and healthy mode of transportation. Many cities have a simple network of bike paths, bike parking, and public rental bikes that anyone can use for a very low cost. Below you’ll find a list of the best bicycling cities in Europe and what you’ll need to know if you find yourself peddling there.

Paris: Paris is not what you would typically think of as “bike friendly,” but the “Vélib” public bike system introduced in 2007 has successfully grown into one of the largest global bicycle transportation systems. Throughout Paris there are over 1,600 docking stations to pick up and drop off these bicycles, making it ideal for tourists.

London: For many years the British capital had a poor reputation for cyclists, but recently London has made strides in improving bicycle safety with Cycling Superhighways and a public bike transportation system. Additionally, the London Transport Museum has held a number of events to promote bicycle use and safety.

Copenhagen: Locally half of the city’s inhabitants use their bicycles on a daily basis—including children. The capital of Denmark has run the “Bycyklen Kobenhavn” non-profit bike-loan system since 1995. Tourists are encouraged to borrow bikes and make it their means of transportation when exploring Copenhagen.

Berlin: Berlin is massive—the size of three Manhattans– and it would be literally impossible to see it all on foot. Although there are a few steep hills, Berlin has miles and miles of bike lanes. It is also one of the six German cities that are home to the “Call a Bike” system, in which tourists can call a number on the bike to both unlock and return it. You can even use the online “BBBike route-planner” to map out your travel itinerary.

Amsterdam: Known as “The classic cycling city,” Amsterdam has become one of the most bicycle friendly cities in Europe. The city’s abundant number of bike lanes has not only made biking convenient but also a safe means of travel throughout the city. The city’s public rental system known as “Rent a Bike Damstraat”, also offers riders an entertaining biking experience with their vast collection of stylish grannybikes and tandems.

Rachel Waldmann

Rachel is a Marketing intern with EF Educational Tours and EF Explore America.

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