Cycling is my passion. I love to ride my bike on my way to work, when going shopping or in my spare time. I definitely love cycling while in vacation too. Unfortunately, not all the cities in the world can be defined as bike friendly.
In the attempt to discover which are the most bike friendly cities to explore, I put up a list of real two-wheel paradises that are worth visiting.
So, if you have a passion for cycling (and you probably do since you’re reading this blog), here are the 75 most bike friendly cities in the world where you can enjoy a safe ride.
1 Copenhagen, Denmark
Considered the most bike friendly city in the whole world, Copenhagen boasts about 250 miles of designated bike lanes, not to mention the Cycle Super Highway, a project of 26 bike lanes that will connect the capital with the nearby towns.
To bring the cycling experience to a whole new level, the municipality will also build many amenities along this highway, including air pumps and traffic lights that will be timed considering the average cycling speed.
2 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is synonym with bike riding, the city boasting more bicycles than inhabitants. In the beautiful capital of the Netherlands, the bicycles are used by the locals for the daily commuting and by the tourists who want to explore the city with ease or during city tours.
And while Copenhagen is considered the most bike friendly city in the world, Amsterdam boasts almost 500 miles of bike lanes and 25 bike parking garages.
3 Utrecht, Netherlands
Netherlands is one bike friendly country, and it boasts many other beautiful cities that can be explored by bike. Utrecht is one of them and the city aspires to become the most bike friendly city in the world.
To achieve this status, the municipality invests in bike sharing systems and it prioritizes the construction of bike lanes.
4 Strasbourg, France
Probably the most bike friendly city in France, Strasbourg not only has over 300 miles of bike lanes that connect the city’s center to the outskirts, but it also boasts one of the most innovative bike sharing systems in the world.
In fact, if you’re visiting with the kids, you should know that the bike sharing system also provides bikes with child seats, an element that is missing from almost all the other bike sharing systems in the world.
5 Eindhoven, Netherlands
In Eindhoven biking is not only about the activity but it’s about art too. In fact, this small town has one of the most beautiful bike lanes in the world, where you will be able to have a night ride enjoying Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” glowing from the path.
In addition to the mesmerizing path, the Bike dispenser and the Floating Roundabout are two more reasons to include this city in the list.
6 Malmö, Sweden
With over 300 miles of bike lanes, Malmö truly is one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. 28 crossroads are equipped with sensors that alert drivers of the presence of the close-by cyclists and along the cycling paths there are installed air pumps and various tools that can be used if you experience any issues with the tires.
7 Nantes, France
An efficient bike sharing system, about 250 miles of bike lanes and an investment of about 40 million euros in cycling infrastructure made Nantes one of the most bike friendly cities in the world.
In addition, by hosting the Velo-City Bicycle Conference in 2015, Nantes really made it to the top.
8 Bordeaux, France
Still in France, another bike friendly city worth mentioning is Bordeaux. The city remarked itself thanks to the effective bike sharing system in addition to some infrastructure developments that made the traffic more cycling-friendly.
To make the city more attractive in the eyes of the bike-loving tourists, the municipality also advertise its bike friendly tours and routes.
9 Antwerp, Belgium
While Antwerp has always been a bike friendly city, the investments in the last years transformed it into a true paradise for the cyclists. The modern bike lanes are not only wide, but they are completely segregated from traffic, making cycling a great way to visiting the city.
If you don’t want to bring your own bike, there are many bike rental shops or you can use the bike sharing system.
10 Seville, Spain
Unlike most of the cities mentioned above, Seville doesn’t have a long bike-infrastructure history. Nevertheless, the municipality chose to invest in bike paths and in a bike sharing program, a decision that transformed the city into a cycling oasis.
To confirm the bike friendly spirit of the city are the numerous bike city tours offered by many tour operators and local guides.
11 Barcelona, Spain
A maze of bike lanes and paths, a bike sharing system and infrastructures designed specifically for cyclists make Barcelona another Spanish city that welcomes all those who have a passion for environmentally-friendly riding.
There are many scenic bike paths from where to enjoy the charm of the city or you could simply sign up for a bike tour during your visit.
12 Berlin, Germany
Built on a flat terrain and counting many interesting sights, Berlin is another bike friendly city worth mentioning. It has about 560 miles of bike paths and there are numerous bike tours you can take if you want to explore the city while enjoying your favorite sport.
13 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Designated a European Green Capital in 2016, Ljubljana boasts over 125 miles of bike lanes and paths. Residents and tourists can benefit from the city’s bike sharing system and the rather small dimensions of Slovenia’s capital will allow you to visit the city by bike without the help of a tour guide.
14 Buenos Aires, Argentina
In addition, tourists can also use the city’s efficient bike sharing system.
15 Dublin, Ireland
Even if not everyone agrees, Dublin is another bike friendly city where you can practice your favorite sport in all peace. The city has over 100 miles of bike lanes and paths, including off-road tracks and bus lanes that can be used by cyclists too.
If you’re just visiting, you can join one of the many guided tours or benefit from the city’s bike sharing program.
16 Vienna, Austria
Even if the Viennese bike sharing system is not one of the bests, Vienna is still one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. The city boasts over 700 miles of bike lanes and paths, while the Vienna Woods located on the outskirts of the capital are a true paradise for the bike lovers.
17 Paris, France
Paris not only boasts one of the largest bike sharing programs in the world, but it also has relatively flat roads and a slow traffic that make the French capital a remarkable bike friendly city. The municipality also invested in new bikeways, while the whole city is becoming greener and greener.
18 Minneapolis, Minnesota
With a growing network of bikeways, Minneapolis is one of those cities that invest in bike friendly infrastructure in the attempt to increase the quality of life in the metropolitan area. And even if the cycling mecca of North America is still considered to be Portland, Minneapolis is one step away from claiming the title, being the first American city included in the Copenhagenize Index of the most bike friendly cities in the world.
19 Hamburg, Germany
Even if the cycling infrastructure in Hamburg is considered rather weird, the city boasts over 1000 miles of bike path and lanes and an effective bike sharing program. The fact that the bike riding is part of the city’s culture is also confirmed by the successful attempts to include cycling into the tourism schemes.
20 Montreal, Canada
With almost 400 miles of bike paths, Montreal is another city to consider if you want to enjoy a pleasant bike ride in your free time or while commuting to work. Along the bike paths, there are many food and drink stands and a bike festival is hosted every year in the city.
21 Tokyo, Japan
In a country known for the quality of its bikes, there is no doubt that the capital is a bike friendly city. In fact, if you plan on visiting Tokyo, know that you will be able to enjoy many wonderful bike paths and cycling tours.
If you consider moving to Tokyo, you should know that many locals use bikes for the daily commuting.
22 Munich, Germany
Probably the most bike friendly city in Germany, Munich boasts an excellent cycling infrastructure, including modern bikeways, bike parking garages and a bike sharing program. Bikes can be easily transported by train or underground and cycling maps are available online.
The local council’s website also offers indications on where to find bike rental and repairing shops or about the organized city tours.
23 Nagoya, Japan
Nagoya’s municipality got inspired by the Copenhagen’s extensive cycling system, so they built protected bike lanes of their own, transforming the wealthy city in a cycling paradise. Strategically located in the middle of the country, Nagoya could be a great starting point for a cycling vacation in Japan.
24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
South America is not known as one of the most bike friendly regions in the world, but Rio de Janeiro is an exception. With a brand new bike sharing system that counts over 600 bicycles, residents and visitors can roam the bike paths of the city or take lovely trips on the beach avenues.
The best part is that with less than 3 bucks you will be able to buy a monthly pass and have unlimited access to the bikes.
25 Budapest, Hungary
In Eastern Europe, Budapest is one of the most bike friendly cities you could visit. There are about 124 miles of cycling paths that go through the city center or around the beautiful parks.
If you don’t want to visit the city on your own, you can simply join one of the many guided tours.
26 Groningen, Netherlands
Copenhagen may be considered the most bike friendly city on the planet, but the truth is that Groningen is taking the bike friendly concept to a whole new level. Heated bike lanes, traffic lights that give priority to cyclists in the rainy days and a growing infrastructure are only a few of the projects that will transform this Dutch city in a model for the whole world.
27 Guadalajara, Mexico
Guadalajara may be missing infrastructure, but both the municipality and the locals are putting effort into transforming the Mexican city in a bike friendly destination.
In fact, many major streets and avenues are closed to motorized traffic every Sunday and many other activities encourage cycling in the city.
28 Portland, Oregon
Considered one of America’s cycling meccas, Portland’s municipality decided to transform the city into a bike friendly place. Therefore, the cyclists can access free safety information and benefit from the public bike rental system and other amenities, such as bike lockers and more.
In addition, there are also free printed city maps designed to help tourists visit the city by bike.
29 Stockholm, Sweden
Despite the rather cold climate, Stockholm is one of those cities with a rich cycling culture. There are many bike lanes and paths that go over the city’s bridges and parks and many tourists and locals consider cycling in the city a winter activity as well.
30 Helsinki, Finland
With a strong cycling culture, Helsinki can definitely be considered a model by all those cities that aspire at becoming more bike friendly. The Helsinki area boasts over 2400 miles of dedicated bike tracks and in the whole country bike lanes are built next to the major streets and highways. That really is a green way to go!
31 Assen, Netherlands
The Netherlands is well-known for its bike friendly attitude and Assen is not an exception. In fact, the bike lanes in the city are wide and smooth, on many roads motor-equipped vehicles can be used in a limited manner and the cyclists have priority on the majority of the streets.
32 San Francisco, California
The second most bike friendly city in America, San Francisco, welcomes the cyclists with over 200 miles of bike lanes, numerous bike parking racks and garages and with many other cycling facilities. There is also a bike sharing program in the city, while the local cycling culture is slowly growing.
33 New York, New York
New York is another American city that aspires to become bike friendly for both locals and tourists. In addition to many miles of bikeways, you will also be able to use the bike sharing program and the cycling facilities.
Many parks prohibit motor vehicles use during certain hours and on the weekends to promote cycling.
34 Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is mostly known for its rich automotive history. Nevertheless, in the recent years, the city faced a renaissance towards cycling. Not only the locals are putting a lot of effort into turning their city greener and more bike friendly, but the municipality promotes cycling for tourist purposes too.
In fact, there are many cycling tours you can join and there is even a 5,5 miles bike path loop that goes past many historical monuments and attractions.
35 Cincinnati, Ohio
The municipality of Cincinnati is also putting a lot of effort into transforming the city into a bike friendly destination. The city boasts over 23 miles of bikeways, including family-friendly trails, and over 230 miles of roads were modernized to become more bike friendly.
The commuters start preferring cycling over other transportation methods and cycling facilities are being installed in many neighborhoods.
36 Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch might not be in top ten most bike friendly cities in the world, but it definitely is the most bike friendly city in New Zealand. There are 13 major cycling routes, a well-developed cycle safety system, and the municipality is promoting both commuting by bike and the recreational cycling. ()
37 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
435 miles of bike lanes, numerous scenic bike paths, a boardwalk on which you can ride your bike over Schuylkill river and an excellent bike sharing program are just a few elements that make Philadelphia a bike friendly city.
If that’s not enough for you, know that many cycling events are hosted regularly in the metropolis.
38 Boulder, Colorado
With a population that love the outdoor activities, it makes sense that Boulder is one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. There are about 300 miles of bike paths and lanes and the bikes can be registered in an anti-theft program so you can have no worries while visiting.
39 Austin, Texas
Another bike friendly American city to visit is Austen, a city that boasts numerous paths and hundreds of bike racks. The city’s bike shops offer cycling maps to the tourists while four major bike paths help cyclists navigate through the downtown.
40 Salzburg, Austria
Considered the most bike friendly city in Austria, Salzburg boasts over 100 miles of bikeways, including 23 scenic routes throughout the city. Cyclists will be able to leave their bikes in one of the 5500 bike parking spaces and use the self-service stations that offer free tools and compressed air pumps.
If you don’t want to bring your bike, there are many bike rental shops or agencies that offer bike tours of the city.
41 Chicago, Illinois
Recently nominated the most bike friendly city in America, Chicago impresses cyclists with over 200 miles of bikeways, including a 23-mile long trail along lake Michigan. Bike facilities include over 10000 bike racks and sheltered parking garages, and the municipality plans to further develop the infrastructure by building additional bike lanes in the densely populated areas of the city.
To welcome cycling lovers, bike friendly accommodations will also be built in the proximities of the Chicagoan.
42 Munster, Germany
Munster is a city that many would define as a cycling paradise. Many local commuters prefer cycling over other transportation means and there are almost 300 miles of bikeways in the city. The infrastructure includes many bike parking areas and a lot of bike rental points.
Tourists should know that Munster is the heart of Munsterland Cycling Region, a network of over 2500 miles of bike paths and that the area is rich in facilities such as bike friendly accommodations, bike rental and service shops and a bike navigation system.
43 Ghent, Belgium
Ghent, as most Belgian cities, is definitely a bike friendly destination. There are numerous bikeways that go through the city, many bike rental shops and a lot of bike friendly hotels.
Belgium is itself a bike friendly country, therefore there are many bike paths that go through the countryside and a bike trail that links Ghent to Bruges, another bike friendly city worth mentioning.
44 Prague, Czech Republic
Eastern European cities are often shadowed by the Western European ones when it comes to the cycling reputation. Nevertheless, Prague is one of those cities that put a lot of effort into becoming a bike friendly destination.
There are about 620 miles of bike lanes and paths through the city and the Czech capital also boasts a bike sharing program that will allow you to rent a bike for one day, one week or even for a whole year.
45 Oxford, United Kingdom
As most of the British cities, Oxford has a Victorian layout, including narrow roads that are not known as the most bike friendly in the world. However, Oxford is one of those cities that struggle with success to become more and more bike friendly for locals and visitors.
To achieve this goal the municipality invests in cycling infrastructures and offer update maps of the cycling routes.
46 Perth, Australia
Bike friendly but missing real infrastructure, Perth is one city where cycling is part of the local culture. Bike commuting is quite popular while tourists can enjoy the scenic pathways. The city also boasts many cycling amenities, including bike lockers and parking areas.
47 Nice, France
Nice is not only a lovely city located on the coast of France, but it is a true cycling paradise, boasting 78 miles of bikeways, an excellent bike sharing system, over 8000 bike parking spots and garages and a network of bike friendly accommodations.
To make everything even more friendly for the cycling tourists, all the bike friendly facilities are signed with “Charte Accueil Alpes-Maritimes à Vélo”.
48 Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva is not one of the cities that boast impressive bike friendly infrastructure, but its rather flat terrain and the municipality’s effort in making the city bike friendly pay off. There are many bike lanes in Geneva, bike specific traffic lights in some junctions and a local awareness for this popular commuting method.
49 Davis, California
From all the bike friendly cities in the world, Davis should be considered a real example of true bike friendliness. This small city brags with having more bikes than cars and has bike lanes on almost all major streets.
Local people are real bike lovers and Davis is one city that boasts the presence of two full-time employed bike coordinators.
50 Ottawa, Canada
373 miles of bikeways and an established cycling culture are waiting for you in Ottawa as well. The Canadian capital is considered one of the most bike friendly cities in the world and besides a thick network of bike lanes, path and scenic trails you will also be able to visit the parks in your own peace each Sunday, as the streets are closed to motorized traffic.
51 Beijing, China
Although it doesn’t seem so, Beijing is considered the most bike friendly city in the whole Asia. Even if the motorized traffic is still used by many commuters, the city boasts a lot of bikeways that cover almost all the roads and streets of the Chinese capital.
In addition to the wide network of bikeways, there are also many bike repair and rental shops.
52 Cape Town, South Africa
In South Africa, Cape Town is one city that remarks itself when it comes to bike friendly localities. The city has almost 250 miles of bikeways and tries to bring awareness by using a color code to differentiate the bike lanes from pedestrian paths and traffic lanes.
From a touristic point of view, Cape Town promotes a few guided tours and has an efficient bike sharing system in place.
53 Bogotá, Colombia
Bogotá is a model of bike friendliness in the Latin America, boasting many miles of safe bikeways and an increasing culture towards cycling. Regular events that promote this sport are only meant to increase awareness and attract bike lovers from all over the world.
54 Mannheim, Germany
Western Europe already accustomed us with its environmental-conscious attitude, so there is no wonder why Mannheim is considered to be one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. This tiny German town boasts miles of bike paths and lanes and the town itself is part of a national cycling route along the Rhine.
55 Washington, DC
Washington, DC and more precisely the metropolitan area of Washington which comprises the cities of Alexandria and Arlington as well, is extremely easy to navigate by bike. This, combined with the excessive traffic, make the capital a really bike friendly destination.
There are a bike sharing system, thematic routes, and guided tours, all thought to make Washington appealing to all bike lovers.
6 Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis is another of those “car friendly” cities that strives to become greener and more bike friendly. To achieve this, the municipality is investing in new bikeways and promotes a few cultural paths that lead bike lovers through the city’s impressive sights.
57 Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City really cares about the life quality of its inhabitants and puts real efforts into making cycling a part of the local culture. To do this, the municipality built miles of bike lanes that fit the existing streets, including shared lanes, implemented a green bike sharing program and plans to build protected intersections for bikes.
58 Cambridge, United Kingdom
Cambridge doesn’t boast modern bike lanes or real cycling infrastructures, but its small dimensions and a large number of bike owners make it one of the most bike friendly cities in Britain. Cycling is part of the local culture and there is even a bike sharing program available for locals and visitors.
59 Bologna, Italy
Italy is not one of the most bike friendly countries but Bologna stands out. This is one of the first cities in the world that adhered to the bike sharing idea, implementing a bike sharing program in the city.
Bologna also boasts a bike parking garage where you will be also able to repair your bike if needed or rent one if you didn’t bring your own. However, keep in mind that all the bikes left unattended in the city will be confiscated and sold at a public auction.
60 Bern, Switzerland
Bern, as many other Swiss cities and towns, has a strong cycling culture. And there is more than one reason why you should put this place on your travel bucket list. Besides stunning landscapes and many spectacular trails, Bern’s old city is a preserved UNESCO heritage site.
To make your experience even more bike friendly, in Bern region many hotels and B&Bs offer bike friendly accommodations.
61 Bellingham, Washington
Bellingham boasts a few miles of bikeways, a few scenic bike trails, and a rather low car traffic, three characteristics that define the city as one of the most bike friendly in the world. In addition to these characteristics, depending on your cycling preferences, you will be able to choose from riding through the city, enjoying the countryside or attend biking events.
To make things easier for both locals and tourists, the municipality publishes a biking map that indicates the best routes.
62 Singapore, Singapore
Singapore is one of those places where the cycling culture is expanding. To promote cycling as a daily mode of transport rather than a leisure activity the municipality constructs bike lanes and facilities along the main roads.
63 Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto is located on an almost flat terrain, its geographical characteristics and ordered traffic explaining why so many locals prefer commuting by bike.
To make the city appealing for bike lovers worldwide, an organization also offer cycling tours and general cycling information to visitors.
64 Kaohsiung, Taiwan
In a country famous for traffic chaos, Kaohsiung is the proof that a city can be bike friendly no matter where it is located. Considered the most bike friendly city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung boasts 93 miles of bikeways and a functional bike sharing system that can be used by both locals and visitors.
65 York, United Kingdom
York is probably the city that shows that in one way or another Britain is a bike friendly country. The city boasts many off-road bike paths and on-road bike lanes, many bike parking facilities and an innovative Park & Ride system that basically allows you to park your car in the designated areas and continue the journey by bike.
If you want to park the bike instead of the car, the Park & Ride parking areas are equipped with secure bike lockers too. With the initiative to reduce car traffic and pollution, Park & Ride also offers car sharing and bus services.
66 Basel, Switzerland
67 Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is another Canadian bike friendly city worth mentioning in this list. There are many miles of bike paths and lanes, including bike boulevards, separate lanes that go through the downtown and distinct routes that cross one of the main bridges.
For those who love exploring a city by bike, Vancouver boasts a 14-mile scenic bike path that goes along the ocean and pass by popular sights.
68 Graz, Austria
Graz can also be defined as a bike friendly city, having an impressive number of bikeways and a pro-cycling policy. In many zones of the city, cycling is allowed on pedestrian zones and the municipality encourages bike commuting by organizing many cycling events throughout the year. (http://www.bikecitizens.net/bike-policy-in-graz-on-the-road-to-soft-mobility/)
69 Osaka, Japan
Osaka doesn’t boast miles of bike lanes. It doesn’t have a modern infrastructure or a bike sharing system. Yet, it is considered to be one of the most bike friendly cities in the world. This is mainly because it is located on an almost flat terrain and the traffic is well-organized.
The Japanese culture influences a lot the cycling spirit of the residents and many tour guides organize tours of the city by bike.
70 Adelaide, Australia
Adelaide is one of those cities that stand out when it comes to the cycling culture. The city has only a few designated bike lanes, but the street etiquette and a free bike sharing program attract cyclists from all over the world.
If you want to explore the city by bike, the local council offers a series of free brochures with routes and trails you can take.
71 Melbourne, Australia
If you love cycling, then you will most likely love Melbourne. The local council is investing in building new cycling infrastructures and a few scenic trails will take you through the city at the discovery of the most popular sights.
72 Trondheim, Norway
One of the most bike friendly cities in the world, Trondheim is a sort of pioneer when it comes to cycling infrastructure. It not only has three miles of bike lanes that go through the city’s center but it boasts the first (and only) bike lift in the world.
Despite the cold climate, the municipality is promoting cycling as a commuting method and leisure activity, encouraging everyone who is above 12 years old to use a bike to explore the city.
73 Pardubice, Czech Republic
If you’re dreaming about a romantic vacation in a place where time seems to stand still and where locals seem to use only bikes when commuting, then you should probably consider Pardubice as your next travel destination.
This lovely Czech town has a lively cycling culture and you will not only see people riding bikes on every street but also a lot of posters promoting the activity.
74 Dresden, Germany
Dresden is another of those jewel towns that invite you to explore them while riding a bike. There are many scenic routes that cross the city and that go by the main sights. Alternatively, you could explore the countryside by bike.
Regardless of your choice, the low traffic and tranquil way of life simply make this town one of the most bike friendly places in the world.
75 Avignon, France
The last to be included on our list is Avignon, a lovely little French town. As many other cities in the country, Avignon has a strong cycling culture and numerous cycling facilities.
There are a bike sharing system, a map that will show you all the spots from where you can pick up a bike, many bike rental and repair shops and many tour guides offer cycling guided tours.
Which of those cities have you already visited? Do you know other bike friendly cities you would like to add to the list?
If you want to share your cycling experiences with us, or if you want to add any other place to this list of 75 most bike friendly cities in the world, just leave a comment below. And share this article with your friends. They might enjoy it too!
Source: Biking Expert
December 16, 2016
By Diane Cunnings