As the world’s population is soaring, cities around the world are feeling the impact, especially when it comes to road infrastructure. To prevent gridlock and exhaustive car traffic, many international cities adopted bike-friendly initiatives in the past few decades (or even earlier). From miles of cycling-only paths to bike-sharing stations, there are a handful of cities that take this effort seriously. In fact, some cities are so successful at being bike-friendly that they produce more foot traffic than actual car traffic!
Ditch the car and hop on a bicycle, especially when visiting these bike-friendly cities around the world.
10 Seattle, Washington
Traveling across the US by car can be an exhilarating experience. However, there are a handful of American cities like Seattle that are best explored on two-wheels instead of four! Explore the intricacies and rich culture of Seattle by bike while uncovering hidden gems across the city. This bike-friendly city has numerous cycle trails that span for miles, offering visitors unparalleled views of the city and the surrounding nature scapes. Appreciate the local city scene (especially Pike Place Market) by traversing through the Burke-Gilman Trail or tackling the Elliott Bay Trail to soak in views of the Olympic Mountains.
9 Bern, Switzerland
Dreaming of the countryside and rolling green meadows? Bern offers a piece of paradise to the peace-seeking traveler through its bike-friendly nature. Explore the downtown core of Bern or rent an e-bike to venture to the quieter neighborhoods which overlook the Alps. Additionally, those seeking a little adrenaline rush may want to visit the Swiss Bike Park in Oberried, which is but a 40-minute bike ride away. This bike park is chalked with trails, ramps, and mind-bending tracks, fit for all ages and fitness levels!
8 Hangzhou, China
Famous for its clean city and proximity to incredible natural scenery, Hangzhou launched a bicycle project known as the Hangzhou Urban Public Bicycle Sharing Program. This ongoing initiative is set to serve 280,000 passengers on bikes in response to an overwhelming number of residents who felt that traffic was problematic around Hangzhou. Intended to be free for locals and tourists, the project is intended to complement the city’s existing public transport system. Today, there are over 2,700 bike stations from this cycle-sharing system, making it an accessible alternative to cars!
7 Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver is a destination fit for nature enthusiasts and those who can’t get enough scenic views of craggy mountains. Additionally, this Canadian city is slowly transforming into a bike-friendly metropolitan, equipped with designated bike lanes and a dedicated public bike share service. Tourists heading to Vancouver can rent a bike and explore its bustling downtown core while making a stop along the iconic Stanley Park and cycling along the seawall.
6 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is a cycle-friendly city, implementing this practice since the turn of the 20th century. Thus, biking in Amsterdam is enjoyable and easy thanks to the city’s relatively flat terrain, especially among daily commuters. Today, Amsterdam’s rich history and architectural marvel can be easily appreciated on a bike. What's more, visitors heading to Amsterdam can easily find a bike rental facility or journey to Rent A Bike on Damstraat, which has been the city’s oldest bike rental since 1986.
5 Provincetown, Massachusetts
The League of American Bicyclists awarded Provincetown the Silver-Level Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) award. Though this American town remains small compared to the likes of Amsterdam or Vancouver, Provincetown takes its reputation as a bike-friendly place seriously. As a result, the town’s bicycle committee created bicycle maps for tourists, outlining the miles of bike lanes available to explore and enjoy, many of them situated along the Cape Cod National Seashore!
4 Copenhagen, Denmark
This stylish European city has countless gems, many of them easily accessible by cycling! Visit this bike-friendly city and leave the rental car behind since Copenhagen hosts miles upon miles of bike-friendly lanes. Easily rent a bike and explore the city by day, checking out places like Superkilen Park or the Karen Blixen's Plads. Furthermore, end the day off right by watching the sunset while on the bike at Copenhagen’s Harbor.
3 Antwerp, Belgium
There are times when travel can be overwhelming, rushed, and fast-paced. However, when in Antwerp, take it slow and enjoy its attractions through cycling! This bustling Belgium city is equipped with hundreds of miles of bike routes, making cycling a popular option for locals and tourists alike. Stop and smell the roses, appreciate Antwerp’s beauty by cycling the junction route, or get from one end of the city to the next by taking its cycle highways.
2 Munster, Germany
Nicknamed “Germany’s Cycling Capital,” a bicycle can get visitors very far in Munster. Bicycles are a popular mode of transport in this German city with an estimated population of 500,000 bicycles! Blessed with over 450 km (or close to 280 miles) of bike routes, it’s easy to rent a bike in Munster, especially at locations like the Munster Bicycle Station. Plus, due to the popularity of cycling, it’s not complicated to find a reputable bike repair shop should bikes go haywire.
1 Utrecht, Netherlands
While other international cities are beginning to adopt the bike-friendly model, Utrecht has implemented it since the early 19th century. With the first cycle path built in 1885, Utrecht has come a long way, establishing itself as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. With over half of Utrecht residents using bicycles as a mode of daily transportation (especially in the city center), the city is also home to the largest bicycle parking lot in the world, with over 12,500 parking spots for bikes!