• 29 April 2021

Hopping on a bicycle and pedalling along unfamiliar streets is an exhilarating way to discover a destination. All you need is two wheels, a helmet and a sense of adventure! Europe is home to a number of incredible cities that are super bike-friendly. To celebrate World Bicycle Day (taking place on 3 June), we have put together a list of the best bike-friendly cities in Europe. 

Cycling can have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. It is also great for the environment. Since they were first invented just over 200 years ago, bikes have given cyclists all kinds of freedom; from recreation to transportation to being used professionally. World Bicycle Day celebrates the uniqueness, longevity and versatility of the bicycle. The United Nations launched World Bicycle Day in 2018 to emphasize the benefits of bicycles as a sustainable (and fun!) mode of transportation around the world. 

This year, to celebrate World Bike Day, here are five cities in Europe that are bike-friendly to live in and to visit! 

Europe’s best bicycle-friendly cities:

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

One visit to Amsterdam is all it takes to know that this city is bike-friendly! The streets, bridges and parks are filled with people on bikes every day – locals and tourists alike! Most citizens have been cruising around on two wheels since they were infants as cycling is a huge part of Dutch culture. It is even said that there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam!

There is over 400km of bike paths and the terrain is relatively flat. Bikes are also far more convenient when compared to cars (thanks in part to the narrow streets of the historic city) making them the preferred mode of transport in Amsterdam. For visitors to Amsterdam, renting a bike or joining a guided cycle tour is the best way to discover the city. 

Bicycle and canal in Amsterdam
Cycle around the city of canals and discover the beauty of Amsterdam!

Related: Experience the culture, art, history and excitement of Amsterdam on a guided tour

  • Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is one of the world’s most bike-friendly city. Almost half of the city’s population makes trips to work or school by bike thanks to the city’s incredible cycling infrastructure, which makes it an excellent mode of transport for all ages and skill levels. There are hundreds of kilometres of safe designated bike lanes, green routes and even a Cycle Super Highway which connects Greater Copenhagen with Albertslund.

Denmark is another European country that seems to have cycling culture woven into its DNA! Travellers can live like locals and explore the city on two wheels.  

Bicycle in colourful Nyhavn Harbour Copenhagen
Explore colourful corners of Copenhagen – like Nyhavn Harbour – by bike. 

Related: Enjoy all that Copenhagen has to offer on a tour to Scandinavia

  • Barcelona, Spain

Over the years, Barcelona has emerged as a bike-friendly city. Cycling is growing in popularity as a way to get around this beautiful Spanish city. The city’s bike-friendly infrastructure has slowly been increasing with networks of bike paths and bike lanes being established across Barcelona. Barcelona is also home to ‘Bicing’, a bike-sharing scheme for the public with 6,000 and 300 electric bikes that locals can use to travel around the city. 

Like with the rest of the cities on this list, cycling is also a fantastic way to see the many famous sights of Barcelona if you are a tourist! Rent a bike and head out on your own or find a guided bike tour that peaks your interests. You can even head slightly out of the city to enjoy scenic routes nearby.  

Couple ride bicycles in Barcelona
A bike tour is an unforgettable way to see more of beautiful Barcelona.

Related: Visit Barcelona on a fun-filled trip that includes this vibrant Spanish city.      

  • Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg is one of the most bike-friendly cities in France! Located on the border with Germany, Strasbourg is a little city that exudes a lot of historic charm combined with a bustling modern vibe. The stunning city is filled with rich history and architecture styles from medieval lanes to a gothic cathedral. Thanks to large parts of the old city being designated as car-free plus the 600km+ of bike lanes, Strasbourg is definitely a bike-friendly city!  Locals are passionate about cycling culture and visitors can take part too. Hire a bike at one of the self-service stations, join a group cycling tour and explore using pedal power. 

Bicycle next to canal in Strasbourg France
This stunning city is filled with scenic views and historic charm. 

Related: See Strasbourg on the Europe at Leisure tour. 

  • Paris, France

“Bike-friendly” might not immediately jump to mind when thinking of Paris. However, improved cycling infrastructure is transforming the French capital! Over the past few years, Paris has slowly been turning into a cycling capital. Designated bike lanes, mostly flat roads and slow traffic make it easy to navigate the city by bike. Cycling is gradually becoming a part of everyday life in the City of Lights! You can make use of Vélib’, which is a large-scale bike-sharing program, and explore Paris by bike. Seeing the city by bike whether solo or on a guided tour is a unique, exciting and environmentally friendly way to see the major sites and hidden gems of this world-famous city! 

People riding bicycles in Paris France
Experience Paris from a unique point of view when you cycle through the iconic city. 

Related: France is filled with incredible sights – see them all on one of our France tours


Are you ready to jump on your bike and get exploring? Take a look at the Expat Explore tours that visit these bike-friendly European cities and start planning your next travel adventure!    

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