Our favourites: 10 cities to visit by bike in the world
Visiting a city by bicycle is a huge pleasure when they have the necessary facilities. Visitors on bikes can easily navigate busy city centers, explore historic neighborhoods and iconic sites while enjoying an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Need some inspiration for your next trip? Here are our picks for 10 perfect cities to visit by bike around the world:
Copenhagen is the cycling city par excellence, with more than half of the population travelling by bike on a daily basis. Everything has been thought out for and by the bicycle: the bicycle paths are perfectly maintained and always separated from the main roads, allowing cyclists to circulate in complete safety. In many cases, streets are even reserved exclusively for bicycles and closed to motorists!
You can discover the many sites of this colorful city in the best possible conditions, including Amalienborg Palace, the Little Mermaid and the Nyhavn Canal, using what is perhaps the best cycling network in the world for a capital city.
Amsterdam is another European city that is world famous for its cycling culture. The bike paths are wide and separated from the main roads, making it easy to navigate the city. As in Denmark, a large majority of the inhabitants travel by bike!
Amsterdam's network is perfectly structured and allows you to easily and safely explore the canals of the city center, the many museums and parks that adorn it while admiring the historic architecture of the capital of the Netherlands. Moreover, the city is on a human scale: points of interest such as the Rijksmuseum, the Beguinage or the Royal Palace are only a few pedal strokes away from each other, which makes visiting the city all the more enjoyable.
An unexpected favorite! Lisbon is a picturesque city, spread over the hills of the west coast of Portugal, of which it is the capital. With lots of hills, old streetcars and cobblestone streets, it is not necessarily a city that one would spontaneously consider visiting by bike. However, in recent years the municipality has set up an excellent, safe and well-maintained bicycle network in the streets of the city center, in the heart of the typical Lisbon neighborhoods, allowing you to admire their very typical architecture.
You can also take advantage of the bike path that runs along the Tagus River, continuing from the city center to the beautiful seaside resorts of the Atlantic coast, such as Estoril or Cascais. These bike paths offer an enchanting view of Lisbon's emblematic monuments such as the Torre de Belem, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the Praça do Comercio, but also of the Tagus estuary and its blue-green reflections, opening up more and more to the Atlantic Ocean as you go. With a warm and sunny climate all year round, Lisbon has become a perfect city for a bike trip!
Strasbourg is a historic city located in eastern France, known for its beauty and charm with its half-timbered facades, its emphasis on trees and greenery, and its excellent and typical Alsatian cuisine. The city has an extensive network of bicycle paths, making it easy to explore the city and its many sights, such as the Strasbourg Cathedral and the Petite France district.
Pedaling a little bit outside the city center, especially along the Ill River, you will also have the opportunity to discover some very green and lively little towns!
Vienna is an iconic European city known for its monumental architecture, classical music and vibrant culture. Vienna has one of the most intelligently designed bike networks in Europe, allowing residents and tourists alike to stroll between the iconic Vienna Opera House, Schönbrunn Palace, and the lively year-round residential areas.
There is also a beautiful trail along the Danube, allowing you to escape the city center and ride through some very scenic countryside!
Portland is an American city in Oregon, known for its commitment to sustainability and cycling. The city has a well-developed network of bike paths and a vibrant cycling culture. In the United States, it is certainly the city that comes closest to European models in terms of cycling facilities.
As a city that is not well known to tourists outside of North America, you will have excellent conditions to visit the city by bike and explore its parks and points of interest.
Oslo is a nature-oriented capital city surrounded by forests and lakes, making it a great destination for cyclists who want to experience a city without straying far from the great outdoors. Norway's largest city has a well-developed network of bike paths and tourists can explore the city's many sites of interest, such as Akershus Fortress and Frogner Park.
For the more athletic, there are also beautiful and safe bike paths that allow you to climb the few hills around Oslo such as Holmenkollen, which hosted ski jumping events during the Winter Olympics last century. Oslo is a perfect city to discover beautiful panoramas in places with a strong historical dimension, all on two wheels!
Barcelona is a lively coastal city with an ever-expanding network of bike paths. Thanks to the excellent cycling network and the city's fairly flat topography, you can explore its many points of interest such as the Sagrada Familia and Parc Güell, while enjoying the sea breeze.
For the more athletic and those who want to warm up their calves, the city is also surrounded by hills, offering spectacular panoramic views.
As you can see, Northern European cities are often the best examples of cycling policies, and Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is no exception. It is one of the most pleasant cities in the world to explore by bike. The city has a well-developed network of bicycle paths and the inhabitants are very respectful of cyclists. More unknown and therefore rather spared from the big tourist flows that neighboring cities like Copenhagen or Amsterdam can experience, the conditions are perfect to explore by bike the numerous parks that can be found in any city, especially the central park, as well as the emblematic buildings such as the Helsinki cathedral and the flea market.
Important point: like in Quebec, winters can be very snowy in Helsinki! If the cycling network is perfectly clear and well maintained between November and March, you should still bring your winter cycling equipment (studded tires) during these few months to be prepared for any eventuality ;)
Our opinion can sometimes be biased if we live in Montreal and are confronted with construction work during the year or with poorly cleared trails in winter... But the fact remains that Montreal is often recognized as the city with the best cycling network in America! For the past few years, secure bike paths have been multiplying throughout the city and are very pleasant to ride, especially in summer.
The REV (Réseau Express Vélo) is an excellent way to get around quickly by bike between Montreal's sometimes widely spaced neighborhoods, to visit them and to take advantage of the summer dynamism of the Plateau, Mile End, Villeray or Côte-des-Neiges. For the more athletic, the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve tour and the climb up Mount Royal via the Camilien Houde route are safe for cyclists, and for a more bucolic ride, the trail along the Lachine Canal is a great way to enjoy Montreal on two wheels!
We hope we've given you some great ideas for your future travels, with these great cities to visit by bike! And if you're looking for a longer cycling adventure, check out our trip between Montreal and Boston ;)
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