The 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world
To find the best cities for cycling, we looked at the Copenhagenize Index, a comprehensive ranking of the world’s most bicycle-friendly cities based on ambition, culture, and city design.
Below you will find the most bike-friendly cities in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. 20 excellent destinations for people who like to explore places on two wheels. Bring your bike or rent one when you get there!
Copenhagen tops the Copenhagenize index
You will be shocked to learn that Copenhagen takes the top spot in the index named after the city. Luckily, it is not like when a country hosts the World Cup and is allowed to play independently of their actual skill, Copenhagen is a true role model as a bicycle-friendly city.
Copenhagen has a flat terrain and is designed to make cycling easy, safe, and enjoyable. There is an extensive network of protected bike lanes throughout the city, along with excellent bike parking, and plenty of bicycle-friendly infrastructure. There is also a strong cycling culture, with a range of cycling events and festivals that make it a great place to be a cyclist.
One pretty great bonus when making a city bike-friendly is that it more often than not also becomes pedestrian-friendly. This is the case in Copenhagen which also has lots of designated lanes and areas for those on foot.
Where to bike in Copenhagen
Copenhagen has a range of bike-friendly routes, from long, leisurely rides to more challenging ones. For visiting cyclists interested in exploring the city, there are plenty of interesting sights to see, from the iconic Nyhavn harbor to the picturesque canals, parks, and green spaces. The Copenhagen Harbor Path is a scenic route that follows the waterfront, while the Bike Superhighway is a popular route that connects the city's center with its outer suburbs. The city also has several bike-share programs, allowing tourists to rent a bike and explore the city at their own pace.
More bikes than people
Amsterdam is considered especially bike and pedestrian-friendly because of its extensive network of bike paths and the city's commitment to making cycling the preferred mode of transportation. This is evidenced by the fact that there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam, and the city has a well-developed infrastructure that caters to cyclists and pedestrians. It is easy to get around without having to worry about traffic.
What to do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is an attractive destination for bike-riding visitors because of its rich cultural heritage and vibrant city life. The city has many exciting attractions, such as the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and numerous parks and canals. With its extensive network of bike paths, cycling is the best way to explore the city and see all of its landmarks and attractions. The city also has numerous bike rental shops and cycling tours, providing the perfect opportunity to explore Amsterdam conveniently.
400 kilometers of bicycle paths
Utrecht has over 400 kilometers of dedicated bike paths and plenty of bike parking lots and bike-sharing stations. This makes it much easier for people to get around the city on two wheels. Additionally, the city has implemented initiatives such as “green bridges” that allow cyclists to cross over the river.
Why visit Utrecht
Utrecht offers plenty of interesting routes for those looking to explore the city on two wheels. The city center is full of winding cobblestone streets and picturesque canals, perfect for a leisurely bike ride. The city is located in the center of the Netherlands, meaning it is easy to take a day trip to explore other nearby towns. And for those looking for a more adventurous ride, the countryside around Utrecht is full of scenic biking trails.
The most bike-friendly city in Belgium
Antwerp's well-developed infrastructure makes it easy to get around the city with a bike. The city has many cycling lanes and bike paths, with most of the paths being separated from regular traffic.
Where to bike in Antwerp
Antwerp is an ideal destination for bike-riding tourists due to its bike-friendly infrastructure and plentiful attractions, such as the historic city center and the Antwerp Zoo. Popular biking routes include the Scheldt River route, which passes through the city center and the harbor, and the Parkroute, which is a route through the various parks in the city. Antwerp stands out as a bicycle destination as it is very compact, not crowded, and easy to navigate.
People over cars
Strasbourg has a comprehensive public bicycle-sharing system, and the city is crisscrossed with dedicated bike-only paths and bike-friendly streets. Pedestrians and cyclists are given priority over cars in many areas of the city, making for an enjoyable place to get around.
Why do people go to Strasbourg
Strasbourg stands out for its unique mix of French and German culture. Its central location in Europe, the ease of access from other cities, and the beautiful scenery make it an ideal destination for bike-riding tourists. Strasbourg has a wide variety of bike paths and rides to choose from. There are plenty of routes to explore the city’s historic center and take in its unique sights. For those looking for a more challenging ride, there are also plenty of mountain biking trails around Strasbourg.
Sun and scenic cycling routes
Bordeaux has an extensive network of bike lanes, low-traffic streets, and ample green spaces. Bordeaux also has dedicated cycling paths that are separated from the roads, making it a safe and enjoyable place to ride a bike.
What you will see from your saddle
Bordeaux has plenty to offer cyclists, from its winding streets to the riverside bike paths to the many parks and gardens to explore. The city is home to several interesting sights, such as the expansive Place de la Bourse and the iconic La Place des Quinconces. Bordeaux also boasts some of the most scenic cycling routes in France, with plenty of options for casual cyclists and experienced riders alike, and a mild climate, making it a great place to visit all year round.
Innovative traffic calming
Oslo offers extensive bike paths and pedestrian-only zones. The city has invested heavily in bike lanes and paths, making it easier and safer to bike. Oslo's bike infrastructure is innovative, including dedicated bike routes and traffic calming measures. There is also a tremendous bike-sharing system, making it easy for people to rent a bike for short trips around town.
Biking for visitors
Oslo is an excellent place for visitors, with many bike tours and bike rental shops making it easy to explore the green city and its surrounding areas. There are plenty of routes to try, from the picturesque Akershus Castle to the nearby forests and lakes.
World-class bike lanes and public transport
Paris has dedicated bike lanes and a close-to-perfect public transportation system, making it easy for both cyclists and pedestrians to get around the city. Specifically for cyclists, Paris is attractive because it has a large network of well-marked bike lanes that are separated from car traffic, making it safer and easier to navigate the city.
Why bike around Paris
A bike-riding tourist might visit Paris because of its scenic and historic sites, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. There are many places to go by bike in Paris, including the banks of the River Seine, the parks, and the many museums. For a more adventurous excursion, there are also several bike trails in the city's suburbs. It is easy to find a bike when you get here as there is an extensive network of bike-sharing stations with both traditional and electric bikes available for rent.
Bike-focused and beautiful
Vienna promotes cycling and has over 1,000 kilometers of bike lanes and paths, many in the form of dedicated bike paths that are separated from the road. Cyclists can explore the city’s many parks and green spaces and take advantage of the bike-sharing scheme. The city is known to be one of the best to live in, with one of the world's highest quality of life scores.
Vienna for visiting cyclists
A bike-riding visitor will find Vienna an excellent destination due to its bike-friendly attitude and infrastructure. The city has a great range of bike rental shops and bike-tour companies. As for where to bike and where to go, Vienna is full of popular places to visit, including cycling along the Danube River, the Ringstrasse, a circular boulevard that runs around the city center, and the Prater, a large downtown park. You can also take a leisurely ride through the city’s historic streets.
Tree-lined bike routes
The bike lanes in Helsinki are well-maintained and well-marked, which makes it easy for both locals and tourists to find their way around. Helsinki also has numerous bike-friendly routes that are designed specifically for cyclists. These routes are often lined with trees and other greenery, making them pleasant to ride.
What to do in Helsinki
The city is home to a number of interesting sights and attractions, such as the Suomenlinna Fortress, the Temppeliaukio Church, and the Helsinki Cathedral. Cyclists visiting Helsinki can explore the many parks and green spaces throughout the city, the numerous beaches along the coast, and the nearby countryside, which has several scenic routes in this country of a thousand lakes and a billion blueberries.
Even the trams like bikes
Bremen is easy and safe to get around by bike thanks to its high number of bike lanes and bike-friendly streets with low speed limits and dedicated bike paths. Bremen also has bike-friendly public transportation options, such as buses and trams with bike racks, making it easy to combine bike riding and public transport.
Schnitzels in Schnoorviertel
Bremen has many historical buildings, parks, and bike-friendly streets, so visitors can enjoy the city’s culture and attractions while cycling around. Bremen also has many bike-friendly cafés and restaurants, so visitors can easily stop for a bite. Some attractions are the Bremen Town Hall, the Bremen Roland Statue, the beautiful Weser River, and the Schnoorviertel medieval district.
The most bike-friendly city in South America
Bogota is one of the few cities in the Americas to offer a world-class bike infrastructure, including over 700 kilometers of bike paths. This infrastructure is designed to prioritize cyclists and pedestrians, making it a safe and easy way to get around the city.
This didn't happen by accident; Bogota has been a leader in promoting cycling for transportation, recreation, and tourism, implementing various programs and initiatives to further support the cycling culture.
An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport.
The quote above by Enrique Peñalosa, a former mayor of Bogota, is one of the most famous about modern city design.
A million cyclists celebrating biking
Bogota has a vibrant cycling culture and numerous cycling events, such as the annual Ciclovia, where over a million people ride their bikes in the city. For those looking to explore the city by bike, there are plenty of routes to choose from, ranging from leisurely rides to more challenging mountain biking trails. Popular attractions include the Gold Museum, the Botanical Garden, and Monserrate, the highest hill in the city, which can offer some sore muscles the day after. Several bike rental companies provide a variety of different bike models for rent.
More cycling options than most
Barcelona offers high-quality and extensive cycle infrastructure, which includes segregated bike lanes, bike-friendly streets, and bike-sharing. This cycling infrastructure is also well connected to other forms of public transport, making it easy to get around the city. Many locals recommend using bike-sharing services or double locks as, unfortunately, bike theft is widespread.
Bike to the beach
Barcelona is a beautiful city with a diverse range of cycling options, leisurely rides along the beachfront, sportive cycling routes, and mountain biking trails. The city also has an extensive network of greenways, which are dedicated cycling routes that offer a pleasant and safe cycling experience in natural beauty.
Cycling culture and regular events
Ljubljana is great for cyclists due to its wide range of bike lanes and paths, which connect the city core to the countryside. The city also has a strong cycling culture and has encouraged cycling by investing in bike lanes, cycling infrastructure, and several cycling events throughout the year, such as the Ljubljana Bike Tour and the Tour of Slovenia.
Why bike around Ljubljana
Ljubljana has a number of scenic biking routes, including the Ljubljana-Zagreb Railway and the Ljubljana River Bike Trail. These routes offer stunning views of the city and its surrounding landscape. There are also bike-friendly parks and trails throughout the city, as well as bike-only roads.
Flat city with lots to see
Berlin is an attractive destination for cyclists, both commuters and tourists, as it has a flat terrain and plenty of dedicated bike lanes and bike parks. The sharing economy is strong here, and bike sharing is no exception, with a number of bike pools, making it easy to rent a bike and explore the city.
What to see on two wheels
The city is home to several cultural attractions, such as the Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, and the East Side Gallery. There are plenty of parks and green spaces to explore, such as Tiergarten and Viktoriapark. The city is also home to many vibrant neighborhoods, such as Kreuzberg and Neukölln, which are great to explore by bike. For cyclists looking for a more adventurous experience, Berlin also offers plenty of opportunities for mountain biking and road biking.
Bike around this city of cities
Even though Tokyo is one of the most populated cities in the world, it works surprisingly well to explore it on a bicycle. The city has an extensive network of bike paths, wide sidewalks, and plenty of bike stands that allow riders to lock up their bikes when they’re not in use. Many parts of the city are like cities in themselves, so you will probably never run out of things to discover.
Both rural and urban routes
Tokyo has a unique mix of both rural and urban areas. This makes it easy to find both flat and hilly routes, and riders can find a variety of terrains to explore. For those looking to explore the city by bike, some of the best routes to take are the Imperial Palace, Ueno Park, and the Tokyo Skytree. Other popular routes are the Tokyo Bay Ride and the Yamanote line. There are also numerous parks, gardens, and temples that are easily accessible by bike, shopping districts, nightlife spots, and historical sites.
Scenic routes in the city
One of the key features that make Taipei's biking infrastructure particularly interesting for cyclists is the specialized bike paths that run along rivers, canals, and other natural features. These paths provide scenic routes that are safer and more pleasant to ride than the city streets.
Where to bike in and around Taipei
Taipei has a wide variety of attractions that appeal to visitors who want to explore the city by bike. From the historical landmarks and temples in the city center to the nearby mountains such as Elephant Mountain and Yangmingshan. The city is also known for its delicious food (it is one of the 30 best food cities in the world), nightlife, and cultural experiences, making it a great overall destination.
The most bike-friendly city in North America
Montreal is highly supportive of cyclists through its bike lanes, bike-sharing systems, and the presence of bike racks throughout the city. And the city is home to some bike-friendly events and festivals throughout the year, such as Bike Week and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.
Routes with spectacular views
Montreal has many exciting features that make it an excellent destination for visitors riding a bike. The city's extensive bike path and trail network allow cyclists to explore the city while avoiding the hustle and bustle of traffic, and Montreal has several scenic routes, such as the Canal de Lachine, the Old Port of Montreal, the Plateau-Mont-Royal, and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, that offer spectacular views of the city.
Waterfront views and forested trails
Vancouver is proud of its well-maintained network of bike paths, bike lanes, and pedestrian-only trails. These routes are well-marked and clearly designated with signs and other markers. Many of the routes are also connected to public transit, and there is a nice variation between city streets, waterfront views, and forested trails.
Why visit Vancouver for cycling
For cyclists, Vancouver offers a variety of exciting routes. Not only are there bike paths and lanes, but also mountain biking trails, beachside paths, and other greenways. Many locals enjoy biking Stanley Park, the Seawall, and the North Shore. And there are numerous bike-friendly cafes and restaurants, allowing cyclists to enjoy a bite to eat while exploring the city.
Zip through a variety of landscapes
Hamburg has implemented bike-friendly policies such as providing free bicycle parking, prohibiting cars from specific areas, and enforcing speed limits for vehicles in many residential neighborhoods. What makes Hamburg particularly interesting for bike riders is its variety of landscapes. The city is made up of canals, bridges, parks, and greenways, making it a great place to explore by bike.
Why is Hamburg famous for visiting bicyclists
For tourists, Hamburg offers an array of exciting attractions to explore by bike, such as the historic Speicherstadt district, the famous harbor, the Alster Lake, and the city’s many parks. The bike trails allow cyclists to explore unique neighborhoods and visit attractions without worrying about traffic.