From car and foot to train and plane, there are many ways to travel? One of our favorite ways to take in the world? Pedal power! Not only does cycling offer a completely different vantage point to explore the city and countryside, but it’s also kind to the planet — and tons of fun, too!
If you’re looking for a bike-friendly city to visit, look no further than this roundup of five of the world’s most bike-friendly destinations.
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
There’s a reason — well, many of them — why Copenhagen is a perennial top finisher on rankings of bike-friendly cities. Cycling is an important mode of transportation in Denmark’s capital city. Roughly half of Copenhageners commute to work and school on their bikes thanks to the robust infrastructure of bike lanes, bike bridges, and even “bike superhighways.” But cycling isn’t just about getting where you need to go in Copenhagen; the cycling life is also baked into the city’s culture.
Among Copenhagen’s many must-do bike routes? The iconic Tour de France Grand Départ, which meanders through many iconic Copenhagen sites, including the Dronning Louises Bro, Maersk Tower, the Gefion Fountain by the Citadel, Amalienborg Palace, the Marble Church, King’s New Square, and Tivoli Gardens.
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Also a usual suspect on bike-friendly city rankings, this Dutch capital remains committed to building on its reputation with a new plan for improving and enhancing its bicycle infrastructure by 2022. In heralding it as a “cycling nirvana,” The Guardian raves, “Cyclists rule in Amsterdam and great pains have been taken to accommodate them: the city is equipped with an elaborate network of cycle-paths and lanes, so safe and comfortable that even toddlers and elderly people use bikes as the easiest mode of transport.”
Known for its gorgeous architecture and natural beauty, Amsterdam lays claim to many cycling routes suitable for beginners and pros alike. Whether you’re looking to ride through lush greenery and glistening lakes, tall evergreens, or you want to go for an urban jaunt through the heart of the city, you’ve got your pick in Amsterdam.
3. Montreal, Canada
Montreal may not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of cycling cities, but it more than earns its reputation as North America’s cycling capital. With more than 403 miles of bikeways — more than half of which are separate from motor vehicles — Montreal is a uniquely comfortable place to ride. Where else can you traverse an entire city without ever riding in traffic? And then there’s its massive public bike-sharing system, BIXI — the continent’s first of its kind. (More than three million annual users can’t be wrong.)
Some of our favorite cycling spots in and around Montreal? Lachine Canal, Parc Jean Drapeau, Parc Mont Royal, Parc Angrignon, Parc de la Visitation, De Maisonneuve Boulevard, the North-South Bike Route, and Bois de l’Île Bizard.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Stunning scenery, clean streets, ample parking, scenic coastline, abundant bike paths, and your choice of cycling tours make Japan an excellent destination for cycling enthusiasts. Another benefit of cycling in Tokyo? Its extensive train system means it couldn’t be easier to reach a variety of routes. Invest in a bike bag (rinkobukuro), and you’ll be good to get wherever you want to go.
Popular bike touring areas in and around Tokyo range from concrete jungles to actual forests. Check out Timeout’s eight scenic bicycle routes to plan your cycling trip to Tokyo, proclaimed to be “truly a cycle tourer’s dream to explore” by Cycle Travel Overload.
5. Strasbourg, France
Known as the French cycling capital, Strasbourg is not only France’s most bike-friendly city, it’s also in Europe’s top five. In addition to 600 km of bike paths in and around the city, Strasbourg’s bike-share system, Vélhop, consists of more than 6,000 bikes available 24/7, 365 days a year at self-service stations and rental centers throughout the city. If you like to live like a local while you’re on the road, getting around Strasbourg on two wheels is the way to go.
In addition to roaming the city’s streets and exploring its parks and gardens, popular routes and rides in Strasbourg include the Forts Trail, along the Rhone-Rhine Canal, the Bruche Canal, the Deux-Rives Route, and around the Ill and Rhine rivers.
These five cities are just the start. Other bike-friendly travel destinations include Oslo, Paris, Antwerp, Belgium, Portland, and Vienna — with new ones emerging every day. The best part? Thanks to inexpensive air travel, the sky’s the limit when it comes to accessing and enjoying the world’s most amazing cycling cities.
At Business Class, we work directly with all major airlines to secure discounts on first and business class flights. Our travel specialists are here to help all of our clients get the greatest possible value for their travel by negotiating lower prices, no matter the location. You can count on us to get you to your destination comfortably.