There’s no better way to see the world than by bicycle.
So, where are those bike-friendly cities?
Outside of Antarctica (although it’s been done…), there are incredible biking opportunities on every continent. The cities we’ve researched offer a safe cycling environment and many include incredible views for long and short rides.
Next time you find yourself in one of these countries below, make sure to rent a bike and explore like a local.
There’s one stat that cements Copenhagen as a top city in the world for cycling – 62% of locals’ trips to work, school, or the grocery store are by bike.
With easily a majority of the city relying on a bike instead of a car or public transportation, the city has routinely invested its public dollars into biking infrastructure to make rides more enjoyable and accessible and cut down on accidents.
The infrastructure, however, goes beyond simply creating protected bike lanes. City leaders have figured out how to better connect the city in a way that encourages residents to ditch their cars for bikes.
In 2006, for example, Copenhagen finished the Quay Bridge, connecting Havneholmen to Islands Brygge. They estimated 33,300 daily bicycling crossings, but that number exploded to more than 9,000 daily crossings in the first few months. That means about a third of those riders were likely car drivers who converted to two wheels.
Simply put, Copenhagen is a biking inspiration to the world.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam tends to be neck and neck with Copenhagen when it comes to being one of the world’s top cycling cities.
With more than 320 miles (515 kilometers) of dedicated cycling lanes, city planners have done an incredible job of making cycling safe.
But it’s more of the Dutch psyche that makes cycling a way of life in the bustling city. There’s way more respect for people on bicycles from drivers on the road. Practically every street has protected bike lanes. And because of this, The air feels fresher and it’s not as loud and congested because there simply aren’t that many cars driving around.
Add in the growing popularity of e-bikes (especially for older riders) and you may never hail an Uber or rent a car again in The Netherlands.
As a note for tourists visiting Amsterdam. Never accept a bike for a low amount, like £10. These bikes tend to be stolen and you can be held responsible for the criminal activity if you make the deal.
Boasting more than 435 miles (700 kilometers) of biking paths, a number of high-quality bike rental companies, and a popular bike festival to top it off, it should come as no surprise that Montreal, Canada is one of the world’s top cities for bicycling.
The city is not only set up to make biking convenient and safe for commuters, but there are several scenic views that are great for visitors to enjoy, like the Lachine Canal multipurpose path. It starts in the Old Port of Montreal and runs for 15 kilometers along a functioning boat canal. Stop at Atwater Market for a snack before making your way to the Musée plein air de Lachine, which is an incredible sculpture garden right on the river.
If you need to rent a bike, Montréal On Wheels is probably the most trusted company, plus they offer a nice inventory of higher-end road bikes that more experienced cyclists will appreciate. If you’re just touring the city with your family, Fitz & Follwell is a great rental company as well.
No matter the season, Helsinki bike paths are packed. Yes, even in the winter.
The city always ranks well on the Copenhagenize Bicycle Friendly Cities Index thanks to its 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) of bike paths and its robust bike-share program with features 150 locations.
If you’re new to town, check out Bike Tours Helsinki. The guide will take you through what you would expect for a normal city bike tour, but you can also opt for a fat bike ride in the forest or a berry-picking ride.
If you really want to ride like a local, rent a Jopo, which is a unique, single-speed 16” bike first made in Finland in the 1960s.
When you practically ban cars in a city’s center, like Oslo, Norway recently did, you can expect more people to hop onto a bike.
Parking spots became bike lanes. And the streets are filled with people (and not noisy, messy cars). In total, the city ditched 700 parking spots as part of its no-car plan.
Norway’s capital does a great job of combining nature and urban life into its bike routes. You can take an entire city tour, and then venture 10 to 15 minutes outside of the city center and find yourself in a beautiful country setting.
Vienna has more than 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) of dedicated bike lanes that give cyclists the opportunity to safely ride with confidence throughout their town.
And in a robust bike-sharing program called Citybikes, which can be rented at 121 stations, and you’ll quickly see why Vienna is a great city to see by bike.
While biking the city and some of the scenic coastal rides, there are also great mountain biking opportunities in Vienna, including the Trailcenter Hohe Wand Wiese. The Kenda Line is quite technical and the perfect challenge for experienced mountain bikers.
Boulder, Colorado, USA
With the Flatirons as your backdrop, Boulder, Colorado is certainly one of the most scenic and fun biking cities around the globe.
The college town has more than 300 miles of designated bike lanes, along with an innovative bike highway that can take cyclists to neighboring towns.
With the Rocky Mountains in your backyard, cyclists can road bike on the paved streets, or mountain bike on technical trails.
The city also has a great bike share program for visitors who want to see the town.
Cycling is viewed as one of the most interesting things to do in Barcelona.
Bike networks have increased by more than 20% over the past few years as Barcelona looks to continue climbing up the global ranks for biking accessibility.
While the city still has plenty of work to do to improve its overall biking network, the fact that it has incredible beaches makes the biking routes quite beautiful and enjoyable. Check out the Diagonal route, which gives you a nice tour of the city, along with some of those beach views.
For those who are visiting Barcelona, taking a professional bike tour is definitely the best way to see the city.
Tokyo is an interesting town when it comes to cycling. About 15% of all trips in the Japanese city are made by bicycle, but the city itself has very little biking infrastructure.
Because the city has such a robust public transit system and the cost of parking is so high, residents have a mindset that they will work together to make cycling work. It’s called the Gaman Spirit, and it means to endure. In other words, more people ride bikes, so more people are sensitive to the needs of bike riders.
So, if you’re visiting Tokyo and want to tour the city by bike, make sure to use some of that Gaman Spirit and treat bikers the way you want to be treated.
While the biking network still has room for improvement, Perth is quietly establishing itself as one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities.
The city’s mild weather and scenic pathways have helped it increase bike ridership over the past decade. The city actually has the highest per capita of people riding of any state in the country.
It’s another versatile city in terms of cycling. You can commute to work, road bike on the back roads, or hit some gravel trails in Kalamunda.
If you’re visiting with your family, check out Kings Park, which is packed with a variety of cycling routes for all experience and fitness levels.