The Best Cities to Explore by Bike in Europe

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

As both a convenient form of exercise and an eco-friendly alternative to cars, biking is the standard mode of transportation in many parts of Europe, with some sources estimating that as much as 50% of the population relies on bikes to get around in certain cities. As a traveler, biking is also one of the best ways to experience the culture of a location first-hand while saving you money and time in the process. Keep reading to learn more about some of the top cities to explore by bike in Europe.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Would this really be a list of the best cities for biking in Europe if we didn’t include Amsterdam? Dubbed the “Cycling Capital of the World,” Amsterdam’s flat terrain and extensive network of dedicated cycling lanes make the city a haven for anyone looking to explore by bike. Follow the canals and take in the views of the city’s historic neighborhoods, or take a ride through the famous Vondelpark.

Copenhagen, Denmark

If there’s one European city that can compete with Amsterdam as a top destination for cycling, it’s Copenhagen. Bike culture in the Danish capital is deeply ingrained in its daily life, and with more bikes than cars in the city, it’s a cinch to get around on two wheels as a local or a tourist. Ride along the waterfront to explore the charming Nyhavn district—just be sure to make the occasion pitstop for some Danish pastries, of course. 

Barcelona, Spain

While not as renowned for cycling as Amsterdam or Copenhagen, Barcelona has become increasingly bike-friendly over the last few years. The city is now home to over 300 kilometers of cycling lanes, and bike rental companies have been popping up left and right. Beyond offering an affordable and convenient way to get around, it probably doesn’t hurt that many of the paths also serve as prime viewpoints for taking in the coastline.