Riding a bike is a lot more fun in some cities than others. It is a great way to explore a new place and take in sights while enjoying the fresh air. However, traffic laws are different all over the world - as are the drivers that are supposed to follow the rules. If you are an avid cyclist, consider planning your next trip to a city that is reliably bike-friendly.
8 Best Cities for Biking
As the host of the 2012 Velo-city conference, you’d expect Vancouver to be a bike-friendly city - and it is. There are few cities more fun to explore as a tourist than Vancouver! The city’s bike lane network has expanded a lot in the last few years, and you can bike along the Seaside Greenway, a beautiful path that is completely separate from cars. The Greenway is quite long, nearly 20 miles, and goes past a lot of main attractions in Vancouver that you can stop at during your journey.
When you think about the best cycling city in the world, chances are you’ll immediately think of Amsterdam. The city is flooded with bikes along all of the main city arteries, so you won’t be in the minority if you choose to ride around the city. With over 800,000 bicycles in the city, seeing Amsterdam by bike is a great opportunity not just for sightseeing, but for great people watching!
There is no better time to bike around Berlin than the summertime, when all the leaves on the trees are green, it’s warm, and there are tons of concerts that you can ride to. The flat, wide streets and the popularity of biking in this city make it a particularly attractive option for getting around. Take a guided or self-guided tour on the 900 kilometers of bike paths and see the distinct architecture of East and West Berlin.
The streets of Seoul may not appear to be very bike-friendly, but what you don’t immediately recognize that there is a great network of bike paths that stretches through the entire city. These paths are for bikes and pedestrians only, so you don’t have to worry about cars at all. Pick up a bike map from any tourist information center, and be sure to not miss riding along the Han with a stop for a cool drink along the way.
You won’t be in the minority on the streets of Tokyo if you choose to ride a bike (be careful, though, and remember that they drive on the left side of the road, rather than the right!) Bikes loaded with furniture, multiple children, groceries, and you-name-it are common here: it is transportation that most everyone uses in the city. Explore the bike paths or just cycle on the sidewalk - it is generally acceptable, as long as it is not too crowded.
6. Buenos Aires
Get to know the city as soon as you arrive with a city tour by bike that starts at 10 AM at San Telmo...or take yourself on an easy, self-guided tour of this beautiful city. Almost completely flat with a well-developed network of bike paths, cycling can often be the fastest way to get to another part of the city without a lot of hassle. The city government came up with the EcoBici initiative where you can ride a bike for free for up to an hour - just register at one of the 32 bike stations in the city!
Recently, Copenhagen has been battling it out with Amsterdam for the nomination as the best cycling city in the world and often comes out on top. The city has made huge investments in improving bike paths and bike networks for cyclists, and the Danes are known for their love of riding bikes. Check out the Cycle Super Highway, a new network of bike-only paths through Copenhagen - you’ll understand why New York City started following Copenhagen’s example recently!
8. Washington, D.C.
The advent of Capital Bikeshare made cycling a lot more fun in the nation’s capital! You can explore the National Mall, the Potomac River, the Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin, Georgetown, and the entire rest of the city with this great service. Washington, D.C. is a very easy city to get to know, and April is a particularly beautiful time to visit with cherry blossoms blooming all over!
This article was written by Cathy Trainor.