Have you ever considered visiting a city by bicycle? It has never been so easy since the introduction of bike sharing, specialised rent a bike companies and hostels who sometimes provide their guests with free bikes
Bike sharing allows you to rent bicycles available from several strategic places throughout the city and once you are done you can just drop them off at any dedicated docking stations. It’s a smart option to save time, to see much more during short weekend city-breaks, to shorten distances and experience the city at a different pace. Here is a list of the most bicycle friendly cities in Europe, where you can either find specialized companies for bicycle hire, or the cities have a bicycle sharing system:
With 1 million bicycles running freely along the canals, nobody will argue that Amsterdam’s characteristic in terms of transportation are bikes: it is definitely the fastest and most popular way to move within the Amsterdam canal belt. Whether you go for an old fashion freight bicycle or for a more classic Gazelle Omafiets & Opafiets, everybody should try and visit Amsterdam by bicycle at least once in their life: we are sure you would see Holland’s most popular city from a new perspective!
Mix with commuters cycling to work and bike couriers in Berlin! 13% of transportation in Berlin takes place by bicycle. This is less surprising when you consider their extensive network of 620-km long cycling paths and, well, if you can even bring your bike on metros and trains….. (make sure you buy an extra ticket though!). Fat Tire Bike Tours is a popular bike rental company you can use if looking to rent a bicycle in Berlin: with more than 500 bikes they also work closely with Fat Tire Bike Tours Berlin’s largest English-language bike tour company. Looking for something more alternative? Why don’t you try out a BikeBeer by Bierbike Berlin? This company rents “pedicabs” with a bar counter-like central table: you can basically sip some beer while cycling around Berlin
Have you ever heard about “The Cycling Embassy of Denmark”? This is not a joke: it is a network of private and public Danish companies which teamed up to promote the bicycle culture: no wonder Copenhagen has been voted the first Bike City in the World and the World’s most liveable city. Here are some interesting facts: all Copenhageners together cover 1.2 million kilometers daily; New York City Dept of Transportation has taken Copenhagen’s extraordinary case as an example when they decided to make NYC streets more bikers friendly
Barcelona has its own bike culture too with its public system on bike sharing called Bicing Barcelona: how to move around the city without producing noise, smog and pollution; Running 365 days a year 24/7, Barcelona’s bike sharing network boast loads of docking stations and allows people to move from one side of the city to the other very easily: check out the map here
Are you in Paris around the 23rd and 24th of June 2012? Check out “Les 24h du Vélib’ on the Champs Élysées: it is a 24-hour free event to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Velib, Paris’s bicycle sharing system. As well as being appreciated by Parisians, Velib is also used by 9000 tourists every year; on their official site we’ve found a very interesting itinerary on ”Secret Paris” which can be done by using Velib bikes: let us know if you try it out!
Any other bicycle friendly city worth of mention? Let us know! Last but not least, don’t forget to grab a helmet and to book a comfy bed in a hostel in The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Spain or France – much needed after a day spent on a bicycle I guess”