In Europe, over 27 million users are signed up for bike-sharing schemes1, which is a quick and affordable way to get around cities, even if you do not own your own bike. So, instead of relying on a car for your next holiday, why not travel around the city on a bike?
For holidaymakers wishing to explore their next destination by bike, online tour operator weloveholidays has created a ranking of the top bike-friendly cities across Europe. Each city is ranked using factors such as the availability of bike-sharing stations, length of cycle paths, and number of rainy days. Plus, the difference in elevation across every city is considered.
Germany’s capital city, Berlin, ranks in first place, with over 3,000 bike-sharing stations and only a slight difference in elevation (86 metres). Vienna follows in second place, having one of the best cycling path systems, which stretches over 1654 km.
Barcelona and Paris rank in 3rd and 4th place respectively, both offering a wide selection of bike-sharing stations. Helsinki completes the top five, thanks to an impressive combined bike-path length of 1,200 km. Marseille, in France, came in 13th and, in fact, is the city with the fewest rainy days within the Top 15 of the ranking, making this city a guaranteed winner for a dry bike tour!
Cities that just missed the top 15
Although not in the top 15, Malmö in Sweden is not a bad choice for cyclists, with 515 km of designated cycling paths and a flat to medium elevation profile of 119 m difference from the city’s highest to lowest point.
Cities like Athens, Rome, and Sofia were all among the five hilliest cities overall, all with an elevation difference of over 1,000 m, and are therefore better suited for experiences cyclists.
Dr Jan Kuklinski, General Manager at weloveholidays comments: “Exploring cities by bike can be quicker than walking, and is a lot more environmentally friendly than driving a vehicle.
Nonetheless, it is important to check out the terrain first, and decide whether your road-confidence and fitness are appropriate for the area. Our index provides a good indication as to what to expect on your next city trip to Europe’s cities.”
These are Europe’s 15 most bike-friendly cities: