10 Bike-Friendly Cities Around the Globe

Bikes in Amsterdam rest on a bridge over a canal
Bicycling for recreation and commuting is wildly popular in Amsterdam.

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Although many cities around the world are exciting to explore by bicycle, pot-holed roads and congested car traffic can make it hazardous to undertake a pedal-powered sightseeing tour or commute. Cycling in cities with the proper biking infrastructure, however, can give folks an up-close experience of a place that cars and buses simply can’t.

From the cycle superhighways of Copenhagen, Denmark to the solar-powered bike kiosks in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, here are 10 cycle-friendly cities around the world worth exploring on a bike.

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Portland, Oregon

The sunlight casts upon a biker in downtown Portland

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With proper rain gear, it’s possible to bike year-round in Portland. The city's bike friendliness is largely due to a cutting-edge infrastructure that includes bike lanes and “neighborhood greenways” (side streets with low speed limits that have been optimized for bicycle traffic). Dedicated bike paths like the Springwater Corridor have made it so that visiting cyclers can ride for miles without ever seeing a car. Portland is also home to the World Naked Bike Ride, so if you aren’t afraid of baring it all while pedaling with thousands of other bicyclists, then this is the city for you.

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Colorful buildings on a cobbled road lined with bicycles

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With well over 50% of its population commuting by bike, Copenhagen is one of the most cycle-friendly metropolises in the world. The government is taking steps to increase that impressive statistic even further by building a series of “cycle superhighways” to connect the city with outlying suburban areas. Such bike-only superhighways would be outfitted with bike pumps, foot rests, and even traffic lights.

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Kyoto, Japan

Cherry blossoms in full bloom as a man rides his bike

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Kyoto, located in Japan’s Kansai region, offers fantastic bike-friendly paths and amenities for cyclists. A variety of bike tours exist within the city that offer bike rentals, and then take visitors to major points of interest, like the Nishi Honganji Temple, the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, and the Imperial Palace. Where bicycle-specific pathways don’t exist, folks may legally ride on sidewalks. A number of large bike parking lots can also be found throughout the city.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota

Three bicyclists ride past a waterfront in Minneapolis

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Although cold, snowy winters are less than ideal for cycling, Minneapolis has the biking infrastructure to make such an experience not only possible, but enjoyable. The city of lakes boasts bike lanes throughout and has established a city-wide network of paths and trails that allows for travel without having to ride on the street. After snowstorms, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board plows main bike paths to maintain their ride-worthiness.

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

A bridge over the canal in Amsterdam is lined with bikes

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With more than 450 miles of urban bicycle paths in Amsterdam, many tourists to the Dutch city are tempted to join the locals and see the sights from a bike saddle. Although the city is already considered to be among the best in the world for cyclists, the Amsterdam government is investing in a number of initiatives aimed at improving its bicycle infrastructure. Policy makers plan to build a “Green Network” of new bicycle routes throughout the city, while widening existing paths, and create additional parking spaces for bicycles only.

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Kaohsiung, Taiwan

A row of bikes at a kiosk in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Chi-Hung Lin / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s third most populated city, has a blossoming bicycle scene. The city government has made a concerted effort to promote cycling by creating bike paths and offering rentals near transit stations as part of the YouBike program. With a membership card, people can rent a bike from an automated, solar-powered YouBike kiosk, ride it, and then return it to any other kiosk in the city. Many of Kaohsiung's paths are for bicycles only, so riders don’t have to contend with dangerous car traffic.

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Berlin, Germany

A biker rides past a body of water in Berlin

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The popularity of cycling in Berlin is so great that the city government invested over 30 million euros into bicycle infrastructure in 2020 alone. A major part of this program to strengthen Berlin’s already impressive cycling accommodations include adding over 60 miles of cycle superhighways to connect the city core to the suburbs. Berlin also plans to add thousands of additional bicycle stands to the 15,000 already built. For the safety of cyclists, the government of Berlin has committed to adding more green-paved bike paths throughout the city, many of which will have barriers to protect users against the threat of car traffic.

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Strasbourg, France

A bike leans against a rail on a pile of colorful leaves in Strasbourg, France

Guilhem Vellut / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The city of Strasbourg in northeastern France contains over 372 miles of dedicated bike paths winding throughout it, making it one of the top cycling locales in all of Europe. According to the Strasbourg tourism department, roughly 16% of all workers in the city commute to and from their jobs on bicycles, and, each June, over 10,000 participants compete to see which company cycles the most. If that weren’t enough to claim bicycling dominance, Strasbourg has a rental program, called Vélhop, with more than 6,000 bikes available for public use.

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Perth, Australia

A cyclist pedals in front of the Perth skyline on a cloudy morning

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Perth, Australia is outfitted with bike paths throughout the city, making it ideal for recreational and commuter cycling. As with most fantastic bicycling locations, Perth’s cycling routes were established through city planning. The Perth Principle Shared Path network is a collection of off-road bicycle and pedestrian paths built along railways and highways that allow cyclists the same freedom of movement afforded to vehicles. An added benefit of the Principle Shared Network is that most intersections are circumvented with tunnels and bridges, allowing cyclists to pedal through congested areas. Perth also has a variety of parking options for cyclists at train and bus stations that include bike lockers, shelters, and racks. For scenic coastal rides, locals prefer pedaling along the shore of the Indian Ocean at spots like Burns Beach.

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Montréal, Canada

A bike leans against a railing in front of the Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montréal at sunset

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Montréal is a bicyclist’s dream, with 485 miles of dedicated bikeways throughout the island. A favorite bike route among visitors and locals alike is the beautiful Lachine Canal multipurpose path. The popular trail begins in Old Port of Montréal, winds through the heart of the city, and ends up at a nature sanctuary along the St. Lawrence River. For those without a bike of their own, Montréal’s BXI share program features hundreds of stations around the city where folks can rent a bicycle equipped with safety lights, a basket, and adjustable seating. Newcomers can take in the sights and sounds of the historical island by joining one of a number of guided bike tours.