Green cities are bike-friendly cities
What do eco-friendly cities have in common? Most of them are bike-friendly! Cycling is good for fast-tracking sustainability, not just as an eco-friendly means of transportation. People are increasingly turning to cycling to stay fit, buy groceries, beat stress, and to stay connected to others during the pandemic. Exploring new cities by bike is such a great way to get around, so if you’re planning your next vacation, check out our list of 9 of the World’s Most Bike Friendly Cities for some inspiration.
1. San Francisco, USA – best for e-bikes
San Francisco, or “San Fran” as locals call it, is hands down one of the best cities for exploring by bike in the United States (US), as it has the most miles of bike lanes of all US cities. Be warned though, it is the hilliest city in the US and the second hilliest in the world! However, this does make it our top choice for exploring it by an electric bike, especially if you want to cover lots of distance without getting too tired. We also love the city’s forward-thinking initiatives like banning single-use plastics and making it a legal requirement for businesses and residents to recycle properly. Go San Fran!
2. Vancouver, Canada - one of the greenest cities
Vancouver is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable cities in Canada. It’s famous for its natural, stunning landscapes, movie-shooting locations, and healthy-minded locals; many people actually grow their own vegetables and house bees in their backyard! Vancouver also produces the lowest greenhouse gas emissions per person compared to other cities and has been multiplying its downtown cycling network year after year. It currently has 1,287 kilometers (800 miles) of bike lanes, which makes it a great choice for exploring every inch by bike.
3. Canberra, Australia – the most sustainable city
Canberra is not only one of the top 10 most bike-friendly cities in the world but was recently named the world’s most sustainable city, according to an Uswitch report. It has invested heavily in green energy like solar power and wind farms, and green transportation like buses and light rails that run on renewable energy. An impressive 86.6% of Canberra's transport infrastructure is green. Canberra is one of the world’s cities with the cleanest air in the world.
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands – the royal city!
Amsterdam is often called the “King City of Bicycles”, with its complex network of cycling tracks and protected cycling spaces, it’s one of the easiest cities to explore. For locals, it’s also one of the best cities for commuting by bike thanks to its grid-like layout. Alongside its impressive cycleways, Amsterdam also has lots of green initiatives in place to achieve its goal of having emission-free traffic by 2030 and eliminating reliance on natural gas by 2040.
5. Berlin, Germany – the best city to explore
Despite being blessed with trains that run 24 hours a day, cycling is equally popular for locals (they’re just cautious about where they leave their bikes!). The city has been upping its biking infrastructure by unveiling a 3,000 kilometer (1,864 miles) cycling network to encourage more cyclists. Why not do as the locals do and cycle to the park and relax with a picnic?
6. Copenhagen, Denmark – a seriously bike friendly city!
Copenhagen is another great city for getting around by bike. At least 62% of people who live there go to work or school by bike; and it’s estimated that they cycle more than 1.4 million kilometers (894,000 miles) per day! Local authorities are continuously introducing more cycle lanes and there are now hotels across the city that lend bikes to guests. Cycling aside, Copenhagen is a truly beautiful city, famous for its natural swimming baths, floating saunas, and for spearheading green fashion shows.
7. Helsinki, Finland – one of the greenest places to stay
Helsinki is a coastal city that is heavily reliant on tourism and to show its commitment to sustainability, 75% of all the hotel rooms are now certified environmentally friendly. Since the pandemic, local authorities have accelerated their sustainable transport initiatives, with cycling playing an important role. They’re even being mentored by Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and other sister cities to become a future cycling capital. Helsinki also boasts some of the cleanest tap water in the world – so perfect for staying hydrated while in the saddle.
8. Vienna, Austria - one of the most sustainable cities in Europe
Vienna has long been known for its music and history. Today, it’s also one of the most sustainable cities in Europe, with half of its space dedicated to parks, city farms, and gardens. Vienna is also internationally recognized for its conservation efforts, air quality, and clean water supply. In fact, the city’s drinking tap water is actually natural spring water! When it comes to city cycling, Vienna boasts over 1,400 km (870 miles) of cycling routes. And if you rent from one of the 120 Citybikes , the first hour is free!
9. Ljubljana, Slovenia - bike is the most convenient transportation
Ljubljana (pronounced loo·bee·aa·nuh) is an incredible destination for lovers of the great outdoors. You can bike, hike, kayak, paddle board, and even ski! Ljubljana has over 75% of its space dedicated to nature and over 230 km (143 miles) of cycling routes. If you get tired, there are electric vehicles roaming throughout the city that can give you a lift for free, though they’re mostly for people with limited mobility not just jelly cycling legs.