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Cycling Cities in Europe: FIVE lesser-known cycle-friendly European cities

Everyone seems to know how bike-friendly cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam are, but what about some of Europe’s other cities? Surely, city cycling is not exclusive to the Danes and the Dutch!

Lyon, France

Paris has long been known as a city filled with bicycles. However, France’s second largest city has an equally impressive cycling scene. Lyon’s extensive bike share program (called Velo’v) facilitates an impressive 16,000 city trips per day and is considered the second largest bike share network in the world (behind the one in Paris).  Lyon’s bike share network began in 2005 and includes 3000 bikes across the city’s vast network.

Dublin, Ireland

dublinbikes
photo: Flickr / William Murphy

In 2009, Dublin became the first English speaking European city to join the bike-share revolution when it launched ‘dublinbike.’ At present, roughly 1500 bikes are located at stations around Dublin.  Bicycles can be returned 24 hours a day, making them the perfect way to get around the city and are a popular choice for getting home from the city’s many pubs. In fact, the bike network has become such a success that as of 2014 Coco-Cola became a primary corporate sponsor of the bikes, renaming the bikes Coco-Cola Zero dublinbikes.

Bucharest, Romania

In Bucharest, cycling is not only a great way to get around but it has become trendy and fashionable. “Skirtbike” is an annual parade when thousands of women cycle through the city to promote “stylish cycling.” Also, popular Bucharest bars such as the popular “Bicicleta” have used bikes as their design muse. And Bucharest’s bike sharing network (called I’Velo) was launched in 2010 and now has over 1000 bicycles scattered throughout the city.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

A youthful city, thousands of Ljubljana students can be seen cycling to university on any given day. Cycling has become so much a part of everyday Ljubljana life that the city also boasts many bicycle traffic lights and special cycle paths. In 2011, Ljubljana’s share bike network, called Bicikelj, was launched and currently provides over 300 bicycles throughout the city. As one of Eastern Europe’s most progressive cities, Ljubljana also hosted the “Cycling in Central and Eastern Europe” conference in 2013.

Zagreb, Croatia

Cycling in Croatia’s capital city is steadily increasing in popularity among locals and tourists alike with bike racks and bike rentals readily available throughout the city. In 2013, Zagreb joined the cycling revolution by offering ‘nextbike’ share bikes throughout the city. ‘nextbike’ is actually an international brand (started in Leipzig, Germany) that now offers share bikes in more than 70 cities and across 3 continents.