Travel: Five flat cities to cycle in Europe

Whether it’s a city by the sea or a throbbing metropolis some of the best places to cycle in Europe – by that I mean flattest – can be found around iconic streets.

From coastal Nice to canal-side Amsterdam, award-winning travel site momondo offered to reveal to Sports Libertarians five top European cities to discover by pedal power, with local tips to boot, so I thought, well okay then, let’s see what you’ve got.

So whether you’re making like a time-trialling pro cyclist and pedalling furiously down straight flat coastal routes, or, making like a sloth and mozying your way around stunning city scapes, stopping in cafes, and even pubs along the way – see ‘beerbike’ below – check out these cool cycling cities.

FYI – this is not a paid ad, I just thought it was worth sharing 🙂

The Netherlands

Travel cycling Amsterdam

Check out the nooks and crannies in the streets of Amsterdam.

Arguably the most recognisable biking capital of the world, Amsterdam claims top spot for its easy access to bicycles through public scheme OV-Fiets, which has 240 hire locations offering bikes by the hour, day or week.

For those who’d like a more relaxing ride, electric bikes can also be leased but we all know that’s just plain cheating.

momondo local tip Rent the ‘Beerbike’, which at 1.5m wide allows you to legally drink and ride round the city.


Travel Paris cycling

Cycling, cafes, mooching – what can be more Parisien than that?

France’s capital has long been loved by bike-lovers, and boasts The Salon du Cycle – a national event bringing together both amateurs and professionals.

Perfect for cyclists, the Paris Respire scheme also closes off parts of the city, such as roads by the river Seine, the Marais and Montmatre, every Sunday and over bank holidays between 9am-5pm so you can cycle around the most iconic places in the city in peace and without inhaling traffic fumes at every turn.

Paris benefits from public scheme Vélib Bike Hire, which boasts more than 1,200 docking stations and 18,000 bikes around Paris. A debit or credit card is required online or at all of the docking stations to grab a bike and go.

momondo local tip Gain an extra 15 minutes free, if the docking station is fully occupied, in order to return your bike to another station.


Travel Berlin cycling

Grab like-minded souls and head out for the day in Berlin.

National scheme Call-A-Bike offers over 100 rental locations, and Berlin’s tubes and trains even offer special tickets permitting bikes to be taken aboard.

Visitors should take note however, that only over 18s can buy access to the scheme, although anyone over 14 can ride one of the public bikes.

momondo local tip Cycle behind public buses 100 or 200 for the best scenic views of the city, as these routes pass most tourist spots.


Travel Nice cycling

And breathe – cycle down the Promenade des Anglais inhaling sea air.

Nice’s biking scheme Vélo bleu offers 175 docking stations around the city, and rental from just €1 an hour.

Visitors should definitely experience biking down the flat Promenade des Anglais – a five-mile beach-front walkway connecting Chateau Hill with Nice Airport. Stop for your first coffee of the day en route in one of the many cafes.

momondo local tip Follow bus route 14 for a challenging ride to the top of Mount Boron in the Parc Municipal du Mt Boron for the best city views.


Travel London cycling

Bikes outside pubs in London? Quelle surprise.

The famous ‘Boris Bikes’ are now one of London’s most iconic sights, and Santander Cycles offers a massive 8,000 bikes and 570 docking stations dotted around the capital.

Never more than 400 metres apart, they form what has become a reliable mode of transport for commuters and tourists alike.

With so much to see in the city, embarking on a cycle trip gives you more time to see as much as you can. Or you can just sit in the pub…

momondo local tip Meet local cyclists on your city break, in special bike repair cafés Look Mum No Hands, Foffa bikes and Lock7.

European bike app maps (that’s not easy to say…) Via Wahoo Fitness Cyclemeter Google Maps Map My Ride Strava

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Author: Jo Gunston

Roving blogging superfan shares behind the scenes stories of her sports life and the best of those from like-minded souls.

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