The best bike-friendly cities

Discover the most bike-friendly cities of the world.

When it comes to bike-friendly cities, the Danes are hard to beat. In Copenhagen bikes now outnumber cars 5 to 1, investment in bike-friendly infrastructure is high, and the city’s bike modal share (the percentage of people choosing to cycle for transport) continues to rise.

Since 2011, Copenhagenize Design Company has taken on the task of comparing how bike-friendly different cities are, measuring their attitudes and actions on a biennial city index. Last year’s index ranked 150 cities around the world, with Copenhagen taking out top spot, followed by Dutch cities Amsterdam and Utrecht.

To rank the cities, a few factors are considered: top-notch bike facilities, a strong commitment to advocacy, social acceptance and a perception of cycling as safe.

Here are a handful of cities that scored highly on the index. If you’re partial to a little travel on two wheels, perhaps they’ll be your next city adventure.

Seville

1. Seville

The capital of Spain’s Andalusian region isn’t just a dreamy city to walk through. Its efforts to champion cycling – including a broad network of infrastructure and investment in a bike share system – have seen the city jump from 0.2% bike modal share to 7% in a few short years. (To put that in context, Australia’s most bike-friendly city, Canberra, has a 2.8% bike modal share.)

Sitting at 10th spot in Copenhagenize Design Company’s index, Seville has dropped a few spots from the 4th place it occupied in the previous index. However, what’s encouraging is that the city’s gamechanging approach to cycling is now being looked at by other cities across the region.

Buenos Aires

2. Buenos Aires

Making its first appearance in the index, Buenos Aires is the highest ranked city in South America and positively leads the charge when it comes to creating a cycling-friendly metropolis. Over the last few years, it has rolled out a bike share program and over 87 miles of bicycle infrastructure across the city.

The creators of the index have declared Buenos Aires as the city to watch – and while it’s very much a work in progress, it’s exciting times for those looking to freewheel it through this vibrant Argentinian city.

Minneapolis

3. Minneapolis

Another newbie to the list, Minnesota’s largest metropolis sneaks into the top 20 at number 18. While the United States as a whole hasn’t traditionally been strong in this space, many US cities are making real progress in shifting the dial from car domination, with Minneapolis emerging as a true leader.

There’s a bike share program in place, 120 miles of on-street bikeways and some serious advocacy happening at an official level. For a city often best known for its bitter winters, it’s now getting mentions of a more positive variety.

Ljubljana, Slovenia

4. Ljubljana

Since the late ’60s and early ‘70s, the Slovenian capital has been paving the way for earning its number 13 ranking in the latest index. Adopting Copenhagen-style cycling paths across the city back then helped cement a cycling culture and develop a future framework for a bike-friendly city. Currently, Ljubljana enjoys a 12% bike modal share, and was voted the 2016 European Green Capital.

Travel better with Medibank travel insurance. Find out more and get a competitive quote today.

Recommended reading - Issue Eight Winter 2014

Community

Going the distance: Liz Blatchford

Liz Blatchford on training, mental strength and the transition from Olympic to longer distances.

Read more
Travel

3 historic restaurants across Europe

These classic establishments in historic European cities have barely changed in centuries

Read more
Community

Parkinson’s Walk in the Park

Take a walk in the park on 31 August in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and help make a difference.

Read more
Community

Herbert Peabody: An educational adventure

This book uses the enchanting tale of Herbert Peabody to teach children where their food comes from.

Read more
Recipes

Miso eggplant with soba noodles and walnuts recipe

Let Hetty McKinnon’s simple yet hearty recipes inspire your home cooking.

Read more
Lifestyle

How healthy are smoothies?

How to make your smoothie better for you

Read more
Lifestyle

A beginner’s guide to stargazing

There’s a wonderland of galaxies and constellations overhead. Why not take time to discover them?

Read more
Lifestyle

17 ways to help someone on their health journey

Looking beyond your own wellbeing can make for more gratifying and healthier outcomes for all

Read more
Lifestyle

The history of the hypodermic needle

Causing people to squirm since ancient rome, Nick Snelling traces the hypodermic needle’s history.

Read more
Community

Community cooking

Creative salad-maker Hetty McKinnon on her love for delicious veggie combinations.

Read more
Community

Fireside Festival

Warm up your winter and lift your spirits at Canberra’s regional Fireside Festival this August.

Read more
In Brief

National Diabetes Week – Reduce your diabetes risk

Healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.