Leisure Lakes Bikes have been hard at work, analysing data and crunching the numbers to determine Europe’s most accommodating capital cities for cyclists. By comparing factors such as air pollution levels, number of cycling service locations, and number of designated cycling routes, they have concluded just where in Europe you can expect to find the best cycling experiences.
It may be easy to guess the answers- the ever popular cycling city of Amsterdam, or the capital of the country known for holding the world famous Tour De France? But, you may be surprised to learn, neither of these cities even reached the top 3 in Leisure Lakes Bikes’ study.
So where did?
3. Ljubljana, Capital of Slovenia
The capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana, was found to be the third best capital city in Europe for cyclists, according to Leisure Lakes Bikes’ study. Having recently been crowned the European Best Destination 2022, there is plenty to say about the city, especially for cyclists looking to get away.
The city has extensive cycling routes available for visitors to explore at their leisure, allowing cyclists the chance to see the city’s beautiful architecture and sprawling natural landscapes. Cycle along the idyllic Ljubljana River, and take in the sights of warm architecture and magnificent churches.
Cycle routes will also take visitors through scenic parks and natural reserves, including the renowned Tivoli Park, with its many masterfully crafted statues and water features along pristinely kept grass and foliage. And for something more adventurous, why not check out one of the city’s forest cycling paths. Which other capital city in Europe can say they are home to a cycling route through a forest?
2. Vaduz, Capital of Liechtenstein
In second place, according to the study, is the capital of Europe’s second smallest nation (losing out only to Vatican City), Vaduz- the Capital of Liechtenstein.
Labelled a micronation due to its diminutive size, Liechtenstein is notable for its location nestled within the Alps, decorating the country with breathtaking mountain tops and expansive wilderness. A treat for mountain bikers, for sure.
Being such a small nation, surrounded by such incredible nature, it is no surprise Vaduz itself has a low level of air pollution, and a vast network of cycle paths made available to help preserve that.
For cyclists who prefer to keep their wheels to the roads, there are numerous options that allow visitors to explore the vast beauties of the country, but in Vaduz specifically, expect to find paths that take full advantage of the cities sleek streets and off road paths through nature, to see the best this small city has to offer.
Casual cycle rides through the city will take visitors face to face with monuments like the royal Vaduz Castle- a fact made more prominent by the fact that, due to the area’s small size, you may just bump into them.
Bern, Capital of Switzerland
Bern, the Capital of Switzerland, was concluded as the best capital city for cyclists in Europe in the study. And it is easy to understand why.
Switzerland is home to a large quantity of the Alps, and therefore similarly to Liechtenstein is low in pollution due to the vastness of nature and the work done to preserve that space. However, as a far more established country with more resources, Switzerland has a far better cycling infrastructure in place, with more cycling service stations and options of cycling routes to allow for the perfect cycling experience.
When cycling in Bern, expect to find yourself on routes that lead way to mesmerising lakeside homes, quaint villages, and stretches of the natural landscape that Switzerland is so renowned for. The architecture of Bern is truly a sight to behold, and on a leisurely ride on a bicycle, may be the perfect way to take in the city.