Unlike many larger European cities, Copenhagen has a very noticeable absence of automobiles. Instead, bikes – lots of bikes -flood the streets. Folding bikes, commuting bikes, and bikes of every description are in use by the fifty percent of Copenhagen inhabitants who commute by bicycle daily. In fact, Copenhagen has more bikes than inhabitants. With such a vast number of bicycles, separate lanes for them to travel in are a staple of the Danish infrastructure. There are over 400 kilometers of biking lanes in Copenhagen, making the cycle scene safe, efficient and easy. It is not uncommon to see women in stilettos riding to various nightlife locations. Nor is it rare to see children in their parents arm, enjoying a ride to school. The essentially flat landscape, combined with the smallness of Copenhagen, makes cycling a logical choice when determining a method of transportation. Furthermore, Denmark’s commitment to environmental sustainability makes owning a car very expensive, so alternative modes of travel are popular.
Amsterdam is another European city where cycling culture is a pillar of society. Like Copenhagen, Amsterdam is flat as a pancake, so commuting via bicycle is easy and fast. Also like Copenhagen, Amsterdam contains more bicycles than people. In the city center area, fifty eight percent of all traffic is comprised of cyclists. It is important to keep your head on a swivel when riding (or walking for that matter) in Amsterdam, as the sheer quantity of bikes can make for a unique experience exploring the city. Cycling is not just for locals in Amsterdam, much of the bike traffic is due to tourists exploring the city. A relatively small city by United States standards, Amsterdam can be pedaled through, across and around easily, making cycling a popular way to take in the sites. Be it to see the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum or the Heineken Brewery, renting a bike for travel in Amsterdam is truly a great time.
Italian drivers are notorious for their road rage and fast cars, so at first glance seeing Rome on this list may be surprising. The fact of the matter is, however, that Italian drivers are very tolerant of cyclists, making it a safe city for cruising. Aside from the abundance of cobblestoned streets, Rome is a great city for bike usage. Highly fashionable Italian men and women can be seen flying around the city, while tourists use bikes to see the sights. Atac is Rome’s new bike sharing scheme, and it has been highly successful so far, creating access to bicycles for all of the cities inhabitants.