Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Top 10 Most Bicycle-Friendly Countries Outside the U.S.

The healthiest, greenest and most scenic mode of transportation has to be riding your bicycle. There are plenty of reasons why moving abroad might inspire you to change how you get around; it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider ditching your car behind!  Thus, going somewhere with a good infrastructure and culture for bicycling is an important consideration.

Here’s our list of the 10 most bicycle-friendly nations outside the U.S.:

10. India

Bikes continue to be an important and necessary means of transportation throughout India. They also allow the rider to see and feel the essence of Indian tradition from up close. Almost every part of the country offers great tracks, and it’s even better if you enjoy more adventurous cycling.

9. Norway

Europe is a great place to be a bicyclist, and Norway is first on our list within the continent. Sure, it can be cold-going for parts of the year, but Norwegian cities have fantastic cycling infrastructure. Especially check out Sandnes and Trondheim.

8. Colombia

Colombia has been leading the way among Latin American countries in its urban bicycling infrastructure– particularly apparent in Bogotá. There are even regular Ciclovía events there, where main throughways are closed to cars.

7. Germany

Berlin has been experiencing a bicycling boom for a while now, and it’s definitely one of the premiere cities in the world for cycling. But the rest of the country is easy to navigate on two wheels too.

6. Australia

All of Australia’s major cities are easy to get around with a bike, but Perth in Western Australia may be their bicycling crown jewel. With more than 700 km of bike routes, this is the place to pedal Down Under.

5. Denmark

In Copenhagen alone, it’s estimated that about a third of the workforce commutes via bicycle. You’ll have more trouble getting around here with your car anyway, and it’s really the only genuine way to get a feel for this beautiful city.

4. France

Home to the Tour de France, and to Vélib’– the world’s largest public bicycle rental program, France’s bicycling credentials are widely recognized. Don’t leave your bike in Paris though, saddle up and take plenty of rides through the French countryside too.

3. China

Okay, so the streets of Beijing are a bit oversaturated with cyclists and this may not be the picturesque idea of a scenic and healthy way to see the country that you had in mind. But China likely has more bicycles in regular operation than anywhere in the world, and it takes a pretty good infrastructure to make that possible.

2. Spain

Barcelona’s massive bicycling program, Bicing, is quickly becoming world renowned in its success. An annual Bike Week is held in late May too, showcasing Spain’s dedication to encouraging bicycling.

1. The Netherlands


Okay, so you knew ahead of time that The Netherlands would top this list. We won’t disappoint. The bicycle is literally the only means of transportation throughout many parts of Amsterdam; It’s the undisputed bicycle capital of the world!


10 thoughts on “Top 10 Most Bicycle-Friendly Countries Outside the U.S.

  1. That picture in China looks crazy. I’ve been to the Netherlands and that was the first thing I noticed. There are SO many bikes and its awesome. People have really adopted cycling for commuting, going out to play, etc..
    Its such a cool thing to see. The rest of the world should follow suit.

  2. France as no 4; is it a joke ? I acknowledge it has made progress compared to what happened in the past where often wars were deliberately driving down on the bicycles to knock them off, but I still wouldn’t put it in the top 10 bike-friendly countries…

  3. I cant believe you missed out Switzerland but included France of all places.(I agree with antifrogfrog on that one) I’ve been cycling in Europe for the best part of 20 years and I know for a fact you take your life in your hands in France, especially in the South. Switzerland’s national cycle routes are unrivalled across the entire continent and provide “motorways” for cyclists, allowing you to cross the entire country from North to South, East to West.

    Poor article

  4. Hi,

    India? where did you find good tracks in India for cycling/ bike users? I agree that its the country that has the most number of bicycle users, but the reasons are economical. The roads are so flooded with people cars, 2/3 wheelers, street hawkers .. the list is endless, that cyclists get very little space and attention and cycling is a havoc.

  5. 10 more reason to dislike America…
    For that last 4 years I’ve lived in Minneapolis and there are lots of trails and bike lanes..
    Most trials are recreation and the only few usable for life were build for recration. Bike lanes are often very narrow, less than handlebar width.. Law-less motorists.. They run stops signs, many pass way too close and cut off cyclists.. Then too, most cyclist do not follow laws either.. Then winter, they plow road into bike lanes and don’t plow many trials..
    So, Minnapolis is bike friendly if you recreation ride, but not if you want to bike to the grocery store, work and shopping… America is a fascist country to anyone who does not want to drive/own a car…
    The massive dept $15,000,000,000,000,000 is because of the car-culture…

  6. Perth? What a joke. The paths are often terrible quality, inconsistent (some just randomly stop and leave you stranded), poor signage, aggressive and incompetent drivers etc. this results in around 1.8-2% mode share for cycling as transport. Perth does have a lot of paths, but these are shared paths and designed primarily for recreation – so they are indirect and don’t go anywhere important. Great for a Sunday ride but useless to get to work or see a friend! A bicycle is a mere child’s toy or exercise equipment – people think you are crazy if you ride to work.

    Only thing Perth has going for it is nice weather all year round except for the odd wet or hot day and reasonably flat terrain.

  7. Australia? Is this a joke? There are very unfriendly to cyclists – especially car drivers, not many safe off-road bikapaths – mostly on-road lanes also in 100km and 80km/h zones, impossible to be used by youngsters or elderly. It is common cyclists are pushed off the road by car drivers in Australia.
    So please please please – before you write this kind of ‘top ten’ you have to take the bike and actually experience Australia by bike.

  8. +1 re comment about Australia. In my experience, Australian drivers aren’t very careful around cyclists. I’ve certainly felt more comfortable on the roads in France or the UK.

  9. This list is a joke. You forgot about Belgium. I´m pretty sure we beat most other countries in your list. I´ve been in a lot of countries and there are only 2 that have an extended network of seperated , especially designed and made lanes exclusively for bikes as a sign of ultimate comfort and safety: The Netherlands and Belgium. India? Colombia?? China?? And even France which is a real dangerous country to bike… are you kidding?

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