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ride of your life

Ride of your life

Get on your bikes and explore Europe's most bike-friendly Emerald Waterways stops

Is there anything more European than cycling? Following the success of the Yorkshire Grand Départ and the celebrity of Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton, Britain has now fully embraced the bicycle, but we were slow on the uptake compared to our continental cousins.

The number of cyclists may have reached a record high in London, but the infrastructure still leaves a lot to be desired. The same can’t be said of our
European cousins: cycling through the likes of Lyon and Amsterdam is nothing but a joy. And given cycling is a big part of the Emerald Waterways experience, especially with the introduction of EmeraldActive, we’ve chosen the most bikefriendly cities in Europe.

Lyon

Lyon, the picturesque city in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, is one of Europe’s best for cycling. Of course, bike riding is practically a national pasttime in the country that has run the Tour de France since 1903. With its dedicated cycling paths and pretty lanes, the city is a pleasure to ride in. Passerelle de l’Homme de la Roche (pictured) is great to cycle over, as is the Croix Rousse tunnel. Take a trip up to Fourvière hill offers spectacular views over the city.

Amsterdam

It’s a staggering statistic but it’s true: there are more bicycles in Amsterdam than there are people. There are more than 881,000 bikes to a population of
about 750,000, so it will be no surprise to learn that 35 per cent of all journeys in the city are made by bike. Of course, for a capital, Amsterdam is not a huge city, but it is a complex one. Its maze-like canal system, which dates back to the 17th century, makes it a difficult city to drive through, but an incredible one to cycle around. With 250 miles of cycling paths — and plans to extend the number of bike parking spaces to 38,000 by 2020 — it’s a city where bike culture is not only adored, but invested in.

Budapest

In terms of those getting on their bikes, cycling doubled in popularity in Budapest between 2012 and 2014, and the Hungarian capital is now regarded as one of Europe’s most bike-friendly cities. The No 6 path of the international biking route, EuroVelo, goes through it, and has been one of the driving factors behind cycling’s rise in vogue. With 150 miles of cycling path, it’s a stunning place to see on two wheels: the path along the Danube extends as far as Vienna, the Austrian capital, and there are few more picturesque places to cycle by, allowing you to take in the stunning Hungarian parliament, the citadel and palace.

Cycle through Europe

Cycle through Europe

Bikes

Take advantage of our on board bikes and cycle your way around famous European destinations such as Amsterdam and Budapest at your own pace, soaking up culture in a unique way.