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It’s common knowledge that in the Netherlands and Denmark cycling is a popular recreational and commuting activity. In fact, 62% of citizens in Copenhagen commute to work, school or university by bicycle and in the Netherlands, there are over 22.5 million bicycles making their average bicycles per capita the highest of any country in the world.
What people don’t know is that cycling is also a way of life in Switzerland and the country is a great place to cycle. Over 69% of all Swiss households own at least one bicycle and the city of Bern came ninth in the Coya Bicycle Cities Index 2019 that ranks the most bike-friendly cities in the world. It’s safe to say the country is a gem for avid cyclists.
So, if you’re an expat in Switzerland or you’re thinking of moving to the alpine country, here’s why you should own a bike.
It’s not just a cliché, the roads in Switzerland are surfaced extremely well, a lot better than most other countries, making it the perfect place for road biking. It’s not just the main roads either, even smaller farm roads are suitable for cyclists. The lack of traffic on the roads also helps those that want to pedal around the country roads.
Switzerland offers some of the most breath-taking alpine passes and trails. The Swiss cycling landscape isn’t hard to fall in love with. In total there are 8,500 kilometres of marked cycle paths where riders can explore the beauty of Switzerland. Cycling is such a priority in the Central European country that the streets are cleared of motor vehicles several times a year to make way for the cyclists.
Switzerland has the world’s densest public transport system meaning there’s no need for a car as there are lots of options when it comes to getting around the country. However, this world-class public transport system comes at a price, of course. Public transportation is pricey in Switzerland, like a lot of things are, so if you’re needing to commute daily this is another reason to invest in a bike as it will significantly reduce any commuting costs.
This country isn’t just ideal for road riding, but it also has some of the most spectacular mountain bike trails in Europe. You can ride through the Alps and along the hills of the Jura from Basel to Lake Geneva or you can whizz through the Alpine foothills and across the entire country. Whether you prefer Enduro, Mountain or Tour biking you won’t be disappointed in Switzerland as there are amazing routes for all types. Just make sure you’re covered by international travel insurance if you’re planning on biking through the mountains.
Cycling around the cities of Switzerland is also made easy with plenty of dedicated cycling lanes. Bern and Geneva are particularly bike-friendly and even if you don’t have one yourself you can easily hire one. In larger cities like Stockholm, Malmo and Gothenburg there are lots of companies that offer guided cycling tours so if you’re interested in exploring the city with others by bike you can join one of these. Alternatively, you can island hop by bike in the archipelagos of both Stockholm and the west coast.
Switzerland is a great place to ride and that’s why all expats in the country should own a bike. Whether it’s to commute, go for a casual road ride or mountain bike along the Swiss waterways and through the plains, this country has been designed for two-wheeled adventures and it will not disappoint.
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