"One of the world’s leading bicycle cities" Top 5 Page for this destination Groningen by Nemorino
Groningen Travel Guide: 437 reviews and 1,118 photos
Groningen, the northernmost city in the Netherlands, is famous for having the highest percentage of bicycle use in the Western world.
57 % of the 190,000 residents use bicycles as their main form of daily transportation within the city.
59 % of all journeys within the city are made by bicycle.
For comparison: those figures are around 37 % in Copenhagen and Münster, 15 % in Hannover, 9 % in Hamburg but less than 1 % in most American cities.
You sometimes see variations in these figures, depending on what it counted as what, but the trend is clear: Groningen is always at or near the top of the list, along with other Dutch cities such as Zwolle, Leeuwarden and Leiden.
How did this happen?
It helps that Groningen is flat and has a large student population, but the main reason is that for the past forty years the city administration has had a consistent policy of encouraging bicycle traffic and creating the infrastructure to make it possible. Cars are largely banned from the city center and there is an extensive network of safe, convenient bicycle routes fanning out in all directions.
By the way, in 2007 a European Union study found Groningen to be the city in Europe that was best liked by its inhabitants.
In 2013 Clarence Eckerson, Jr. of Streetfilms came out with an enthusiastic and informative fifteen-minute film called “Groningen: The World’s Cycling City”. You can watch it here.
Update 2015: The European Cyclists' Federation has published an interesting article on Groningen's new cycling strategy for 2015-2025, designed to "keep the city accessible, liveable, economically vital, healthy and safe" through even more bicycle usage.
With so many people riding bicycles, it comes as no surprise that there are numerous bicycle shops in Groningen. The... more travel advice
From my room in the Hampshire Hotel I had a nice view a church called St. Jozel Kerk, which was a block away to the... more travel advice
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- "Groningen, a city I love!"
- "Groningen above all."
- "One of the world’s leading bicycle cities"
- "Citizens of Groningen are more courteous"
- "Groningen, real city life"
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