Bern ranked as one of the 10 best cities in the world for cycling

Bern ranked as one of the 10 best cities in the world for cycling

The Swiss city of Bern has been ranked as one of the 10 best cities in the world for cycling, according to the Global Bicycle Cities Index by Luko. The insurance provider found that, despite cycling not being very popular in the city, the de-facto capital of Switzerland scored well for its quality of roads and effective, albeit small, cycle-sharing scheme.

Global Bicycle Cities Index 2022 by Luko

In order to calculate the ranking, Luko analysed and compared traditional cycling cities like Amsterdam and Utrecht, with cities that are "making an effort to improve their bicycle infrastructure." In order to determine each city’s score, the insurance provider analysed the following factors:

  • Weather
  • Percentage of the population that cycles
  • Road accidents and cycle theft per 100.000 cyclists
  • Number of bicycle shops, dedicated cycle lanes and other cycling infrastructure
  • Quality of roads
  • The quality of bicycle renting or sharing schemes
  • Number of events like car-free days

This year, the top 10 was dominated by cities in the Netherlands and Germany, with Utrecht taking the top spot for its famous cycling culture and route network, scoring 77,84 points. Munster in Germany followed in second place with 65,93, and Antwerp in Belgium rounded out the top three with 60,51.

Bern ranked as eighth best city for cycling in the world

With a score of 48,76, Bern was ranked as the eighth-best city for cycling in the world. Only one other Swiss city was mentioned on the list, with Geneva being ranked in 29th place. The worst cities for cyclists on the list were Bangkok in Thailand, Medellin in Columbia and Lagos in Nigeria.

While the study found that only 15 percent of Bern’s population cycle regularly - the lowest ratio in the top 10 - it was praised for the quality of roads on offer, earning a score of 98,73 out of 100 in that category. The city was also praised for its car-free days and the availability of shared bicycles.

However, Luko noted that the federal capital still has some way to go before it achieves a “Dutch-like” status as a cycling city, as Bern's physical cycle infrastructure, like cycle lanes and car-free routes, remain sub-par. This is often cited as why Swiss cities don’t perform better in cycling rankings, as new or nervous cyclists feel uncomfortable riding with cars in the exposed “bicycle gutters” that cities in the alpine nation typically provide for those on two wheels.

Top 10 cycling cities in the world

Overall, the top 10 best cities for cycling in the world in 2022, according to Luko, are:

  1. Utrecht, the Netherlands (77,84)
  2. Munster, Germany (65,93)
  3. Antwerp, Belgium (60,51)
  4. Copenhagen, Denmark (60,46)
  5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands (60,24)
  6. Malmö, Sweden (55,88)
  7. Hangzhou, China (52,55)
  8. Bern, Switzerland (48,76)
  9. Bremen, Germany (47,81)
  10. Hannover, Germany (46,7)

For more information about how the ranking was calculated, check out the Luko website.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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