Most cycle-friendly cities in Switzerland revealed

Most cycle-friendly cities in Switzerland revealed

A new study by Pro Velo Switzerland has revealed the most-bike friendly cities in Switzerland. The report found that many areas have made strong advances in how they treat those on two wheels, but others have a long way to go.

Pro Velo surveys cyclists in 46 Swiss cities

Every four years, Pro Velo surveys cyclists in 46 cities across Switzerland and ranks each by how bike-friendly they are. In the 2021-22 version of the survey, categories included how safe and comfortable it is to bike on city streets, the extent of the cycle path network, traffic levels, how cyclists interact with Swiss drivers and parking availability for bikes. Each category is then given a grade of between 1 and 6, with 6 being the best score.

Since the last survey in 2017, the report found a small improvement in city biking culture nationwide, although most areas still achieve an “unsatisfactory” rating. The biggest improvement was seen in French-speaking cities like Fribourg, Lausanne and Geneva - which all improved by half a grade.

Large German-speaking cities fair poorly for cyclist safety

Conversely, cities on the other side of the Röstigraben have seen their scores decrease, with Chur (-0,5), Olten (-0,2) and Schaffhausen (-0,1) seeing the biggest drops. Schaffhausen, the northern town on the Rhein, is the only city in Switzerland that has not improved its cycle rating since the survey started in 2005.

In the 2021-22 list, the city of Burgdorf, Canton Bern, was ranked as the best city in Switzerland for bikes with a score of 4,7, followed by Zuchwil (4,5) in second and Winterthur and Muttenz (4,4) in joint third. Burgdorf scored highly across all categories and has now occupied the top spot since 2010. Wintherthur was named the best cycling city with a population of over 100.000, followed by Bern (4,1) and Basel (4).

The worst three places for cycling in Switzerland were Zurich (3,4), Sion (3,4) and Schaffhausen (3,5). Zurich scored particularly poorly on safety ratings, with many cyclists noting that heavy traffic and potholes are common on cycle routes. Despite approving new funding for cycling infrastructure in a referendum last year, unlike other large cities in Switzerland, there is yet to be a way to get through the centre of Zurich without interacting with cars.

Top 10 most cycle-friendly cities in Switzerland

In the latest 2021-22 ranking, the top 10 highest rated cities for cycling in Switzerland are:

  1. Burgdorf (4,7)
  2. Zuchwil (4,5)
  3. Winterthur (4,4)
  4. Muttenz (4,4)
  5. Solothurn (4,3)
  6. Riehen (4,3)
  7. Reinach (BL) (4,2)
  8. Köniz (4,2)
  9. Münchenstein (4,1)
  10. Bern (4,1)

To see how your city did on the ranking, check out the Pro Velo 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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