Bicycling in Stockholm Opens Windows to Sublime Scandinavian Scenery
Bicycling in Stockholm is a must if you wish to see more of Sweden’s capital and one of the most underrated cities in northern Europe. Spread out across 14 islands, Stockholm is a visual feast of architecture, natural beauty and spectacular water views. While the city’s public transportation and rail system are a great way to travel around the city, access to a bicycle will make one’s visit to Stockholm much more rewarding. As in the case of Amsterdam and Copenhagen, Stockholm is one of Europe's model "smart cities," ridden with dedicated bicycle lanes that allow for safe two wheeling across this city of 2 million. For those skittish about bicycling in unfamiliar territory, the 470 miles (760 km) of bicycle lanes in Stockholm provide ample opportunities to explore the city’s waterways, parks and eclectic neighborhoods. Visitors have plenty of options to two wheel around the city. There are private bicycle rentals dotted across the city that will rent for as little as two hours or by the day. Stockholm City Bikes is a decent option to combine bicycling with the use of the city’s fine rail network: users can buy a one- or three-day pass, use a bicycle for as long as three hours, and return it to one of the 110 stations layered across Stockholm. And if you are staying at a hotel, the chances are high that the front desk can loan you a bike on a first come, first serve, basis. During my one free day after World Water Week concluded, most of the day was washed out by rain. But the clouds had lifted by 5:00 p.m., and the hotel at which I stayed happened to have a bike available. I had a few hours to traipse around the city and see far more than I would have with a subway pass. My rule to rent a bike in every city I visit, and a bike allowed me to enjoy the city’s medieval, art nouveau and modernist architecture--not to mention the fine local brews and chic design stores.