Riding a bike around Barcelona, be it as a leisure activity or as an urban way of transport, is thankfully for many of us something very easy to do, since the Catalan city has many kilometres of bike lanes and bicycle parking.
Also, we should highlight that the “Barcelona Bike Lane” is one that has very few road ascents and descents in comparison to many other cities around the world. Therefore, since it has almost no inclinations, your bike ride around Barcelona will be one of the most comfortable ones.
🚴 Why should we ride around a bike in Barcelona?
The sensations of traveling by bike in a city are fantastic, compared to any other means of transport on wheels. Being able to enjoy privileged urban views, beautiful buildings, hidden sceneries, and feeling the wind in our faces are things that connect us more with everything that surrounds us.
Riding around a bike in the city, you will live experiences to the fullest!
This way of moving around is not only healthy for the one who practices it, but also ecological and sustainable for the whole city … which is why at Sweet BCN Accommodations we want to promote the use of bicycles in Barcelona, giving its users and those that have not yet opted in for the use of the urban bike, information about the bicycle lanes in Barcelona, bike shops, bicycle routes, and some advice for better and more comfortable use of their bikes in Barcelona.
Basic Recommendations for riding around Barcelona on a bicycle
Either for the tourists that don’t quiet know the city or for the people that have no experience riding their bicycles around Barcelona, the idea of doing it can be intimidating.
It is not necessary to be an expert cyclist, and the cars are not as aggressive as people may think. But to have a more enjoyable biking urban experience is recommendable to follow some easy circulation safety tips.
1) Always use the bicycle lanes
Our city has several kilometers of bike lanes so that you may freely move around most places without any inconvenience.
2) It is not allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalks
Unless the width of the sidewalk is over 5 meters, you cannot ride your bicycle on them. Please respect pedestrians.
3) Respect the basic transit rules
The traffic lights also apply to cyclists. Never go into a street against the way of traffic.
If you want respect from drivers and other users of the public roads, you should also respect the basic transit norms as everyone else does.
4) On the street, be the owner of your lane
According to the transit rules, bicycles in Barcelona should ride on the lane closest to the right.
If on the street you are circulating in, there is no defined bicycle lane, ride in the middle of the right-hand car lane, making the lane yours.
If a car would like to pass you, he should switch lanes, it is much safer this way than you moving far right close to the sidewalk, making them pass you on your same lane and risking being run over.
If you chose to ride around Barcelona with your bicycle, understand that you are not on a race, it is normal that the cars will try to pass you, do not get frustrated, and enjoy the ride.
5) Chose your ideal bike route previously
Thanks to the city council work, our city is very well equipped and structured to move around with a bike.
If your destination can be reached by a particular bike route, check the map well and pick the route with the most kilometres of bicycle lanes possible. That way you will make sure you are strolling around the easiest possible route for you.
Keep reading this post and you will find out where the bicycle lanes are in Barcelona.
6) Make yourself visible at night
Be it for your own security and that of the other users of the public roads, when riding your bicycle in Barcelona at night, you must have a red light in the back and a white light in the front of your bike.
If you have gone to a bike shop and are renting one out during your visit to Barcelona, make sure the shop provides you with a reflecting helmet and all the necessary lights to circulate safely at night.
7) It is not a good idea to listen to music or talk on the phone
It is not recommendable, and it is also illegal and prohibited, to ride around your urban bicycle while listening to music on the headphones or making a phone call.
It is important that while you are on your bike you have all your senses alert, and MP3 players and mobile phones are big distractions. You are also risking getting a fine from the police.
8) Take good care of your bike and do not leave it just anywhere
Unfortunately, since bicycles in Barcelona are getting more and more popular, bike thefts are somewhat usual. Therefore always make sure you are leaving your bike well locked, at a bicycle parking that is visible and on a street with much circulation, locking the wheel and the frame.
If you are a traveler do not worry, your rental bicycle shop will for sure provide you with locks and show you the best way to secure your bike.
Also do not just leave it anywhere, if your bike is locked at a place where it bothers the pedestrians, the police may fine you or take the bike.
9) It is not a competition, enjoy the way and the urban views
Sometimes you will find angry car drivers, or distracted pedestrians getting on your way. Do not worry about them and enjoy your bike ride around Barcelona. Observe the scenery, breathe the fresh air, and remember the good you are doing to your body and the city.
Advice to ride a bike in Barcelona
Bicing – Public Bicycle System of Barcelona
The Bicing is a way of urban transport based on the shared use of bicycles in Barcelona. This does not mean it is a public rental system for travelers, the Bicing is not designed for that.
So then, what is the “Bicing” for?
The public transport service known as “Bicing” in Barcelona is thought for the city residents that want to move with a bike within the city (short and medium length of time routes).
Also, to make use of such a service the user must first sign up for a yearly membership to get the “Bicing” card. Once such card is activated, the user can enjoy riding the many urban bikes located at several parking spots spread around the city.
The first 30 minutes of each bike ride is included in the yearly membership fee, the extra time is paid accordingly to the fees per minute, and cannot exceed 2 hours.
Bicing Barcelona has implemented to its services the use of electric bicycles. Since it is currently in its first implementation phase, it is only available for limited users, and obviously, its tariffs vary.
The fact that our city has this public bicycle transport system, has brought to Barcelona several structural changes to further acclimatize the city to bike mobility (more bike lanes), showing that the authorities are compromised to the eco-sustainable development of our beautiful city.
Now you may ask yourself, if I am on a visit and would like to move around Barcelona with a bicycle, Where can I rent a bike?
Our preferred Bicycle Rental Shops in Barcelona
You have nothing to worry about! You will find many bicycle rental shops in Barcelona. Depending on where you are staying, you will see that bike shops and garages are in every neighborhood of the city.
To our friends and guests at Sweet BCN Accommodations, we like to send them over to the best, which is why we recommend them that if they are looking for a good rental bicycle go to Rent a Bike Barcelona.
At this shop located in the neighborhood of Gracia, you will find good and friendly service together with urban bicycles, mountain bikes, foldable bikes, pulling karts for children, everything in excellent conditions, and at the best rates. If you tell them you are coming from Sweet BCN you will receive a 1 euro discount from your bike rental and 3 euro discount if you hire one of their bicycle tours.
Another excellent option, especially for the ones looking for a bike rental shop near the city center of Barcelona is Bike Rental Barcelona.
This shop, besides having a wide range of bicycles (road bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, folding bikes, etc) and offering personalized guided tours, also has many accessories available to make your bike ride easier such as baby seats, baskets, bag-racks, etc.
Bikes for 5 euros in Barcelona
What? That cheap? Yes indeed, 5 euros bicycles in Barcelona, no kidding!
Sweet BCN and Bicicletas Guachin have partnered up to help you live a Barcelona experience on two wheels.
Our vintage bikes have been restored with lots of love, they have over 40 years of life and will most likely have many more, depending on all of us. Our idea is to keep recycling bikes and bike parts to try to stop the unnecessary mass production of bicycles, giving a new life to the old ones, and collaborating with the sustainability of our planet.
If you want to get to know the city at your own pace you can take the bikes from any of our parking spots, simply asking our staff at Sweet BCN.
The philosophy of Sweet BCN and Bicicletas Guachin is to promote the use of bicycles and collaborate with the development of a sustainable city.
We are counting on you!
How to combine the bike with the public transport in Barcelona?
Allows the access to one bike per person. Weekdays from 5 am – 7 am, 9 am – 5 pm, and 10:30 pm until closing time. Saturdays, Sundays, and festive access are allowed during all day.
During the months of July and August bicycles are allowed every day during the whole day.
2.- Railroads of Generalitat
Allowed access every day at all times in the designated areas.
At the Vallvidrera´s furnicular the limit is 2 bikes per ride.
3.- Tibidabo Furnicular
Bicycles are allowed from 11 am until 15 minutes after the closing of the amusement park.
Bikes are allowed every day at any time in the space reserved for them and they must be properly immobilized.
Barcelona Bike Routes
While looking for downloadable routes to share with all of you, we stumbled upon an amazing website created by Roos Stallinga from the Netherlands called Ride with me World.
She has created an amazing book, Ride with me Barcelona, and also has beautiful bicycle routes for Barcelona you can navigate on your mobile maps app. We hope you enjoy them and give Roos and her project lots of love.
Bike Lane Map of Barcelona
Now that you have some basic advice to ride your bicycle in Barcelona, and you have found your nearest rental shop, is time to grab your bike and enjoy the city.
So that you may choose the most convenient bike route for you, we share with you this map of the bike lanes in Barcelona (click the link below and you will be able to navigate the map).
The bicycle culture in Barcelona is currently growing and we hope it continues like this. You will see that by joining us and becoming one more cyclist in the city, you will enjoy it in a different way. You will find the different places dedicated to the cyclist culture and you will surely try one of the many bike routes in the several bike lanes in Barcelona.