Það er ótrúlegt hversu mikið maður sér ef maður leigir sér reiðhjól í einn eða tvo daga. LHM hefur tekið saman nokkrar skemmtilegar leiðir en í Guardian má lesa lýsingar á skemmtilegum leiðum í fimm evrópskum borgum sem íslendingar heimsækja gjarnan.
Insiders' guide to ... Europe's top cycling cities
It's amazing how much of place you can see if you rent a bike for a day or two. Here's the experts' advice on five of Europe's coolest, cycle-friendly cities
Life here is a two-wheeled affair; cycle tracks take you wherever you need to go. In the morning, I recommend visitors head to the baroque-style Dronning Louises bridge that crosses the lakes to the north of the city centre. Here you can witness one of the city's greatest sights – the Bicycle Rush Hour, when more than 35,000 cyclists cross the bridge each day on what is the busiest bicycle street in the western world. From here, head into the city centre – just go with the bicycle flow – and potter around the historic streets and squares. Check out Europe's oldest tea shop, AC Perch's (Kronprinsensgade 5, perchs.dk) and have lunch at Skildpadden on Gråbrødre Square, where you can build your own sandwich.
Head west along the harbour, stopping for a dip in the harbour baths at Islands Brygge, and continue to the bohemian neighbourhood of Vesterbro, with its funky designer shops. If you fancy another pit stop, grab a table at my favourite cafe, Bang & Jensen (1650 Københaven, bangogjensen.dk) – great for people watching. If you're up for it, the nightlife in nearby Kødbyen, Copenhagen's meat packing district, is brilliant. There are more bicycles outside the bars at night than you'll see in central London any day of the week.
Hire Baisikeli (+45 3168 8096, cph-bike-rental.dk; Turesensgade 10) acquires abandoned Danish bikes and rents them to tourists from £9 per day. All proceeds go to sending bicycles to development projects in Africa.
Stay Hotel Bertrams (+45 7023 3235, hotelguldsmeden.com/bertrams; doubles from £100 per night, room only) is a cool hotel in the Vesterbro district. Each of the 47 rooms has Balinese-inspired style with four-poster beds, and some have bathtubs and balconies. The courtyard garden has bike storage, too.
Get there Scandinavian Airlines (flysas.com) flies from Heathrow to Copenhagen from £125 return.
Mikael Colville-Andersen, founder of cycling blog Copenhagen Cycle Chic (copenhagencyclechic.com)
For one of the easiest rides out of the city head south down the Amstel river, from which the city gets part of its name (the other part being the dam that was built across the river around 800 years ago). Within 15 minutes you're clear of the city, riding past people rowing on the river and fishing on the banks. Within 30 minutes you've hit the first windmill (which is a private residence, so don't knock on the door) and the Amsterdam city limits at the Kleine Kalf (Little Cow) cafe. Futher on you reach a village called Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, which has lots of riverside cafes – perfect for a lunch break. A round-trip along this route – which is marked by bike path signs – is 20-25km and takes between two and three hours, so it makes for a great morning or afternoon ride.
Hire Mike's Bike Tours (+31 20 622 7970, mikesbiketoursamsterdam.com; Kerkstraat 134) offers bike rental from €7 per day.
Stay The Bicycle Hotel (+31 20 679 34 52, bicyclehotel.com; doubles from €40 per night B&B), in Amsterdam's central De Pijp district, has cheap but comfortable rooms, bike hire from €7.50 a day and free bike storage.
Get there Take the Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels, then cross the platform and take the Thalys train to Amsterdam, from £115 return with Rail Europe (raileurope.co.uk).
Michael Lasher, founder of Mike's Bike Tours (as before)
It may be busy, but bike lanes mean Barcelona is a great city to explore on two wheels. My own neighbourhood, Gràcia, is one of my favourite places to ride: there's not a lot of traffic, plenty to see and lovely squares where you can stop for a cold beer. Start at Calle Verdi and Calle Torrijos, famous for their small one-off clothes shops, then make your way through the Eixample district on Passeig de Gràcia. Head towards El Raval – which is reinventing itself as one of the city's hippest neighbourhoods, with lots of lively restaurants and bars – and past the Museum of Modern Art, where a popular skateboard park draws people from all over Catalonia. Time to go to the beach, but not before riding through the old fishermen's neighbourhood of Barceloneta; refuel on fish tapas at Jai-Ca (Calle Ginebra, 13), on the corner of Calle Baluard.
Hire Cruising Barcelona (+34 671 548 124, cruisingbarcelona.com; Calle Santa Tecla 7) offers bike rental from €16 per day.
Stay DestinationBCN (+34 9351 41950, destinationbcn.com; apartments from €125 per night, sleeping two) offers boutique-style apartments in the neighborhoods of Eixample, Barri Gotic and Poble Sec, sleeping between two and six. Most have a place to keep your bike inside.
Get there EasyJet (easyjet.com) flies from eight UK airports to Barcelona from £44 return.
Mahrou Raisani, co-owner and tour guide at Cruising Barcelona (as before)
LondonLook Mum No Hands!, London.
My favourite route changes all the time, but there's a particular one through north London that is great for greenery and views. Setting off from my home in Dalston, I pedal straight up the high street, passing Stoke Newington (lots of cafes for breakfasts) and Stamford Hill, heading towards Lordship Lane. From here I cut off the busy main road and wend my way through rows of semis on quiet, gently undulating streets before tackling the climb to Alexandra Palace. The view from the palace is exceptional, and there's a pub, the Phoenix, at the top if you need refreshment. Instead I usually cruise down the long steep hill on the other side, pedal on through Highgate, then up to Hampstead (you could buy picnic supplies here), before heading into the heath. If I manage to find the secluded ladies' ponds (which seem to disappear every time I go there), I lock my bike up and take a dip, along with the swans, dragonflies and old ladies in swimming hats. Invigorated, I get back on my bike and head home, perhaps taking a diversion via Look Mum No Hands! (49 Old Street EC1, lookmumnohands.com), London's newest cycling cafe, for a tipple.
Hire Cloud Nine Cycles (+44 (0)7836 774422, cloud9cycles.com) in Camden, north London, rents bikes from £25 per day.
Stay The Hoxton Hotel (+44 (0)20-7550 1000, hoxtonhotels.com; doubles from £59 per night, B&B) is a no-fuss hotel in trendy east London; the beds have Frette linen, the granite bathrooms good power showers, and a Pret a Manger breakfast is delivered to your room each morning. There are (safe) bike racks at the back of the hotel.
Juliet Elliott, sponsored rider for Charge Bikes (chargebikes.typepad.com/juliet)
One of the city's best cycle routes is along the right bank of the river Seine. Start in the historic and trendy Marais district, then stop by the brilliant Picasso Museum (musee-picasso.fr), set in a former palace, and Place des Vosges, which is the oldest and most beautiful square in the city. Continue on past the Pompidou Centre (centrepompidou.fr), through the shopping area Les Halles. Stop for refreshments at Rue Montorgueil, a trendy street in the 2nd district where you can find lots of cafes, restaurants and Patisserie Stohrer (51 rue Montorgueil, stohrer.fr), Paris's oldest pastry shop. From here, cycle past the Louvre museum, before joining the Pont-Neuf bridge, where you can reach the two river islands in the middle of the Seine. It's possible to cycle on both islands, or you can just stop on the bridge between them, and listen to the musicians who often play there.
Hire Paris Bike Tour (+33 1 4274 2214, parisbiketour.net; 38 rue de Saintonge) has bike rental from €15 per day.
Stay Hotel du Nord (+33 1 4201 6600, hoteldunord-leparivelo.com; doubles from €69 per night, room only) is a 24-room hotel filled with eclectic furniture near the Canal Saint Martin. There is bike storage plus 10 bikes available for guests' use, free of cost.
Get there Take the Eurostar (eurostar.com) from London St Pancras to Paris from £69 return.
Virginie Brouillard, guide for Paris Bike Tour (as before)