Why rent a bike in Antwerp?

You’ll see more of Antwerp with a rental bike

Cycling is a great way to explore Antwerp. Biking is a faster mode of transportation than walking, and it doesn’t inconvenience you as public transport does. As a cyclist, you can avoid traffic jams and skip the hassle of finding a parking spot. This way, you can fully enjoy all the beauty the city has to offer.

With a bike, you can quickly go from one excellent spot to another, even if they are far apart or challenging to reach by public transport. On two wheels, you will also discover Antwerp’s hidden gems and picturesque streets.

Did you know that cyclists in Belgium are also allowed to ride in pedestrian zones? Yes, as long as you ride at a walking pace, they can, around 5 to 6 km/h. But beware: if it gets too busy in the pedestrian zone, you must get off and take your bike by the hand.

Photo: Havenhuis Antwerpen

A popular stop many people make with a rental bike is the new port house on Zaha Hadid Square, a 15-minute bike ride from the city centre. The Havenhuis is a striking building that combines an old fire station with a modern superstructure shaped like a ship or a diamond.

Antwerp has a bicycle-friendly infrastructure

The Antwerp city council has done a lot in recent years to make cycling in the city safer and more fun, for example:

  • Building cycle lanes: fast and comfortable cycling routes that connect the city with surrounding municipalities
  • Expanding cycle lanes: streets where cyclists have priority over cars, which may not exceed 30 km/h and may not overtake cyclists
  • Encourage sharing systems like the Velos, which have gotten Antwerpers back on their bikes.
  • Organise bicycle-friendly events, such as car-free Sundays, which give cyclists more space and attention.

Thanks to these efforts, Antwerp was named the third most bicycle-friendly city in the world in 2022, according to the Global Bicycle Cities Index. This index measures bicycle friendliness in 90 cities based on criteria such as infrastructure, safety, sharing systems, etc. Antwerp scored particularly well in sharing systems, bike shops and bike culture.

Fietsersbond, an interest group for cyclists, welcomed Antwerp’s positive score. At the same time, the organisation highlighted some opportunities for additional bicycle-friendly measures, such as the construction of more bicycle bridges and tunnels and additional bicycle parking spaces—valuable suggestions to grow Antwerp further as a thriving cycling city.

Photo: Cycling in the car-free streets around the Vleeshuis in Antwerp

Cycling in Antwerp is healthy for you and friendly to the environment

Cycling is a fun and intelligent way to discover Antwerp. You reap the benefits not only for yourself but also for the environment. You get a healthy dose of exercise while enjoying the view of historic and modern buildings. And by cycling, you make Mother Earth happy. You choose a sustainable means of transport that reduces your carbon footprint and makes the city greener.

Renting a bike in Antwerp is easy and affordable

As a tourist, you can easily rent a bike via Antwerp’s velo-system. You buy a day or week pass on the Velo Antwerp website. All you need is a credit card, which also serves as a deposit. Your pass gives you a unique code to borrow a bike from one of the Velo bike stations in the city. Nice and easy.

The Velo system also has some drawbacks, such as:

  • You are dependent on the availability of bikes and stations. There may be no more bikes or free spaces at the station where you want to take or put one back.
  • You have to follow the rules of the Velo system. You cannot use the bike for more than 30 minutes per ride; otherwise, you will pay extra. You are also not allowed to take the bike outside the city.
  • The Velo bikes are only very comfortable to ride for a short time. They are heavy and not manoeuvrable.

Fortunately, Antwerp has a comprehensive and inexpensive range of bike rentals, offering different types of bikes, rates and rental periods. If you’re looking for a bike rental company in the centre of Antwerp, you can turn to Antwerp by Bike. We offer guided bike tours with local experts and rent our bikes so you can explore Antwerp at your own pace. You choose how long you rent the bike, from 2 hours to 1 week.

So what are you waiting for? Hop on a bike and cycle!