Cycling in Cologne: Best Routes and Bike Tours

Updated on September 28, 2023  


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Navigating the enchanting streets of Cologne on two wheels offers a unique perspective of this vibrant city.

As someone who lives in a small town near Cologne, I've pedaled through Cologne's picturesque landscapes and historic neighborhoods, uncovering the hidden gems that await those who choose to embrace cycling in Cologne.

Join me on a journey through this cycling-friendly metropolis, where every pedal stroke reveals a new adventure.

Cycling Infrastructure in Cologne

Extensive Network of Cycle Paths

In Cologne, the extensive network of cycle paths makes it a bike-friendly city. It's no exaggeration to say our urban cycling experience is elevated with over 17 kilometers of sophisticated cycling lanes neatly laid out for us. [1]

Every pedal stroke on these well-paved routes ushers in an exhilarating city exploration by bicycle.

Regardless of short or long distances within this sprawling metropolis, we cyclists find it refreshing how easy and convenient navigation becomes thanks to these interconnected pathways!


However, I do wonder why some locals choose to ignore designated cycling lanes and opt for more adventurous bike commuting on the road instead despite such efficient infrastructure at their disposal!

City planners in Cologne take notes from Dutch cities. They understand that efficient bicycle-friendly infrastructure supports the use of bikes and fosters a robust biking culture.

Proposals are underway for a pilot program aimed at transforming major north-south thoroughfares into more accommodating lanes for cyclists, showing an unwavering commitment towards further improvements in the cycling amenities. [2]

Public Bike-Sharing Programs

Cologne offers an impressive public bike-sharing program that strongly supports urban mobility.

Easy to access, these shared bikes make multimodal transportation simple, allowing residents and visitors alike to connect with various transit options throughout the city. [3]

The integration of this program within Cologne's existing infrastructure is a testament to the city’s commitment towards sustainable transportation.


A key factor boosting its usage is how seamlessly it aligns with Cologne's expansive network of bike lanes and cycle paths, making biking convenient and safe.

Not just for commuting or casual rides, public transit integration extends even to cargo bike usage through subsidy schemes - a big win for businesses seeking eco-friendly delivery methods!

Best Bike Tours in Cologne

Guided E-Bike Riviera Tour Along the Rhine

At the end of this bike tour, our group all agreed this was one of the best things we did in Cologne. We started off cycling along the banks of the gorgeous Rhine where we were treated to breathtaking views of the river and greenery on all sides. It was a welcome escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

The e-bikes were a game-changer, as there were areas that would make regular cycling more strenuous. I saw heavier participants go up the hills with no problem!


While the tour was great, it was the guide who made it an exceptional experience. He was well-versed, peppering in fascinating anecdotes about Cologne's history as we pedaled along. It was clear he had a deep passion for sharing Cologne with us.

One standout moment was crossing over the Rhine on a ferry boat - and making a pitstop at Zündorf, an old fishing village. Also, nothing beats enjoying a Kölsch beer while soaking up scenic riverside sights.

In conclusion, if you're keen to explore beyond typical tourist routes or are simply craving outdoor activity during your stay in Cologne – this off-beat guided bike tour is well worth it!


Guided E-Bike Riviera Tour Along the Rhine

  • Best Cologne Bike Tour
  • Bike around tirelessly on an ebike


3-Hour Guided Bike Tour

  • Most Popular Bike Tour
  • See Highlights of Cologne


Street Art Bike Tour

  • Best Street Art Tour
  • See alternative side of Cologne

Popular Cycling Routes in Cologne

The Rhine River Promenade

The Rhine River Promenade in Cologne is one of the popular cycling routes in the city. It offers scenic views of the surrounding area and provides a leisurely ride along the river.

The promenade features paved public walkways and elevated bikeways, offering cyclists a unique perspective while exploring the city. 


With its connections to other cycling routes, the Rhine River Promenade also presents opportunities for longer trips and regional exploration.

The Inner Green Belt

The Inner Green Belt in Cologne is a beautiful and scenic route that cyclists love to explore. Created in the 1920s on the grounds of former fortresses, it forms part of the larger Innerer und Äußerer Grüngürtel (Inner and Outer Green Belt) in the city. [4]


This green space not only provides an enjoyable outdoor recreational activity but also contributes to nature conservation and city integration. As you cycle along this route, you'll be surrounded by lush greenery, historic fortification remnants, and stunning views.

The Inner Green Belt is truly a gem for anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature while exploring the city by bike.

Stadtanlage Zons Loop

The Stadtanlage Zons Loop is a popular cycling route near Cologne. It is part of the Rhine Cycle Route, which stretches from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea.

Starting from Köln Geldernstraße, this route offers breathtaking views of Zons, a historic town located in Dormagen, Rhein-Kreis Neuss.


Whether you're a beginner or an experienced cyclist, this route is suitable for all fitness levels and abilities.

With its bike-friendly infrastructure and stunning surroundings, it's no wonder why the Stadtanlage Zons Loop is a favorite among cycling enthusiasts visiting Cologne.

Köln-Wachendorf (Bruder-Klaus-Feldkapelle)

Köln-Wachendorf is one of the popular cycling routes in Cologne, Germany. With a distance of 58.60 km and an elevation of 379 hm, it offers cyclists a scenic and challenging ride. [5]

This route showcases the city's commitment to cycling infrastructure, as it takes riders through well-maintained bike lanes and cycle tracks.


The municipality of Cologne actively promotes biking by converting car lanes into bike-friendly paths, making it easier for residents and visitors to enjoy the benefits of active transportation.

So hop on your bike and experience the pedal power along Köln-Wachendorf (Bruder-Klaus-Feldkapelle)!

The Benefits of Cycling in Cologne

Improves Physical Health

Regular cycling in Cologne has numerous benefits, particularly when it comes to improving physical health. As a low-impact form of exercise, cycling is easy on the joints while still providing a great workout.

Studies have shown that biking for just 30 to 60 minutes per day can lead to improvements in cardiovascular health and a decrease in the risk of certain diseases.

Not only does regular cycling help with weight management and body shape, but it also boosts overall fitness levels.

Plus, the endorphins released during exercise can enhance mood and emotions, promoting an overall sense of well-being.

Environmentally Friendly Transportation Option

Cycling in Cologne is not only a convenient and efficient way to get around the city, but it also serves as an environmentally friendly transportation option.

By choosing to cycle instead of relying on motorized vehicles, we can reduce air pollution and contribute to cleaner air initiatives.


Cycling produces zero emissions, making it a sustainable mode of transportation that helps create a greener and more sustainable city. It's a small step towards building sustainable cities and reducing our carbon footprint.

Convenient and Efficient Way to Navigate the City

Cycling in Cologne is a convenient and efficient way to navigate the city. With its extensive network of cycle paths and bike-friendly infrastructure, getting around on two wheels is a breeze.

Whether you're commuting to work or exploring the city's sights, cycling offers a fast and reliable mode of transportation. Plus, with public bike-sharing programs readily available, it's easy to grab a bike whenever you need one.

So hop on your bicycle and experience the convenience of urban cycling in Cologne!

Tips for Safe Cycling in Cologne

Follow Traffic Rules and Signals

I always make sure to follow traffic rules and signals when I'm cycling in Cologne. It's important for my safety and the safety of others on the road. Germany has specific regulations and laws for cyclists, so it's essential to know and obey them.

By following traffic rules, such as stopping at red lights and yielding to pedestrians, I can help prevent accidents and create a safer environment for everyone.

It's also crucial to use hand signals when turning or changing lanes, so that motorists and other cyclists are aware of my intentions.


In addition to keeping me safe, following traffic rules also helps promote harmony between cyclists and motorists in Cologne. By adhering to the same regulations as drivers do, I can earn their respect on the road.

When both parties follow the law, it reduces conflicts and improves overall road safety. As a cyclist, it's my duty to contribute positively towards this mutual understanding by respecting traffic rules consistently.

Use Proper Safety Equipment

To ensure a safe cycling experience in Cologne, it is crucial to use proper safety equipment. This includes having roadworthy bicycles equipped with essential gear such as reflectors and lights for visibility in road traffic.

Wearing reflective clothing and using helmets are also important for personal safety. Additionally, paying attention to bicycle positioning and maintaining good posture on the bicycle will contribute to safe cycling practices.

Be Aware of Pedestrians and Other Cyclists

I always make sure to be aware of pedestrians and other cyclists when I'm out riding in Cologne. It's important to remember that we share the road space with others, so being attentive is crucial for everyone's safety.

By staying alert and looking out for pedestrians crossing bike paths or other cyclists nearby, we can help prevent accidents and ensure a smooth cycling experience.

Remembering to give them enough space and signaling our intentions can go a long way in creating a respectful and harmonious environment on the roads of Cologne.

Join Cycling Events and Groups in the City

I love being part of the vibrant cycling community in Cologne. There are numerous cycling events and groups to join, providing opportunities for both recreational rides and competitive races.

By participating in these events and joining groups, cyclists can meet like-minded individuals, share their passion for biking, and explore the city's beautiful routes together.

Moreover, being part of a group offers added safety and support while cycling on the streets of Cologne.

Conclusion: Cycling in Cologne

Cycling in Cologne is a popular and enjoyable way to navigate the city and beyond. With its extensive network of cycle paths, bike-friendly infrastructure, and scenic routes like the Rhine River Promenade, Cologne offers a cyclist's paradise.

Whether you're looking to improve your physical health or simply explore the city in an eco-friendly way, cycling in Cologne is an experience that shouldn't be missed. So hop on your bike and discover all that this bike-friendly city has to offer!

Key Takeaways

  • Cycling in Cologne is made easy and safe with an extensive network of cycle paths, totaling over 17.1 kilometers.
  • The city has bike - friendly infrastructure, including 72 kilometers of cycling paths, making it a favorite among locals and tourists.
  • Cologne offers a public bike-sharing program that seamlessly integrates with the city's biking infrastructure, providing convenient and eco-friendly transportation options.
  • Popular cycling routes in Cologne include the Rhine River Promenade, the Inner Green Belt, Stadtanlage Zons Loop, and Köln-Wachendorf (Bruder-Klaus-Feldkapelle).
  • Cycling in Cologne improves physical health through low - impact exercise while also supporting environmentally friendly transportation initiatives that reduce air pollution.
  • To ensure safe cycling in Cologne, always follow traffic rules and signals, use proper safety equipment such as helmets and reflectors, and be aware of pedestrians and other cyclists on the road.


1. Are there designated bike lanes in Cologne?

Yes, Cologne has a well-developed network of bike lanes throughout the city, making it safe and convenient for cyclists.

2. Is it easy to rent a bicycle in Cologne?

Yes, there are several bike rental shops in Cologne where you can easily rent bicycles for a day or longer periods of time.

3. What are some popular cycling routes in Cologne?

Some popular cycling routes in Cologne include riding along the Rhine River promenade, exploring the city center and its historical landmarks, or venturing into the nearby countryside on scenic trails.

4. Can I bring my own bicycle on public transportation in Cologne?

Yes, you can bring your own bicycle on certain forms of public transportation such as trains and trams, although restrictions may apply during peak hours.

5. Is cycling a common mode of transportation in Cologne?

Yes, cycling is very popular among residents and visitors alike in Cologne due to its flat terrain, bike-friendly infrastructure, and strong cycling culture.


1: Citizens of Cologne choose bicycle as a mean of transport more than ever | Mayors of Europe, retrieved from
2: Cologne proposes a bike-friendlier main drag -, retrieved from
3: Spatial and temporal analysis of bike-sharing use in Cologne taking into account a public transit disruption, retrieved from
4: Life in Cologne | EASA, retrived from
5: >Köln-Wachendorf (Bruder-Klaus-Feldkapelle) - Cycling Route - 🚲 Bikemap, retrived from

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.