If you’d rather get around Barcelona under your own steam than using the bus or metro networks, you’ll be pleased to learn that the city has a whole network of cycle lanes, making it simple and pleasant to get around.
Map of cycle lanes in Barcelona
The cycle lanes are detailed on this page of the Barcelona City Council.
Cycle lanes: conditions of use
Before you set off on a long bike ride, get to know some of the conditions set out by the Generalitat (the Catalan government):
- Helmets are not compulsory, but are strongly recommended, especially if you’re not an experienced cyclist. Accidents can happen to anyone.
- The police have the right to breathalyze cyclists. If you’re leaving a club after an evening’s drinking, we suggest you take a Night Bus (the NitBus runs until 6am) or any other form of public transport after 6am. See our articles on buses and the metro.
- The use of headphones whilst cycling is prohibited, and if you get caught, you may have to pay a 200 euro fine.
- Bikes must be fitted with lights: white at the front, red at the back.
Cycle lanes: our tips
- If you find yourself in a part of the city with no cycle lanes, stick to the roads rather than the pavement. Otherwise, you’re likely to irritate pedestrians, and vice-versa.
- Want to try cycling in Barcelona, but wary of the traffic? Try cycling at night, when some of the streets are practically deserted! Take care, though, and make sure you stop at red lights, even if you think there’s no-one else around.
- Bike theft is, unfortunately, very common in Barcelona. If you park yours in the street, use a U lock, and lock your saddle to the frame, too, wherever possible. If your bike is valuable, avoid leaving it outside.
- The cycle lane on Carrera Provenza is a two-way lane. Be particularly careful, as pedestrians only tend to look one way before crossing over.
- Never take a cycle lane in the wrong direction. Look for one going the right way in the streets running parallel to your current location. The system is well-designed, so it shouldn’t take you long.
- If you’re on foot, avoid walking on cycle lanes. Even if you don’t really notice, it can be very offputting for cyclists and can even be dangerous.
Cycling at night
One night in June, a friend and I took our own improvised bike tour of Barcelona, making up our route as we went along. It was a very good experience!
If you are interested in cycling at night in Barcelona, don’t forget to bring reflective clothing to avoid possible accidents.
And there we have it – now you have all the information you need to get around Barcelona by bike! Helmet on, and off we go… enjoy your ride!