Helsinki: Cycling Activity Holiday
Helsinki is possibly the best city for a cycling holiday outside of Amsterdam. A compact and environmentally aware city, Helsinki is perfect for cycling around in any season except winter (December to February). Helsinki has great facilities for cyclists on holiday, including over 1,120 kms of good cycle track, 750 kms of which are paved and meticulously maintained – which is just as well as you mustn’t cycle on the pavement. With such extensive cycle coverage, cycling in Helsinki can be one of the best ways to see the city, and to help you, a free biking map is available from Tourist Information (Pohjoisesplanadi 19). The map is available in Finnish, English and German and as well as being a map of the cycleways of Helsinki, also gives descriptions of sights along the way.
If you haven’t brought your own, bikes are easy to come by if you decide to take a cycling holiday in Helsinki. If you visit during the summer months, Helsinki City Transport offers free bikes, which are yours to cycle around on for a two euro deposit, which opens the lock. The bikes are basic and don’t have any gears, but are not to be sniffed at if you’re on a budget. Bikes can be picked up at racks located throughout the city in places such as Market Square and at the Central Railway Station. You can borrow a cycle helmet from the Tourist Information.
If you want something a little fancier, bicycles can be easily hired in Helsinki from companies in the city centre such as Greenbike or Ecobike. One day’s rental will cost you between 15 and 25 euros depending on the type of bike you choose. You’ll need to leave a piece of ID as a deposit as well. Greenbike asks that you phone to reserve in advance. There are also around 20 guided bike tours of Helsinki.