OutsideOnline bike rack airport best Zürich ZRH
Line 'em up at Zürich Airport (ZRH) (Photo: eGuide Travel/Flickr)

What Are the Best Airports for Cyclists?

OutsideOnline bike rack airport best Zürich ZRH

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It used to be, you could get tasered for riding your bike to the airport. Thankfully, the great urban two-wheel boom has seen dedicated lanes and other cycling infrastructure added to airports worldwide. Thus, it’s no longer that strange (or seemingly suspicious—sheesh!) for a cyclist to pedal to a flight.

Behold, our picks for the most cyclist-friendly airports in the world, based on this University of California-Berkley study and data from Copenhagenize, a communications company dedicated to all things biking.   

Portland International Airport (PDX)

The king of bike-friendly airports boasts secure bike parking, an assembly and repair station, tools for rent (pedal wrenches, air pumps, etc.), and paths that hook up with the regional bike trail system for the very doable 9-mile ride to and from Portland’s central business district.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Similar to PDX, SFO offers assembly stations, five parking areas throughout the airport (including valet parking on level four of the domestic garage—score!) and tools at the airport travel agency in the international terminal. Best of all? Bike parking here is free of charge.

Zürich Airport (ZRH)

A large swath of Zürich’s airport is a dedicated nature reserve, including the “Klotener Riet” conservation area between the two runways. Stuck in soul-crushing layover? Rent a cruiser from the ZRH’s service center and hit the Klotener Riet’s trails, which wind through reed meadows, marshes and woodland. The bikes run around $22 for a half day (up to four hours) and $39 for the full eight hours.    

Other Notables: Dedicated lanes make biking to and from Amsterdam Airport Schipho (AMS) a breeze. As an added bonus, Schiphol sells bicycle boxes at its basement baggage depot. In addition to its close proximity to the city center, Copenhagen Airport (CPH) offers free covered and uncovered bike parking throughout the complex—though plan accordingly as the spots are known to fill up quickly. Veteran commuters to O’Hare International Airport (ORD) in Chicago know to park their rides at the remote parking lot E and take the free train to the main terminals. They also know they can access the showers for a small fee at the Hilton Health Club across from terminals 1, 2, and 3.