Rain, rain, go away, come again another day. While rain is one of nature’s necessities, bringing water, refreshment, and rejuvenation to land and people, it’s also something that can cause huge disruption in cities. Heavy rain can wreak havoc on the world of the cyclist, causing wet clothes before work for those that commute and don’t dress properly. And, let’s face it, a grim fact is that some cities are less fortunate than others when it comes to the amount of rainfall they receive in a given year. Another fact of life is that people in these cities generally love to have a light-hearted laugh and complain about this whenever they can!
This blog came from such musings, when, at our most recent Symposium, Peter (from Cologne) and myself (living in London) found ourselves grumbling to each other about how grey, cold, and wet our cities can be. After a bit of debate, the idea of a blog about the rainiest cities in the Cycle Cities network came about.
Because, while these cities all experience their fair share of rain, they are all beautiful places to explore – fascinating Old Towns, centuries of rich history, and social and cultural tapestries woven from the finest and most beautiful fabric. And, for friends and followers of Cycle Cities, they also offer another key point of appeal for the traveller they are all host to one of our bicycle tour operator partners. The following list was compiled by myself after some light research – it is not intended to be exhaustive, only a rough guide for a bit of fun!
Here it is, then – the Five Rainiest Cities in the Cycle Cities Network!
5) TALLINN, ESTONIA
The first rainy city on our list is Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I took a trip there last year and remember it being quite a turbulent flight in because of the weather conditions! Despite this, though, Tallinn is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to cycle in. With influences from Russia and the West, it is a culturally interesting place to immerse yourself in, and the medieval aspects of the Old Town make it an amazing place to observe. CityBike Tallinn will take you on a bicycle tour there, and also offer bike rental for you to explore the city at your own pace.
4) COLOGNE, GERMANY
Cologne, one of Germany’s wettest cities and home to Peter and Tobi’s Colonia Aktiv, is maybe not as high up on this list as Peter thought it would be when we were discussing this blog, but it still chips in at fourth place on our list. Despite the occasional grey skies and downpours, though, Cologne is a city that deserves your time. With plenty of bike lanes and paths to traverse, a range of museums, and some stunning Gothic architecture, Cologne is a fantastic city to explore by bicycle.
3) REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
One of the colder, as well as wetter, cities on our list, Reykjavik is set apart by its stunning natural landscapes, which include volcanoes, geysers, waterfalls and glaciers. Home to our partners Reykjavik Bike Tour, Iceland’s capital boasts plenty of unique examples of Nordic architecture, as well as buildings that throw back to the time of the Vikings. Get in touch with Stefan and organise a bike tour to experience the city from the point of view of a local.
2) MUNICH, GERMANY
The second German city to feature on this list, this Bavarian beauty is known for its beers and inclusive, welcoming culture. It is a bike haven too, with plenty of cycle paths and green inner-city spaces to explore. The English Garden is a must-see, as is the picture-postcard Nymphenburg Palace. Get in touch with Daniel and the team at Radius Tours for a bicycle tour of the city, or rent a bike and make your own way through Munich to explore everything it has to offer.
- LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA
Slovenia’s capital clocks in at number one on our list of the top five rainiest cities in the Cycle Cities network. But don’t let that deter you! It’s also one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world, up there with Copenhagen and Amsterdam, and is full of cycle paths, with a large number of commuting and recreational cyclists. Visit the Dragon Bridge and Ljubljana Castle when there, or simply just rent a bike and pedal gently through this relaxing city. Tevz and the chaps at Watermelon Bike offer guided bicycle tours of the city, and are our Cycle Cities partners there. Get in touch!
That’s all from me! Thanks for reading, and never stop riding – see you soon!
By Kiwi (Rob Binns)
1st March 2018