Biking in Metro Boston
Metro Boston has some of the oldest cities in the country, and it’s teeming with both historical attractions and modern-day events – plus an abundance of parks, museums, restaurants and a lively music scene.
Biking is an easy and affordable way to get all around the area, and it even allows you to sightsee along the way.
Blue Bikes is a great option for most people – we'll explain how bike sharing works below and also share a few options for traditional bike rental, in case that works better for your needs.
Bike share is similar to bike rental, but with a few distinct advantages. It consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy and durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations throughout the city.
The bikes can be unlocked from one station and returned to any other station in the system, making bike share ideal for one-way rides and getting from Point A to Point B. You can also use it to take a longer round-trip ride, just like traditional bike rental, if you want to explore a particular area, such as the Charles River or Boston Harborwalk.
Visit the How It Works page on our website to learn more about bike share.
Blue Bikes is Metro Boston’s official bike share program, designed to give residents and visitors a fun, affordable and convenient alternative to walking, taxis, buses and the “T.” There are more than 200 Blue Bikes stations and over 1,800 bikes across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, making Blue Bikes the most accessible way to get around and explore.
To use Blue Bikes, join as an Annual Member through the website or buy an Explorer Pass or Single Trip through the Blue Bikes mobile app at any station kiosk. You’ll get access to all bikes in the system, and you can pick up a bike from any station and return it to any other, making Blue Bikes a great way to get around or explore the area. Learn more about the different membership and pass options on our Pricing page.
If you plan to ride with children under 16 years old, are looking for a specific type of bicycle, are interested in a guided tour, or want to keep a bike out for several hours at a time, traditional bike rental might work better for you. In this case, you will typically need to decide in advance how long you want to keep the bike out, and when you’re finished, you will likely be required to return the bike to its original location.
There are a number of great bike shops in the Metro-Boston area that offer helmets, bells, locks, and other bike equipment. A few of them also provide rentals, and here are a couple we'd recommend:
1. Urban Adventours
In addition to bikes and equipment, Urban Adventours also offers guided tours and children’s bike rentals.
Prices: Starting at $25 for two hours
Options: Bikes for men, women and children; city, road, mountain fat and tandem bikes; baby seats, baby trailers and tagalong attachments available
Rental Length: 2 hours, full day, weekly or monthly
Hours: Daily from 9 AM to 6 PM
Includes: Helmet, lock and map
Pickup & Drop-off Locations: 103 Atlantic Avenue, Boston
2. Cambridge Bicycle
This bike shop offers 24-hour rentals for visitors looking to explore Historic Boston.
Prices: Starting at $35 for 24 hours
Options: Two available bike models – the Linus Dutchi and the Roadster Sport, both for people who are at least 5’3” in height
Rental Length: 24-hour rentals
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 10 AM to 7 PM; Sunday: noon to 6 PM
Includes: Helmet, lock and rear rack
Pickup & Drop-off Location: 259 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Popular Bike Rides in Boston
Whether you decide to use bike share or bike rental for your trip to Metro Boston, there are some great rides waiting for you. Here are a few of our favorite routes – they’re great for tourists and locals alike, and many are even car-free!
Charles River Esplanade
This scenic stretch along the Charles River is 3 miles of bike and pedestrian paths, connecting several of the city’s footbridges.
See the route
This public walkway and bike path follows the shoreline of Boston Harbor, featuring beautiful parks, public art exhibits, cafés and more.
See the route
Cambridge Reel Ride
This special ride will take you past the locations of Cambridge’s lost theaters and sites immortalized on the big screens of Hollywood. And check out www.cambridgebikes.org for more themed routes!
See the route
See all rides
Local Area Attractions
If you plan to sightsee throughout the day – traveling from one attraction to the next – bike share is your best option because it allows you to take short but frequent rides, with the convenience of more than 200 Blue Bikes stations and over 1,800 bikes across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville.
A Blue Bikes membership or pass will give you access to use a bike whenever you need one, wherever you need to go, without the worry of having to lock up a bike on city streets.
With Blue Bikes, Metro Boston becomes a navigable and fun place to explore. Check out some of our favorite attractions, along with the Blue Bikes stations nearby. Be sure to download the Blue Bikes mobile app which allows you to find stations, take out bikes and time your trips.