Explore New York like never before – on two wheels! Renting a bike is the best way to see the city.
Biking in NYC
Whether you’re here for the weekend or you’re a native New Yorker, the list of things to do and see in this bustling city is never-ending. From a walk on the High Line in Chelsea to touring the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side – the hard part is not finding something to do, but figuring out the best way to get there.
We at Citi Bike of course think that biking is the best way to see NYC! It's a quick and affordable way to get all around the city, and it even allows you to sightsee along the way. Citi Bike 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 like Central Park.
Visit the How It Works page on our website to learn more about bike share.
Citi Bike is NYC’s official bike share program, designed to give residents and visitors a fun, affordable and convenient alternative to walking, taxis, buses and subways. There are 750 Citi Bike stations and 12,000 bikes across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City, making Citi Bike the most accessible way to get around and explore NYC.
When you join as an Annual Member through the website or buy a Day Pass through the mobile app or a station kiosk, you’ll get access to all bikes in the system and you can take as many rides as you want while your membership or pass is active.
The first 45 minutes of each ride is included for Annual Members, and the first 30 minutes of each ride is included for Day Pass users. If you want to keep a bike out for longer, it’s only an extra $4 for each additional 15 minutes. So to keep a bike out for an extra hour longer than your first free 30 minutes is only $16, which is competitive with traditional bike rental. Or avoid extra fees by docking your bike every 30 minutes. As long as you keep each ride to a maximum of 30 minutes, you’ll only pay the base price of the pass.
If you plan to ride with children under 16 years old, are looking for a specific type of bicycle, or are interested in a guided tour, traditional bike rental would be your best bet. You will typically need to decide in advance how long you want to keep the bike out, and when you’re finished, you will usually be required to return the bike to its original location.
There are a lot of bike rental places in NYC, but only a couple that we’d recommend since others may not be licensed or may have questionable operations. Here are the options:
1. Blazing Saddles
This is another trusted bike rental company with two locations in Manhattan, offering specialty bikes and guided tours.
Prices: Starting at $15 for one hour Options: Bikes for men, women and children; comfort, hybrid and tandem bikes; baby seats, baby trailers and tagalong attachments available Rental Length: Rent for 1 hour or all day Hours: Daily 9 AM to 7 PM Includes: Helmet, lock, map, rear storage rack, and bungee cord Pickup & Drop-off Locations: Pier 17 South Street Seaport; Pier 84 Hudson River Park http://www.blazingsaddles.com/new-york
2. Unlimited Biking
Unlimited Biking has three locations throughout the city and you can pick up and drop off at any location. There are no bike tours or children’s bikes, but baby seats are available. Reservations are required. A day pass starts at $45, and they also offer “bike sharing” for long-term memberships – however, with only three locations and limited hours, options are fewer.
Prices: Starting at $18 for one hour Options: Bikes for men and women; baby seats, baby trailers and tagalong attachments available Rental Length: Hourly, daily, monthly or annually Hours: Daily 9 AM to 5 PM Includes: Helmet, lock, map and basket Pickup & Drop-off Locations: 56 W. 56 Street; 110 South Street; Near the Lincoln Tunnel https://www.unlimitedbiking.com
3. Other Options
There are other companies in the NYC area that advertise bike rental, but many are not licensed and may have questionable business practices. If you do decide to consider one of these other options, you should vet them on your own before giving them your credit card info.
Popular Bike Rides in NYC
Whether you decide to use bike share or bike rental for your trip to New York City, there are some great rides around Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Jersey City that you can try. Here are a few of our favorite routes – they’re great for tourists or locals alike, and many are even car-free!
Central Park Southern Loop
The Southern Loop of Central Park is one of the most popular bike rides in NYC. It’s a scenic, easy ride – and car-free on weekends and select times on weekdays. See the route
Central Park Full Loop
The Central Park Full Loop is the quintessential NYC bike ride, running along the 6.1-mile interior perimeter of the park. See the route
Central Park Lower Loop
Riding the Lower Loop of Central Park is a great way to see many of the park’s most popular attractions, while avoiding the big hill at the northernmost end of the park. See the route
Hudson River Greenway
The greenway along the Hudson River is one of the most popular places to ride. It offers beautiful water views and a dedicated bike path that is closed to car traffic. See the route
East River Greenway
Along the East Side of Manhattan is another nice bikeway that runs parallel to the East River, boasting great views of the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. See the route
Brooklyn Bridge Park
The waterfront along DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights has been revitalized into a park with a bike path offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. See the route
Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
Six miles of the greenway along the Brooklyn waterfront are already complete, making it a great place to bike. By the time it’s done, it will be a 14-mile-long landscaped route. See the route
Jersey City Waterfront
Enjoy stunning views of Manhattan and Ellis Island as you traverse Jersey City and Liberty State Park. See the route
If you plan to sightsee throughout the day – traveling from one attraction to the next – bike share is your best bet to allow you to take short but frequent rides, with the convenience of hundreds of pickup and drop-off locations throughout the city.
As opposed to traditional bike rental, a Citi Bike Day Pass will give you 24-hour 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 the city streets.
With Citi Bike, NYC becomes a navigable and fun place to explore. Check out some our favorite attractions, along with the the Citi Bike stations nearby.