Explore the Boston area like never before – on two wheels! Renting a bike is the best way to see the city.
Biking in Metro-Boston
Boston is one 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.
But it’s no secret that Boston can be a challenge to navigate and that traffic congestion can be a problem. Biking is an easy and affordable way to get all around the city, and it even allows you to sightsee along the way.
Hubway 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.
Hubway 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 180 Hubway stations and 1,600 bikes across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville, making Hubway the most accessible way to get around and explore.
To use Hubway, join as an Annual Member through the website or buy a 24-Hour or 72-Hour Pass at any 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 30 minutes of each ride is included with the membership or pass price. If you want to keep a bike out for longer, extra usage fees apply (see the Pricing page for more details). Or avoid extra fees by docking your bike every 30 minutes – which is easy to do with so many stations throughout the city. 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, 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 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 http://www.urbanadventours.com
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 http://cambridgebicycle.com
Popular Bike Rides in Boston
Whether you decide to use bike share or bike rental for your trip to 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. See the route
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 180 Hubway stations and 1,600 bikes across Boston, Brookline, Cambridge and Somerville.
As opposed to traditional bike rental, a Hubway 24-Hour or 72-Hour 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 the city streets.
With Hubway, Boston becomes a navigable and fun place to explore. Check out some of our favorite attractions, along with the the Hubway stations nearby.