One of the best ways to get around Barcelona is riding a bicycle.. Barcelona is one of the most bike-friendly cities in Europe with dedicated bike paths and bike parkings. You get to go around the city, enjoy the warm weather and the beautiful views and one of the best ways to do this is by getting your Bicing card.
Viu Bicing is Barcelona’s bike sharing system where the members have access to more than 6000 bicycles and more than 420 stations found in most neighborhoods. As a member you can rent a bike from any station and return it to any other station. Continue reading to find out how to get your card and start Bicing.
How to get your Bicing card
Getting your Bicing card is pretty simple. Unfortunately, the official Bicing page is available only in Spanish and Catalan but we have made the process as easy as possible. First you need to go to the official Bicing page and select which type of membership you want: only access to the regular bikes or the regular bicycles and electric bicycles.
Then you need to provide the following personal details:
- Nombre – First Name
- Primer Apellido –Last name
- DNI/NIE – Your NIE number
- Fecha de nacimiento – birthdate
- Correo electronico – email address
- Telefono de contacto – Telephone number
Tick “He leído y acepto las condiciones de uso” (I have read and accepted the terms and conditions of use) and click Siguente.
Next, enter your address, debit/credit card information and you are all set. Now you need to wait 7 to 10 days for your card to arrive at the address you provided. When your card arrives, you will need to activate it online before you can use.
While you are waiting for the card to arrive, download the Bicing app (available for iOS and Android) and read the official cycling laws and guidelines before riding anything bicycle in the city.
How to activate your card
Once your card has arrived, you have 30 days to activate it. Go to the Activate Your Card page and enter the number and voila. You can now rent a bicycle.
Keep in mind that Bicing’s Terms and Conditions states that certain activities such as these ones are prohibited
- taking the bicycle on any form of public transportation system (metro, bus)
- using the Bicing bicycles for commercial purposes
- riding the bicycles on unpaved surfaces
- using your phone while riding
- carry another person or an animal with you on the bicycle
How to use your card
First, locate a Bicing station (use the app) and swipe your card on the RFID part to be recognized. A number appears on the screen which is the number of the bicycle you can take out. If there is anything wrong with the bicycle, you will have three minutes to return it and take another one.
Once you are done, find an empty spot and put the bike back into the slot. Make sure the light stops blinking after a few seconds and the bike locks into place. If it doesn’t, try another slot. Once the bike locks into place, swipe your card and wait for the green tick to show up on the screen. That’s all.
How much does it cost
Bicing is the cheapest form of public transportation in Barcelona. There is a 47.16€ yearly fee (61.16€ if you want access to the electric bikes as well) . You can use the bicycles for up to 30 minutes per ride for no additional costs but there are penalties if you do not return the bike before that time.
- 0 – 30 minutes: free – no additional costs
- 30 – 120 minutes: 0.74€
- +120 minutes: 4.49€ per hour
If you do not return the bike within 24 hours, you will be charged 150€ and your card may be deactivated.
You can check out the history of your rides and see if you have been charged extra or not on the History of Use page.
How are the bikes
All the Bicing bicycles are made of stainless steel which makes them very safe and sturdy but extremely heavy. If you are a small girl, it may be difficult for you to even lift the bike out of its docking station. This is something to keep in mind if you are planning to go uphill.
Overall, the quality is good especially compared to the annual fee which is very affordable. Most bikes, emphasis on most, come with a standing jack, mudguards, front and back lights, a bell (not always working properly), and a three-speed shifter to smoothen your ride when pedaling uphill. You can easily adjust the seat height.
However, unfortunately many of the bicycles are not regularly maintained and some are squeaky and some even dangerous to some extent (flat tires, broken bottom-brackets, or wobbly wheels). Every time you get a new bicycle, always test the brakes and see if the shifter functions properly. If something doesn’t feel right, return the bike and take a better one.
The Bicing mobile app
If you have a Bicing card then you should have the app as well to
- find an available bicycle
- find an available parking spot
- have fun with the analytics
The mobile app Bicing gives a real-time status of the number of bicycles and empty parking slots available at each station. It also gives you information about your rides like distance traveled, total time, CO2 saved, and more.
During rush hours, it can become very frustrating to find a bicycle near you so make sure you check the app to see where you can find one available.
The Bicing app is available for both Android and iOS.
Enjoy your rides and be safe.
You can find a map of all the Bicing stations, dedicated bike lanes and train lines in Barcelona here.
Let us know in the comments below what you think about Bicing.