Oldenburg is known as one of Germany’s dozen-or-so bicycle-friendliest cities, which is not surprising considering its location on the North German plain between Bremen and the Netherlands’ border.
The city of Oldenburg has an impressive cycling infrastructure, including an extensive network of separated cycle paths (and hardly any cycle lanes that are merely painted on the streets, as in most German cities). And at some intersections they have started installing thermal imaging cameras that recognize cyclists at traffic lights and can ensure longer green phases.
But local cycling advocates point out that that there is still ample room for improvement, especially in comparison with nearby cycling strongholds such as Bremen (40 km to the east), Münster (160 km to the south) and especially Groningen (in the Netherlands, 110 km west of Oldenburg).
At the Oldenburg train station there are two bicycle stations (on the north and south sides), where bicycles can be stored safely for a small fee. The two stations together have room for about 1,500 bicycles and are usually quite full, even though hundreds of bikes are also parked outside.
For comparison: Germany’s largest bicycle station, in Münster, can hold 3,500 bicycles, and the central railway station across the border in Groningen, the Netherlands, has parking for around ten thousand bicycles. The world’s largest bicycle parking garage is currently the one in at the main station in Utrecht, also in the Netherlands, which opened in 2019 and can hold 12,500 bicycles.
All these bicycle stations also offer bike rentals and repairs.
When I arrived in Oldenburg, I soon realized that I didn’t even need a bicycle, since all the places I wanted to go to — the train station, my hotel, the theater and the museums — were all within easy walking distance. So I didn’t even use a bike for transportation, but just rented one at the station and spent a pleasant afternoon riding around the city and its environs, with no particular destination in mind.
My photos in this post are from 2016. I wrote the text in 2021.