Affordable Europe: Bike cities for free (or nearly free)

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Free—and nearly free—bike rentals are a great way to save in European cities.

I've written about these programs recently: "Rent a Bike in Europe for Nearly Nothing" and "Free Bikes in Spain."

At a Swiss press event last week, I found out about even more cities that offer free bike rentals to the public. Both Bern and Zürich now run similar programs at designated locations from May through October.

Here's how it works. You can leave your ID and some money (CHF 20) as collateral. Then you pick up your ride—a kid's bike, a scooter, or a skateboard!—for a day's use. You get your ID and money back when you return the bike before closing time (generally 9:30 p.m.).

In Bern, the three rental sites are Station Square, and spots along Hirschengraben and Zeughausgasse (for more details, including a map of the three rental spots, click here)

In Zürich, the five rental sites are the Globus City shopping center, Oerlikon–Swissôtel hotel, the opera house, Enge station, and the Zürich HB station. (That last spot offers rentals year-round).

For more info, click here.

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