The Cycle Cities Symposium
is the annual meeting of the world's best city bike tour operators. The event has been held in a different European city each year (except 2021 when we held the event online). It's an event exclusively for Cycle Cities partners and includes bike tours, presentations, discussions, networking, socialising, eating and drinking together.
Each year we ask one of the Cycle Cities partners to be the host of Symposium. It's a must-visit event. We have partners attend from all over the world! It's Cycle Cities most important event and we hope it grows and grows, and we can take it to other continents in the future too!
Our inaugural Symposium (then called the Cycle Cities Powwow) was hosted by Berlin on Bike. We started the day with a bike tour of Berlin, had lunch together, then an afternoon of presentations, getting to know each other, talking about hosting school groups, getting to know how Berlin on Bike run their operations, and making great friends. Our first Symposium was a huge success and set us on the path of it becoming a yearly event.
2016 was the London Bicycle Tour Company's turn. Coinciding with London Bicycle's 20th anniversary, we descended upon the banks of the river Thames for an amazing bike tour, fish'n'chips lunch, and an afternoon of presentations from our European and North American partners. The evening was a blast with a huge party celebrating 20 years of the London Bicycle Tour Company guiding guests around London. Photo Album Here
Our Hosts for 2017 were Al and Gustav of Nice Cycle Tours. We went to the French Riviera, had an amazing bike tour, presentations about guide recruitment and training, bike tour strategies and much more. This was the first year that the Symposium became a two-day event, as the following day we chose from a full day Riviera e-bike ride or the 'Taste of Nice' food tour. Both were exceptional tours and we learnt that Nice is an exceptional destination! Photo Album Here
It was time to brave the cold and head to Budapest in February 2018. Our hosts Yellow Zebra Bike Tours put on a fantastic event including (of course) a bike tour of Budapest, as well as an amazing Symposium set in one of Budapest's coolest underground bars - the Yellow Zebra bar. Guests came from far and wide to join in the symposium and we drank a lot of beer and enjoyed the best Hungarian fare. Photo Album Here
Symposium went up a level in Munich as we had our largest crowd to date.. 60 attendees from 25 different cities. Bike tour operators came from as far as the US and Canada for this amazing event. We increased the program to include a keynote speech on #bookdirect, made by Director Steve Kopandy, a walking tour as well as a bike tour by our hosts 'Radius Tours', an evening of Bavarian beer and entertainment and a big birthday party for our host Daniel on the closing night.
2019 was also our first ever "Tour Guide Masterclass", where we invited guides to come to Munich for a collaborative guide training session. We had presentations from Maria's Bike Tours in Salzburg, Athens by Bike, and much more. It led to collaborations and discussions on how we can all improve how we train our guides to ensure we are giving customers the very best experiences. Photo Album Here
Hosted by Manos and the team at Athens by Bike, we started with a sunset bike tour of Athens on the Monday afternoon, welcome reception on Monday evening, the Cycle Cities Symposium on Tuesday, three course dinner Tuesday evening, and that was just the start!
2020 saw our first ever #bookdirect Symposium, a full day of presentations and networking with the wider travel sector about how to get the #bookdirect message to resonate with our customers. We want to educate the world to stop them booking with behemoth online travel agencies, and book with local operators directly. Our Headline hpeaker was Mark Simpson from the Hospitality Network, and he delivered a powerful message about the importance of direct marketing. Photo Album Here
2020 turned out to be a tough year for tourism, so we held our 2021 Symposium as an online event - with beer tasting! Partners dialled in from all over the world, and as instructed, with beers in hand, had a good few drinks and a great chat. Big thanks to Erwin from Antwerp by Bike/Taste the City Antwerp for hosting this memorable event.
The 2021 Symposium was different, but arguably our most important, as we got to see all our friends again, and talk about how difficult things had been in 2020. Community is one of the things that Cycle Cities does best.
The 8th annual Cycle Cities Symposium was held in Tallinn, Estonia from Feb 21-23, 2022. Our hosts were Toomas and Reilika from Citybike in Tallinn. It was an exceptional program of food tours, bike tours, and of course the Symposium itself, which many partners were able to join via video link. Photo Album Here
Symposium 2023 will be held in late February, 2023, and the host city will be announced at our Summer Webinar in June 2022.