While some people enjoy walking tours, others might find it difficult to walk around our nation’s capital. Although any of the monuments and memorials in Washington DC can only be accessed via foot, most bike tours will get you close enough to hop off and walk to each landmark on your journey. This post compares and reviews the best Washington DC bike rentals and tour to help you choose the best for you.
Bike tours in Washington DC are not only a popular family activity, they are also very affordable. On average, ticket prices range from $40-$45 for adults and $25-$30 for kids. In other words, a family of four can expect to pay about $125-$150 for the trip. Although families were among the most likely customers to leave a positive review, it’s worth noting that complaints focused largely on overbooked tours. In the event that a public bike tour is too crowded, you should consider a private tour instead.
BIKE TOUR COMPANIES
Bike and Roll DC
This is one of the largest bike tour companies in the country, and they offer a lot of different services in Washington DC. In addition to tours of the monuments, they also offer trips to Mount Vernon. Ticket prices range from $40-$48 for adults and last between 3-7 hours. Although riding a bicycle can be easier than walking, it’s important to understand that some of these options will require up to 18 miles of biking. Bike and Roll has three different locations in and around the DC area, so their services probably won’t be too difficult to access.
Bike and Roll DC has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Only a handful of guests have left negative reviews, and there isn’t any reason to believe that they represent the typical experience with this tour company. An overwhelming majority of ratings were provided by customers who took this journey with their family, and they often report that this is an excellent activity for children. Summer is by far the most popular time to take these bike tours, so you may want to consider a trip in the spring or fall to avoid large crowds.
Note: The Capital Sites and Monuments Bike Tours are both available with the Go Washington DC Pass. You can also get a free bike rental from Bike and Roll DC with this combo package.
Capital City Bike Tours
If you’re looking for a basic tour of the monuments at a lower price, this company offers one of the most affordable bike tours in Washington DC. In addition to this option, they also provide e-bike tours and a combo package which includes a stop at Arlington Cemetery. Prices range from $29-$79 per ticket depending on the type of service and the duration of the trip. Their main circuit runs year round, giving them an advantage during the winter months. That being said, it’s important to note that winter is one of the least popular seasons for a bike tour.
Just like their competitors, Capital City Bike Tours enjoys a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. As usual, reviewers with families are more likely to have fun with these excursions. Most people report that guides are friendly and knowledgeable, providing an interesting look at our nation’s capital. Spring and summer are the most popular seasons for these bike tours, but reviews from both the fall and winter are also fairly positive.
DC Insider Tours
In addition to their chauffeur and walking tour services, this company also offers e-bike tours around our nation’s capital. Over the course of several hours, you’ll visit all four quadrants in Washington DC. Journey beyond the National Mall and discover the history behind this city. This e-bike tour is only available on weekends, so you may want to consider another option if you are visiting during the week. Although their services are limited, ratings indicate that they are quite excellent.
Like their competitors, DC Insider Tours has also received a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. They have yet to receive any negative reviews for their e-bike tour. Most guests describe their guides as passionate and informative. Although many customers were hesitant about hopping on an electric bike, they all reported that the experience was quite exciting. Many people suggested that this is a great way to get around Washington DC in a short amount of time.
DC Cycling Concierge
Although most of the companies on this list offer private tours, DC Cycling Concierge specifically caters to individual groups. These excursions may be a lot more expensive, but they are also designed to give customers a lot more control over what they experience. In addition to the typical trip around the monuments, you can also take a ride alongside the Potomac and explore DC’s waterways. These bike tours are best suited to guests who are avid riders, as they require a lot more traveling. You can expect cycling for an average of 10-30 miles over the course of 2-3 hours on each tour.
DC Cycling Concierge currently sports a flawless 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. This company has yet to receive any negative reviews for their service. These private tours are popular among almost every group of guests, including families. Some reviewers even recommend these tours for children and teenagers, indicating that their own family adventure was very memorable. Many people consider this the best way to see our nation’s capital, stating that they enjoyed every moment of their journey.
NOTE: DC Cycling Concierge offers additional private tours, but few of them are focused on the history of Washington DC. For more information on these options, please visit their website.
If you’d rather take a more personal trip around DC, there are several companies in the area that offer bike rentals. These services require you to pay an hourly rate, but there are also options for 24-hour rentals. Rates range from $5-$15 per hour depending on which bike you choose. Expect to pay between $50-$85 for a full day of use. Most of these options include all of the gear you will need to remain safe on your bicycle and find your way around town.
Bike and Roll DC
In addition to their bike tours, this company also offers a variety of bike rentals. Each option requires you to pay for at least two hours up front, but prices are fairly reasonable. Bike and Roll DC offers five different bicycles for rent along with two different trailer options for younger riders. All rentals include helmets, bike locks, a tire changing kit and a map. Order online to get 10% off full day reservations, or consider taking advantage of the Go Washington DC Card to receive a free bike rental!
Reviews for Bike and Roll rentals are very good, with only a handful of negative ratings. Those who had a problem with the service they received reported uncommon issues that are not likely to occur very often. An overwhelming majority of customers left positively glowing comments, many stating that this is a great way to see the capital. Some reviewers mention that their staff are both friendly and efficient, while others appreciated the fact that their bikes are kept in good condition despite sometimes heavy use.
Big Wheel Bikes
Although the name might evoke memories of your childhood, the reality is that this company is far more focused on providing bike rental options for enthusiasts than any of their competitors. As a matter of fact, they actually offer more than a dozen different bike rental plans, including deluxe and triathlon bicycles. Prices for most of their basic services are comparable, and each rental includes both helmets and bike locks for protection and safety.
Big Wheel Bikes has received a 4 star rating on TripAdvisor. Although they have received one negative review, it doesn’t indicate any common issues. Most customers find that this company goes above and beyond to provide an excellent service. Even those who rented a bike for several days reported that their experience was better than expected. Big Wheel may be more popular among people who are familiar with cycling, but it would appear that they are no stranger to accommodating all types of riders.
NOTE: The list below includes the most popular bike rental options. For more options, please visit their website for additional information.
Capital City Bike Rentals
Unlike their competitors, Capital City Bike focuses more on offering a fun experience with their bicycle rentals. California Beach Cruisers are available for adults, while Kid’s Mountain Bikes are offered to children. Although they don’t offer the same kind of enthusiast options as Bike and Roll, the price for each rental remains the same across the board. This company also provides access to trailers for younger riders at an additional cost. Helmets and bike locks are included with every bike rental.
Reviews for their bike rentals are just as good as those for their tours. So far, Capital City Bike has yet to receive any negative ratings for their rentals. Those who offered their thoughts on this specific service report that the bicycles allowed them to see more in one day than on most tours. By and large, customers were very pleased with the bike rental services offered by this company.
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible option, you might actually want to consider a bikeshare instead. This is more of a public transportation service than it is a bike rental. There are dozens of stations in and around Washington DC where you can pick up a simple bicycle for one low price and ride from one station to the next. With several stops around the National Mall and other significant landmarks, this could be an effective option for getting around town. You won’t have access to the types of high quality bicycles offered by traditional bike rental services, but it will definitely be more affordable.
With a 3 ½ star rating on TripAdvisor, it’s clear that Capital Bikeshare is the least popular option for cycling around our nation’s capital. Part of the problem many customers have is that the website doesn’t clarify how to use the service. The idea is to cycle from one station to the next, as rides are limited to a 30 minute time period. This can still be a much more affordable option than traditional bike rentals, but it’s definitely a different experience. Those who enjoyed their trip felt that this bikeshare program is a great way to see Washington DC. Many mention that there are stations near pretty much any location you would want to visit.
*Helpful Advice for the 24-hour Pass: Even if you have an all-day pass, each ride is capped at 30 minutes. In order to make the most effective use of this service, ride from one destination to the next and explore the monuments in the area. Once you’ve finished looking around and learning about the landmark, find another station and hop onto another bike. Ride to your next destination and repeat the cycle.
Once the sun goes down, many of the most significant monuments in our nation’s capital are bathed in light. If you want to see these landmarks glowing in the dark, consider one of the following night tours. At an average price of $40-$45 per ticket, these bike tours cost about as much as a daytime excursion. Many guests report that this activity is a great way to beat the heat. Anyone visiting Washington DC during the summer might want to experience a nighttime bike ride around the National Mall.
Bike and Roll DC
This company provides their Capital Sites and Monuments bike tour at night. It’s essentially the same trip, but your journey begins as the sun sets. Despite the time of day, these bike tours are particularly popular among family audiences. Both options are three hours in length and will require between 4-8 miles of cycling. Reviews are very positive, indicating that their service doesn’t suddenly degrade after dark. Most customers agree that their guides are helpful and informative.
Capital City Bike Tours
The night tour offered by this company is very similar to an excursion that they provide during the day. Much like their competitors, you will visit several historic sites around the National Mall after dark. Once again, this trip is a very popular family activity, and you can expect the experience to last for at least 3 hours. Prices are comparable to competing services and ratings on TripAdvisor are very high.
DC Insider Tours
In addition to their 3 ½ hour day trip around the capital, this company also offers a shorter 2 hour night tour. This e-bike tour starts at 8 PM, running a bit later than most of the other options on our list. Every TripAdvisor review for this service has been five stars, and customers seem genuinely impressed with their experience. Guests appreciated the fact that using electric bikes made it much easier to see all of the monuments and memorials after dark.
DC Cycling Concierge
As we previously mentioned, this is probably your best bet when it comes to private tours. Thankfully, they also offer at least one night tour around Washington DC. This trip will last for 2-3 hours and require roughly 6-12 miles of cycling. DC Cycling Concierge has yet to receive any negative reviews, and customers who took this trip described it as the best way to see our nation’s capital. Because it is easier to control group sizes with a private excursion, this trip is popular with pretty much every kind of audience.
Note: For more information about bike tours at night, please visit our comparison of Washington DC night tours.
If you’re not in the mood to do a lot of cycling, why not let someone else do all the work? A Pedicab is basically a rickshaw, using a bicycle to power your trip around the city. Pedicabs can typically hold 2-4 people, which makes this a great option for small families. Instead of selling tickets, most pedicab tours in Washington DC charge per hour. Prices typically range from $75-$100/hr, but this typically includes transportation for more than one person.
This company offers a total of four pedicab tours and one option for reserved rides. Visit either the National Mall, Capitol Hill, Embassy Row or downtown Washington DC. In addition to having a guide drive you around town, each individual tour is personally catered to your interests. Visit only the monuments and landmarks that you want to see. Prices range between $80-$90 an hour depending on how many people you bring along for the ride. This tour runs from 9 AM-8 PM.
DC Pedicab has yet to receive any negative reviews on TripAdvisor. Reviewers recommend a pedicab tour for anyone who has limited time, stating that the personalized itinerary will allow you to focus on everything you want to see. Due to the small size of each vehicle, these trips are particularly popular among couples and small families. Many customers described their experience as both fun and informative.
Although they offer similar services, National Pedicabs has a few advantages over many of their competitors. For one thing, they only charge $75 per hour for all of their tours. In addition to offering a more affordable experience, they also provide trips from 9 AM-9 PM. They offer a total of six themed tours, one of which will only be available during the spring. Visit the monuments, learn about the truth behind Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, or discover downtown DC! As with most pedicab tours, you can expect a customized itinerary which focuses on the sites you want to see the most.
This company has received a few negative reviews, but they currently enjoy an overall rating of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Thankfully, the small number of complaints didn’t have much in common, indicating that they didn’t represent the typical experience with National Pedicabs. Most customers were very happy with their trip, stating that the tour guides were both fast and friendly. An overwhelming majority of positive ratings came from guests with families, but it was also very popular among small groups of friends and couples.
Much like their competitors, this service provides a handful of different pedicab tours. However, in addition to the typical trips around the National Mall and DC Monuments, Nonpartisan Pedicab also offers a night tour. Hourly rates are comparable to other services in the area, with prices increasing depending on the number of people who hop on for a ride. Free pickup is offered for anyone in the downtown area. As you might expect, all tours are catered to your tastes, allowing you to decide which locations you want to visit and how much time you will spend at each destination.
Believe it or not, this company has yet to receive anything less than a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Everyone who has reviewed Nonpartisan Pedicab reports that their experience was excellent. Several reviewers were very happy about the night tour, with some going so far as to say that “this really is the only way” to discover Washington DC after dark. Families and couples were the most likely guests to enjoy their trip, describing the journey as both fun and educational.
Discover DC Pedicab Tours
Unlike their competitors, this service offers rates almost exclusively dependent upon the number of passengers. If you’re going solo, this could be a great way to save money on a pedicab tour. That being said, Discover DC could also be more expensive for families and larger groups. In addition to the typical tour of the monuments, you can also take a historical trip exploring the story of Abraham Lincoln or enjoy a wine tasting tour. Alternatively, you can set your own itinerary and simply pay the hourly rate. All tours are offered year round.
Although there are a few negative reviews, most ratings for Discover DC Pedicab tours are a full 5 stars. The small number of complaints didn’t indicate a serious problem with this service. A majority of guests enjoyed their experience, with some saying they really appreciated the break from walking around our nation’s capital. Tour guides are described as friendly and knowledgeable, offering a unique and interesting perspective of Washington DC. This company is most popular among couples, business associates and small groups of friends.
DEALS AND DISCOUNTS
If you’re looking to save some money on a bike tour, bike rental or similar service, consider one of the following options. Experience Washington DC however you wish without spending too much cash. Whether you get a combo package or a discount pass, there are several ways to avoid breaking your budget while on vacation.
Capital City Bike Tours
If you’re looking for a better price on the bike tours offered by this company, they currently offer two specials for their customers. One of these deals is a combo package, while the other is an early bird bargain. Whether you want to take more than one tour or you don’t mind experiencing Washington DC in the morning, these are both excellent opportunities.
Go Washington DC Card
You won’t find any combo packages offered specifically by this company, but they do provide services to people who purchase a Go Washington DC Card. The Explorer Pass includes the opportunity for a free bike rental from Bike and Roll DC. Alternatively, you can also get tickets for one of their bike tours by building your own pass. The Build Your Own Pass option will take 20% off of each service you choose.
If you want to know more about the Go Washington DC Card, feel free to check out our comparison between the various attraction passes available in our nation’s capital.