Biking in Amsterdam

Hey Amsterdam Lovers!

Now that summer is on the horizon, you might want to come to the Netherlands. One of the things that people always want to try in Amsterdam, is definitely riding a bike. But you might be surprised by it. In this blog, we will tell you everything you have to know to cycle in Amsterdam in peace. 

    • First thing, you need a bike, there are many different options:
    • You plan to stay in Amsterdam for vacation :

If you only want to stay in Amsterdam just for a couple of days, biking might seem to be a fun activity, until you ride in the traffic with working hours, it feels like commuting by car in every major city. You can either rent a bike for a day or a couple of hours, just to see how you feel about it. We recommend the MacBike rental shops, the bikes are simple and you can always recognize it with it’s iconic red colour and the reviews are very good. Or you could join our bike tour, there our guide will take care of you so you have the best biking experience. Also feel free to check our other tours!

    • You plan to stay a bit longer in Amsterdam :

In this case, you might want a bike for a longer period. So renting a bike for a day or two might not be the ideal solution. You could either buy one online, new or used on places like Marktplaats, which is similar to eBay or Facebook Marketplace in the Netherlands. 

Or you could use Swapfiets, with swapfiets you could have a bike for 16.90€/Month. They are very recognizable with their front wheel being blue. 

If your swapfiets bike breaks they will even repair it within 48h and without extra costs, just get an appointment at one of the swapfiets stores. 

Now that you have your bike, there are certain rules you need to know: 

1. Bikers have their own bike lane, stoplights (mostly) and parking lots. There are many places in Amsterdam where you can secure your bike. 

2. Bike lanes are one way, you can bike next to someone if it’s not rush hour. But when it is, bike in one lane, or people might be rude to you for blocking the way. 

3. Always use hand signals when you are turning in a direction or stopping. 

4. If you don’t see a bike lane, watch out as you may be entering the wrong route. Don’t worry, bike lanes are very recognizable because they are red. And riding on the sidewalk isn’t good, always ride on the bike lane or the road if a sign says to. (There are many construction sites in Amsterdam.)

5. Helmets aren’t required in Amsterdam to ride a bike, but bike rental shops will provide them for an extra cost. 

6.Be careful with pedestrians, even if you are on the correct lane, hitting them won’t be a good thing for you. 

7. Avoid riding on the tram lane, your wheels are the perfect size of the rail system, you might get stuck in it. 

8. Bikes don’t always have gears, so watch out when buying or renting a bike, it might be something you need. 

9. Same goes for the braking system, on certain bikes you may not find hand-brakes. On this type of bike you have to pedal backwards in order to stop. 

10. Always check if your bike has light, it is illegal in the Netherlands to not have lights at night time, so always be careful when choosing your ride. 

11. Be extra careful with scooters, you can find e-scooters that you can rent in the city. These types of scooters don’t make much sound unless you are close to them, and they have a tendency to ride on the bike lane.

12. A bell isn’t mandatory, but we highly recommend you to have one on your ride. People might be exploring the city like you and might not pay too much attention to you. And, as we said, hitting pedestrians isn’t very nice!

13. Always use two locks to secure your bike if you have to park it outside. Amsterdam is known for having a lot of bike thieves. 

14. Be prepared for the rain, Amsterdam is better known for the rain than the sun, so be careful. Don’t worry if you do a biking tour with us, we sell poncho’s if needed. 

Now that you know this, you are definitely prepared to ride along the Canals of Amsterdam. We hope that you will find this blog useful and can’t wait to see you in Amsterdam.

Stay safe!