Want to see Amsterdam by bike? Amsterdam is a relatively compact city so you really don’t have to cycle far to see the sights. Here are some great places you can visit by bike in the centre of Amsterdam, and therefore not very far from 360 Amsterdam’s base on Dam Square.
From the historic Dam Square itself, you can cycle just five minutes west to Prinsengracht and heading up from the impressive Westerkerk you’ll pass by the busy Anne Frank Museum where the young girl wrote her famous diary during World War II. Hopefully the long queue won’t get in your way. If you continue north along the Prinsengracht you can explore Prinseneiland, which is a charming little part of Amsterdam with lots of old warehouses (which are now residential) and pretty bridges. Alternatively, cycle south and you’ll get to the Negen Straatjes. Mostly known for its many independent shops – and best explored by foot – you can still cycle back and forth over the bridges and along the nine little streets that span several of the canal rings. By bike you can still admire many of the typical thin houses Amsterdam is known for, even if you don’t go shopping – just watch out for pedestrians spilling out onto the streets. And if you just can’t get enough of Amsterdam’s bridges, you should cycle further along the Prinsengracht, as it bends down and back up to Reguliersgracht where you can take a photo of the Seven Bridges to share on your Instagram. (Tip: further up, from the Herengracht looking south, you can pack all seven bridges into one shot.)
At the bottom of the canal rings and further south from Dam Square, is the Museum Quarter where you can actually cycle through the Rijksmusuem – there’s a tunnel right in the middle of this spectacular monument and art museum. The Rijksmuseum also has well-designed gardens on all sides where you can usually spot some world-class sculptures. From here you can also make a photo stop at the ‘iamsterdam’ letters behind the museum on Museumplein. From there it’s a short cycle past the posh shops on P.C. Hooftstraat to get to Vondelpark, the city’s most popular park. Once you’re in the park, you can cycle around in a loop without worrying about traffic lights and such, so it’s a bit more relaxing. Although you’ll still have to watch out for the many people on bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, and bakfiets (cargo bikes) – as well as the many runners and dog-walkers.
East of Dam Square, you can cross the Amstel river at the famous old Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) and you’ll see the magnificent Hermitage, a grand art museum overlooking the water. A bit further east is the historic Plantage district and if you cycle along the Entrepotdok you should be able to spot elephants and giraffes, some of the animals at Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo, from across a small canal. Cycle just a tiny bit further east and you’ll pass one of the few windmills in the city centre at the Brouwerij ‘t IJ (a local brewery).
From the east towards the main city hub of Amsterdam Centraal station, the cycle lane takes you right by the waterside where you’ll see an exact replica of a lost eighteenth century VOC ship which is moored by the Scheepvaartmuseum, the Amsterdam’s maritime history museum. Cutting to the cycle path behind Amsterdam Centraal station you will pass by the many free ferries taking people to Amsterdam Noord, and further along you can admire a couple of the city’s newer sights. One of the tallest buildings in the city, the A’DAM Toren, sits right behind Amsterdam Centraal, across the water – you should be able to see the swing at the top where the brave visitors are going ‘over the edge’. Next to this, the futuristic EYE Filmmuseum sits like a white oyster on the waterfront. It’s one of the best pieces of modern architecture in Amsterdam.
So it’s pretty clear, there’s no shortage of sights you can see by bike in the heart of Amsterdam, and all close to 360 Amsterdam in Dam Square. It’s a perfect city for sightseeing on a saddle. Custom 360 bikes – provided in collaboration with myhotelbike – are waiting for you outside. Ready to give you an outstanding ride through Amsterdam.