Cycling in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is quite a compact city.  Although most distances can be walked, if they can’t, they can most definitely be biked.  Bikes are probably the most effective way of getting around Amsterdam, and certainly the most popular.  If you walk through the city, you can see as many as 700,000 bikes, and probably 4 times a many padlocks.  Despite this, around 100,000 bikes are stolen each year in Amsterdam.

Cycling in Amsterdam
Cycling in Amsterdam

To carry a bike aboard a train, you’ll need to purchase a bike day pass (€6), valid throughout the country, and carriage is subject to availability of space.  Collapsible bikes can be carried for free.

Bike hire

All the companies listed here require ID plus a credit card imprint or a cash deposit with a passport. Many rental agencies require that you bring your passport as proof of ID.

  • Bike City ( there isn’t any advertising on these bikes, so you can pretend you’re a local!
  • Damstraat Rent-a-Bike ( – largest stock of tandem bikes in Amsterdam
  • MacBike ( Centraal Station; Visserplein; Weteringschans. – Well known in Amsterdam for their distinctive red bikes

If you stay longer than a week in the city, it might be worthwhile buying your own bike.  A good second hand bike should cost you about €70, plus €40 for a couple of locks. People in the street will approach you sometimes offering bikes for sale a whole lot cheaper than this – in all likelihood it’ll be one of those 100,000 stolen ones.  Get yourself at least two good locks and make sure your bike is tied to something secure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>