Buying a bicycle in Amsterdam
Most Amsterdammers ride reasonably basic bicycles, preferring not to subject an expensive bike to the rigours of city life. Whether you choose to purchase a second hand or brand new bike, invest in a decent lock alongside the worthwhile precaution of insuring your bike against theft.
Second hand bikes cost anywhere between 50 and 175 euros, and can be bought at shops located all over the city. Bike shops are often located next to a train station. The price of a new bike starts at around 200 euros.
You may be offered a bicycle on the street, normally at a really low price. These are invariably stolen. Besides perpetuating a vicious circle, buying a stolen bike is a criminal offence.
Free bike engraving service
In addition to a sturdy lock, you can also help protect your bike by getting it engraved. This will not only deter thieves, but also help you reclaim your bike if it is recovered after being found or removed due to being parked illegally.
The Fietsdepot (Bicycle Depository) offers a free engraving service on most Wednesdays, switching to a different District of Amsterdam each week. Check the engraving agenda (Dutch) to see where the engraving team will be each week.
If a bike is found or removed due to illegal parking, it will be delivered to the Fietsdepot who can then use the engraving to inform legal owners that their bike has been found or recovered. If you have lost your (engraved) bike, you can contact the Fietsdepot to check if it has been recovered by calling 020-334 4522 during office hours.
If they have it, you only have to pay 10 euros administration costs to reclaim your bike and it will be delivered to your home for an additional 10 euros. You will need to show identification and have the key to the bike lock in your possession. Check the Fietsdepot website for more information.
To avoid having your bicycle removed in the city, it is advisable to only park your bike at designated racks or a dedicated parking garage (stalling).
Renting a bicycle
Renting a bike is a great way to show off the city when family or friends come to visit or if you only use a bike a couple times a year. Bike rental costs about 10 euros a day. View our list of bike rental locations in Amsterdam for more information.
Rules of the road
Contrary to Rome, it is best not to do as the locals do when it comes to cycling in Amsterdam. Although you may witness cyclists riding after dark without a light or hurtling through a red light, these acts are not just dangerous but are against the law and punishable by a hefty fine. Stay safe and read our top tips for biking in Amsterdam which includes the unspoken rules of the road.
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