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Discover Amsterdam
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Live, Work and Study
An elegantly dressed man rides a Bicycle in the center of Amsterdam. Bicycle capital of Europe.
Image from Maria Sbytova

Cycling in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world and the majority of its citizens have spent their lives on two wheels since they were infants. Thanks to the many bike paths in the city and the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, pedal power is all you need to uncover the locals gems on your own, or as part of a guided bike tour.

Amsterdam: a cycling city

Young Caucasian woman in purple coat riding bicycle in the  city at dusk
Image from Oleh Slobodeniuk via iStock

The narrow, winding streets of Amsterdam's historic 17th-century city centre are definitely best navigated by bike. And with up to 400 kilometres of bicycle paths leading just about everywhere in town, it's no wonder that Amsterdam is a true cycling city. Renting a bike or taking a guided cycle tour is a great way to discover the city and can be quite an adventure. Plus, if you're inexperienced or nervous about traffic, the expert guides and rental shops can set you up and offer great advice.

Bike rentals in Amsterdam

A couple on rental bikes from Yellow Bike cycle through Bosboom Toussaintstraat.
Image from Roos Trommelen Photography

Bicycles can be rented in all parts of the city. Especially around Central Station, Leidseplein and hotels, you can find many rental companies. Bike rental is often possible from 3 hours per day, the average daily rental price is €10. Locals find nothing more irritating than a lousy cyclist, so make sure you follow the (unwritten) rules of the road! Check out all bike hire locations

Cycle routes

Cycling at Nationaal Park Zuid-Kennemerland
Image from Koen Smilde

Explore more of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Area with our Cycleseeing routes. Each trail will take you off the beaten track to discover old and new architecture, urban forests, beaches, polders, parks and waterways. The idea is to take your time and enjoy the scenery. Just see what you feel like seeing. On all the routes we suggest places to eat, drink and rest. There are shortcuts and detours for extra special attractions. All routes are offered in the (free) route planner tool Komoot.

Tips for safe cycling in Amsterdam

cargo bike sharing
Image from Alain Rouiller

Cycling in the city can be hectic, especially if you're not used to Amsterdam-style traffic. Here are a few things to keep in mind after you hire a bicycle:

  • Stay in your lane: use the bicycle lane on the right-hand side of the road, marked out by white lines and bike symbols.
  • Follow the rules of the road: adhere to all traffic lights and signs; don’t cycle on footpaths, shopping streets, pavements and motorways. It’s required by law to use front and back lights on your bicycle after dark.
  • Give a sign: always signal before turning by putting your hand out.
  • Watch out for tram rails: it’s easy to get your tires stuck in the rails – cross them at a sharp angle.
  • Park it right: make sure to park your bike in a designated bike parking section, rack or indoor parking facility, as bikes that are not parked in the right areas may be removed and stored in the Bicycle Depot. And to avoid theft, lock your bike to something secure and immovable.
  • Make room for fellow cyclists: don’t bike more than two people across, keep pace with the other cyclists, and pull over to answer your phone or check the map.
  • Avoid rush hour: between 08:00 and 09:00 or 17:00 and 18:00, thousands of bikes are on the road, often resulting in big queues at junctions. If you don't need to be somewhere, wait until the rush calms down.
  • Don’t imitate the Dutch: Amsterdammers are notorious for breaking the rules: cycling through red lights or biking at night without lights. Do not follow their example!

Bicycle parking and removal

Woman walking through the underground bike parking with a bike in her hand. On de sides bicycle storages
Image from Bryony Rijks

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). Some locations allow you to leave your bike for up to two weeks, and some for up to six weeks. Read the City of Amsterdam's bicycle parking guidelines for further information or view the parking locations on a map.

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 14020 during office hours.

If they have it, you need to pay a fee of €22.50 to reclaim your bike, or approximately €35 to have it delivered to your home. You will need to show identification and have the key to the bike lock in your possession. Check the Fietsdepot website for more information.