There are a few things the Dutch are known for around the world and one of them is certainly riding a bike. Like the rest of the country Amsterdam is incredibly bike-friendly, with flat terrain and dedicated bike lanes. This nature of the city means that it is often faster to ride a bicycle than it is to take public transport, let alone drive a car.

And that is exactly what locals do. Rain or shine, the Dutch will ride their bike through almost all weather. If you want to experience Amsterdam like a local, riding a bicycle has to be part of your Amsterdam city trip. It is up to you if you want to join a bike tour or explore the city on your own by renting a bike.

What bike tours are there in Amsterdam?

There are several different types of guided bike tours in Amsterdam to choose between when you are in there. There are tours that stay in the city, exploring the highlights, hidden gems and taking you off the beaten path. But there are also trips that start in the city and take you to the countryside.

A short 2-hour tour will take you to the highlights of the city. The not-to-miss spots in the city this tour takes you to include the Jordaan, the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, the Vondelpark and the Skinny Bridge. This Amsterdam tour is for all ages, as there are kids bikes as well as seats available for the little ones.

If you want to see a bit more of the city than just the highlights, a 3-hour tour is recommended. This trip will take you to all the highlights of the 2-hour tour as well as to some of the city’s small canals, quiet courtyards and viewpoints. And with a 20-minute break in the park, you’ll be able to relax on the trip as well.

But perhaps you’ve already seen the highlights in the city centre on foot, with the Hop-on Hop-off bus or with a canal cruise, and want to explore more of the city. Than the Fatbike Tour is for you, as it takes you off the beaten path to the north and east side of Amsterdam. Because Fatbike Tours use e-bike with extra thick tires you won’t break a sweat on the ride and don’t have to fear getting stuck in the city’s tram tracks.

Lastly, if you want to see some of the countryside outside of Amsterdam up close, than a trip to the typically Dutch district of Waterland is for you. This 25-kilometre trip will take you through picturesque villages as well as a nature reserve. Along the way the guide will tell you all about the history of the district and how it was created by reclaiming land from the sea.

Tips for renting a bike in Amsterdam

There are a lot of places where you can rent a bike in Amsterdam. To make sure you get a good one there are a couple of things to pay attention to when you do.

  • Choose a bicycle that is the right size for your height
  • Adjust the saddle to the right height so you can bike ride comfortably
  • For safety reasons it’s best to have both a handbrake and a pedal brake
  • Bike theft is an issue in Amsterdam, so you’ll want a bike with two locks for when you park your bike, one for the back wheel and one to attach the bicycle to something

When you ride on your own, you always want to follow the rules of the road, even if the locals don’t. Stick to the bike lanes as much as possible, in Amsterdam they usually have red pavement. Some roads are for pedestrians only, so no bicycles allowed!

It might be tempting to take that iconic video of you cycling in Amsterdam, but you should know that you can be fined € 140 just for holding your phone while cycling. Another thing that can result in a hefty fine is cycling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (€ 200). And if you are riding at night make sure to turn your front and back lights on or you risk a € 60 fine.

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