Cycling in The Netherlands
The Netherlands is a perfect place for cycling. Already at a very young age the Dutch people learn how to bike. It is kind of a tradition. All the roads a very well suited for cyclists, especially outside the cities. However, what if you are not Dutch, are visiting our country and don’t have a lot of cycling experience? This article will answer some of the big questions about cycling in The Netherlands.
Every year many tourists visit The Netherlands and try to go for cycling trip. You’ll notice that there are almost more bikes than cars in this country. It seems that everyone, age doesn’t matter, rides a bike. Especially in big cities, like Amsterdam or Rotterdam, you’ll notice that bikes are scattered everywhere. Why are there so many bikes in this country?
Why is The Netherlands full of bikes?
Cycling is an easy way for transportation. But why is everyone cycling in The Netherlands? The are a few reasons for that. Firstly, cycling it is quicker than going by foot. Secondly, buying a bike is way cheaper than buying a car. Thirdly, The Netherlands is not a very big country. For that reason distances can by covered easily by bike. Last but not least, many cities have old historical centres with small alleys and not a lot of space. Therefore cycling, instead of driving a car, is an easy way for transportation.
I don’t have a lot of cycling experience. Where should I go?
First of all, please don’t cycle in the big cities (Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague or Rotterdam). The Dutch are not used to tourists riding a bike. Especially not in Amsterdam where they don’t like tourists, because there are too many of them. The whole city is overcrowded. I would advice you go outside the cities. Especially during the Flower season, every year from March to May, in the area south of Amsterdam. Many tourists visit the Keukenhof, a famous Flowergarden in The Netherlands. The landscape around it is perfectly suited for cycling. Many of them take a guided tulip bike tour to learn more about the tulips and also not to get lost.
How and where to get bikes?
Everywhere in the country you’ll be able to rent a bike. As long as you don’t have to pay more than €15 per day, you’ll not be ripped. Only in Amsterdam pricing could be a bit more. Furthermore, never give – like in other countries – your passport or ID as a deposit. The safest option is to hire a bike at your hotel or b&b.
How could I take my bike to another city?
In The Netherlands you are allowed to take your bike in the train. For more information about the train you could also read my blog about trains in The Netherlands. You only have to pay a bit more for your train ticket to take your bike. Most cities are only 30 min by train from each other.
My bike is stolen. What to do?
Bike theft occurs very often in The Netherlands. Make sure you ask your bike rental company, if your bike is insured. More important, always lock your bike if you leave it somewhere. Otherwise, it won’t be insured.
You should absolutely cycle in The Netherlands. It is a perfect place to do so!