What It’s Like to Bike in Amsterdam
Biking in Amsterdam is a must for all visitors to the European city to experience. Bikes are the main mode of transportation in the city center and the enormous network of bikes paths make cycling a great way for visitors to explore the Dutch countryside.
But what’s it really like and what should you expect? Watching this 4K video should give a good perspective of what it’s like to ride a bike around central Amsterdam.
Here are some other things that you can expect when biking around Amsterdam.
The Flat Terrain
Amsterdam and the surrounding area is very flat, which makes it an ideal place for riding a bicycle. In the center of the city, the largest hills tend to be the little bridges that cross over the canals. Outside the city, it’s also bridges that tend to have the largest inclines, including some longer bridges that cross rivers like the Rhine. With such flat terrain, you can cover many kilometres fairly quickly riding a bike around Amsterdam.
There Can Be Wind Resistance
While the wind is not too noticeable in the central part of Amsterdam, when you venture outside of the city or along long canals or rivers, the wind can make cycling a bit more difficult. In fact, sometimes when doing a longer bike route, you do the first half of the route faster than you expected only to realize that the wind was behind your back.
Dutch bikes generally don’t have too many gears, so the wind resistance can be quite noticeable. Make sure to plan some extra time if you plan to do a day trip outside the city.
Central Amsterdam is Very Busy
Trams, cars, mopeds, modified mopeds, electric bikes, and thousands of other bikes. Plus, there can be pedestrians crossing in every direction near busy squares. It’s an experience riding through the busier areas of Amsterdam but it can be quite unnerving having to cross a street with bike lanes, a road for cars, and tram tracks.
Keep your head up and watch for traffic and signage. Do not follow other cyclists without checking the lights or signs as locals don’t always obey the rules. And remember, trams always have the right of way!
Dedicated Bike Paths are Everywhere
Paths for bikes only, bridges built specifically for bikes, ferry boats design for bikes, the infrastructure that has been built specifically for bikes is extensive. Having such a great network of biking routes means that you can get from point A to B very quickly and efficiently. Within the city of Amsterdam, it generally makes most sense to travel by bike to get to where you need to quickly.
Bike Paths Lead Outside of Amsterdam Too
With so many bike routes in and out of Amsterdam, you can quickly and easily explore areas and routes outside of the city. One popular route is take the free ferry behind Amsterdam Centraal Station and ride to the town of Durgerdam. This route takes you out of the city center, passing views of the IJmeer and can be done in just a few hours!
All the Locals are Doing It
Just about everyone rides a bike in Amsterdam. The population of Amsterdam is around 883,000 people (as of 2022) and according to iAmsterdam, there are more than 880,000 bikes in the city!
TIP: Be careful where you park and always lock your bike!