The following provides some general information on cycling in Holland what to expect when biking in or around Amsterdam.
What To Bring
Many of the routes on Biking Amsterdam are day-routes, so it's important that you properly plan your outing and bring some things with you. Several of the routes leave the city center and venture out into the scenic countryside, where you can find yourself several kilometers away from amenities such as food, water, or toilets.
For some of the longer routes, here are some suggestions on what to bring:
- Water - You will certainly need something to drink, so pack enough water to get you by for a couple of hours while you are away from the city.
- Food - Bring lunch or a snack in case you get hungry.
- Jacket - Always a good idea to bring a jacket, even a light one, depending on the time of year. The weather can change quickly around Amsterdam and the windy conditions can make a warm day seem much cooler than it actually is.
- Bike Lock(s) - Make sure your bike has at least one lock but, ideally, two locks. The recommendation for anyone leaving their bike is to lock it using both the wheel lock and a chain lock by chaining it to something.
- Bike Lights - Make sure your bike has lights for riding at night. While there are plenty of street lights, it's difficult for drivers of cars, buses, trams, etc. to see bikes, so bring lights.
- Mobile Phone - Always a good idea to bring a phone in case you get into trouble or get lost.
- Camera - Take photographs of your experience.
Terrain and Fitness
The Netherlands is a very flat country and most of the bike routes experience a change in elevation by only a few meters. Most of the uphill is short sections where you ride up onto a bridge over a canal, for example.
Therefore, not a very high degree of fitness is required and riding a bike in and around Amsterdam can be done by almost anyone.
Biking With Children
There are several options for biking with children in Amsterdam depending on the age of the child.
- 0 - 3 years: Bike seats on the back of the bike are common.
- 0 - 10 years: Renting a Bakfiets bicycle is a unique experience in Holland.
- 10+ years: Can ride their own bikes.
There are plenty of places around Amsterdam that rent bikes, all of which require some identification and a credit card or deposit. If you are staying at a hotel, check with the hotel staff to see if they have some bikes for guests to use.
For a list of Bike Rental Vendors around Amsterdam, visit the I Am Amsterdam website.
There are companies who offer tours of Amsterdam and the surround areas of North Holland. For a detailed list, visit I Am Amsterdam.