Responsible Tourism in Amsterdam – 12 eco-friendly Initiatives that comes naturally

Responsible Tourism in Amsterdam – A city where responsible tourism comes naturally

Visiting Amsterdam is a breath of fresh air – a haven for eco-tourists! There’s a lot more to the beautiful and whimsical city of Amsterdam than freedom, coffee shops and world renowned museums. With a deeply ingrained eco-conscious attitude amongst Amsterdammers, the never ending bike-paths, the array of sustainable hotels and quirky vintage shops, together with a comprehensive green transport system, responsible tourism in Amsterdam makes it a city where responsible tourism comes naturally.

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Ranked fifth as the most eco-friendly city in the world for workers following London, Frankfurt, Oslo and Cambridge in Massachusetts, Amsterdam boasts fascinating facts and sustainable eco-friendly activities as regards responsible tourism.

This article takes a look at what ‘responsible tourism’ means, and aims to give an overview of the 12 eco-friendly initiatives that comes naturally in the Dutch capital along with ways on how visitors can enjoy their visit whilst contributing to the green city.

responsible tourism in Amsterdam

What is Responsible tourism?

The widely accepted definition of Responsible Tourism (Cape Town Declaration) is about “making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.” Responsible Tourism requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable. Responsible tourism comes in a variety of forms and includes:

1 | Maintenance of the world’s diversity by making positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage;

2 | Opportunities for tourists to enjoy more meaningful experiences, connections with local people, and understanding of local culture, social and environmental issues.

One’s behaviour can be more or less responsible and what is responsible depends upon environment and culture.


Responsible tourism in Amsterdam

With these being said, Amsterdam takes its responsibilities seriously. Amsterdam leads the way on responsible tourism on many fronts. From a complete commitment to achieving Zero CO2 emission by 2050 to actively exploring ways to lead in creating an eco-friendly environment for Amsterdammers to live in, and making Amsterdam a better place for visitors – a city for everyone to enjoy.

Amsterdam’s commitment to Zero CO2 emission – An overview

Amsterdam. responsible tourism

With our planet on a ‘climate emergency‘ and in line with the European Parliament’s resolution passed in November 2019, Amsterdam is committed to tackling the global warming situation. The Dutch capital aims to be the first European city to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2050. It has implemented a number of strategies focusing on sustainable mobility, in particular, eliminating CO2 emissions from public transportation.

A picture of the future Amsterdam is succinctly laid out in the city’s Roadmap to Climate Neutral in 2050, appended below. You could read the document in its entirety by clicking on the citation link.

By 2030, Amsterdam’s streets will be free of exhaust-emitting cars.
By around 2040, every home will have switched from natural gas to sustainable heating.
And by 2050, we will have ended our dependence on coal, gas and oil. We will instead
get all of our energy from the sun, wind, plants and the heat of the earth itself. For some,
this is future talk or even an alarming prospect; for others, it is already daily practice.
In any case, the transition to clean energy has begun and can no longer be stopped.

Roadmap Amsterdam Climate Neutral Roadmap 2050

12 best initiatives where Responsible Tourism in Amsterdam comes naturally

With a clear roadmap aimed at climate neutral, Amsterdam has pioneered several initiatives on the tourism front in support to achieve their goal. Among these are the following 12 initiatives where responsible tourism comes naturally:

1 | A ‘green’ Airport

The first ‘taste’ of eco-friendliness awaits a visitor at Schiphol Airport. Schiphol Airport has been making the airport more sustainable each year for years. It takes a lot of energy to keep Schiphol running 24-hours a day and measures are continually adapted to ensure energy is used as efficiently as possible.

As from January 1, 2018, Schiphol Airport has been running on 100% wind power generated by local Dutch company, Eneco. The airport had also installed solar panels, with some on the airport’s roofs, parking areas and along the runways. This means energy saving wherever possible and using the cleanest possible electricity. Thus, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol runs solely on renewable energy generated in the Netherlands.

Along with these initiatives on renewable energy usage at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Dutch capital has so many cool things that contribute to the enjoyment of tourists as well as being one of the greenest and environmentally friendly cities in the world.

Recommended read: Cycling in Amsterdam – 19 Useful Tips

2 | Getting about Amsterdam by bike

The capital city of Netherlands boasts the never ending 500 kilometres of bike lanes, covering every corner and every canal of the city. Getting about Amsterdam on a two-wheeler is popular and a way of life for the Amsterdammers. As a visitor to the Dutch capital, you could get around Amsterdam by bike and keep your carbon footprint to the minimal as possible.

Bike rentals are dotted all over the city to encourage cycling. Hire one, and explore the main landmarks of the city or venture a little further along River Amstel onto the city’s outlaying cycle network to nearby quaint and picturesque villages.

The unmissable quaint 12th century village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is worth exploring and so is the picturesque Broek in Waterland, once a haven for the high-status city-dwellers.

Plan ahead, pre-book your ride – rent a bike in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam.responsible tourism

The generous bike paths around the city means you can explore Amsterdam very quickly. While some paths have specialised traffic lights with illuminated green cycle sign to support safety of cyclists, just be aware of some daring cyclists who weave in and out of bike paths. Some even run red lights! Always wear a cycle-helmet even if most Amsterdammers don’t.

However, if you are not confident to explore Amsterdam by bike independently, then perhaps joining a guided bike tour of Amsterdam is best. You will be led by an experienced tour guide and your fellow cyclists may not be as daring as Amsterdammers are!

Recommended read > Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 best rewarding ways.

3 | Explore Amsterdam on foot

Amsterdam.responsible tourism

4 | Canals, boat cruises and paddleboats | Responsible tourism in Amsterdam

Amsterdam.canal.cruise.responsible.tourism

There is one bridge in the central canal belt that offers visitors the beautiful sight of fifteen bridges across its canals. This particular spot is viewed from the corner of Reguliersgracht and the Herengracht and best seen from the water level on a boat. Day time views are lovely but it is a spectacular sight in the evening/night when the bridges are lit up.

The are a number of sustainable ways to experience Amsterdam from the waters. You could do a canal cruise in one of the 200 electric boats offering canal tours, hire a kayak or a pedal boat (pedalos, water bikes). If you elect to hire a kayak or a boat, you can explore the city by waters at your own pace.

You could hire a pedal boat using your I Amsterdam City Card but you need to book a time-slot for your activity. Ensure that your City Card is valid at the time of your activity.

Recommended read > Fun Canal biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight

5 | A comprehensive Green Transport system

Public transport in Amsterdam is already highly sustainable. Trains, buses, trams, metros and ferries make up the city’s comprehensive public transport network that transport lots of people at the same time. Use of public transport is much encouraged and this is evident from the frequent and timely services as well as the generous bicycle storage at stations. All electric passenger trains have been powered using green energy since 2017 and it is mandatory for all new buses to use renewable energy.

The public transport system in Amsterdam is easy to navigate although the ticketing system can be confusing. A comprehensive guide is available on the best tickets to purchase to navigate around the city, and a regional pass if venturing out to the surrounding areas of Amsterdam.

The I Amsterdam City Card is an all encompassing pass of great value as it includes public transportation operated by GVB in Amsterdam city only, along with free access to attractions. Take a look at what it includes and does not include before purchasing one to suit the duration of your visit.

6 | Extensive Green spaces in Amsterdam

Amsterdam.Bos.forest.responsible tourism

Amsterdam city is not all urban. It is surrounded by an abundance of lush and open green spaces – parks, gardens and a forest!

Amsterdam’s parks and gardens are beautiful, has its own charm and interesting history. These green spaces are all located within a stone’s throw of the city centre and offer a great space to relax, unwind with lots of activities for kids.

Walk to the east of the city to De Plantage in the Jewish Quarter, a district where history, nature and culture intertwine or take a short ride to Vondelpark to experience all genres of music. Whichever green spaces you decide to visit, Amsterdam Bos, should firmly top your ‘to visit’ list for timeless experience.

Check trains to/from Amsterdam to any destinations in and around Amsterdam

7 | Amsterdam’s Green places to eat

Green eating is quite a buzz in Amsterdam and you can easily find restaurants and cafés offering organic products. Walk along De Negen Straatjes (the Nine Little Streets) and the Jordaan district where cafes are aplenty serving organic food. Head to the farmers market at Noordermarkt Square to shop for some fresh, locally grown produce if you are planning a picnic in the park.

For a unique experience, head to De Kas, a prime example of Amsterdam’s sustainability culture. A high-end restaurant located inside of a former greenhouse, built in 1926. With vast magnificent windows and airy high ceilings, De Kas spoil their clients with ingredients tendered and cared for from their very own vegetable garden, with no-fuss Mediterranean cuisines that often changes to the seasons harvest.

De Kas, Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3 1097 DE Amsterdam | E: info@restaurantdekas.nl

For a traditional Dutch street-food experience, Natuurlijk Smullen serves up organic meat-based snacks such as chicken nuggets and frikandel. Vegetarian alternatives to traditional burgers are also available along with Dutch fries topped with a selection of tasty, organic sauces.

Natuurlijk Smullen, Jan van Galenstraat 78, 1056 CD Amsterdam

Noorderlicht Cafe is a simplistically beautiful dining destination housed inside a two-storey greenhouse with a large riverside terrace. The cafe hosts regular musical and cultural events which are often free of charge. It’s menu offers plenty of organic based dishes with a lean towards vegetarian and vegan dietary needs. This cultural and sustainable cafe is located on the NDSM yard along River IJ.

Noorderlicht Cafe, NDSM plein 102
1033 WB Amsterdam

8 | Meat-free restaurants in Amsterdam city

The Amsterdam restaurant scene these days certainly seems a world away from its once popular Brockwurst on mash potatoes smothered with rich gravy! Plant-based dining is the trendy option now with so many eateries popping up across the city.

Mr & Mrs Watson in Oost, Amsterdam is a “plant based food bar for vegan food lovers and cheese addicts”. Although there are some options on all vegan menu, the Watson Cheese Platter, featuring cashew fondue is the one to go for.

Besides enjoying the best comfort food, you would also be contributing towards Mr & Mrs Watson’s commitment to give back – a tree is planted for every dish they serve.

Mr & Mrs Watson, Linnaeuskade 3H, Amsterdam.

Dine in style at Restaurant Vermeer, the creative culinary lab of 1* Michelin Chef Chris Naylor who experiments on the daily fresh produce brought to him by the local farmers. Beetroot, and white asparagus feature liberally on his menu. A prettily laid out plate of robust, pure, and clean flavours awaits anyone on an evening of high-end fine dining.

Restaurant Vermeer | Prins Hendrikkade 59-72, 1021 AD Amsterdam


Recommended read – Best places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam


9 | Amsterdam’s initiative on food surplus | Responsible tourism in Amsterdam

With 1.3 billion tonnes of food wastage per year across the world, Amsterdam is no stranger to food surplus. Food waste has a high impact on the environment and Instock Restaurant in Amsterdam rescues food from being wasted. They collect food from growers/farmers, fishmongers, packaging companies and producers. Instock then runs a final quality check and prepares them for restaurants and caterers. These ingredients are turned into culinary delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner by their creative chefs. Instock is open seven days a week, serving-up anything from a cup of coffee to a four-course-meal.

Restaurant Instock | Czaar Peterstraat 21, Amsterdam.

Visit Persijn, on the ground floor of QO hotel for a hearty brunch. Fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs are sourced daily from their rooftop greenhouse and features in their innovative dishes of salads with blossoms and wholesome vegetable soups. Hence, with their ‘farm-to-table’ creative approach, there’s hardly any food wastage.

Persijn | Amstelvlietstraat 4, Amsterdam

10 | Amsterdam Eco-hotels | Responsible tourism in Amsterdam

Stylish, and sustainable accommodations with energy efficient amenities, organic towels, and recycled furniture are all part of the Dutch capital’s initiatives on responsible tourism in Amsterdam. Some of the environmentally-friendly accommodations throw in bike rental as part of their service as well.

Stay at the cozy eco-conscious hotel around the corner from Vondelpark. Conscious Hotel Vondelpark has 81 rooms and is completely sustainable – from furniture to green roof! Food is 100% organic and the building is powered by renewable energy.

For budget hostels that combines conscious living with simplicity, look no further than Ecomama although it may not be for everyone. Ecomama is designed with sustainability and “just enough” of the basic amenities while being committed to re-purposing everything it can.

More classic choice could be NH Amsterdam Schiller , a Green Key Certified accommodation.

Alternatively, grab yourself one of the following last minute best deals:

Booking.com

11 | Sustainable shopping in Amsterdam

Shopping in Amsterdam takes you to a whole new level! From excellent luxury shops, designer outlets, unique boutiques, and sustainable stores, the city is a shopper’s dream come true. However, more and more people are adopting a sustainable lifestyle and this is showcased in their eco-friendly fashion choices.

In Amsterdam, there are so many choices and varieties if you choose to shop green. De Negen Straatjes is a famous shopping district and you will find most of the shops here are vintage stores.

Episode is a popular store and pioneers a serious concept as a sustainable alternative to fast fashion. They take clothing that is donated to charity, washed them in their warehouse, repair if necessary and distribute to the vintage stores.

Episode, Waterlooplein 1, 1011 NV Amsterdam

LENA Fashion library is another interesting concept where it allows you to shop differently. You could borrow vintage styles to suit and you could return them at the end of the borrowed time.

Lena Library, Westerstraat 174h
1015 MP Amsterdam

12 | Alternative to traditional tourism – Explore Amsterdam with a difference

Amsterdam is a popular touristic city and it may present problems of sustainability. The Untourist Guide to Amsterdam suggests alternative ways for tourists to explore the city with a difference.

Among its suggestions are ways to explore the streets, the street markets, gardens, flea markets and spaces away from the usual tourist trails. You are also invited to plant vegetables, participate in cookery classes and have fun wedding ceremonies with the locals.

The Untourist Guide to Amsterdam, @IAmsterdam Store, De Ruijterkade 28 A t/m D (Behind Amsterdam CS), 1012 AA Amsterdam


A final note on responsible tourism in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is green to its very core! This is evident from the many initiatives highlighted above, which by no means is an exhaustive list. The city’s affinity with cycling, the array of pleasant green spaces, green eating, sustainable shopping and low waste dining are all reflective of a city that is so much more than the whimsical city of freedom, coffee shops and museums that Amsterdam is often associated with. The laid-back and progressive values of green culture showcases the Dutch capital as a natural ‘living’ hub of sustainability combined with social consciousness. Amsterdam really is a great green city to visit in Europe, a city where responsible tourism is taken seriously and comes naturally.


What do you think?

Was this article helpful to you in your search on sustainability and responsible tourism in relation to Amsterdam? Is there an initiative that should have made the list on this article but did not? If so, share your thoughts in comments below, we would love to hear from you.


Related articles on Amsterdam

You may like to read the following related articles on Amsterdam:

Ultimate Travel Guide to the Best of Amsterdam

10 Important practical travel information for Amsterdam

Beautiful places to stay in Amsterdam

Explore Amsterdam with the superb value I Amsterdam City Card

Best Food Walking Tour in Amsterdam

Rent a bike in Amsterdam green city

Best places to eat stroopwafels in Amsterdam

10 best typical Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam

Best 29 inspiring travel quotes and sayings on Amsterdam

Unmissable 28 best things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam in a nutshell – 18 experiences in 48 hours

Ouderkerk aan de Amstel – A picturesque village on the edge of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Bos – 10 things to do in this glorious forest of wonderland

Uithoorn – A serene haven where nature, wildlife and history comes together

Amsterdam City and Regional public transport travel pass

Best Value Public Transport ticket for Amsterdam

Return trip ticket on Amsterdam Airport Express Bus #397

Best Public Transport from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City


Finally…

Sincerely wish that this article has been helpful to you in planning your visit to Amsterdam. Plan ahead and book your accommodations, buy your I Amsterdam City Card, sign-up to guided tours and activities using the links in this article and related articles on Amsterdam. TTS earns a commission on qualifying purchases, or you could support TTS in other ways also. As always your continued support is much appreciated.

Have a splendid time in Amsterdam 🙂

xoxo

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

Travel advice Netherlands

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Responsible Tourism in Amsterdam – 12 eco-friendly Initiatives that comes naturally first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Amsterdam is beyond the whimsical city of freedom and avid cyclists! It really is a city where responsible tourism comes naturally with sustainability at the heart of everything they do. via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Amsterdam is beyond the whimsical city of freedom and avid cyclists! It really is a city where responsible tourism comes naturally with sustainability at the heart of everything they do. via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

5 popular city walking tours in Amsterdam

5 Popular City Walking Tours in Amsterdam

Explore the highlights and secrets of Europe’s best liberal city that is infamous for its 17th century historic canals. Join one of these carefully selected city walking tours in Amsterdam and learn more about this inspiring city.


Discover the history of the cannabis culture and get a first hand experience of Amsterdam’s coffee shop when you visit one with a knowledgeable guide. Walk through narrow streets and learn the history of the Red Light District. A walking tour in Amsterdam city gives you a full introduction to the Dutch capital in one day! The overview prepares you to dig deeper into an area or spots at a more opportune time suited to your itinerary.

Choose from the following carefully selected 5 value for money city walking tours in Amsterdam for timeless memories.

1 | Introduction to and Highlights of the City Walking Tours in Amsterdam

introduction to the city walking tours in Amsterdam

The introduction to and highlights of Amsterdam walking tour takes you to the main sights of the city with a knowledgeable tour guide.

1.1 | What to expect from the Introduction to the city walking tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Amsterdam Old Town – Visit the Old Town area and explore the many sights including the Old Church, The Waag, Chinatown, and the smallest house of Amsterdam.

2 | Red Light District | Explore the atmospheric narrow streets of the Red Light area and see the first coffee shop. Learn about the history and the changes in the legal rules that applies to the district;

3 | Jordaan District – Take in the sights of the Dam Square and the Palace as you make your way to the famous Jordaan District. Jordaan area has a rich history and home to Westerkerk and Anne Frank’s house. Jordaan is an area that should top every visitor’s list to Amsterdam.

1.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration – about 3 or 4 hours depending on the provider you choose;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch-free mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

*Tour available in English, German or Spanish

1.3 | Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator:


If you prefer, you could undertake an exclusive, fully customisable private walking tour of the city of Amsterdam with a knowledgeable local guide > more details are provided here.



2 | Red Light District + Coffeeshop Walking Tours in Amsterdam

Red light district and coffeeshop walking tours in Amsterdam

The Red Light District and Coffeeshop tour is an opportunity for you to learn the history and how the city adopted its much known liberal attitudes from a guide.

2.1 | What to expect from the Red Light District and Coffeeshop Walking Tour

The highlights:

1 | An informative tour about the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of the Red Light District and how Amsterdam developed its liberal reputation.

2 | Experience the city’s narrowest street, and explore the area’s small shops and restaurants, as you walk through Chinatown;

3 | Visit a coffeeshop.

2.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour with a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration – 2 to 3 hours;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free and mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

7 | Private or small group available.

*Not suitable for under 18.

Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator



3 | About WWII & Anne Frank Walking tours in Amsterdam

about WWII and Anne Frank walking tours in Amsterdam

In this small group tour, you shall learn about the events of World War II, the Jewish Quarter and most interestingly about the life of Anne Frank, and her diary.

3.1 | What to expect from WWII and Anne Frank Tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Discover one of Amsterdam’s oldest Jewish settlement, the Jewish Quarter. Learn how the area developed over the centuries. Visit a 17th century Portuguese synagogue.

2 | Learn about Anne Frank – the girl who kept a diary when she and her family were hidden in an attic.

3 | During the tour, you will see the Jewish Historical Museum, Auschwitz Monument and the Anne Frank House façade.

4 | Learn about the Dutch Resistance in the Second World War.

3.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour with a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration: 2 hours;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free and mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

7 | Private or small group available.

*Tour available in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch

3.3 | Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator


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4 | About Amsterdam’s History – Walking tours in Amsterdam

You may want to discover some of Amsterdam’s most iconic squares, buildings, canals and old streets, while learning about the city’s history, liberal culture and Dutch people.

4.1 | What to expect from History Walking tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Dam Square and an introduction to Dutch culture;

2 | Learn about Oude Kerk and how this historic monument is intertwined with the Dutch culture;

3 | Walk along Amsterdam central and see Damrak, the Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk. Learn about their significance to Amsterdam and the royal family.

4 | The Amsterdam Canal Ring – a historic and UNESCO listed heritage site. Learn about the city’s canals rich history and importance, turning a little fishing village into a world trade centre.

5 | In this tour, you will also hear about how freedom and tolerance were born in the Netherlands in the 16th century – the very same values shape the attitudes of Amsterdammers today.

4.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour and a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free and mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

4.3 | Learn more and Book your tour


5 | Highlights and hidden treasures of walking tours in Amsterdam

highlights and hidden treasures walking tours of Amsterdam

Get to know Amsterdam beyond the Red Light district and Coffeeshops. Visit the most important sights of the Dutch capital along with some tucked-away gems in this private walking tours in Amsterdam.

5.1 | What to expect from Highlights + Hidden treasures walking tours in Amsterdam

The highlights:

1 | Walk through Amsterdam’s historic highlights – Old Town and Jordaan district and learn about their fascinating history;

2 | See interesting architecture and learn about the Dutch culture;

3 | Stroll through Dam Square, the Flower Market, Rembrandt House, the Royal Palace, hidden courtyards and many more;

5.2 | What the tour includes

1 | Walking tour and a guide;

2 | Safety measures in place;

3 | Duration: About 3 hours depending on the tour selected;

4 | Instant confirmation;

5 | Touch free mobile ticketing;

6 | Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts;

5.3 | Learn more and Book with your preferred tour operator:

Peruse all walking tours in Amsterdam provided by your preferred tour operator to suit your interests and itinerary

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

Travel advice Netherlands

Travelling from UK to Netherlands


Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam | See and Do | rent a bike
Amsterdam by bike
canal biking in Amsterdam

Food & Drink in Amsterdam

Stroopwafels in Amsterdam
Surinamese cuisine in Amsterdam
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5 Popular Walking Tours in Amsterdam first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Amsterdam city | Amsterdam tours | City tours in Amsterdam | Walking tours in Amsterdam | Inspiring European city | Highlights of Amsterdam | Amsterdam city highlights | Things to do in Amsterdam | Historic sights in Amsterdam | Visit Amsterdam | Amsterdam for a weekend | 48 hours in Amsterdam | Things to do in Amsterdam over a weekend | Short break in Amsterdam | Introduction to Amsterdam | Great tours for first timers to Amsterdam |  Must-do city walking tours in Amsterdam for first timers | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Amsterdam city | Amsterdam tours | City tours in Amsterdam | Walking tours in Amsterdam | Inspiring European city | Highlights of Amsterdam | Amsterdam city highlights | Things to do in Amsterdam | Historic sights in Amsterdam | Visit Amsterdam | Amsterdam for a weekend | 48 hours in Amsterdam | Things to do in Amsterdam over a weekend | Short break in Amsterdam | Introduction to Amsterdam | Great tours for first timers to Amsterdam |  Must-do city walking tours in Amsterdam for first timers | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Cycling in Amsterdam-19 useful tips for an enriched experience

Cycling in Amsterdam-19 useful tips for an enriched experience

Cycling in Amsterdam is one of the best ways to experience the Dutch culture and for most visitors, this is an essential experience. However, do not imitate the Amsterdammers!

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Cycling in Amsterdam

cycling in Amsterdam

It may seem overwhelming and at times terrifying to watch the Dutch get around their city with their kids in their front baskets, talking on the phone and in some cases biting into their sandwiches! They do so with such ease and with great confidence! Observing how the Amsterdammers go about their daily lives may discourage visitors from riding a bike in the city but cycling in Amsterdam independently really is a favourite adventure to undertake if you are a skillful cyclist.

Bike friendly city

Cycling in Amsterdam is made easy by the 500 kilometres or so of dedicated cycle paths. You can basically go everywhere and anywhere within the 17th century canal ring and beyond if you are confident to do so. There are low-speed cycle paths, extra-wide ones as well along with protected cycling spaces at intersections. This cycling haven, only second to Copenhagen has even great bicycle parking facilities. Moreover, bike rentals are cheaper than public transport and cycling is a lot quicker than public transport.

Cycling in Amsterdam opens up many opportunities to discover the historic city and the countryside. You may want to explore the wonders of a forest or observe some riverside wildlife, while marvel at the preserved architecture, taking-in the serenity that surrounds you when not in the bustling city centre. Riding a bike and discovering the city and surrounds either independently at your own pace or on a small group guided cycle tour is a rewarding experience.

However, cycling in Amsterdam can be hectic if you are a visitor and cycling in Amsterdam independently is not an activity for everyone!

What to expect from this article

Therefore this article sets out 19 useful tips on cycling in Amsterdam as a basic guide to an enriched cycling experience for those who wish to explore the free city by bike.

Whilst we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

cycling in Amsterdam

1 | Road signs, Traffic rules and regulations when cycling in Amsterdam

Cycling in Amsterdam

Before getting onto a two-wheeler in Amsterdam, familiarise yourself with the Traffic rules and regulations in the Netherlands as these may be different to your home country. Ensure you are familiar especially with the road signs, traffic rules and regulations in Amsterdam in relation to cyclists. In particular:

1.1 | A working bicycle bell when cycling in Amsterdam

Ensure that you have a working bicycle bell that can be heard by other traffic users who are at least 25 metres in distance to you;

1.2 | Working lights and reflectors

Ensure you have working lights and reflectors on your bike incase your adventure takes you beyond dusk, or you are exploring in winter. You will be subject to a fine if you do not use lights when riding at night or if you have faulty lights;

1.3 | Keep to the right when cycling in Amsterdam

As you ride, keep to the right side of the road so other cyclists who are faster than you are able to pass. If you are riding in a group, keep to a single file.

1.4 | Don’t ride on the pavements!

Most importantly, don’t ride on the pavements although most Amsterdammers ignore this rule. Disembark from your bike and walk the pavements instead;

1.5 | Pedestrian only zones

Don’t bike through pedestrian only zones, or you’ll risk a fine;

1.6 | Use hand signals when cycling in Amsterdam

Use hand signals when you want to stop or when turning at an intersection. If you are turning left or right, you would want to put your arm out as a signal that you would be turning at the next intersection. It is important to give proper and enough notice so fellow traffic users are aware of your intentions and next move. If proper signals are not given, you may cause accidents.

1.7 | Follow all traffic signs

cycling in Amsterdam

The Dutch are so geared into cycle travel that cyclists have their own set of traffic lights and dedicated lanes. In some areas, they have their own roundabouts as well. Adhere to all traffic lights and signs. Always wait for the ‘green bike’ to appear before you continue on with your journey.

1.8 | Give way to pedestrians

Give way to pedestrians on crosswalk. Don’t try and speed-up in the hope of missing them. Accidents can and do happen! Just stop and let them pass.

For a comprehensive guide on Traffic Signs and Regulations in the Netherlands download the PDF to peruse.

2 | Amsterdam bikes are different!

renting a bike in Amsterdam

Amsterdam bikes are different in that they may not have gears or handbrakes. This is because the Netherlands is mostly flat and and gears are not needed. Therefore, bikes with fixed gears are readily available where all you have to do is pedal. However, if you are renting a bike for your visit, you might want to hire a bike with handbrakes. You may feel more comfortable cycling in Amsterdam with these features that give you some control and ability to stop rather than stopping with your foot.

3 | Beware of Tram rails when cycling in Amsterdam

Trams are part of an extensive public transport network in Amsterdam and you just need to be careful not to get your wheels stuck in the tram rails. Ensure you cross the tram rails at a 45 degree angle, or avoid the tram tracks if at all possible.

4 | Bike parking policy in Amsterdam that you need to know

Amsterdam.noparking.sign
No bike parking sign in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a strict bike parking policy!

Amsterdam is a city of bicycles and getting around on a bike is a way of life for the Amsterdammers. They don’t only go everywhere with their bikes, they also park everywhere and anywhere they like. Therefore, basically you can park your bicycle anywhere as this is not illegal.

Wrongly parked bicycles may be removed by the police. To retrieve your bike, you need to go to the bicycle depot, and pay a fine. Learn more about retrieving your bike from the bicycle depot by visiting Amsterdam’s official site in this regard.

5 | Park bicycles in designated guarded parking facilities

Amsterdam: Bicycle parking in style.
Amsterdam: Bicycle park

Theft of bicycles in Amsterdam is high! Even if you have locks and secure your bike to the side rails, there is a possibility that your bike will not be there upon your return.

You are strongly advised to use one of the guarded parking facilities provided by the Amsterdam City Council. The Council do not charge for the first 24 hours of parking but thereafter, a small charge is levied. Unfortunately, there is no prior booking for this facility. Visit the Amsterdam City Council web page to locate guarded parking facilities dotted around the city.

6 | Bike theft and cycling in Amsterdam

Bike theft is a huge problem in Amsterdam. Hundreds of thousands of bikes are stolen each year in the city. When cycling in Amsterdam, never leave your bike unattended or unlocked even if you are stopping for a quick photo.

7 | Lock your bicycles

cycling in Amsterdam | cycle locks
secure the bicycle frame to a solid object | Cycling in Amsterdam

One of the best things to do to avoid an unpleasant experience such as theft is to lock your bicycle at all times when not in use even when you pop into a shop for refreshments or on a terrace sipping up the city’s local brew.


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8 | Use certified locks

Lock your bicycle using certified locks. Ordinary locks are easy to break. Use thief-proof locks which takes longer to destroy. You can purchase these certified locks from any of the bicycle shops in Amsterdam city. Certified locks are little more expensive than ordinary locks but it is worth it.

8.1 | Double-down on the certified locks

Use two certified locks and secure your bike to a solid object. Having two locks is twice harder for a potential thief to break the locks and to ride away with your bike.

When securing your bike, don’t just secure the front/back wheel alone. A front wheel can easily be unscrewed from the main bike frame and bike thieves can walk away with the frame. Secure your bicycle frame as well. Ensure you secure your bike to a bike rack or a solid metal post.

9 | Avoid quiet or abandoned areas to park your bicycle

Avoid quiet and abandoned areas to park your bicycles. Vandalised signs and broken locks are areas not best for leaving your bike. Choose a secure location to park your bicycles as mentioned in #5 above. You could park in busy areas such as along the canals and bridges where you could secure your bicycle to a lamp-post or railings.

10 | Do not leave valuables on your bike

Do not leave valuables on your bike. It is pretty obvious that leaving money, mobile phones, passports or GPS is never a good idea. The less obvious items such as water-bottles, bicycle pumps or even bicycle bags may be tempting the thieves also.

11 | Adequate Travel Insurance

cycling in Amsterdam

Having your bike stolen while visiting Amsterdam is not a joke and certainly an incident best avoided. However, should the unfortunate happen, you need to report it to the police. Chances of your bike being recovered is low to none! You shall need the police report for insurance purposes.

Ensure your travel insurance cover your bicycle and cycling activities whilst on holiday in Amsterdam or wider Netherlands.

Some insurance companies may consider cycling as an ‘adventure’ activity and may not cover adventure activities as part of their standard travel policy. You may have to pay a little extra to include cycling but it is worth including it. Also ensure your policy covers theft of bicycles and not just injuries or medical expenses resulting from cycling accidents.

Check World Nomads for their comprehensive cover on travel and adventure insurance. Read all fine prints before signing up to a policy and ensure the policy covers you and your travel needs.

12 | Be prepared for the rain!

cycling in Amsterdam

It does rain in Amsterdam! If you are biking, you may want to use a waterproof jacket, wear a cycling cap and wear overshoes and gloves. Most tourists use a poncho instead. Best to check the weather before embarking on a cycling adventure in Amsterdam.

13 | Avoid rush hour

The rush hour in Amsterdam are between 08:00 and 09:00 when everyone rushes to work as well as between 17:00 and 18:00 when everyone rushes home. You can imagine what the cycle lanes will be like – long queues! If there is no great need to be cycling in Amsterdam during these hours, then avoid it by all means and wait for the rush to calm down.

14 | Helmets and cycling in Amsterdam

Believe it or not, cycle helmets are not required when cycling in Amsterdam at the moment. Cyclists in Amsterdam rarely wear them and they consider cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity. The Dutch have pretty much created a safe cycling environment. Most of the head injuries sustained are from car accidents. So bicycling is regarded as a super safe activity in the Netherlands.

Having said that, it is highly recommended that you use a cycle helmet when cycling in Amsterdam. This is so, especially when you are unfamiliar with the roads and fellow Amsterdammers.

The bike rental shop will have one available for you for a small extra charge.

15 | Do not imitate the Amsterdammers!

cycling in Amsterdam

The cyclists in Amsterdam are notorious and well-known for breaking the rules. Weaving through cycle lanes, cycling through red traffic lights, cycling without lights at night, eating and drinking while cycling, riding with one hand and holding an umbrella in another with no helmets! Don’t follow them!

16 | Biking directions | Smartphone Apps for cycling in Amsterdam

There are many smartphone apps in the Apple Appstore and in the Google Android PlayMarket designed for cyclists. Some are specifically designed for cycle-touring the Netherlands and available in Dutch . There are some that are useful for non-Dutch speakers also. Some of these apps require internet connection for it to work, and we known that this is not always possible when you are cycling in open spaces, countryside or rural areas. The following two apps, one for within range of a cell tower and the other is an offline app which could be something you may want to consider:

16.1 | Google Maps

Google maps is my go-to app whenever I am out and about. Google has its own proprietary data and the quality of the maps and directions are detailed. It is an app, without which I would be completely lost navigating my way around a foreign city or driving in another country. However, the downside is, google maps requires an internet connection. It may not always be possible to connect to a cell tower when you are out of the city and you would not want to hike-up your data usage when abroad. For this reason, the offline maps.me is a useful tool to consider.

16.2 | MAPS.ME App

Maps.me was formerly known as MapsWithMe and is a mobile app for Android, iOS and Blackberry. It is free and internet connection is not required which is really handy when you are cycling in Amsterdam or the rural areas of the Netherlands. In fact, maps.me is increasingly becoming a favourite for adventurers.

In relation to quality of content, Maps.me takes a universal approach by using opensource OpenStreetMap data. It is completely community driven where the content is developed by passionate individuals who readily and willingly contribute to the growing list of local knowledge.

The main benefit of maps.me is the offline feature. You could download the maps and store it onto your device. You will always have access to the maps, location and local resources such as hiking trails, driving directions, cycle routes. The maps.me app also allows searches by name, street or co-ordinates. You could search for hotels, points of interests, and so much more.

The only thing you need remember is to ensure that your device is charged so that you can access the app when you are on the road.

Download maps.me

17 | General information for cyclists cycling in Amsterdam

In the Netherlnds, there are currently twenty-six long-distance cycling routes and many smaller ones to make up longer journeys. If you decide to go beyond cycling in Amsterdam, the following websites may be useful:

17.1 | The ANWB

The Royal Dutch Automobile Association, simply known as the ANWB is a travellers association in the Netherlands supporting all modes of transport. Their information centres, ‘VVV’ is the place to go to for all of your information on cycling. You can pick a cycling route map here to plan your cycling in Amsterdam.

The ANWB has developed an app allowing for cyclists to plan their route using node numbers. It also includes descriptions of sights and places to eat.

Navigate to the ANWB – the site is in Dutch, just Google translate to read in English

Alternatively, you could pick-up a cycling map published by ANWB right here by clicking the image link below:

17.2 | Fietsrouteplanner

The Fietsrouteplanner is a great site to go to for mapping your cycle journey. Although this site is in Dutch, you could select the Google translate option to English. Set your marker on the starting point and a red ‘flag’ appears which you use to select your end point. You could also select any points to go via and map your route.

Navigate to Fietsrouteplanner here.

17.3 | I Amsterdam Visitor Centre

The I Amsterdam Visitor Centre is a tourist information office located in the heart of the city. Here, you can pick up various cycle route map for cycling in Amsterdam. Staff are friendly and helpful.

I Amsterdam Visitor Centre, Stationsplein 10, 1012 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands

17.4 | Amenities

There are not many public amenities available along the Dutch cycling route, so ensure you map your route to reach a town or village where you could visit.

17.5 | Resources – guide books and maps

The following useful resources may be handy – available in print and Kindle version:

18 | Renting a bike in Amsterdam

As a cycle city, Amsterdam has a number of bike rental shops and you are never too far away from one. There are number of bike rental shops which you could go to on the day or you may want to do the easy wayprebook your rental and pick it up from the various locations to suit your itinerary.

Recommended read: Rent a bike in Amsterdam Green City

Here are some suggestions for you if you would like to visit a bike rental venue.

Green Bikes Haarlem, Kruisweg 30, 2011 LC HAARLEM

Dutch Pedelec Tours, Flevoland 11, 1948 RH BEVERWIJK

Yellow Bike Rental Central Station, Nieuwezijds Kolk 29, 1012 PV AMSTERDAM

19 | Independent cycling in Amsterdam or small group guided cycling tour – which is for you?

If you are a skillful cyclists and can endure the craziness of the Amsterdammers 🙂 then by all means, go out there and have a splendid time. On the other hand, if you are unsure and feel that being with fellow cyclists may be better for you, then joining a small group guided bicycle tour led by an experienced guide is the best option for you.

The benefits of a small group guided cycling tour includes but not limited to, are:

i | Biclycle rental;

ii | Guide to where to park your bicycle;

iii | Led by an experienced guide;

iv | Cycle paths that are away from major traffic areas so you feel confident riding at your pace;

v | The benefits of travelling in a group – shared interests and fun.

There are a number of bike tours which you could sign-up to – from private tours to group tours, and from exploring hidden gems to food & drinks tour. Select what best suits you from this dedicated page.


On a final note

Cycling in Amsterdam city is not for everyone! You need to be careful even as you walk the narrow streets of the capital city not to be run over by the sophisticated cyclists. It certainly was not for me!

While I very much wanted to tick off cycling in Amsterdam city from my bucket list of experiences, I was much too overwhelmed and certainly did not feel confident to embark on this adventure, after almost run over twice. No, not on this occasion. Cycling beyond the city in the outskirts at my own pace is more my kind of fun and adventure.

Though I did not bicycle in the Dutch capital, I feel compelled to share my observations of the cyclists and of the city’s overall cycling culture along with my extensive research which I undertook in preparation for my cycling adventure. I share these to support your cycling trip, should you elect to do so and sincerely wish the 19 useful tips for an enriched experience of cycling in Amsterdam is valuable to you in planning your visit.

In preparation for your trip to Amsterdam, you may like to read the following articles also:

Delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam
28 best things to do in Amsterdam
Beautiful places to stay in Amsterdam

Find all of the above and more plus the latest articles on Amsterdam by navigating to this dedicated page > Ultimate Travel Guide to the Best of Amsterdam.


Stay Connected


Have a splendid time exploring and cycling in Amsterdam!

xoxo

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

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Cycling in Amsterdam-19 useful tips for an enriched experience first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Cycling in Amsterdam is one of the best ways to experience the Dutch culture. However, don't imitate the Amsterdammers! Here are 19 tips for an enriched cycling experience in the city of the free! |Cycling in Amsterdam | What to do when cycling in Amsterdam | Amsterdam tips | Visit Amsterdam | Renting a bike in Amsterdam | Cycling tips in Amsterdam | Can tourists cycle in Amsterdam | Explore hidden gems with a cycle tour | Cycling independently and what you need to know | Explore Amsterdam with a bike | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Cycling in Amsterdam is one of the best ways to experience the Dutch culture. However, don't imitate the Amsterdammers! Here are 19 tips for an enriched cycling experience in the city of the free! |Cycling in Amsterdam | What to do when cycling in Amsterdam | Amsterdam tips | Visit Amsterdam | Renting a bike in Amsterdam | Cycling tips in Amsterdam | Can tourists cycle in Amsterdam | Explore hidden gems with a cycle tour | Cycling independently and what you need to know | Explore Amsterdam with a bike | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 best rewarding ways

Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 best rewarding ways

Experience a piece of Dutch culture like never before and explore Amsterdam by bike. There are many bike-friendly routes around Amsterdam city that takes you through the city’s historic and cultural sights such as the Dam Square, Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank House. Exploring Amsterdam by bike is economical. It is also a fast way of discovering the green city, both the hidden and the best of the beaten-track in a few hours.

You can explore Amsterdam by bike in two rewarding ways:

1 |Independently and/or

2 | By guided bike tours.

This article sets out suggestions on the various options available to you to explore Amsterdam by bike along with useful cycling tips to be aware of for a safe bicycling experience.

Whilst we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

Amsterdam by bike

Exploring Amsterdam by bike independently

Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 rewarding ways

With almost 500 kilometres of cycling routes in and around the city, exploring Amsterdam by bike independently is a must-do activity for avid cyclists. Cycling through cobbled streets, quaint bridges, canals and colourful terraces that defines this green city along with 100 km of canals and its close proximity to the North Sea, is a rewarding experience in itself. The outstanding network of cycle paths extends outwards and you can explore for hours or days.

Head southwards along River Amstel to the picturesque town of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (9 kilometres) for a slice of riverside living. While exploring the south of the city, Amsterdamse Bos is the destination to fuel your lust for nature.

Traffic-free cycle paths abound as you venture outwards of Amsterdam city and towards the rural areas. It is an aesthetic wonder, much defined by serene and charming waterways.

Here are 5 of the best ideas to explore Amsterdam by bike independently:

1 | Amstel River

Amsterdam.responsible tourism

Exploring Amsterdam by bike along the Amstel River is one of the most scenic adventures to undertake. The route takes you through the heart of town, passing through some old and new architecture, residential estates, cheese farms and the picturesque village of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. The route is 27 kilometres, beginning from the north of Amstel River, (from which Amsterdam derives its name) near Amsterdam Centrum. Follow the waterways. You may have to walk your bike some of the way, a perfect opportunity for you to stop and get some photos.

2 | Zuid and Amsterdamse Bos

Amsterdam Zuid is located to the south and southwest of Singelgracht canal with Amsterdamse Bos lying on the edge of the city. The Dutch Forest is a haven of tranquility amidst evergreens and lakes. You may want to take a picnic with you so you could peaceful setting before returning to the buzz of the city.

3 | Flowers of Amsterdam

When you think of flowers in the Netherlands – you think of tulips! Right? When in Amsterdam, you could begin your flower cycle route from the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market) in the city and continue on to end in Aalsmeer, near the largest flower auction in the world.

4 | Oost and Ijburg

If you want to see some modern architecture while you explore Amsterdam by bike, then this is the route for you. Start you journey from De Goodyer Windmill through the eastern area of Amsterdam, arriving at IJburg. A beautiful water route, and man-made islands.

5 | Haarlem, Amsterdam by bike

Haarlem, a historic town and a coastal area on the west of Amsterdam is worth exploring by bike. Located about 25 kilometres from the centre of Amsterdam, you will cycle through some of the busiest parts of Amsterdam. Do take care when you ride.


For more scenic routes to explore Amsterdam by bike independently, go to Royal Dutch Automobile Association, simply known as ANWB for guides and maps to design your very own adventure.


Exploring Amsterdam by bike via group cycle tours

Cycling in Amsterdam

There are several options for you to discover Amsterdam by bike if you wish to explore in a group.

1 | Central Amsterdam by bike small group tour

Explore the heart of the city of Amsterdam by bike with an experienced guide. Your journey begins from Central Station, Amsterdam and the highlights of this tour includes:

What to expect:

i | Ride to the western islands , passing through some charming drawbridges and warehouses;

ii | Continue on along Brouwersgracht Canal and visit the trendy Jordaan and 9 Street districts passing through trendy boutiques, and hip eateries;

iii | Enjoy a ride through the famous Museum Quarter, with Westerkerk and Anne Frank’s house in sight, enroute to Vondelpark, the most famous park in Amsterdam.

iv | After a pleasant break in the park, you will circle back to the Museum Quarter but this time passing through Bohemian-influenced De Pijp neighborhood;

v | You will cross the iconic Magere Brug (skinny bridge) over River Amstel before arriving at Maritime Quarter, where you can view the replica of a 17th-century Dutch East Indian Company ship at the Salt Harbour.

vi | You will be guided back to your starting point;

vii | Duration: 3 hours

Live Guide: Available in English, German and Dutch.

Instant confirmation + Mobile ticketing.

Central Amsterdam by bike small group tour includes:

English or German-speaking guide

Small tour group (15 people max)

Bicycle

Helmet

Stroopwafel

Bottled water

Audio guide app (if audio guide tour option selected)

NOT INCLUDED:

Additional food and drinks;

Tips.

NOT SUITABLE

Children under 12 years

Pregnant women

People with mobility impairments

People who can’t ride a bike

Wheelchair users

LEARN MORE & BOOK > Central Amsterdam by bike small group tour

2 | Private bike tour of Ijburg districk – up to 10 people from € 250

Admire the contemporary houses and housing blocks of Ijburg;

Cycle the bike friendly streets and bridges of Amsterdam’s newest neighborhood;

Cross to the Steigereiland (Pier Island) to experience the Collage City Concept;

Marvel at colorful and do-it-yourself houses;

Find out why one of the new bridges is called “Dolly Parton Bridge”;

Pedal the grid-like streets of Haveneiland;

Discover the floating houses of IJburg;

Learn more and Book > Private bike tour of Ijburg districk – up to 10 people from € 250

3 | Amsterdam City Sightseeing tour by bike – 3 hours

practical travel information for Amsterdam

See the major attractions in Amsterdam by bike led by an experienced guide. Begin your journey in downtown Amsterdam and weave through the streets like a local!

What to expect:

i | Explore Amsterdam like a local on a bike tour;

ii | Follow designated bike paths from Dam Square to monuments such as Nieuwe Kerk, Royal Palace and National Monument.

iii | Stop to take photographs;

iv | Learn about the city’s history while you explore Amsterdam by bike;

v | Continue to the beautiful floating flower market of the Bloemenmarkt. 

vi | Pedal along the banks of the historic canals in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Canal Belt.

vii | Admire the 19th-century merchant houses and take a break in Museumplein, where you will find the iconic I Amsterdam sign in bold letters. 

viii | Use of a bike for the duration of the tour.

Not suitable:

Children under 12 years

Pregnant women

People with mobility impairments

People who can’t ride a bike

Wheelchair users.

Learn more and Book > Amsterdam City Sightseeing Tour by Bike

4 | Explore Amsterdam by bike – Backstreets and Hidden gems

eco-friendly Amsterdam | rent a bike in Amsterdam

Explore the backstreets and hidden gems of Amsterdam by bike in this 3-hour guided tour

What to expect:

i | Experience Amsterdam like a local with a grassroots bike tour company, Meet your guide to collect your bikes, and head off to find some of the city’s hidden gems.

ii | Start with the popular Jordaan area, riding the safe backstreets to cross over canals. Your guide will take you to courtyards and churches often missed by tourists, telling you the origin and history of each site along the way.

iii | End your tour of the Jordaan area at Anne Frank’s House, and learn about one of Amsterdam’s most famous and heroic former residents.

iv | After a relaxing break in a charming café, cycle to the Vondelpark for a ride in Amsterdam’s favorite urban oasis.

v | Next, go to Museum Square (Museumplein) to learn about the city’s most popular cultural attractions, such as the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Concertgebouw.

Not suitable:

Children under 12 years

Pregnant women

People with mobility impairments

People who can’t ride a bike

Wheelchair users.

Learn more and Book > Explore Amsterdam by bike – Backstreets and Hidden gems

**Guided tours offered by our trusted partner – Get Your Guide


Whilst there are recommended cycle routes which you could explore independently, and cycling in Amsterdam with a group are both fun adventures to undertake, you may want to be aware about the following 6 useful tips for a safe cycling experience:

Useful tips for safe ways to explore Amsterdam by bike

1 | Adhere to traffic rules and regulations

Ensure you are familiar to the traffic rules and regulations in the Netherlands and Amsterdam city in relation to cyclists. In particular a working bicycle bell that can be heard by other traffic users who are at least 25 metres, working lights and reflectors which are mandatory for night-time cycling. As well, keep to the right side of the road and don’t ride on the pavements. Peruse the comprehensive guide on Traffic Signs and Regulations in the Netherlands, download the PDF to peruse.

2 | Avoid the Tram rails if you can!

You just need to be careful not to get your wheels stuck in the tram rails. Ensure you cross the tram rails at an angle.

3 | Bike parking policy in Amsterdam

Amsterdam.noparking.sign
No bike parking sign in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a strict bike parking policy! You must not park where there are ‘No bike parking’ sign and words Verboden fietsen te plaatsenand. There are exclusion zones for bike parking areas around train and public transport hubs, so ensure you do not park here.

4 | Park bicycles in designated guarded parking facilities

Theft of bicycles in Amsterdam is high!

You are strongly advised to use one of the guarded parking facilities provided by the Amsterdam City Council. To learn more, visit the Amsterdam City Council web page to locate guarded parking facilities dotted around the city.

5 | Lock your bicycles!

cycling in Amsterdam | cycle locks

Do remember to lock your bicycle at all times when not in use by using certified locks. Certified locks can be purchased from any of the bicycle shops in Amsterdam city. They are little more expensive than ordinary locks but it is worth it.

Lock, securing your bicycle frame to a bike rack or a solid metal post.

6 | Insurance

Ensure your travel insurance cover your bicycle and cycling activities whilst on holiday in Amsterdam or wider Netherlands.

NB: Avoid rush hours and take a poncho with you – it does rain in Amsterdam!


Highly recommended read – Cycling in Amsterdam – 19 Useful tips for an enriched experience – next post.


Have fun exploring Amsterdam by bike!

xoxo

Quick facts on Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam on world map
52° 22′ 40.6416” N and 4° 53′ 49.4520” E
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam flag
Amsterdam Coat of Arms
Amsterdam Coat of Arms

City: Capital of Netherlands

Population: 1,149,000

Mayor: Femke Halsema (since 2018)

Zone: Central European Time Zone | Central European Summer Time

Elevation: -2m (-7ft) – Dam Square

Nearest Airport: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS)

Train Station: Amsterdam Centraal Station

Travel advice Netherlands

Travelling from UK to Netherlands

Amsterdam | See and Do | rent a bike
Amsterdam Bos Netherlands
canal biking in Amsterdam

More on Amsterdam

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Beautiful places to stay in Amsterdam
28 best things to do in Amsterdam
Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City

Learn more about Amsterdam in Best of Amsterdam

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Amsterdam by bike
Amsterdam by bike

Explore Amsterdam by bike in 2 best rewarding ways first published at timelesstravelsteps.com

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Explore Amsterdam by bike | 2 ways to explore Amsterdam by bike | Cycle routes | Bike tours | Visit Europe's famous cycle city | Amsterdam | Amsterdam city | Weekend in Amsterdam | 48 hours in Amsterdam | Visit Amsterdam | Netherlands | Tours to in Amsterdam | A tourist in Amsterdam | Guided tours in Amsterdam | Things to do in Amsterdam | What to do in Amsterdam | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/Explore Amsterdam by bike | 2 ways to explore Amsterdam by bike | Cycle routes | Bike tours | Visit Europe's famous cycle city | Amsterdam | Amsterdam city | Weekend in Amsterdam | 48 hours in Amsterdam | Visit Amsterdam | Netherlands | Tours to in Amsterdam | A tourist in Amsterdam | Guided tours in Amsterdam | Things to do in Amsterdam | What to do in Amsterdam | via @GGeorgina_timelesstravelsteps/

Fun Canal Biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight

Fun Canal biking in Amsterdam | 7 reasons to explore Amsterdam’s sustainable highlight

Have a unique, fun experience exploring the historic canals of the Dutch capital at leisure. Reduce your carbon footprint by canal biking in Amsterdam.


Canal biking in Amsterdam
Amsterdam centrum

A remarkable city built on waters, Amsterdam boasts all manner of canal cruises with its 200 tour boats, captivating the interests and imagination of its 3 million or so visitors each year. The cruises encompass large tourist boats, smaller boats with fewer passenger, open-top boats, boats with buffet lunch or boats on private hire. Therefore, when visiting Amsterdam, canal cruises are an absolute must experience activity.

Alongside canal cruises, canal biking is an eco-friendly activity that is popular and fun to experience whilst reducing your carbon footprint.

In this simple guide, you shall find 7 reasons on Why canal biking in Amsterdam is worth exploring and how you could experience canal biking in Amsterdam for timeless memories.

While we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.

Why Canal biking in Amsterdam is worth exploring

canal biking in Amsterdam

Canal biking in Amsterdam has been a popular activity since 1984 and is a great way to experience the canal city from the waters.

Rent a canal bike (pedal boats, pedalos) and head out to the waters by yourself, with your special someone or a group of friends for a truly personal experience of the canals. There is nothing quite like experiencing the city of canals from the waters. Enjoy the gentle breeze, summer sunshine, shades of the setting sun along with the spectacular views of the houseboats, incredible architecture of the gable-houses and the numerous bridges you shall pass under – all at your own pace.

canal biking in Amsterdam
Bridges in Amsterdam

Here are 7 reasons why canal biking is worth exploring:

1 | Pedal power!

These engine-free boats are a remarkable sustainable highlight. With zero emission, not only do they contribute to the green environment but it is also a great opportunity for a simple workout. Moreover, if your feet tire, you could always swap with the others in the group.

2 | Noise-free

Engine-free boats means these are also noise-free! No engine-sounds to overcome when you speak or to endure during your cruise.

3 | Pedal at your own pace