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 citywalking tours in Amsterdam for timeless memories.
1 | Introduction to and Highlights of 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
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:
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!
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 dedicatedcycle 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 thebustling 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 experiencefor 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.
1 | Road signs, Traffic rules and regulations when 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
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.
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 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
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.
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
One of the best things to do to avoid an unpleasant experience such as theft is to lock your bicycleat 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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 way – prebook your rental and pick it up from the various locations to suit your itinerary.
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:
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.
Exploring Amsterdam by bike independently
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
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.
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)
Audio guide app (if audio guide tour option selected)
4 | Explore Amsterdam by bike – Backstreets and Hidden gems
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.
**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 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
Do remember to lock your bicycleat 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.
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 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.
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
Views of Amsterdam’s historic buildings such as Anne Frank’s House, the Old City gates, the skinny bridge, the old tower and so many more are truly stunning. The experience is more rewarding when seen unhurried and self-guided, minus the sounds of the engine. You pedal your way around the canals as fast or as leisurely as you wish.
Suggestion: Pedal boat hire are usually for 1 hour or 1.5 hour but you could always hire the boat for longer by paying a little more.
4 | Money saver
Pedal boats are not only good for the environment but it is also less expensive than a canal boat tour – best of both worlds 🙂
Prices start from € 25.00 per group up to four persons and you may not pay anything if you book through your I Amsterdam City Card.
5 | Fun and close comfort for family
Most pedalos are equipped for four passengers, perfect for small groups.
Pedalling your way around the canals of Amsterdam is certainly a fun way to explore with family and friends. Being in close comfort of each other is definitely more enjoyable for the kids. This also means no unwanted or unpleasant company!
6 | Canal biking in Amsterdam come rain or shine!
Canal biking in Amsterdam is perfect for the summer. Even so, it does rain in this beautiful city. A waterproof hood is fixed onto the tour boat so, you could explore the canals unhindered. However, keep your ponchos handy as the sides are not covered and you may still need put your ponchos on.
7 | Flexibility canal biking in Amsterdam
Maps, directions, instructions and sailing tips are provided so you could navigate with confidence. There are four suggested routes to take ensuring you see all the major sights!
There are 100 pedalos that can be rented from four locations around the city. You have the flexibility to rent the pedal boat from one location and drop-it off at another.
How to experience canal biking in Amsterdam for timeless memories
There are 2 ways to experience canal biking in Amsterdam – by prior booking a pedal boat rental for your group, use your I Amsterdam City Card and enjoy a free ride and turn-up on the day and purchase your ride.
**Terms and Conditions apply with the I Amsterdam City Card.
1 | Book a pedal boat rental online
Choose a 1 hour or 1.5 hour rental. Customise the route to suit your interests.
What you need to know:
i | You’ll receive a free guidebook containing a map and canal routes around the city;
ii | Customise your route to see the city’s highlights – the Rijksmuseum, the Anne Frank House, the Skinny Bridge, and the Amstel River, as well as other attractions such as the Mint Tower, St. Nicholas Church, the Golden Bend, the Royal Palace, the National Monument, Albert Cuyp Market, and the old city gates.
iii | Wi-Fi access is available at the point of departure via the Canal Network;
iv | There is a 20€ deposit per pedal boat;
v | If you decide to return the boat to a different location there is 20€ charge.
What the pedal boat rental includes:
i | Pedal boat rental for the duration;
ii | Free guidebook
iii | Free Wi-Fi at the tour operator’s mooring and shops
Not included with the pedal boat rental:
Live tour guide
20€ deposit per canal bike (please pay on the day of your rental)
24 incredibly delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam that you must absolutely try!
Amsterdam is not known for its food cuisine but a unique culinary experience awaits any hungry traveller. From croquettes in a vending machine to an unending parade of rijsttafel at a high-end restaurant, Amsterdam’s food culture is simply beyond the humble stroopwafel and liquorice drops. Here are the Best 24 experiences of delicious Dutch culture food in Amsterdam that you must absolutely try!
Whilst we work hard to be accurate, and provide the best information possible, we also encourage you to please always check before heading out.
Savoury on-the-go food in Amsterdam
1 | Dutch chunky fries!
The Dutch have many versions of fries or ‘patat’ as they call it, but the real “Dutch chunky fries” is no ordinary fries! This carb-heavy classic Dutch fast–food in Amsterdam is created with several unusual combination of ingredients which are not usually regarded as complementary to each other but strangely satisfying on a bed of Dutch Chunky Fries 🙂
Ask for a ‘patatje oorlog‘ for a heart-warming bed of chunky french-fries, topped with raw onions and mayonnaise plus the added “special ingredient” – spicy peanut satay sauce. This mélange might seem unbelievably strange to a non-Amsterdammer but the ingredients work surprisingly well together, piping hot, hearty, salty and spicy – a must-try at least once kind of food in Amsterdam.
If spicy peanut sauce are not to your taste buds, ask for ‘patat speciaale’ for a mix of curry ketchup, mayonnaise and raw onions.
This quick, hearty, classic Dutch dish comes traditionally served in a paper cone, which makes it perfect to fuel a hungry traveller on a day-long discovery of unmissable things to do in Amsterdam.
Best places to try this incredible feast, delicious chunky fries that are fresh and homemade are:
GrizzlGelderlandplein, Willem van Weldammelaan, 9A 1082 KT Amsterdam
Bitterballen – the ultimate in Dutch pub food! They are deep-fried, crispy meatballs and traditionally served with mustard for dipping. The ‘bitterbal’ is made-up of a thick ragout, comprising a soft mixture of beef, beef broth, butter, thickening flour and spices. These are then coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried. These tasty meatballs go very well with a pint or two of Dutch craft beer. You can find these in practically every drinking establishment in Amsterdam.
3 | Kroket
Kroket or croquettes, call them what you will but these are an institution in Dutch food – even available out of a vending machine in Amsterdam. The ‘kroket’ is a meat-filled sausage like roll coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried. The original Dutch kroket is made from beef or veal ragout but there are several versions of it available these days. You can find them as chicken-satay, goulash, shrimps or a vegetarian version. Kroket are an ideal on-the-go snack and often they are served on white bread or hamburger buns along with some mustard.
In Amsterdam, you are never too far away from tasting a kroket – they are readily available from regular snack-bars, cafés, restaurants, or McDonalds. They are regularly on offer in FEBO, a fast-food chain that sells snacks via coin-operated vending machines.
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Dutch Fish | Food in Amsterdam
4 | Raw Herring
Take a day-off sushi and try these heavenly Dutch delicacy instead…well, heavenly for some!
Raw herring is a Dutch delicacy and tastes absolutely divine with raw onions and pickles. The best way to experience it is to eat it like a local – hang onto the herring by its tail, lower it vertically into your mouth and take huge bites of it!
Head to a haringhandels (specialised herring carts) which are dotted around Amsterdam city to try this classic Dutch delicacy, usually costs anything between €3.00 to €5.00. Alternatively, ask for a ‘broodje haring‘ (herring sandwich) and enjoy the fish inside a soft and crispy roll.
Best time to try raw herring is said to be between May and July when the herring is at its sweetest and best.
5 | Kibbeling/Lekkerbekje
Kibbeling and Lekkerbekje are battered deep-fried white fish, most commonly cod or whiting sourced from the North Sea.
Kibbeling comes battered in chunks whereas Lekkerbekje are not. Both are absolutely delicious, served piping hot by the street vendors with mayonnaise herb sauce and lemon.
In Amsterdam, there is a kaas shop in every street, every corner and a few doors of each other. So, don’t go home without tasting some Edam, Gouda, Geitenkaas and Maasdammer.
Walk into a Henri Willig that is dotted around Amsterdam for a quick taste and guide to their wide selection of cheeses – from natural to smoked, herbs and garlic as well as chilli cheeses!
Next, visit the Reypenaer Tasting Room in Old Amsterdam for a professionally guided cheese tasting activity in a century-old warehouse.
Visit also Kaaskamer in Negen Straatjes (9 Streets) for cheeses from around Netherlands and the world.
If you want to learn more about the Dutch cheese, you could always venture out of Amsterdam a little and visit any of the top five cheese markets – Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn, Gouda and Woerden. Here, you can witness how cheese merchants had conducted their business for the last six-hundred years.
The Dutch breakfast!
6 | Ontbijtkoek
‘Ontbijtkoek’ literally translates to ‘breakfast cake’ though delicious at any time of the day with a scrumptious layer of butter. This Dutch and Flemish spiced cake, comes in loaves with the main ingredients consisting of rye and spiced with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.
Available in most hotels as breakfast item and you could buy them off a supermarket shelf.
7 | Hagelslag
Hagelslag is basically chocolate sprinkles on white bread with butter for breakfast – loved by both young and old! Found on breakfast tables in most hotels in Amsterdam.
8 | Pindakaas
Literally ‘peanut cheese’ but this is just peanut butter. The delicious creamy texture of pindakaas makes it more than just a spread. It is an essential breakfast item found on most breakfast tables in Amsterdam.
Desserts and sweet treats | Food in Amsterdam
9 | Dutch liquorice
The Dutch love their liquorice! Eating liquorice is sort of a national past-time here. Although the Dutch liquorice share many traits to similar sweets from around the world, the Dutch ‘drop’ is unlike the liquorice in other western countries. The ‘drop’ has a unique ingredient called salmiak that gives the ‘drop’ its distinctive salty taste. This unusual flavour gives the drop a subtle kick, balancing out the sweetness normally found in candies, giving ‘drop’ a moreish blend of flavours. The ‘drop’ comes in fun sizes, often in shapes of cut-up cylinders, smiley faces or cars. You can find them in every corner-shop, supermarkets, markets, candy-stores and gas stations.
10 | Stroopwafel
Famous world-over as a popular pastry from the Netherlands as a sweet treat, but nothing beats the freshly baked off a market stall in Amsterdam! Stroopwafel, originated in Gouda, a little town south of Amsterdam in the late 18th or early 19th century is a popular cookie eaten best with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Discovered by a baker using leftovers and breadcrumbs back in the day, the stroopwafel is made of stiff batter comprising of flour, eggs, yeast, butter, milk and brown sugar. Two thin layers of the waffles are stuck together with a layer of syrup.
The best stroopwafels can be found at Albert Cuypmarkt (from “the Guy in Cuyp” Melly’s and Dappermarkt. You could also visit a tearoom, Lanskroon, located at Singel 385 (near ‘het Spui’), Amsterdam.
The apple pie or appeltaart in Dutch is an impressive deep-dish apple-pie that is sold in every bakery and features in every cafe menu in Amsterdam. The apple-pie looks almost like a cake, infused with cinnamon, dotted with raisins and served with a generous scoop of whipped cream. Sometimes, the apple-pies are topped with chopped almonds. Apple pies are a popular comforting dessert in the Netherlands and the best in Amsterdam is said to be at Winkel 43, Jordaan neighbourhood.
12 | Bossche bol
The bossche bol is similar to the cream-filled, chocolate-glazed profiteroles but these are more circular in form, almost the size of a tennis ball, and completely covered in dark chocolate. The dessert originated in the city of Den Bosch in the early 20th century and had since, become a favourite national staple. You can find bossche bol in local cafes and eateries as a dessert option.
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13 | Pannenkoeken
Pannenkoeken is popular around the world and the Dutch version is rather large! Though large, they are thinner than the American pancake but thicker than the Frence crêpe. Dutch pancakes are made of flour, milk and eggs. They are available throughout the day and the Old Dutch Pancake House in Amsterdam Centrum does it light and crispy. You could have any toppings, from crispy bacon to fruits or simple syrup.
Tompouce is a heavy dessert! It is a popular food in Amsterdam and is essentially a cream sandwich where the cream is infused between two slabs of pastries, topped with bubblegum pink icing. The pink icing on top of the rectangular shaped cream-filled puff pastry is replaced with orange icing during the occasion of King’s Day, to honour the House of Orange-Nassau, the Dutch royal family. It is available in all good bakeries across Amsterdam but you could try Patisserie Holtkamp.
15 | Poffertjes
Poffertjes are a traditional Dutch treat. They are made of batter comprising of buckwheat flour and yeast, they look like mini pancakes but fluffier. They are typically served with a lump of butter and powdered sugar, readily available at restaurants and pancake house across Amsterdam. For best experience of fresh, hot buttery poffertjes, try them from a street market vendor during winter.
16 | Speculaas
If you are visiting Amsterdam in December, buy some freshly baked speculaas which are exceptionally popular among the Dutch during the festive period of Sinterklaasavond, the main gift-giving celebration in Netherlands. Speculaas are delicious, containing the aromatic festive spices of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, mixed with butter, flour and sugar into speculaas batter, then baked for their distinctive texture.
17 | Oliebollen
Oliebollen literally means ‘oil balls’ and is a traditional Dutch treat. They are deep fried sweet dumplings, sometimes containing fruit pieces, and dusted in powdered sugar, with taste similar to donuts. These small dumplings of wonder are usually served on New Year’s Eve. It is also a popular treat for Dutch families and are made at home during the winter months. You can buy them from the dozens of pop-up mobile vendors at the markets in Amsterdam during the holiday season.
The dough is made from flour, yeast, some salt, eggs, milk and baking powder.
18 | Boterkoek
The Boterkoek/butter cake is an all-time favourite of the Dutch. It is dense, buttery and sweet. Contains hardly anything else except for butter, sugar and flour. Vanilla and lemon zest is added for light flavour. Available in all good patisseries across Amsterdam – Patisserie Holtkamp in Amsterdam is a great place to try.