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.

This article and related articles are sprinkled with affiliate links. This means that we may earn a commission from qualified purchases and bookings at no additional cost to you. These links have no influence on the editorial content we produce.

BEST TIPS: Book tours and tickets in advance: Best tours in Amsterdam. Select the I Amsterdam City Card for free entrance to 60 museums, one free canal cruise, discounts and unlimited use of Amsterdam’s public transport. Discover what’s more is included.

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 artificial 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 in a Group Cycle Tour

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 in a 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)




Bottled water

Audio guide app (if audio guide tour option selected)


Additional food and drinks;



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

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!


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Amsterdam by Bike | timelesstravelsteps.com
Amsterdam by Bike | timelesstravelsteps.com