Explore Amsterdam by bike

The "Cycling Capital of the World" is one of Amsterdam's many nicknames, and with good reason: almost 600,000 bicycles roam the streets of the Dutch capital every day. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of a local and discover the city, there is nothing better than renting a bike and voluntarily getting lost in Amsterdam's alleyways.

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Amsterdam and cycling: a love story

In the Netherlands, more than a quarter of journeys are made by bicycle, compared with just 3% in France. This is due to the very flat topography of the Netherlands, but also to the geographical constraints of the country, coupled with a high population density, which limits urban sprawl and road building. The Amsterdammers' love affair with the bicycle dates back to the 19th century, when they saw it as a means of transport accessible to all, but also as a symbol of strength, balance and freedom, so much so that even the royal family got involved: hence the expression "little queen"!

Amstellodammers get around mainly by bike.

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During the First World War, the Dutch were subject to the British blockade of Germany and were deprived of petrol, which led to a further increase in the use of bicycles. Since then, the Dutch love affair with the bicycle has continued to grow. The country, and Amsterdam even more so, is perfectly suited to the practice of two-wheeled transport. It's the best way to get around the narrow streets of the capital, and almost everyone in Amsterdam owns (at least) one. Whether it's raining, blowing or snowing, the locals get around by bike.

Bicycles strapped to a bridge in Amsterdam.

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Our favourite hotel in Amsterdam

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Where and how to rent a bike in Amsterdam?

As you can probably imagine, it's pretty easy to hire a bike in Amsterdam, just look out for the word ' fiet' - Dutch for bike - on shop signs. They can be found all over the city, but are most concentrated near Amsterdam Central Station, Dam Square and Leidseplein.

Tourists on bicycles in Amsterdam.

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Our favorite guided bike tour of Amsterdam Amsterdam

Our favorite guided bike tour of Amsterdam

This guided walk allows you to discover all the secrets of Amsterdam using the locals' favorite means of transport. A most pleasant walk!
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Practical information for visiting Amsterdam by bike

You can, of course, book your bike hire online or go directly to a hire shop. Whichever you choose, be sure to visit Amsterdam by bike, a must-do activity on a trip to the Netherlands!

👛 Bike hire prices in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, hiring a bike costs around €8 for three hours and between €10 and €15 for a day. The I amsterdam City Card also entitles you to discounts on bike hire in certain shops.

👉 Good to know: if you're staying for a few days, it may be cheaper tobuy a second-hand bike!

A woman on a bicycle in Amsterdam.

- © Shawn Eastman Photography / Shutterstock

You can, of course, book your bike hire online or go directly to a rental shop. Whatever you choose, be sure to visit Amsterdam by bike, an essential activity during your stay in the Netherlands!

Price of bike rental in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, renting a bike costs around £7 for three hours and between £9 and £13 for a day. Good to know: if you are staying for a few days, it might be cheaper to buy a second-hand bike! With the I amsterdam City Card, you can also benefit from discounts on bike hire in certain shops.

Some tips for your Amsterdam bike tour

  • In Amsterdam, everyone has their own path: stay in the cycle lane and don't spill out onto the road or pavement. Be careful though, as tourists can cross the path at any time.
  • Wearing a helmet is not compulsory but highly recommended.
  • To turn left, wave your hand to indicate your intention and let other vehicles pass, they have priority.
  • To avoid theft, secure your bike in a designated area and prefer well-frequented places. Also, choose a dark-coloured bike.
  • If you get a flat tyre, you can have it re-inflated at any bicycle shop. Most Amsterdammers also have a pump with them.
  • Watch out for the tram tracks!
by Jude JONES
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