Biking & Bike Rental in Amsterdam

The Netherlands is a country of cycling. There are more than 23 million bicycles for a population of 17 million! Rent a bike in Amsterdam, and it makes navigating the area that much simpler and more adventurous. The Jordaan is the nicest and most fantastic neighborhood to bike around!

Biking in Amsterdam, however, comes with a number of rules. For example: use the bike lanes, look out for the tram tracks, always make space for others, and always lock your bike.

If you don't you feel good on a bike, don't bike in Amsterdam! Opt for public transports or explore the city on foot to avoid accidents or unpleasant situations.

Try out some biking tours or check our recommended bike rentals.

Did you know that the I am Amsterdam city card includes bike rentals, access to over 70 museums and top attractions in Amsterdam, canal cruises and public transport by metro, tram, bus and ferry?

Our tips for a safe ride in Amsterdam:

1. Know where you can ride

Amsterdam’s 400 kilometers (249 miles) of cycle lanes and paths (fietspaden) make city cycling safe. They generally pass around the right side of the streets. There are just two-way lanes on one side. They normally feature white lines and bike symbols painted on the road or on the reddish-colored route.

2. Watch out for the signs

Amsterdam traffic uses the right side of the lane, including bicycles. Most streets in the historic core and around the canals have no cycle paths at all. Only travel here with the traffic, or stand on the right to let the motorists past. Big cars and vans are usually going to follow you.

  • Traffic lights for bikes: these signs feature red, yellow and green light in the form of a bicycle at each of the main intersections. Trams and other traffic have their own lights that don’t always match.
  • Designated Bike Path / Route: this is a circular sign with a blue backdrop and a white bike. It means a bike lane or a driveway.
  • Bikes / Scooters Except: a sign with the word uitgezonderd (“except”) and a bike / scooter icon indicates that bikers are an exception to the otherwise stated traffic laws.

3. Don’t imitate locals

Local Amsterdam bikers appear to be unaware of red lights. They carry friends on the backs of their bicycles. Without warning, they zip past fellow bikers. They do not use night lights, which are mandated by statute. They talk on the phone while weaving through the crowds.

4. Use hand signals

Using hand signs as you change direction. Only point the way you want to go. This is going to let motorists and other bikers know whether to give up or not to overtake you on that foot. And remember: there’s nothing wrong with getting off the bike and cycling around crowded areas.

5. Always lock your bike

Never leave your bike unlocked, not even for a minute. Cycle theft in Amsterdam is a concern, but this can be avoided.

Lock the bike to a fixed device such as a bike stand, a post or a bridge with a heavy chain or a U-lock. Place the lock between the frame and the front wheel.

Look for signs that say “Here geen fietsen plaatsen — Don’t put bicycles here. “If you miss them, your bike may get taken by the police.