Top 5 Places To Cycle In Amsterdam

There are nearly as many bikes in Amsterdam as there are people – so there’s little excuse for not taking to two wheels to explore the city on a holiday here. Take a look at our guide to find out exactly where you should go on your bike.

Vondelpark

This is among the most popular places to visit for local residents and tourists alike – and it’s a great area to head to if you’re exploring Amsterdam on a bike.

There’s lots to see as you cycle around Vondelpark, including a rose garden containing 70 varieties of the flower and plenty of quirky street performers.

You could stop for a moment to check out the open air theatre, or swap your bike for rollerskates for another speedy way of getting around the park.

Along The Waterfront

A great way to see just how Amsterdam has changed over the centuries is to cycle along the waterfront.

The southern section in particular offers a fascinating insight into the city’s more modern developments, although you’ll start to see more of a combination of old and new architecture as you head further west.

Look out for the old harbor and buildings made from what looks like lots of brightly-coloured shipping containers, which were designed by local architecture practice MVRDV.

The Nieuwmarkt

The Nieuwmarkt is the place to go for a taste of Amsterdam’s multicultural lifestyle.

This old district is named after the marketplace that was built after the waterways here were filled in during the 17th century, and has seen many fascinating buildings and attractions spring up over the years.

One highlight is the 15th-century De Waag building, which houses a cafe and restaurant and is a superb example of medieval Dutch architecture.

Make sure your cycling route also takes you past the Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple – or Zeedijk Temple – to see Europe’s biggest Buddhist temple and visit Chinatown to sample some incredible east Asian food.

Want to explore further? The notorious red light district is just next door to the Nieuwmarkt. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not all sex shops and prostitutes here.

In fact, the area is Amsterdam’s oldest district and is home to a wealth of fascinating sights, including independent boutiques, leaning gabled homes and pretty canals.

Waterland District

If you fancy getting out of the city for a while, cycle north to the Waterland district.

Here, you’ll ride past picturesque villages, working fishing towns and large swathes of green land to get a real taste of Dutch country life.

Don’t miss Broek’s wooden houses – which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries – and the yacht harbour at Monnickendam.

You can also take a break from cycling and hop on a boat or scooter for a unique way to see the region.

Westerpark

Yes, another park, but one that is perfect for people-watching. Westerpark is a great place to relax in, especially after it recently underwent regeneration.

Lots of cultural events take place here throughout the year, and you might spot some particularly quirky art exhibits as you cycle around the park (take a closer look at any bodies of water here – you never know what you might find lurking in their depths!).

If all of this has whetted your appetite for a cycling break in Amsterdam, why not seize the moment and book now?

(photo credits: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5)

14 Responses to Top 5 Places To Cycle In Amsterdam

  1. Scarlett Wonderland May 15, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    A cycle along the waterfront sounds perfect! x

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog May 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      It’s definitely one of the best ways to see the best of Amsterdam, and to really soak up the vibe.

  2. Ava Apollo May 15, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    I love cities where bikes rule the road. It was like that where I attended University and it was so nice! Except when it rained…not as nice then.

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog May 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Me too, I prefer taking the bike over any other transport as long as it’s not raining.

      The crazy thing about Amsterdam is that people there bike in any weather, even when it’s pouring down with rain – and they don’t even seem bothered about it!

  3. Jeremy Branham May 17, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    I’ve been to Amsterdam but haven’t used a bike. On my next trip there, I will definitely need to explore on two wheels! :)

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog May 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      I would definitely recommend it. You can rent them in many places around town, we got our bikes from Mikes Bikes, it cost about €8 for a day.

  4. Liikkua.com May 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    I’ve always wanted to go to Amsterdam and I hear this is one of the things you must do while there! Thank you for you tips on where to cycle.

    -Shawn Blair @twitter-295723843:disqus

    • Sofia - As We Travel Blog May 24, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      You’re welcome! Amsterdam is a great city, and the best way to see it is definitely by bike.

  5. Dan June 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    The canals get most of the attention but I really love the parks of Amsterdam and its greenspace – Vondelpark is great for biking, jogging or a walk. Cycling in this city isn’t for the faint of heart or non adventurous (motorbikes share the bike lanes!) but a great way “to do as the locals”

    • Sofia @ As We Travel June 27, 2012 at 4:23 am #

      Yes, the parks are really beautiful, great places to relax and hang out. Vondelpark is my favorite, too.

      I didn’t think much about the motorbikes, what concerned me the most was knowing which streets you were allowed to bike on and not.

      I saw a couple of people getting fined by the “bike police” while there, so you have to be a little bit careful!

  6. Sjok June 16, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Funny those last 2 pics say nothing about the topic :)

  7. Cristina June 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    It sounds so perfect! I’ve cycled in Edam but would love try these new spots!

    • Sofia @ As We Travel June 27, 2012 at 4:26 am #

      Yes, definitely try some of these places next time. I’ve never biked in Edam, it seems beautiful though!