Cycle In Amsterdam Netherlands – 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.
Top 5 Places To Cycle In Amsterdam Netherlands
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. Cycling Vacation Amsterdam – Best With a Local
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.
Amsterdam Netherlands Waterfront
A great way to see just how Cycling Vacation Amsterdam – Best With a Local 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 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.
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.
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!).
Dealing With Organized Chaos in Amsterdam
Every time I go back to Amsterdam I leave loving the city even more.
It’s one of my favorite cities in Europe
It’s just such a spontaneous place, and it feels as if anything can happen here, but at the same time it feels… organized.
For me, Amsterdam is the perfect example of organized chaos.
I felt as though people were allowed to do what they wanted, just not exactly where they wanted.
They can smoke weed and eat space cakes – just not on the streets;
prostitution and buying sex is legal – just stick to the right area.
Everybody bikes, and even though you feel as though there are people biking everywhere, they know exactly what they’re doing and which streets they’re allowed on.
If you bike on a pedestrian-only street you risk paying a high fine. This third time in Amsterdam it became even more clear to me how people and rules here are often the straight opposite from other countries:
feeling like a BBQ? Yeah sure, bring it all out and put it on the footpath in the city.
Wanna party hard in the park, drinking, smoking and pumping out house music out of the speakers in public parks?
Yeah go ahead, Vondelpark is perfect, there is even a sign saying you’re allowed to play music, drink and – according to the sign, joggle here. The funny contrasts make the place so different from other cities.
People simply do things differently here
Instead of having a picnic in the park they have it on the boats, instead of driving they bike (in every type of weather, snow or rain doesn’t matter here), and so forth.
You see things here that you don’t see anywhere else, like a parking lot with 3000 bikes!
Amsterdam is a place with many faces, and it’s up to you which one you want to see.
You can choose to see the crazy Amsterdam with Penis fountains, prostitutes posing in windows and coffee shops everywhere.
But you can also choose to see the incredible architecture of the houses, the many boats on the canals where people have picnics, the art museums and the beautiful nature surrounding the city.
Amsterdam is unpretentious, bold and bright – it is exactly what it is, and they’re neither proud, nor ashamed of it.
This acceptance of people is what has made Amsterdam so popular and loved by so many people.
You can be who you want – rich, poor, gay, straight – nobody cares. This was my third time in Amsterdam, but I will definitely go back there again and again.
Amsterdam Netherlands One of Our Most Loved Cities
More about our time in Amsterdam Netherlands
Amsterdam Netherlands One of Our Most Loved Cities.
We have been to Amsterdam many times before, and every time we leave we find ourselves thinking: let’s come back here for a bit and live.
The vibe, the city, the people – there is so much in Amsterdam to love.
We’re over here, and we’re going to try to get over here somewhere.
I think the tram is over this way.
It’s pretty late, so we’re going to go and find the hostel, and check in, and get some work done before exploring Amsterdam tomorrow.
Ok, we’ve just woken up in Amsterdam.
And it’s a Beautiful day, beautiful morning.
So we’ve decided to rent some bikes for the day and see the city from a more local perspective.
We’re going to bike around, check out some of the—I think it’s tulip season right now, so that could be really beautiful.
We’re going to bike around the canals, and we’re going to taste some—what are we going to taste?
Ok so that sounds like fun, so we’re going to spend the day biking around, and I think the bike shop is just over here. Cycling Vacation Amsterdam – Best With a Local
We got our bikes, um my seat’s kind of messed up.
We found some bikes, and we’re going to go and bike around Amsterdam for a few hours.
Yeah, some sturdy bikes here.
Act like locals, Let’s go. I’ve got my Mickey Mouse bell.
Well, ringing there we go.
So right now we are at Flower Market, maybe that should be somewhere easy—but we’re—where are the street signs?
We’re in Amsterdam during the tulip season, which is great.
They’ve got heaps of tulips on the countryside and the parks, but we’re in the city, so we’re going to check out the flower market, and yeah, see what they’ve got.
They’ve really got all sorts of colors in tulips.
Have you ever seen a black one before?
I love that blue Tulip, Blue one, they’ve got everything.
I’ve never seen a black one though.
We’ve just found a place which sells something called stroopwafel, and it seems something that’s very typical Dutch, so it’s going to be our traditional food here in Amsterdam.
I have no idea what they are exactly, but let’s have a look inside and see what they look like.
We make the syrup from sugar and honey, and there is also one with coffee caramel, and also figs and raisins, but that’s not syrup.
“Stroop” means syrup.
Ok, so the most traditional one is the one with syrup.
Yeah, normally they make it only with sugar syrup, but we make it from honey.
So it’s much nicer.
We’ll have three of those.
We’re back down, we’ve going to get—what’s it called?
We weren’t even thinking about it, we just felt this smell outside a café and stopped and walked inside and they had those stroopwafels we actually planned to eat.
And she talked a bit about them and apparently, they have been making them for over 54 years.
It’s a very traditional kind of dessert for Netherlands, and they make them of—they make their own honey syrup.
It’s made of honey and sugar.
It’s a waffle you said.
It looks like a massive biscuit. Smells incredible.
It’s been a really awesome day.
I really enjoyed myself here so far.
We haven’t really done much, but—I mean the whole point of coming to Amsterdam is just to walk around, isn’t it?
That’s what I’ve realized, yeah.
To experience Amsterdam is just walking the streets.
Amsterdam is the experience.
This is Amsterdam, not inside the Rijksmuseum.
That’s cool too, but this is Amsterdam.
If you want to see Amsterdam, walk around or bike around Amsterdam.
That’s the best way to see it I think.
City Guide – Amsterdam Netherlands Quick Facts
Short history: Before turning into a major trade city, Amsterdam was a small fishing village.
The Dutch people colonized the Indian islands and established a powerful trading imperium in the east.
The prostitution started as the tired boatmen stayed over the night.
A few lazy attempts to get rid of prostitution has been made throughout the decades, but nobody really cared as long as they stayed in a certain area.
Amsterdam City Guide
Amsterdam is a popular destination for American gap-year travelers who know the place as a marijuana Mecca, which is probably partly true, but Amsterdam is luckily so much more than that.
In Amsterdam you get what you look for. If you want Amsterdam to be all about prostitutes and weed, then it will be.
If you want Amsterdam to be all about old narrow cobbled stone streets, biking and tulips, then it will.
The Marijuana museum or Rijksmuseum – the choice is yours!
The highlight for us was to bike around the city.
We biked along the canals, the winding streets and the green luscious outskirts of the city.
Biking in Amsterdam Netherlands is awesome.
Not only is it the easiest way getting around, but you can reach so many more places in shorter time, and getting out of the central area to the beautiful parks and walkways in a matter of minutes.
What To See And Do Amsterdam Netherlands
Amsterdam is an open-minded multicultural place – full of history, and all well preserved.
The houses date back hundreds of years (all the way back to 1420!), and there are museums of all kinds covering more than enough of Amsterdam’s cultural, historical and artistic history.
There are often small markets that take place around the city; book markets, flower markets and clothing markets.
The biggest market however is Albert Cuypmarkt.
It’s a market known for its variety of food; cheese, fruits, spices etc.
Clothes also tend to be really cheap to buy here.
Amsterdam Netherlands Shopping:
Walking along the shopping streets is a nice experience even for those not intending to actually buy anything.
There are pretty little boutiques along the shopping street, and heaps of nice cafes to have a rest in.
Amsterdam has a broad cafe culture.
They have different sorts of Cafes, but are mostly known for their Coffee shops with Marijuana and Skunk on the menu.
However, there are also Tea Lounges and Brown Cafes, which are well worth a visit.
I found that they were really good at making coffee and had more of a variety than in other cities in Europe.
Brown Cafes are pubs where the locals meet up for a drink and chit chat.
They’re called Brown Cafes because of the dark wooden design inside.
Tea Lounges are usual cafes, they just often like to call themselves Tea Lounges to separate themselves from the Coffee shops.
Coffee shops are cafes where you can smoke weed, munch on hash brownies or marijuana biscuits.
This is one of the main attractions for tourists in Amsterdam, but talking to the locals they didn’t really bother much about it.
It’s popular among the teens to go there since it’s still pretty cool and rebellious, but not that popular among the grown ups.
According to many it’s more of just a tourist thing.
Amsterdam Netherlands Red Light District
You’ll most likely end up here at some point of your stay in Amsterdam, whether you like it or not.
It’s right in the central area and you easily just stumble upon it.
In nighttime, this is a sad place with a lot of thieves, drug dealers, drug addicts and negative energy.
It’s better in daytime, but the place is still crazy.
And the half naked women standing in the red light shopping windows?
Yes, they’re there to be stared at 24/7 (although it’s more crowded at night).
They don’t tend to like families and couples, as they don’t get any money out of them and act more as a free tourist attraction.
They show this in different ways, sometimes making fun of you and trying to make you feel awkward and embarrassed.
Remember to not take any pictures of them, if you do you’ll likely end up in big trouble.
Getting Around Amsterdam Netherlands
Biking is undoubtedly the best way to get around the city.
Transportation by car is discouraged by the local government, and apart from expensive parking fees, a great number of streets are closed off for cars in the city center.
So by bike you can go anywhere, and it’s very safe with clear red marked lines for the bike lanes.
Walking is also pleasant, but make sure you don’t walk within the bike lanes, or else you’ll get some angry looks and words in your face, or even get hit.
There are also trams, buses and subways you can take.
These are great and reach the outskirts, and you can also put your bike on the tram subways if you’re going somewhere far away.
Because of the limitation of where cars are allowed to go, taxi is not recommended, Amsterdam taxis are also one of the most expensive in Europe.
The trams go to most places and frequently so you won’t have to wait for long, but if you do want some kind of taxi there are so called Tuk Tuk’s to take.
These are open three-wheeled scooters. The prices are zone based.
Getting to Amsterdam By Air
This is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, and is very easy to reach by plane, car, bus, ferry and train.
The airport Schiphol in Amsterdam is huge, but still only 16 km away from the city!
Note that Ryan Air does not operate here, but another budget airline Easy Jet does.
There are three ways of getting into the city: By the KLM Hotel Bus Service (don’t worry, anyone can take this bus, you don’t have to stay at their hotels), train and over priced Taxi.
The bus costs 11 Euro one-way and the taxis in Amsterdam are really expensive.
Train is by far the cheapest option to get into the city, which costs 3.10 Euro.
The trains leave every 15 minutes and the trip into town takes about 15 minutes.
Amsterdam By Train
All trains, including the ones from Schiphol, arrive at the Central Station.
A lot of people come through here, and already you get to see the bad side of Amsterdam with drug dealers, prostitutes (by the back entrance) and pick pocket thieves, so keep your stuff close to you here.
Trams and buses are right outside the station.
Amsterdam By Bus
Buses leave and arrive at Amstel Station, about 10 km south of the city, to which you can catch a metro.
Here you can go by the international bus line Eurolines (same principal as Inter Rail but by bus).
Eurolines is a great way to travel Europe, cheaper than Inter Rail but maybe not as comfortable.
Where To Stay in Amsterdam
The absolute cheapest option when staying in Amsterdam is on camping grounds (costs about 13 Euro, price depending on what type of chalet you book).
You don’t need to bring a tent, you can get your own little chalet.
It’s a beautiful location, although a bit far from the city center.
It’s a really nice bike ride into town through the woods and parks, but you can also reach the city by tram (51) and bus (199).
The bus stop is right in front of the campsite and takes you to the airport in 15 minutes.
The tram takes about the same time, but to get to the tram stop you also have to walk for another 15 minutes (unless you take bus there).
If you want to stay more central StayOkay Vondelpark is another option, with a great location and a good starting point when exploring the city.
Breakfast and linen are included.
Just remember that if you get there before 2 pm. and want to leave your bag there they charge you an extra fee