You don’t have to look far in Amsterdam before you see someone cycling.
The city is made for it!
And if you’re visiting this beautiful historic place, it really is the best way to get around between landmarks.
In this guide, I’ll give you the best tours to take as well as the best rental companies.
And for good measure, I’ve added in cycling rules so you can stay safe!
- Amsterdams Love For Cycling
- Bike Rules in Amsterdam
- Guided Tours vs Self-Hire
- Amsterdam Bike Tours
- Countryside Bike Tour
- Amsterdam City Bike Tour
- Small-Group Amsterdam Bike Tour
- Dutch Villages & Countryside Bike Tour
- Private Bike Tour with a Local
- Hidden Art & Culture in Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Culture Bike Tour
- Shared Beer Bike
- Dutch Countryside from Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Landscape & Windmill Private Bike Tour
- Bike Rental Amsterdam
Amsterdams Love For Cycling
The Dutch haven’t always been the cycling enthusiasts you see today.
In fact, before WW2, there were just like most other European countries.
The turning point for the Netherlands was in 1971, when more than 3000 people were killed by cars (including 450 children).
From that moment on, the Dutch campaigned for less cars on the road and more focus on cycling.
Following two years of persistent protesting and an oil crisis in Saudi Arabia, politicians and the Prime Minister were on board.
Today, there are over 400km of cycling paths all around Amsterdam city and it’s estimated that 38% of trips are made by bicycle.
Bike Rules in Amsterdam
The motto of the city when it comes to cycling safety is: “Happy cycling is safe cycling!”.
Before riding a bike, make sure to follow these rules:
- Use the bicycle lane on the right-hand side of the road. A good reminder is if the picture of the bicycle on the road is upside down, then you are on the wrong side of the road!
- Use your bell tell someone you want to pass. Always alert other cyclists if you want to overtake them.
- Let others know what you plan to do. Use hand signals to indicate if you are turning left or right.
- Be aware of other road users. The big one to watch out for are trams. They have the right of way. Also be aware of taxis, lorries and other cyclists.
- Give the right of way to pedestrians at a crossing. If people want to cross at a pedestrian crossing, you must let them go first.
- Don’t use your mobile whilst cycling. It’s just like driving – it’s not allowed.
- Cross tram rails at a right angle. When you cross at a right angle, you avoid getting your wheels stuck in the tram rails.
It’s also important to be aware of the traffic regulations of Amsterdam:
- Stop at red traffic lights.
- Don’t be an obstruction for other traffic.
- Give way to traffic coming from the right.
- Use the cycle paths and never cycle on the pavement.
- Use a white headlight and a red tail light after dark.
You’ll also want to be aware of different traffic signs so you know where you can park your bike, as well as where you can and cannot cycle.
No Cycling Allowed
No Bicycle Parking Allowed
Guided Tours vs Self-Hire
Depending on who you are and how you like to travel, will depend on whether it would be better to take part in a guided bike tour or to rent a bike yourself.
You will find that most bike rental shops will offer guided tours as well as self-hire.
If you’re a little nervous about exploring a new city by bicycle on your own, then a guided tour would be for you.
They are also fantastic if you want to cram some great sightseeing at the same time.
Guides are very experienced and tours are well thought out.
However if you are a bit more of an adventurous traveler, you can hire a bike and take yourself around the city.
The benefit of this is that you are rolling on your own time and have the freedom to just get lost and explore Amsterdam at your own pace.
Who knows what treasures you could stumble across!
Amsterdam Bike Tours
Below are the top ten guided days that I highly recommend you try out:
1. Countryside Bike Tour (AmsterBike)
Duration: 4 hours | Price from $36.12
Cycle away from the city and head out into the beautiful Dutch countryside to experience something authentic.
2. Amsterdam City Bike Tour (Mike’s Bike Tours)
Duration: 3 hours | Price from $31.61
Enjoy this well organised tour that takes you not only to the main sites, but also through the quaint waterways and winding cobbled streets.
Cruise by landmarks such as Dam Square while you hear about the history from your knowledgeable guide.
3. Small-Group Amsterdam Bike Tour (Yellow Bike Tours)
Duration: 2-3 hours | Price from $27.66
This tour is capped at 12 people meaning you’ll get more personalised attention from your guide.
You’ll pass top attractions such as the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum.
If you like to ask questions whilst you sightsee, this is the tour for you.
4. Dutch Villages & Countryside Bike Tour (Yellow Bike Tours)
Duration: 4 hours | Price from $38.94
This perfectly scenic countryside tour leaves from Amsterdam, making it super accessible.
You’ll get an insight into daily life in the Netherlands as you stop in traditional villages along the way.
This is the ideal tour to learn about Dutch culture.
5. Private Bike Tour with a Local
Duration: 3 hours | Price from $41.77
If you want something even more personalised and authentic, opt for a private tour with a local.
The tour will be completely tailored to your interests and your knowledgeable guide will be able to take you anywhere you would like.
You’ll be taken through some of Amsterdam’s most interesting neighbourhoods and areas!
6. Hidden Art & Culture in Amsterdam
Duration: 3.5 hours | Price from $55.88
One of the more pricier tours on offer on my list but the tour guide Stephan has a solid 5-star rating.
You’ll skip the traditional tourist spots in exchange for often overlooked landmarks.
This tour is full of cultural highlights as well as finishing your tour with a complimentary beer and snack at a microbrewery.
7. Amsterdam Culture Bike Tour (Rent-a-Bike)
Duration: 3 hours | Price from $29.46
If you’re looking for more culture as you bike in Amsterdam, then check out this tour.
They’re easy to find, situated right in the center of the city.
You’ll stray from the conventional tourist path and be taken on a cultural adventure!
8. Shared Beer Bike (BeerBike)
Duration: 1.5 hours | Price from $49.67
Now for something COMPLETELY different, you can try a shared beer bike!
Take in the sights of Amsterdam whilst you savor a cold beer or some bubbly.
Perfect if you’re travelling in a group.
9. Dutch Countryside from Amsterdam (Mac Bike)
Duration: 2.5 hours | Price from $24.83
This tour is designed for the active traveler, as you have a jam-packed itinerary.
You’ll cruise through the countryside and pass by the Science Center, the National Maritime Museum and a huge selection of windmills.
10. Amsterdam Landscape & Windmill Private Bike Tour
Duration: 3-4 hours | Price from $42.33
Another opportunity to see life in and out of Amsterdam, but with the personalisation of a private guide.
You’ll even get to visit a cheese farm where you can sample some Dutch cheese!
Bike Rental Amsterdam
If you prefer to go on your own steam and be more adventurous, here’s a list of the best bike rental companies in Amsterdam:
1. Black Bikes (black-bikes.com)
€13.50 for 24 hours | 14 Locations | Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm & Sat-Sun, 9am-7pm
By far one of the biggest suppliers in Amsterdam with over 2000 bikes available in 14 locations.
The benefit of this being you can pick up and drop off your bike at different locations.
They also keep it local – all of their bikes are made in the Netherlands.
2. Mac Bike (macbike.nl)
€14.75 for 24 hours | 5 Locations | Mon-Sun, 9am-6pm
Mac’s has been operating in Amsterdam for over 30 years.
They have a wide variety of bikes – from city to touring and electric.
Their locations are placed strategically over the city so you’re never far from one.
3. Mike’s Bike Rentals (mikesbiketoursamsterdam.com)
€14.00 for 24 hours | 1 Location | Mon-Sun, 9am-6pm
At Mike’s Bikes, they specialise in what they like to call “undercover bikes”.
That means there are no big blaring signs on your bike obviously pointing to the fact that you’re a tourist!
4. Yellow Bike (yellowbike.nl)
€12.00 for 24 hours | 2 Locations | Mon-Sun, 9:30am-6pm
Yellow Bike offers over 1000 bicycle racks for you to use as you explore the city.
All easily found on their Yellow Map!
5. A-Bike Rental & Tours (a-bike.eu)
€14.95 for 24 hours | 2 Locations | Mon-Sun, 9am-9pm
Not only do they offer the longest opening hours in the city, they also give you free wifi as well as free tea and coffee!