A quick guide to cycling in Amsterdam
Amsterdam may well be called the bike capital of the world. Around 63% of Amsterdam residents state that they use their bike on a daily basis, and in the city centre nearly half (48%) of traffic consists of bikes. There is no denying it: bikes are a more popular means of getting around in this city than cars and public transport. One fact surely speaks for itself: there are more bikes than inhabitants in Amsterdam (881, 000 bikes compared to 880, 000 residents)! What does this mean? That if you travel to this city, you may well catch the cycling bug.
Hiring a bike in Amsterdam
Hiring a bike in Amsterdam is very easy, as all through the city you will find shops and kiosks providing bike rental at very affordable rates. Bike rental can also be arranged through your hotel or hostel in many cases. Guided bike tours abound and are a brilliant way to visit all the main sights of the city centre. If bringing your own bike, it is worthwhile getting it insured – the cost is only around 2-3 Euro per day – and to purchase two strong locks. Always lock your bike to something solid, and be careful when cycling near the canals! Bike hire is perfect for seeing the museums, cafes and other attractions of the city, and the majority of streets in the city centre are very cycle friendly.
Exploring further afield
Holland is famously flat, making it prime territory for day trips on a bike. Cycle to the ‘waterland’ to the north of the city with its dykes and canals, or strike out in south easterly direction to explore pastures and beautiful countryside dotted with picturesque medieval villages. Want to get the train on the way back? No problem: Dutch trains are very efficient. Just remember that you will need to purchase a day ticket for your bike if you want to take it with you on the train. An even longer trip of several days could take you down to the Hague, or across the tulip fields to the east of the city.
A tourist attraction in its own right
Cycling through Amsterdam is a tourist attraction in its own right. A wonderful experience, it will leave you with plenty of life long memories. Booking a room in a central hotel or hostel, such as Hostel Orfeo, will give you the ideal base from which to explore this historic city on two wheels.