General information on cycling in the Netherlands

Cycling in the Netherlands is the most popular form of daily transport; using a bicycle for your daily needs is fun, convenient and more importantly, (almost) for free!

With more than 18 million bicycles in the Netherlands and 1,2 million new ones sold every year, this country is considered a cyclist’s heaven.

Facts about cycling in the Netherlands

Cycling for the Dutch is a way of life; it is distributed evenly across all income groups.
 Rates of cycling do not fall considerably with age.
 The Netherlands' flat terrain is ideal for average cyclists; short-range routes do not really require a high degree of physical fitness.
 The quality of bicycle lanes (fietspad) is very high throughout the country.
 The best season for long-distance cycling is the period from May till September.
 You can purchase a new bicycle for about 250 to 500 euros or a used one for about 50 to 150 euros.

Cyclists' rights & duties

 Always use the bicycle lanes.
 Follow the same rules as motor vehicle drivers and adhere to traffic lights and signs.
 Signal by putting out your arm when you change direction.
 Always give right of way to buses, trams and taxis.
 Accidents are quite rare; most drivers are cyclists too.
 You are obliged to use safety helmets and wear special cycling outfits only in organised racing competitions.
 Towing a trailer is permitted.

information cycling netherlands

Bicycle transportation & storage

 Bicycles can be transferred by plane as checked luggage (20 kilos allowance).
 Bikes are not allowed on Dutch buses and trams.
 If you want to take your bicycle in the train, you need to buy a special ticket before boarding. Also note that:
- There are designated places for the bicycles; usually at the end of the train.
- It is not possible to transport bicycles during rush hours (before 9am and between 4.30pm - 6pm). This does not apply to weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and summer period (July and August).
- You do not need an extra ticket if your bicycle is packed or folded.
 You can find bike stands to park your bicycle all over the country.
 Most (indoor) bicycle parking lots can hold thousands of bicycles.

Notes on cycling in the Netherlands

 You are expected to keep your bicycle in good condition. However, a fancy bicycle will definitely increase the possibility of theft.
 Do not cycle in busy areas such as stations or squares.
 Watch out for tram rails, don't let your wheels get caught!
 If your bicycle gets stolen, police will probable do nothing about it. Around 5 per cent of all bicycles in the Netherlands are reported stolen every year!
 Petty crime in the Netherlands is based on bike theft. Ride it or lock it:
- with both an ordinary and a u-shaped lock (slot, a factory-installed lock that passes through the rear spokes).
- always attach your bike to something immovable and solid such as a tree, fence or pole.
- if possible lock your bike in a bike stand or at a bicycle parking lot.
 Placing lights (both headlight and tail-light) on your bicycle is always a wise move. They are cheap, you will not have to worry about police tickets, and you lower the possibility of a car accident during the night.
 Multiple riders on one bike is not an unusual phenomenon.

Glow-in-the-dark and solar bike paths: a glimpse of the future

The Netherlands unveils not one but two solar bike lanes: one glows-in-the-dark "Starry Night" style

Sada bike takes foldable cycles to a new level

Innovative Italian designer introduces a new foldable bike: it features normal sized wheels, folds to umbrella-size and you can carry it as a backpack!

Seatylock: a bike seat and sturdy lock in one

The new startup with a solution for bike seat theft: a saddle that transforms into a lock.

Amsterdam cyclists are (surprisingly) well behaved

Despite their reckless reputation, a new study has found that the vast majority of Amsterdam cyclists actually do stick to the rules.

Yerka: the 'unstealable' bike

A new bike has claimed 'unstealable' status thanks to a clever anti-theft mechanism whereby the lock is made out of the frame.

How do you say 'cycling' in Dutch?

The array of words in Dutch for which there is only one in English is a perfect example of when direct translation doesn't say enough.

Congestion, inattention causing increase in racing cycle accidents in NL

More and more racing cyclists are ending up in hospital emergency departments, with numbers doubling over a three year period, according to a new report.

Bicycles used more in Amsterdam than any other European capital

Amsterdam has by far the highest levels of cycling as a mode of transport among Europe capitals, around 15 times higher than the average.

A history of the bicycle

Ever wondered how the Netherlands' ubiquitous form of transport developed? Here's a history of the humble bicycle.

Amsterdam accelerating development of new cycling facilities

With bicycle usage in the city having grown by more than 40 per cent in the last 20 years, Amsterdam is speeding up its plans to deal with congestion.

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