Great cycling routes in the Netherlands

The Netherlands may not have any mountain ranges or wild nature, but it’s still a wonderful country to explore on your bicycle. The Dutch have really invested in their bicycle lanes in the cities and in the countryside, with clear signs and markers making it a breeze to find your way.

This is a brief guide to bicycle routes all over the Netherlands, both close to cities and further out. Whether you’re in the mood for a day trip or a more long-distance excursion, these routes are perfect for a healthy day out with your significant other, the kids or your friends!

Cycling day trips

In the Netherlands there are so-called junction routes and themed routes with shorter distances that you can easily cover in a day.

Junction routes

The junction route network covers most of the Netherlands. Every junction has a number and an information board which contains an overview map. It also indicates the distance to the next junction. At every junction, you have a choice of several junction numbers to continue your trip.

The great thing about this system is that you get frequent opportunities to adjust the length of your route. To cycle from one junction to another, just keep following the route signs with the number of the next junction. The video below the article explains the concept of the junction network in more detail.

Themed routes

These routes are usually between 30 to 50 kilometres long and are signposted using hexagonal signs. The theme of these routes can often be deduced from their name, such as the Molenroute (Mill route) or the Pontjesroute (Ferry route).

Long-distance cycling routes

The Ronde van Nederland (Tour of the Netherlands) is the ultimate cycle route for any serious cyclist. Several of the rural LF routes (LF for Landelijke Fietsroute) have been linked together to provide more than 1.300 kilometres of cycling fun.

The junction network of cycling routes in the Netherlands.

The rural LF cycling routes.

Source: Nederland Fietsland

Where possible, the route follows the borders of the Netherlands, showcasing the great variety of landscapes the Netherlands has to offer. It runs from the North Sea coast to the Achterhoek and from Groningen to Brabant.

Along this route you can enjoy a wealth of scenic features, including typical villages and towns, dunes, dikes, woodlands, polders, rivers, heathlands and hills. The route is signposted in two directions with LF signs. The video below the article explains the concept of the rural LF routes in more detail.

Plan your Dutch cycling trip online

Regardless of where you live in the Netherlands, you can plan your own biking trip online with the Fietsrouteplanner (in English!).

Just enter your location and where you’d like to cycle to that day, and it takes care of the rest. It even lets you download the GPS coordinates so you can use your smartphone to navigate!

And don’t forget to lock up wherever you go. Here you can find some tips on how not to get your bike stolen.

Thomas Lundberg


Thomas Lundberg

Born as a Swede in the Netherlands, this life-long expat has spent his time in Belgium, the United States and Amsterdam. He began his professional career as a regional news...

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