The Netherlands by bike: a user’s guide

With more than 32,000 km of cycle paths, the Netherlands is an ideal destination for all bicycle enthusiasts who want to travel differently. Rental, equipment, road safety, planning, find out what you need to know for a cycling holiday in the Netherlands.

Ride a bike: safe practice

Whether you plan to crisscross the country through the countryside on long-distance roads or want to explore the historic center of Amsterdam, the cycle network is secure. Signage, car parks, underpasses or boundaries with the road network, the infrastructures dedicated to cycling are numerous and allow you to circulate in complete safety.

Where to rent a bicycle?

Set off to explore Haarlem or Zundert, the polders or the Dutch coast, whatever your programme, you can easily rent a bike to get around.

Several options are available to you :

  • rental companies. There are some in all cities and some are directly accessible at the exit of the railway stations.
  • Accommodations. Depending on your itinerary, the hotels, youth hostels or bed and breakfasts where you will be staying may offer this service.

To note :

  • Count on a budget between €2 and €15 per bike and per day on average.
  • Rentals can be made by the day or over several days.
  • Remember to take an identity document and enough to pay the deposit.
  • Bike theft is commonplace in the Netherlands. It is advisable to take out the insurance offered by the rental company. It covers the price of the bicycle if unfortunately the problem occurs.
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What equipment should be provided?

The weather can vary between rain and sun within a few hours. Plan a waterproof windproof jacket, a neck warmer and gloves to protect you from bad weather. Equip yourself with breathable clothing suitable for cycling. They will allow you to pedal comfortably for several hours.

It’s best to bring a helmet, although most Dutch people don’t. For the rest of the accessories, excluding panniers or luggage racks already attached to the bike, remember to take a water bottle and a lock if it is not provided by the rental company.

When is the best time of year to travel in the Netherlands by bike?

It all depends on where you plan to go during your excursion. The Dutch countryside and its flower gardens such as the Keukenhof park or its mythical windmills will be more pleasant to discover during the period from April to September. The weather is perfect and the tulip fields are in bloom.

In autumn the weather is more unstable but the Netherlands remains a destination of choice for bike rides along the canals of Amsterdam. Mushroom lovers will enjoy stopping in one of the many restaurants in the Achterhoek region to taste the local specialties after a bike ride.

What you must remember :

  • Land use planning promotes the movement of two wheels.
  • Bicycle rental is possible in all cities and some accommodations.
  • It is preferable to provide suitable equipment to optimize comfort during excursions.
  • Apart from the winter, which is too harsh to enjoy a cycling holiday, the rest of the year is favorable for staying in the Netherlands.
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