Famed for its stunning architecture, postcard-perfect canals, and world-renowned museums, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Thanks to the city’s well-organized and efficient public transport system, getting around the Dutch capital is a stress-free experience. Whether you wish to explore Amsterdam’s popular attractions on foot, hop on a tram, or use the reliable bus services, there are many options to choose from. However, one of the most popular options for navigating through Amsterdam is with a bicycle. The city has an excellent network of cycling trails and is considered one of the most cycle-friendly destinations in the world. This ultimate Amsterdam bike itinerary allows you to experience the Dutch capital from a different perspective and takes you to some of the finest sites in the city.
Amsterdam Bike Rentals
Not sure where to rent a bicycle in Amsterdam? No worries. Bike rentals can be found throughout the city, especially in popular areas such as the Dam Square and Leidseplein. MacBike and Amsterbike are without a doubt two of the most popular rental shops here. Travelers who wish to blend in with the locals should visit the Black Bikes agency that rents those black bicycles that have only one gear and coaster brakes. These bicycles are extremely popular with people living and working in the Dutch capital.
Where to Cycle in Amsterdam
1 Amsterdamse Bos
Travelers who wish to escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city center can hop on a bicycle and visit Amsterdamse Bos. Surrounded by rivers and artificial lakes, this beautiful man-made forest is an ideal place to reconnect with nature and enjoy a picnic on the weekends. The entire forest is well-connected with cycle routes, making it easy to explore with a bicycle. Adventurous travelers will be happy to hear that Amsterdamse Bos also offers a few off-road biking routes.
No Amsterdam bike tour itinerary would be complete without mentioning Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s most famous park. Popular with both tourists and locals, this picturesque park is an ideal destination for cycling. From visiting the amazing Rose Garden to admiring the beauty of sculptures like ‘Fish’ by Picasso and the bronze monument of the Dutch poet Vondel, there are many cool attractions worth visiting here. There is also a nice open-air theatre which is open in summer, as well as several bars and restaurants where you can try local food delicacies once you get tired of all the cycling.
Exploring Westerpark’s green meadows with a bicycle is one of the must-have experiences for first-time visitors. Situated just west of de Jordaan district, Westerpark boasts dozens of cycle paths. Apart from enjoying nature views, make sure to visit Westergasfabriek. There, you will find a bunch of indie stores, a few dining options, a small art-house cinema, and a cool brewery where you can unwind with a bottle of cold beer.
4 The Nieuwmarkt
Amsterdam is a multicultural city and a visit to Nieuwmarkt allows visitors to experience the diversity of the Dutch capital. You will be passing by many attractions including the Zeedijk Temple, Europe’s largest Buddhist temples. There is also the 15th century Waag building, as well as the Fo Guang Shan He Hua temple. While you are biking in the neighborhood, make sure to stop by Chinatown where you can sample Asian cuisine.
5 NDSM-Werf and Overhoeks
A cultural hotspot packed with creative spirits, NDSM-Werf is a must-visit destination when exploring Amsterdam on a bicycle. Travelers will find many former shipping warehouses that have been transformed into venues full of bars and restaurants. Follow the cycle route to reach the Overhoeks area where attractions such as the Eye Film Institute and A’DAM Toren can be found.
6 Waterland District
A visit to the Waterland District on a bike makes for a great day trip from Amsterdam. Along the way, expect to see many cute fishing towns and picturesque villages. This bike route is an ideal trail for everyone who wishes to get to know the local culture in the Netherlands. Some of the must-visit places on this cycle route include 17th century Broek’s wooden houses and the Monnickendam’s yacht harbor.
The last destination on our Amsterdam bike tour travel itinerary is the lovely neighborhood of Ijburg. Nestled on the eastern borders of Amsterdam and made up of 5 man-made islands, this beautiful district is worth exploring with a bicycle. The neighborhood was built upon the artificial ground and is connected to the city with a bridge. Here, you can admire some of the finest examples of modern architecture in the country. Don’t forget to cycle around Ijburg’s Diemepark which is one of the largest parks in Amsterdam.