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8 tips when cycling in Amsterdam

December 24, 2014

In our opinion you can´t visit Amsterdam without getting around at least one day on a bicycle. Amsterdam is perfect for it, with bike lanes, cute little bicycle bridges and every car driver is taking you serious as a cyclist. So romantic! With our head quarters located in Amsterdam, it is only fair we give you some tips on getting around.

Tip 1: Upon arrival: don’t walk on the cycling paths
The first day in Amsterdam can be overwhelming. It is especially confusing to distinguish a bicycle lane from a sidewalk. Bicycle paths are part of the road and be careful not to walk on them. So if you are walking around Amsterdam exploring, before you rent a bike off course. Take the bicycle lanes serious or you will get some angry locals bumping into you.



Tip 2: The dress code on a bike
If you do not want to be recognized as a tourist don’t wear a helmet or a neon vest when cycling. There is only one exception and that is if you are training on a race bike, like the ones in the tour the France. Other than that Dutch people dress for the destination there heading to, not for the bike ride.


Tip 3: Use hand signals to indicate your are turning
If you don’t want to end up crashing into someone else who is in a hurry (most cyclist are in Amsterdam), it is cycling etiquette to stick out your arm if you want to take a turn. This way other cyclist can anticipate.


Tip 4: No minimum age or license needed
Everyone rides a bike so don’t worry you will be fine
Age is not important for riding a bike, you don’t have to be 18 to drive it alone. Everyone drives one from young children to elderly folks.


Tip 5: You are faster then a car
A bicycle is the fastest way to get around Amsterdam
Cyclists have special pass ways, little tunnels, bridges have special access over squares. Routes that are not accessible to cars and are much faster then the direct roads. With all the canals around town you almost certainly are fastest on a bike.


Tip 6: Save money, one bike can carry two people
Dutch bikes are strong and when in Amsterdam you often see two people on the same bike. If you have experience or just great balance: let your friend or kid hop on the back.


Tip 7: No fines for talking on the phone on your bike
Nice! You can pick up your phone while cycling. It is not even an exception Dutch people do it all the time. Don’t do it in a car though.


Tip 8: Watch out for little scooters on the bicycle lanes
Scooters on the bicycle lanes are bloody annoying. Dutch people hate them, they are smelly, obnoxious and always in a hurry. Driving along with 40 k an hour passing cyclist just by inches.


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Jens Steenhuis

Co-Founder of PaperFlies. Likes music and sports. Is under the impression that driving a motorcycle is the coolest thing in the world.

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