Bicycle - Cycling, Amsterdam
There are several locations where you can rent a bicycle:
Mr Visserplein 2
Nieuwezijds Kolk 29
Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 103
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 101
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 167hs
-Mike's Bike Tours
I recommend the following addres for buying a cheap bicycle:
Cycling routes at Amsterdam North
Rent a bike for a few hours or a day and you can really explore the city. Amsterdam is not that big, but to walk everywhere would take quite some time. Rent a bike and you can zip around the city in minutes. So many people are on bikes that the cars, pedestrians and other bicyclists are more aware and it is not as scary as you'd think it would be. Once you are oriented with the city's layout, it is that much easier to navigate. A really fun way to cover ground and feel like a local.
In Amsterdam I consider cyclists as a deadly threat!
No problem with cars, there are very few in the centre, the trams are somewhat dangerous but you hear them coming, they have a strong bell and the ground vibrates.
But the cyclists are the silent tourist killers of Amsterdam especially when they don't respect the pedestrian paths. Normally the paths reserved for cyclists are made of red asphalt or marked with a painted bicycle on the ground. When that paint has faded the tourist doesn't know anymore if he walks on the right path.
The cyclists of Amsterdam are busy with many other things than cycling: talking to each other, flirting, phoning or consulting their IPhone. I must say they are very skilful drivers, I saw no incident at all.
They don't wear protection helmets, fluorescent jackets or even anti rain clothes.
They don't mind about the rain for themselves or for their bikes which are parked outside day and night.
A good point of all that biking is that there are no fat Amsterdammers, they are all slim and have muscled legs.
I'm amazed with the citizens in Amsterdam, actually to say in whole country of Holland, how well they manage to use bicycles as transportation, even in city and also to reach between other cities ... :)
On each road in city and also on highway roads connecting to other cities, there are specially designated "ways" next to the road, dedicated to cyclers.
You can see locals to use their bicycles everywhere, I mean really everywhere, to go to shopping, to work, to school, even with their kids and babies ...
Best solution to keep the city clean, no air pollution and lesser on traffic ... :)
Amsterdam is one of the most Bicycle friendly cities in the World and is a centre of bicycle culture with good facilities for cyclists such as bike paths and bike racks,and several guarded bike storage garages.In 2006 there were over 465,000 bicycles in the city,theft unfortunately is widespread with an average of 50,000 bicycles missing each year.Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience,Amsterdam's small size,the 400km of bike paths,the flat terrain and the arguable inconvenience of driving a car.
There are lots of bike rental shops throughout the city and the suburbs,some can be rented for as little as a few Euros a day.One of the best rated is right in the heart of the city.See address,telephone no.and website below.
Bike city,68-70 Bloemgracht,1015 TL,Amsterdam.
Possibly a bike hire company to avoid ...or maybe I just had bad luck! Amstel Rent-a-Bike are located opposite the Westerkerk and hire bikes for 10 euros per day (plus 50 euros deposit). The bikes are good quality, with proper handlebar brakes, a strong lock, dynamo lights and a basket included.
I was staying nearby and, after paying for the bike hire, cycled back to my apartment to change my coat. Though only 200m away, by the time I reached the apartment I found the front tyre was soft. I returned to the hire shop (by which time the tyre was completely flat) and the bike was exchanged for another one. I then spent a pleasant, trouble free day cycling around the harbour and islands of the city.
Unfortunately when I returned the bike the shop owner told me a 'nail' had gone through the tyre on the first bike and the inner tube was irrepairable! They charged me an additional 10 euros! To be honest, I think they had had a slow day and wanted to get as much money as possible from me. A nail definitely *had not* gone into the wheel and, in any case, I'd only cycled a short distance. That was certainly an expensive 200 metres and rather spoiled my experience!!
“A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit.”
— Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536, Dutch priest, teacher, author and theologian)
Bicycle riding is a habit in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. Since before the Second World War it has been so. The bike has been called “the most Dutch of all vehicles.” More people in Amsterdam choose to go by bike than by automobiles.
As Amsterdam’s population grew and the city expanded, the bicycle played a major role. Housing could be built outside the city center and residents could use bikes to commute to jobs in the historic part of town.
Today, it is a way of life and there is a decreasing reliance on automobiles throughout Dutch urban centers. Everyone rides a bike in Amsterdam, young and old, men and women; even Her Majesty Queen Beatrix bicycles!
Do pay attention for cars and for bikes when crossing streets. For those of us not accustomed to bicyclists whizzing by at top speeds, the presence of bikes as a serious transportation option and just a quaint recreational choice will take some adjustment.
Everywhere you go there are BICYCLES. Tons of them. The Dutch love their bikes and Amsterdam sure is a "city of Bikes". I found it very intimidating though, just looking out for them, as they go quite fast and there's so many. Look left, esp on the bike paths. Step in their way and you will get "belled" hehe! With narrow streets and busy traffic, bicycles are THE best way to get around Amsterdam, other than walking . You will see mothers, grandmothers, even police officers on bikes of all shapes (see pic # 4), sizes and colors.
Bikes are parked everywhere too - even chained to the canal bridges. There's even a bike "garage" where you can store your bike for the day.
Amsterdam is definitely a city built for bikes. Not only does it have bike lanes on nearly every major road, but some stairways have special steel tracks underneath the handrailings so you can slide your wheels up the staircase.
So renting a bike is naturally the fun way to get around the city. However, if WANT to look like a tourist, make sure you rent your bike from MAC BIKES. Alot of their bikes are bright orange and ALL of them have a huge round sign in the front under the handle bars that says, "Mac Bikes." Some other places will put license plates on the back of their bike--another dead give away you are a tourist.
But if you DON'T want to look like a tourist, rent from Holland Rent-a-Bike. Their bikes have no distinguishable rental features on them either. A local friend of mine, Ania, checked it out too. Nothing. So when you are riding down the street on their bikes, and ring your bell for people to move, they think you are a local! It was funny watching the "tourists" dodge my swift maneuvers :)
Service was good too. I had a flat one day and they replaced my bike at no extra cost on the spot. Each bike comes equipped with a chain lock and a special lock that latches between the spokes on the wheel. And just like cars come with horns, their bikes come with bells.
Renting requires a refundable 150 euro deposit. Credit Cards are accepted and when you return the bike, they give you back the credit card slip so you can shred it.
Rates in euros as of August 2005:
1 day 6.50
Next day till 11 am 9.25
Next day till 7 pm 12.75
3 days 17.50
4 days 22.25
5 days 26.50
6 days 30.50
7 days 34.50
every day after 7 4.00
This could be a warning as well: when you are not used to have bicycles everywhere in the streets, keep attention. There are mostly everywhere special bike ways between streets and boardwalk, often as well combined with the boardwalk, so, especially when crossing a street, don´t forget to have an eye for the bikers.
ok, but next to this little warning, take the chance to rent a bike in AMS. It is the best possibility to go around in the city and the surroundings. In your hostel or hotel you will surely find information material where to rent a bike, there are several places. One example is linked at the bottom.
Impressive are the bike places near the main station. Hundreds of bikes are here over 2 or more floors.
Amsterdam is crawling with cyclists. Watch out when you cross the streets. Watch out when you walk the sidewalk. They are everywhere. Well, if yo can't beat them join them There are various places where you can rent a bike and for not even that much money. Anyway, it is THE way to see Amsterdam the Dutch way and is always in for a few good laughs. Ah, before I forget: always lock the bike against something fixed. Each year several 10.000 bycicles change owner in the stealing way.
One of the most amazing things i've seen is the amount of bicycles in the city... a lot of people , kids , older people , mother that takes her son/daughter or even to friends riding the same bicycle !
There are special lanes for the bicycles and cars/trams give them a lot of space riding.
In the first day it is hard to understand where they are coming from but after a day you can see the rules they have.
You can rent bicycles from some of the companies in the city and i saw some hotels that rent you bicycle for your stay.
You should definitely rent a bike if the weather is nice when in A'Dam, but be sure to keep it locked and safe when you are sightseeing on foot.....Theives steal thousands of bikes a year in Amsterdam, and when they are through using it, they just toss it in one of the canals to lose the evidence. See the dredges that pull them up by the hundreds trying to keep the canals open for boats......
Aside from the normal bicycles, there are other types of bicycles I don't really know what they call them but they look so fancy and cute in various designs and colours. Some are like tour bicycles with a driver that will roam you around the city.
Walking from the main train station along the Damrak going to the Dam Square and I was almost got run over by a bike and shouted at - that's when I knew that bicycle is the main transport mode in the city, and these bicycle have their rights as long as they are along their dedicated lanes which are present in almost all streets.
Amsterdam is the most bicycle-friendly city in the world and that's one of their biggest contribution to mother earth's atmosphere cleansing - no air pollution from cars, as cars are discouraged by the local government within the city limits.
According to census, there are about 700,000 bicycles in Amsterdam and bicycle thefts are flourishing. Our walking tour guide said more than 18,000 bicycles end up in the canals each year making it the monsters that lurks within the canals - I almost said sharks.
There are several companies where you can rent a bike - yellow bike, orange bike, macbike, bike city, frederic and hundreds more. You can also join a bike tour from several operators and most bike rentals have it like Mike Bike Tours for EUR18 city bike tours 2.5 hours and EUR22 for the 4-hour country-side tour. Rates differs from each operator.
Caution though as the biggest accident cause would be - not the vehicles nor trams nor buses - the people crossing/walking along the bicycle lanes - remember I almost got hit on my first day?