Bicycle - Cycling, Amsterdam
The humble bicycle would appear to be the most common form of transport in Amsterdam. There are sqillions of the things with some impressive bike parks to hold the item until the owner has finished whatever business they are on.
Amsterdam has a great network of cycle lanes all over the city. These lanes are painted red with the cyclist having the right of way, always!! So be warned - if you stray onto the cycle lane you may get run over & it will be your fault. It's hard to remember this so just be wary when you hear a small bell ringing - it's likely a cyclist coming up behind you. Cue a famous Queen song........
IF U WANNA GET AROUND AMSTERDAM RENT A BIKE ITS UR BEST BET.. I WAS THERE IN 2005 AND I RENTED A BIKE THEN MY CUZIN GOT SICK OF IT CUZ HES LAZY AND RENTED A CAR BAD IDEA TO RENT A CAR WE HAD A TOM TOM GPS AND WENT TO GET SUMTHING 2 EAT AND CAME BACK AND THE WINDOW OF THE RENTAL WAS BUSTED OUT AND THEY STOLE THE TOM TOM WE HAD TO PAY LIKE 1000 EURO CUZ IT WASNT COVERD UNDER THE INSURANCE WHICH I THIN IS BS
This is a very typical cultural statement about the Netherlands, they are a people on wheels. I imagine having a country that is almost as flat as a parking lot contributed to this....I believe I read somewhere that only China has more bikes per capita. But this picture, taken at the Amsterdam Train Station gives you a good idea of what I am talking about, there are far more bikes than cars in this multitiered bike parking area. You will find organized parking in every train station of course. So if you are in reasonable health, rent a bike and enjoy the well marked bike paths throughout the city, the bikes have the right of way and you will find that people are actually very patient when traveling behind a bike, waiting for room to pass safely, it was really a joy to see and experience.
Bicycling is a popular and easy way to get around the city. Many streets have a bike-only path between the sidewalk and the automobile lane.
Be careful when walking, you might be surprised to hear a bell jingle, then have a bicycle go zooming pat you... especially if you aren't paying attention and stray into the bike lane!
Some places in Amsterdam, such as busy train stations, have thousands of bicycles side-by-side covering huge areas. Many of these bikes must be abandoned by their owners... how could you ever find your bike in this mess?
I have heard that the city, years ago, bought tens of thousands of bikes for public use. If someone needed a bike for their journey, they could pick up the nearest city bike, ride to their destination, then leave it for the next traveler. The not only encouraged the bike boom in Amsterdam, but also led to the piles of junk bikes you often see... since they have no owner, no one performs maintenance or takes care of them. I have never been able to confirm this story, but it makes sense!
Well this isn't so much about getting around the Netherlands or even getting around Amsterdam. It's more about getting across the road from the hire bike place and getting to the park without getting hit by a tram or me not running down another dizzy tourist.
So Petra says "We really should hire a bike while we are here in Amsterdam. Everyone does - it can't be that difficult".
Me "Why would we want to do that? - the cars drive on the wrong side, we are unfit - there are trams coming at you from all directions - We WILL die!"
P - "Oh come on Maria! - It'll be fun - we will stay off the roads and just go to the park - have a cycle round and eat icecream afterwards to reward ourselves for being so brave and fit"
Me - "Tut. Ok then.......But I know I'm gonna hate it".
So off we went to the Mac Bike Hire place in Leidseplein and hired bikes. It was luuuuverly (and we didn't get killed by speeding trams).
We went to the Vondel Park - saw flocks of parakeets - ate icecream - drank coffee, watched skaters, joggers, walkers, and other "proper" cyclists keeping fit in one of Amsterdam's few green spaces.
If you dont know to ride bicycle and if you have to stay more than one week in amsterdam
you are finish.This is city is the Beijing in Europe.The custom tip is the more your bicycle is old or look old you are more accepted and respectful
Tip: do yourself a favour and don't EVER think of going to the stadium by bike from the center of the town. Although the distance seems small on the map, it is not. And yes, the next day will be so painful all over, and you may not be able to sit down at all. :D
Amsterdam is very much used to bicycles. On several roads you'll find seperate lanes for bicycles and its a great and cheap way to cross the city fast. Parking a car in the city centre is very expensive; the bicycle is a good alternative. There are several places where you can rent a bike.
But! Be carefull, because the traffic is very crowded and fast.
MAD MAD MAD!!!!!!!!!
For those who arent used to cyclists on the pavement (usually this is for pedestrians...), you learn pretty quickly in Amsterdam haha. On the way to our hotel we were nearlly mowed down twice. The road was full of cars, the pavement had bikes, and there was really nowhere else we could walk!
The pavement was thin and so bikes and people couldnt safely walk/cycle alongside one another. So we learnt pretty quickly who has right of way, and to jump out of the way. We were very aware of this our whole stay there, keeping the ears peeled for the sign of an urgent bicycle bell!
Quite a few companies offer bicycle rentals for around ?8 per day with discounts for longer rentals.
Once you arrive in Amsterdam and begin mulling around, after seeing all of the people on them, you might think that every bike in the world has somehow made it's way to this city! There are people on bicycles everywhere in this town! And the ones that are not actually in use at a particular moment are parked in huge gaggles around some of the major venues such as Dam Square and Centraal Station. If you are a tourist, it is a great way to get around and see the many sights that Amsterdam has to offer. There are a slew of bicycle rental shops throughout the city, as well as companies that offer group bike tours. But if you do choose to tour Amsterdam by bike, or on foot for that matter, just be careful of some of the local riders. They tend to ride a little aggresively, and getting in their way may cause some shouting or tremendous bell ringing! :)
there are so many places where you can rent a bike,so if you don't like to walk this will make your sightseeing easier.young people usually use bikes and the town has great organisation of traffic for bicycles.on every corner you have place to "park" it.
Time for a photo opportunity - this is the multi-storey bicycle park, just to the west of Centraal Station, viewed across the harbour from Prins Hendrikkade.
As a cyclist myself I loved Amsterdam for its bicycle culture. Bikes are everywhere, outside every shop, cafe and used as the normal from of transport. It is amusing to watch the cyclists on their big bicycles, bobbing like clockwork machines as they strain to cycle over the steep canal bridges.
Even so, what annoyed me was the way cyclists rarely stop at red traffic signals. So if the 'green man' is showing, make sure there are no bikes approaching before you step into the road.
It is a well-known fact that if a car hits a cyclist, it is ALWAYS the drivers fault, according to Amsterdam law. So if you hire a bike you will be treated with respect! There are plenty of places to hire bikes. One place we found on Nieuwezijds Voorrburgwal, north of Dam Square, charged only 9 euros for 24 hours - a bargain - and I think this is a fairly typical price in the city.
Well, as I've said it already, but walking and biking are the best ways to travel Amsterdam (and Holland). Everyone seems to have one and it gives a relax ambiance to the city.
The land is just flat, except the little bridges all around the town.
There are tuns of ways to get around amsterdam! The bicycle was something that I needed to ajust to quick or else someone will run you over because you are in the way of the bicycle. They are all over and it is a good way to get around and see the city.
You can walk anywhere you need to be in Amsterdam. For everyday life a bicycle will hold you in good stead. Practical, elegant and utilitarian, the bicycle is primary to the good life in Amsterdam.
Just remember to not walk in the bike lanes.