Bicycle - Cycling, Amsterdam
Cycling is a very popular way to get around in Amsterdam. As such, there is a very efficient and cycle friendly road/cycle lane system. Though very dangerous for the unsuspecting pedestrian (see warnings and dangers) it is very fast, economic travel if you fancy it.
Bicylcle rental is readily available all round the city, and often via your hotel/hostel.
There are MANY places around town to rent a bike. There are bike lanes on all roads....bikes are EVERYWHERE!! This is probably the easiest way to get around, but it looks a bit dangerous with all the other bikes around....and sharing the lane with motor bikes! It seems for every automobile there are 10 bicycles!
Every Dutch person at least ownes one bike. There are 16 million people in this country and over 30 million bikes. Especially in the big cities like Amsterdam this is a good way of transportation.
I used to have more than one bike as well when I lived in The Netherlands. One normal bike for touring around and one old bike to get to the pub and back again.
There are several bike rental companies in Amsterdam.
To name a few there is Macbike at Central Station (CS); Bike City at Bloemgracht 70; Rent-A-Bike-Damstraat at Damstraat 20 and Frédéric Rent a Bike at Brouwersgracht 78 (about a 10 minute walk from CS).
In Amsterdam,as well in most Northern European
Country ,it's used to rent bicycles....ok,it could be a
good idea but....I've moved on feet because of the
centre is not huge...and you can live better the city!
Two typical Hollander girls cruising past me on Reestraat, riding tandem.
Bicycles rule in Amsterdam, and I would never go there without renting one from one of the local shops.
I shot this outside my apartment while having koffie.
Amsterdam is not a big city. You can easily walk across it and take the inexpensive trams to and fro. However, you will waste time that could be spent enjoying the city. Everyone rides a bike here- becaue it makes sense. There are no hills, incredible bike infrastructure (traffic lights, bike roads) and you can navigate the city in no time at all. My first bike ride in the city was on a junker I bought from a junkie for 10 Guilders (7 USD). That is still an option is Amsterdam, but not one that I'd recommend to anyone else. Go rent a bike and see the WHOLE CITY. There are a ton of bike rental companies- Macbike being the most popular I think, but I'd recommend Damstraat Rent-a-bike because they offer normal looking bikes, not the bright red or yellow hunkers you get from the more popular companies. This way you won't get pegged as tourist right away.
I am amazed by the amount of bicycles here. Coming from a place where its a Death wish to ride a bicycle in the city, I am totally in awe of how the bicycle is THE main mode of transportation within the city / town.
One of the fondest memories I have of bicycles in Amsterdam is the many times I came close to getting run over as I was totally unaware of the lanes specially for bicycles. **grin**
Everywhere you go in Holland you'll see people getting around by bike. In Holland bikes are given a status accorded few modes of transportation. Bike paths exist next to every major road through the countryside into the center of the big cities. You can explore all of Holland by bike if you choose. For the Dutch it is not just a recreational sport, it is a primary means of transport to work, school, even the market.
-taken from http://www.hiptravelguide.com/amsterdam/php/article-29.html-
Amsterdam is known as the City of Bikes, since there are over one million on the streets today,curiously more than the number of residents. The typical bike of Amsterdam is called an Oma-fiets (Granny Bike). No need for mountain bikes here as there are no mountains in the Netherlands, and if you have had one (a mountain bike) it would likely to be stolen within 24 hours. Bikes here are often old and rusty because of the weather and of bike theft. The rule of thumb here is to spend more on a lock or preferably more locks than the bike itself, seriously.
The bikes are also mainly used as a mean of transportation and not as mean of recreation. You will be quicker to get from one point to the other in the city with the bike than you would with public transportation or car.
Another interesting fact is that near the end of world word II, while fleeing the city from advancing Canadian troops (eh?), the Germans (don’t mention the Germans ;-) stole virtually every bike they could get their hands on. The few remaining bikes developed a status that survives to this day “the older the better” tradition. And yes, the Dutch still want their bikes back!
That will be the good ol' reliable BICYCLE. Lots of places offering them for rent by the day or week. One of the better known shops is MacBike of course which has shops in Waterlooplein, Leidseplein and the Marnixstraat. If you're not up to cycling around Amsterdam yourself, you can always join a tour - Yellow Bike tours are the most popular among tourist. Do watch out for pedestrians and other bikes. A note of advice: the locals do generally dislike any tourists on bikes. But as long as you watch out for traffic and not occupy the entire bike path, you should be fine.
There are lots of bikes in Amsterdam. Indeed, chances are that if you don't trip over one you'll get run down by one. It's not always the rider's fault: it's not easy riding over wet cobblestones after a few jars of Heineken. Old Cliffie would never suggest that irate pedestrians are to blame - but rather a lot of bikes seem to end up in the canals.
The first thing I will always do after I get off the train at Centraal, is walk to frederic on Brouwersgracht and rent a bicycle. In Sept. '03 they were only 40 Euros/week (yes, I know you can buy one for 10 Eu from a junkie, but I'll pass..)
Especially during good weather, what could be more fun than to rent a bike and go for a ride in & around Amsterdam?
There are lots of places to rent an affordable bike all over town.
Frederic rents the plain, simple old black bikes most Hollanders ride in the city, so you don't stand out like a tourist on your bright orange MacBike, inviting the junkies to trash and/or steal your transportation.
The VVV tourist info office outside Centraal station has bike path maps.
Even some hotels rent them to pick up and return it to the lobby (hopefully.... bicycle theft is so common in ADam it's almost comical... ).
In Amsterdam, bikes are given respect, their own lanes & traffic lights.
Just be cautious/careful as the tourists not used to bike traffic won't see you comin'.
If the sun's out and the wind isn't blowing hard, you will be in Nederlands-bicycle heaven.
The "frederic" website listed below is where I rented mine (BROUWERSGRACHT 78).
Make sure to get a couple good locks and lock it up tight to a bridge or something very sturdy
Doei. Pedal 2da metal.......ching!.... ching... ching....
The people at Bike City are great but the best part is that they rent you bikes that look like all the other bikes in Amsterdam. Some of the other places paint their bikes a certain color so you stick out like a big tourista. I would recommend that you rent the three speed version because occasionally you do have to go up and over some canals and those lower speeds help a lot.
Although it seems easy to travel around Amsterdam by bike it can be a hell to park it anywhere. If you can find a save place, perferably near a post to which you can lock it, be sure the owners of the house like what you are doing. This sign says: Bikes (+cars)will be removed!
And when you come back, maybe the people living her didn't remove it, but someone else could use your bike, and took it. Bikes are the most stolen item in this city.........
Amsterdam has four ways to get around as a tourist: taxi, tram, foot, and bicycle, the last being the most fun.
Taxi costs, in Euros, run 6 to 12 Euro for a inter city taxi ride from one neighbourhood to another, to 36 euro if going to Schipol airport from the city centre.
Nothing wrong with walking Amsterdam, and jumping trams using a day pass to motivate among the neighbourhoods.
But bike riding- rent a bike at central station or one of the many bike rental centres at youth hostels, and you can quickly cross town, dart through the pedestrians, zip between cafes and night clubs.