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 several locations where you can rent a bicycle:
Mr Visserplein 2
Nieuwezijds Kolk 29
-Mike's Bike Tours
I recommend the following addres for buying a cheap bicycle:
Cycling routes at Amsterdam North
A good way to get around in Amsterdam is by bike, that way you have the upper hand on the pedestrians. Do make sure you are a competant cyclist, to avoid a nasty accident, as there is nothing more fustration for the dutch then to be stuck behind someone going at snails pace.
Various places rent bikes charge rates on a sliding scale the more days you hire for.
3 Speed bike Euro 13.50 - 15.50 24hr bike city
Euro 43.50 - 45.50 5 days
68-70 Bloemgracht 1015
+31 (020) 6263721
Euro 9.50 - 14.25 Mac bike
Euro 26 - 39 5 days
Weteringschaans 2, Leidseplein
+31 (020) 6200985
When in Amsterdam you can't miss the bikes, they're everywhere. Why not do as the Dutch and ride a bike yourself?
There are many places in Amsterdam to rent a bike, and if you're staying for several weeks you could even by a used bike.
The Dutch have made it very easy to get around by bike, with bike paths everywhere and even special bike traffic lights.
A very easy and short trip along the Amstel River will take you into the Dutch countryside where you'll ride past a couple windmills and see sheep, cattle, and maybe even a shetland pony or two (well we saw them). All this in a round trip of less than 10 miles.
We rented our bikes from MacBike, but there are many more agencies to choose from.
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).
Maybe the biggest parking problem in Amsterdam is not where to park your car, but where to park your bicycle.
The multi story bicycle garage is one of the most photographed building, due to its unique nature, but did you notice the floating bicycle parking?
Most local look for a place where they can double chain their bikes; yes, bicycle theft is a big problem.
With over half a million bicycles, cycling is the preferred method of transportation in Amsterdam. There is a very well developed web of bike roads complete with street signs and stoplights, and everything within the canal belt is within 10 minutes by bike.
You can join in the fun by renting a bike for the day, or for the week at one of the many bike rental shops around. Don’t forget to lock your bike. Over 200,000 bikes are stolen every year!
If you do not want to walk around all day the City Centre of Amsterdam then consider renting a bicycle. Amsterdam is probably the most bicycle friendly city in the world. Each city street has a bicycle lane and with the narrowness of the Amsterdam streets, this is a good alternative to cars. The city is also very flat so one can ride around with out much difficulty as there are no hills to climb and tucker yourself out. This also presents a problem, in my eyes anyway. There are almost too many bikes on the streets of Amsterdam. You have to watch where you are walking or you might walk head on into a bike as they wizz by with great speed. Try not to walk on the designated bicycle lanes at all. Oddly enough in terms of bicycle safety, Amsterdam rates way behind by home town of Toronto. No one here wears a bike helmet, something that strongly encouraged by the local authorities in Toronto.
Amsterdam is a city with cyclists galore: people cycle to work, to school and to the shops. The couriers use bikes, as do the police and delivery boys. There are pedal boats, and, of course, tourists go about on bikes. It may be puzzling to foreign visitors, but for the true-blue Amsterdam people, it is the most logical means of transport, including bank managers and yuppies. Amsterdam, after all, is not built for cars. The 17th-century inner city was built for pedestrians and the narrow streets and canals do not allow for a smooth flow of cars, let alone offer sufficient parking space. The city is flat and compact, the maximum distance in the inner city approximately five kilometres; an ideal distance to bridge by bike. For this reason, some forty per cent of al traffic movements in Amsterdam is by bicycle. This is far more than in other Northern-European cities. No wonder that the 730,000 people who live in Amsterdam own no less than approximately 600,000 bicycles.
Amsterdam has been a great city for bikes since the end of the 19th century. As elsewhere, the bike became less popular as the popularity of the car grew. In Amsterdam, however, the bicycle came back with a vengeance and is used extensively. In the citys battle to limit the use of cars, the city council has even developed an extensive bike stimulation programme. An extensive network of safe, fast and comfortable bicycle routes has been developed, the road safety of cyclists has been increased, a theft-prevention programme was set up, the number of bicycle sheds was increased, etc.
The bicycle offers foreign guests, and less experienced cyclists, an adventurous way to explore the city and surroundings. There are special bicycle routes, guided cycle tours and, of course, lots of places to rent bikes from. In Amsterdam you can even cycle on the water. And you know what: on a bike each tourist feels a little like a local.
I have never seen so many people cycling in a city as in Amsterdam. Bikes are everywhere and provide a quick way to navigate the city. We rented bikes on the last day - there are various rental shops all over the city. Most require a deposit or your passport and rates vary depending on what type of bike you want and how long you want it for. The cheapest place I saw was on Bloemnstraat near Anne Frank huis (6.75 for a day) though we rented them from a shop in Brouwersgracht near the station (10 Euros per day).
In the picture Ruth is thinking - 'He can't really be cycling at full speed and looking the wrong way!!'
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