Be very careful as you wander around the streets of Amsterdam! Cycling is a very economical and popular way for locals and travellers alike to get around the city, and the bike paths are right next to the pavement. I strongly advise you to keep away from the bike path, as they will not slow down. We had countless close calls whilst we were there, so just be careful!
If you rent a bike in Amsterdam, make sure youalways lock it up. I'm not sure if it is a scam, but about 100,000 bikes are stolen a year in Amsterdam. The odd thing is there is only 200,000 of them. And, if you get a rental bike stolen the will slap you with a 500 euro fee. I would be willing to bet if you go back the next week the same bike that was solen will be there.
If you're pedestrian be aware of ciclysts. They could be as dangerous as car drivers. And than if you're driving a car take care as well because there are double signalization, one for motor vehicles and one for bicycles what could be a bit confusing especially if you're not familiar with such traffic regulations.
I have never seen more bikes than in Amsterdam. Normal bikes, odd bikes, family bikes, colourful bikes, transport bikes ... Amsterdam is really a cycler's city. But be aware, it seems that the cyclists have their own rules, they cycle everywhere, very fast, don't stop for red lights or pedestrians ...
When you want to cross the street, look twice and let the bikers pass first, otherwise you have the change to get hit or shouted at.
Just wanted to warn you guys to stay out of the bike lanes in Amsterdam. They're brutal. I saw a guy in a bike purposely run over a pedestrian for walking in the lane and then chewed him out for 10 minutes.
If you hv rented a bicycle.. make sure you have a lock and key to go with it.. Last heard picking(a euphemism for stealing) of cycles is becoming more common these days. And if you are not able to return the cycle then needless to say you are in deep *** wth fines and penalty payments
We spent four days in Amsterdam and never managed to work out whether any of the rules of the road applied to bicycles. They do not stop at pedestrian crossings, even if cars have stopped. They do not stop at red traffic lights, even if cars have stopped. Cyclists will travel the wrong way down a bicycle lane and through pedestrianised areas. We even saw one cyclist pull out in front of a moving van, even though it had right of way - she wasn't too badly hurt, fortunately.
Please be careful, as you won't hear them coming. Make sure you look EVERYWHERE before you step out on to the road, and don't assume that because the little green man is telling you to cross, that it is safe to do so.
If you are walking, dont stand on the bike paths or they will literally run into you, they will ring and ring the bell but they do never stop and..it is your fault.
If you are biking, beware of people (and do stop, as you are not dutch), beware of cars (they behave exactly as bikers with walkers) and take care of tram rails, it is easy to fall, particularly if if it is wet.
You cannot park your bicycle at any spot.
Most shopkeepers have small signs in their window that they will remove your bike (they don't like to get scratches on the glass or worse).
At the Central Station each week a truckload of wrongly parked bicycles is hauled away.
And even at the Chinese Tempel at the Zeedijk your bicycle is not welcome!
While crossing the street you should be very careful as there are specific lanes for bicycles, between pedestrian walk and road. So, apart from checking if there are cars on the road, don't forget to check if there is any bicycle coming between you and the road.
Beware the cyclists > who can be unforgiving when it comes to pedestrians standing in their way. When you hear a bicycle bell behind you, STEP ASIDE FAST! To be on the safe side, remember that most of the time trams and taxis are in a hurry as well.
The picture shows you how not to lock your bike in the Netherlands. Bicycle theft has the highest crime rate in the Netherlands. My bike was stolen 6 times in Leeuwarden, and I only lived there for three years. In Amsterdam it's all the same. The person whose bike is gone on this picture made a huge mistake by only locking the wheel. When using a lock you should attach it to the frame!! Make sure you do this everytime you stall your bike in Amsterdam, or you''ll risk it being stolen and end up by only having a wheel left....
I've read that there are 500,000 bikes in Amsterdam and a million stolen every year. So on average each bike gets taken twice. Hence if you rent a bike make sure you get a good lock and check with the rental shop what their policy is on stolen bikes. (The guy we rented them from said there would be no charge if stolen provided we returned the lock keys?!)
When walking around Amsterdam be careful of the bikes! They are everywhere and seem to have the right of way. We got pretty used to shouting "BIKEEEE!" in our group as a crazed dutch person would come carreing towards us on a pedal powered killing machine!
Like every big city on the planet, Amsterdam suffers from pick-pocket and general opportunists who will steal something if it is easily done. In particular, most Amsterdamers only cycle into the city with old bikes that nobody would want to steal anyway. So, don't leave your bike unattended for too long, you might not find all the pieces when you come back.