“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.
Such a common scene: a bike parked against a railing, a sign, a tree etc. Everywhere you look in Amsterdam there are bicycles. What a great mode of transportation. But the natives are professional when it comes to navigating the tight streets, avoiding traffic and yielding to clueless pedestrians. I, myself, would not be tempted to get on a bike in Amsterdam--it might be the last anyone ever saw of me.
wow i have never seen so many bicycles in my life, and everyone has one! this city is built with the bikers in mind they have their own lanes,turn signals, and even parking garages. the dutch are very good on those bikes to, i saw several occasions where someone would step out into the bike path and the biker would swerve to miss without crashing. i also was impressed at the fact that unlike americans the dutch can do up to 3 things while navagating the streets. unlike americans who can hardly handle the driving part by itself.
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.
Are you going on a cycling holiday, and would like to cover some parts of the route by train? It is often possible. So in addition to a ticket for yourself, you buy one for your bike as well.
You can hire a bike at 100 stations in the Netherlands by the day (NLG 10) or by the week (NLG 50). And the deposit.
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.
The most obvious way to get around Amsterdam, is by bicycle! That's how everyone gets around anyway, but only do so if you're confident on a bike, and will feel safe, but they have their own lane, so it should be ok! Otherwise, a quicker way is by using the tram. They are frequent, fast and cheap! They stop running at midnight. You can buy a ticket either from the driver himself, or from a tobacco stall or from the Centraal Station. An example of a trip from Leidseplein to Centraal Station only costed Euro 1.40.
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.
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.
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.
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........
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.