Amsterdam Bike Tour – It’s flat And It’s Designated!
Amsterdam city is well known for its bicycle-friendly cities in the world. As reported, Amsterdam today has more than 700,000 bikes in the city (while some reported as 600,000 bikes). To say that Amsterdammers are avid cyclists is a bit of an understatement. There are some 400km of bike paths in the city alone. These paths give top priority to cyclists, and nowhere is the humble cycle so revered, in Amsterdam even cars and pedestrians come a poor second. To have a local’s perspective on the city, one can just hire a bike and go along the way one wants to.
Get On Your Bike
There are many places to rent bikes from in Amsterdam, including the Dam, the Central Station and the Leidseplein.
You can get many different types of bicycle depending on what you want to do while in the city, as well as mopeds and scooters for longer journeys in and around Amsterdam.
There are numerous operators around that provide rental services. You can hire one of them for about EUR6.5 – EUR8 per day while some multi-day rates are as low as EUR4. Cycling in the city of Amsterdam is fun, enjoyable and refreshing. If you plan to visit Amsterdam for a vacation, you can consider to reserving one of your day for a cycling tour to explore the city.
There are a number of options for holidaymakers hiring a bike in Amsterdam when it comes to sightseeing.
If you’re unsure about going out on your own, you could take a cycling tour with one of the several companies that offer such packages.
These tours which do qualify to be referred to as some of the best organized tours in the world, they are led by experts and offer you the chance to meet others like yourself who are keen to see Amsterdam from its cycling paths. If you want to explore by yourself, there’s plenty to see and do.
If you get lost, it’s more than likely that the friendly locals – who will probably be on bikes themselves – will be able to help you find your way back to your Amsterdam hostel or hotel.
When To Go And Where To Start
Amsterdam is cold in winter. If you are not used to cycle in cold weather, you should plan your Amsterdam bike tour in summer. In addition, it is also best to cycle during off-peak hours which is from 10am to 4pm. Bring a bottle of water along to quench your taste. While we are not talking about a tour de France, if you have not been cycling for a while, this little cycling tour may add a little strain to your leg muscles. So, relax, do not rush through your cycling tour.
A commonly suggested Amsterdam bike tour is to start off and the city center Waterlooplein, make a turn at mid-point Ouderkerk aan de Amstel and finish off at Amsel Station. This journey will take about 3 to 4 hours without taking a break. However, you will need to factor in another 2 to 3 hours for rest, sight seeing and photo taking along the way.
Start off your journey at Waterlooplein. Taking the Amstel River as reference, travel south along the Amstel River. You first check point is the Magere Brug. Get yourself onto Amsteldijk road and enjoy the riverside views until you reach the Berlage Brug. Your next stop is Martin Luther King Park. As you travel south further, you will hit the A10 Ring Road. Cycle under the bridge and you will reach Amstel Park. This is a nice park and you may want to take a rest and have some photo taken.
As you continue to travel south along Amstel Rive, you will reach Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, a riverside village. This scenic landscapes and waterscapes is a popular destination for cyclists and boating enthusiasts. This is the oldest village in the Amstelland region dated back to 12th century with windmills and wooden-shoe factories. There is a century-old family Out Bakery offering a host of confections made from recipes as old as the bakery itself. You can have your tea beak here.
After having your tea, travel up north on Ouderkerkerdijk. This is a quiet and narrow road as compared to Amsteldijk where by there are not many cars. As you pedal north, you will return to Amsteldijk. You final destination will be the Amstel Station. You can either end here or take a Metro to Waterlooplein.
Another route you can take starts from one of the Bicycle rental shop, Holland rent a Bike. Holland rent a Bike is located in the Beurs van Berlage, an old stock and commodities exchange, designed by Hendrick van Berlage. The Beurs van Berlage is considered the beginning of modern Dutch architecture.
The Jordaan District
From the Beurs van Berlage it is very easy to cycle to the Jordaan district. The Jordaan is the most -sung-about area of Amsterdam and was originally built as a district for the working class with small houses and narrow streets. Until the 20th century, the Jordaan remained a working-class neighbourhood, where a typical Jordaan’s culture developed. But since 1975 the Jordaan made a radical change and it developed into a desired living area and the place to be.
When you are doing a bike tour through Amsterdam you definitely give the Vondelpark a visit. The Vondelpark is named after the Dutch Shakespeare, Joost van den Vondel and is the largest park within the Centre of Amsterdam. It is built in a English-style with a lot of meandering walkways and green meadows, no wonder the Vondelpark welcomes about 10 million visitors every year. Especially during the summer the Vondelpark is packed with people – soaking up the sun, jogging, roller-skating or just lazing about in grass.
Next to the Vondelpark you will find the biggest square of Amsterdam; the Museumplein. On this square, two of the best art collections in the world lie within no more than 200 meters of each other; the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The Van Gogh Museum is home to the largest collection of paintings and sketches by Van Gogh in the world! And the Rijksmuseum show masterpieces of 17th century painters, including works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals and Jan Steen.
The Skinny Bridge
From the Museumplein, you can cycle to the famous skinny bridge across the river Amstel. The Skinny bridge ( magere brug ) is an old Dutch design wooden bridge and acquired the name from being so narrow (mager means skinny in Dutch), that it was hard for two pedestrians to pass one along another.
As traffic along the river Amstel increased, a wider bridge replaced the narrow one.The new bridge is far from skinny but retained the name and is one of the most beautiful bridges of Amsterdam. At night many lights illuminate the bridge and becomes a very romantic place.
The Red Light District
Another great neighborhood to explore by bike is the Red Light District. The Red Light District of Amsterdam covers a large area of the old city centre and it is a major tourist attraction, approximately 3.6 milion tourists visit this infamous and exciting part of the city. The Red Light District dates back to the 14th Century when the sailors arrived in need of some female company and ever since the Red Light District never left.
The neighborhood is known worldwide under the name Red Light District, because of the red lamps in the windows of the prostitutes. This most famous part of Amsterdam is full of theater’s, shops, museums and restaurants. But this district is much more then just a tourist attraction. This district of 300-year-old gabled buildings and expensive real estate and of course the Old Church.
The Old Church is the oldest brick building of Amsterdam and like many of the historical churches, the Old Church has tombstones on the floor and a few grave monuments. The floor consists entirely of gravestones. here are 2500 graves in the Oude Kerk, under which are buried 10,000 Amsterdam citizens, including: the first wife of the painter Rembrandt van Rijn; Saskia van Uylenburg.
So pedal power is all you need to explore Amsterdam like a local.
Important Things To Know About Amsterdam Bike Tour
Cycling is very safe in Amsterdam. It is such an integral part of life in the city that training starts from an early age. A child growing up in Holland will take a week of riding classes when they start school, followed by a practical assessment set up by the local police. This is followed up by refresher courses throughout the child’s life, and even when learning to drive, being aware of and avoiding cyclists is a major part of the training. In Amsterdam you don’t really get car drivers though, they are simply cyclists behind the wheel of an automobile! This is one reason you do not see helmets in Amsterdam, as they are only likely to protect you in the event of a high speed collision with a car, and cars drive very cautiously.
As a tourist you are unlikely to have had the same level of training as the locals, but keeps your wits about you and you’ll be fine. Everyone else will certainly be looking out for you, and you are far more likely to be in a traffic accident when playing the part of the dawdling tourist walking around with your face buried in a map! If you do feel the need to wear a Helmet, expect to hear people calling out “Mooi helm!” which translates to “Nice helmet!”
The downside to having such a bicycle ‘friendly’ city is that bicycle theft is rife, and it is joked that in Amsterdam it is the second most popular sport after football! For this reason you will find that the majority of rented bikes are bright orange contraptions which stand out like a sore thumb, yet for this reason you are less likely to lose it amongst the hundreds of other bikes, and not many thieves would want to steal it. All other bikes found around the city are ancient rust buckets, with locks that are clearly worth more than the bikes themselves. However, whilst the rental companies will not charge you in the event of your bike being stolen, it is your transportation so if it is not there when you come to find it, that’s quite inconvenient. The rule of thumb is to try and ensure the bikes immediately around it are an easier target.
There are only reason 2 decisions you need to make when renting a bike, standard or folding. Folding bikes can be carried around with you, and there is no charge to take them on a bus, tram or train. Whilst standard bikes are usually accommodated there will be a charge of roughly £5.
Long story short, now it should be clear that Amsterdam city and its vicinity can be explored on bike. Since Amsterdam city is well known for its bicycle-friendly city, why not consider this one day cycling tour when you visit Amsterdam? Plan your Amsterdam travel today.
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