Cycling is fun, efficient, easy and safe if you watch out for all other traffic at all times and follow a few rules. Traffic regulations in the Netherlands and, more importantly, motorists themselves, take cyclists into account, and accidents are rare.
Where can you ride your bike?
• When available, use the brown/red bicycle lanes and tracks on the right-hand side of the road,
marked out by white lines and a bike symbol. Always keep right so faster bikers can pass you.
• Never cycle on footpaths/pavements/sidewalks, pedestrian precincts or motorways.
• Dam Square, the Flower market, Leidseplein/Leidsestraat, Rembrandtplein, Waterlooplein and Stationsplein in front of Central Station are cycle-free areas.
Cycling in traffic
• Always give-way to all traffic from the right, including taxis, trams and buses, unless otherwise indicated. This also means that traffic coming from your left should give way to you but… this shouldn’t be taken for granted!
• Ride in a straight line. Before changing direction: look over your shoulder and check if the road is clear behind you. If it is, indicate by stretching out your arm in the direction you want to go. If the road is busy, get off at the curb and walk across the road.
• Never stop (suddenly), always pull out of the traffic first.
• Turn on your front and rear lights after dusk.
• Your bell is not a toy! Only use it to alert other road users.
• Stop at red bike signals (traffic lights).
• Note that bike signals are located on the posts directly in front of you, not the other side of
• In some cases you can request a green light by pushing the button on the pole.
• Always obey a red light and follow instructions given by the police. Not doing so could
result in a €50 fine.
• Watch out that your wheels don’t get stuck in tram rails – cross them at a sharp angle.
Don’t behave like so many people hurrying through Amsterdam, by not giving way, charging through red lights or cycling through pedestrian areas.
Stay alert and watch out for other traffic!
Parking your bike
• Never leave your bike unlocked, even if you get off it for only a few seconds.
• Always lock your bike to something fixed, preferably a bike rack. Always use the two
locks: # 1 the one that blocks the rear wheel and # 2 the chain through frame and front
wheel attached to a fixed structure.
• Don’t park your bike in front of Central Station or in Dam Square.
• Don’t leave anything behind on your bicycle.
• If you have rented more than one bike, always use ALL the locks provided.
Alcohol and drugs
It is illegal to cycle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s also safer for you – and for fellow road users. Enjoy our city, but know your limits and don’t let a nice day end in a hospital.