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
• Stay on the right hand side of the road at all times.
• 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 the road!
• 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.
• Approach pedestrian crossings slowly and stop well in advance if a pedestrian is waiting to cross.
Parking your bike
• Our bikes all come with two locks. Use both at all times and never leave your bike unlocked, even if you are just a few metres away.
• The chain lock should go through the frame, the front wheel, and a bike rack.
• Always lock your bike to a bike rack. There are all sorts of bike parking spaces available all over the city – keep your eyes out for signs that lead you to bike flats, basements, or street racks. Leaving bikes outside of the bike racks, for example on bridges, leaves them vulnerable to being damaged, and they may be removed by the authorities.
• Do not park your bike in front of Central Station or any of the main squares. Usually you will find signs that tell you parking bikes is prohibited in these areas.
• Do not leave anything behind on your bicycle.
• Ask your hotel if any safe bike parking areas are available for overnight parking.
• In the countryside, if no bike racks are available, you can attach your bike to another item, but please do make sure you are not blocking the pavement for other road users. If no fixed items are available to attach the bike to, several bikes can be tied together instead – make sure frames and wheels are attached to one another, not just the front or back luggage carriers.
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.