The Netherlands

10 Reasons to explore the Netherlands by bicycle

The Netherlands is a perfect place to explore by bicycle. The country has many cycle paths, a flat landscape, short distances and there is lots to see and do along the way. There is no other place in the world where people love their bikes as much as in the Netherlands. As a Dutch person I almost cycle my entire life and have seen just about anything carried on a bicycle; a few children, groceries, furniture, Christmas trees, suitcases, dogs, plants, etc. There are many reasons to use a bicycle in The Netherlands. In this post, I have listed ten reasons why cycling is great in the Netherlands. Enjoy reading!

Feel like a real local

The Netherlands has more bikes than inhabitants, 22 million actually! And only 17 million inhabitants. Whenever possible, the Dutch do everything by bike. There is no better way to immerse yourself in Dutch culture than to get on a bike. With a bicycle you can go to special places where cars can’t go and sometimes you are even faster by bicycle than by a car.

In the video below you can see bicycle rush hour in the Netherlands looks like in the snow.

The dogs love biking almost as much as the people

This is a fun reason to explore the Netherlands by bicyle: the dogs! We love dogs, and so, we often bring them along with us, on our bicycles! No matter how small or big they are. You’ll see dogs going everywhere with their owners, which of course means riding with them on their bikes.

The Netherlands has the world’s most beautiful cycling routes

We truly have amazing cycling routes. Routes going through nature and cities or over rivers and grasslands. You can cycle through tulip fields, over the dunes, or through one of our national parks. There are multiple National Cycling Routes developed especially for cycling tours lasting several days. If you prefer a day tour, you can use the cycling route network to select an itinerary easily. Just select the province that you want to explore and the amount of kilometers you want to cycle.

gray commuter bike parked on road beside sea
Photo by Adam Dubec on

Cycling in The Netherlands is safe

Dutch people are used to cycling their entire life and so we pay a lot of attention in traffic. Cycling paths are often separated from the road, so you don’t need to worry about the cars.

Everyone can ride a bike in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a flat country and therefore it’s perfect for a bike ride regardless of your age or experience. We teach mandatory cycling proficiency classes to primary school children. Every spring, the children take their verkeersexamen, basically a bicycle traffic test. This is a great initiative, because Dutch school children cycle often around 15 kilometers to school each way. I always had to cycle around 10 kilometers each way to school for 5 days a week. So no worries regardless your age or experience, we are the perfect country to practice!

father teaching his son how to ride a bike
Photo by Yan Krukau on

Cycle helmets are not compulsory

Our cycling infrastructure is very well organized and so almost no deadly biking accidents occur. Cycle helmets are therefore not compulsory in our country, not yet 😉

The Netherlands has great bike parking lots

We have great bike parking lots too! At the national train station you can often find great parking lots, some of them even underground. If you visit Utrecht by bicycle, be sure and check out the massive underground bike lot under the central train station. The first 24 hours you can park for free when you have a personal OV chip card.

bicycles parked on the street near the apartment buildings
Photo by Helena Jankovičová Kováčová on

Cycling in The Netherlands is fun and makes you happy

The Netherlands’s beautiful natural landscapes and rich culture will definitely make your cycling experience great fun. You will meet new people and enjoy the great views.

The Netherlands has a great cycling climate

Our climate is pretty good for cycling!  We have a mild maritime climate. Make sure to always bring rainwear or an umbrella with you. The best time for cycling is from May to September.

There are many fun types of bicycles in the Netherlands

We have some great and fun types of bicycles in the Netherlands. Ever heard about the beer bike? The mama-fiets or oma-fiets? Bakfiets or Tandem?

The “beer bike” or bierfiets is a variation of the much less objectionable ‘group bike’. It is a bycyle where you can cycle, sit, and drink beer at the same time. Definitely an intense experience!

The “Omafiets”, translated to grandma-bike, is a bike that is known for being easy to ride as they have a higher seat and a diagonal-curved frame and the “mamafiets” is a bike with a child-seat attached, at the back or at the front.

The “bakfiets” is a bike with a big bucket in front, where you can transport your children, dogs, furniture, groceries, or anything you can think of with.

The “Tandem” is a bicycle with seats and pedals for two riders, one behind the other.

After reading these reasons, it is time to plan your cycling trip in the Netherlands. Cycling through our beautiful country is an easy to forget all your worries! Come visit the Netherlands and get on a bike!

Author: Daphne

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