Cycling in the city
Seldom by car
Our story naturally begins with our main way of getting around in the big city. If you want to get the true experience of cycling in the Netherlands, you need to cruise through the streets and charming lanes of cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Maastricht. The Netherlands is a small country and our cities are quite compact, so we seldom use a car or taxi for travelling in or around the city.
Many people love the feeling of freedom while cycling in the city and exploring the vibrant city centre like a local. This is also facilitated to a large extent by our safe and comfortable cycling infrastructure. Every major city has wide bicycle paths and there is a growing number of bike-only roads reserved solely for cyclists. You are free to go (or rather, cycle) wherever you want. Another added benefit of this green mode of transport is that you don’t have to worry about traffic jams or finding a place to park. Cycling really is the best way to see everything the Netherlands has to offer.
Ultimate cycling city: Utrecht
Utrecht is one of the most progressive cities in the world in terms of cycling and boasts the world's largest indoor bicycle parking facility, which has space for at least 12,500 bicycles! It’s no wonder that the Tour de France and the Vuelta were once held here. Utrecht is very centrally located and a perfect base for an extended cycling holiday. Fun fact: Utrecht even has a bicycle mayor.
From top-of-the-line racing bicycles to sturdy Gazelles and from e-bikes to vintage granny bikes: you’ll see them all in the Netherlands. In fact, our country has more bicycles than people. On average, every person owns 1.3 bikes. The bicycle has been fully adopted as a legitimate mode of transportation, which creates a feeling of safety because motorists, tram drivers and bus drivers are used to looking out for cyclists.
Little cycling experience required
Travelling by bicycle gives you the freedom to travel to different regions and cities or to discover nature areas. Even less experienced cyclists can confidently enjoy our quintessentially Dutch mode of transport, as the flat landscape and mild climate mean easy cycling conditions. It is safe, easy and a wonderful way to experience life as a true local. And, last but not least, it is the most sustainable form of transport.
Popular routes include the tour around IJsselmeer Lake, the North Sea Coast, the Veluwe and the tour of the eleven cities in Friesland. Another spectacular attraction is the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path near Eindhoven, which is lit up like a Van Gogh painting. Or head out on a tour of the Veluwe to enjoy nature in the Netherlands even more. After your adventure, treat yourself to a delicious, traditional Dutch pancake!
A passion for cycling
Want to feel the burn?
Give it a try, it's so easy
Cycling has gained tremendous popularity in the Netherlands. We not only have a number of professional cycling teams, but the number of amateur cyclists is growing rapidly as well. The ease of taking up cycling plays a major role: you don’t have to be in great shape to still enjoy a pleasant cycling tour in the Netherlands because our country is generally quite flat and easy to navigate.
We also have plenty to offer for experienced cyclists. Knock yourself out and cycle the windy Oosterschelde Storm Surge barrier. Climb the hills of the Veluwe or take on the forests of Drenthe and Gelderland. In short: if you are in the mood to feel the burn, the Netherlands is the perfect place for it. Even if we’re short on mountains or endless cobbled roads.
Tips for all levels
No idea where to start? The Netherlands recently introduced the cool Bikepacking-concept. They will help you find fun and original routes, bike-friendly (overnight) accommodation and a variety of comfort levels ranging from easy to challenging.
The ultimate cycling tip for mountain goats? The hills (or are they mountains?) of South Limburg. The most southern edge of the country boasts a number of historic leg killers, such as Cauberg, Keutenberg or Gulperberg. They may not be tall, but boy are they steep! Former cycling champion Tom Dumoulin shares his training route with die-hard fans. Good luck and get climbing!