Cycling rules in Holland

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A bicycle is the perfect means of transport to explore the city and rural areas. Often, cyclists can follow a safe route on specially designed bicycle roads. Along the way, you will find plenty of places to enjoy a drink, a bite, and charge your e-bike.

Rules of the road—bicycle edition

Many roads have specific "cycleways" separate from the road itself, with their own traffic lights and controls. Tunnels and bridges segregate cyclists away from the rush of traffic in highly congested areas to ensure maximum safety and speedy travel (and minimal exhaust inhalation). Signposts and road signs are available in cycle ways and roundabouts, and sometimes list alternative routes. While cycle lanes and cycle routes have the same type of traffic signals as the motor vehicle lanes, Dutch cyclists are pretty aggressive and notorious for ignoring traffic signals. This may be encouraged by those "automobile is always responsible" types of laws—being surrounded by two tons of metal makes it hard to point a finger of blame in a collision with a defenseless man on a bike.

Get around easily

The rules of the road are easy to learn in Holland. If you are willing to be a strong bicyclist without dilly-dallying around, cycling through the cities and countryside is one of the best ways to get to know both this land and its people. Because of the landscape, even those unused to cycling everywhere can get around just fine. Bicycle tours are popular ways to access the countryside without getting lost or see beautiful major cities like Amsterdam, Utrecht, the Hague, and Rotterdam in an exciting way. Bicycle rentals are available in just about every urban center.

General cycling rules in Holland:

  • Two cyclists are allowed to ride side by side, no more.
  • If cycling side by side hinders traffic, you must cycle in single file.
  • Cyclists are allowed to turn right at a red traffic light if there is a sign that reads: ‘rechtsaf voor fietser vrij’ (cyclists free to turn right).
  • Cycles can be parked on the sidewalk unless there is a sign that forbids it.
  • Cyclists are only allowed to transport children under 8 if they are in a safe seat.
  • Cyclists must pass each other on the left; they are allowed to pass other vehicles on the right.
  • Cyclists must have a working light on the front and back of their bicycle at night.

Book a cycling holiday

Want to cycle through Holland with a guide? Check out our selection of cycling holidays. There are all kinds of holidays for beginners and advanced cyclists that cater to your specific interests. Discover Holland in a sportive way!