With approximately 35,000 kilometres of cycle lanes, it can rightly be said that the Netherlands is a true cycling country. The inhabitants themselves prove that you can also discover Amsterdam by bike: no less than 63% of Amsterdam locals cycle every day. So if you coming to Amsterdam on a city trip or vacation, we highly recommend renting a bike as a means of experiencing the capital. Here are 11 awesome parts of the city you wouldn’t want to miss if you intend to discover Amsterdam by bike.
Do your own street art tour
Park your bike near the Spuistraat and walk through the side streets full of coloured artwork. Or cycle to the NDSM wharf, across the IJ in Amsterdam-Noord. It used to be a shipping wharf, now turned into a street art haven. It is a raw environment where the colours look extra powerful. In the Marnixstraat behind the fire station, you can also find an inlet full of graffiti artwork.
The Vondelpark is the largest park in Amsterdam. Many activities are organised there, especially in the summer. There are also lots of restaurants and you can picnic outside during the summer months. Cycle through at your leisure, along ponds and over bridges, and stop for a snack and drink at, for example, the Blauwe Theehuis.
Cycle along the Amstel
Amsterdam owes its name to the Amstel, so a bicycle ride along the river is ‘a must’ during your visit to the capital. Cycle over the Blauwbrug along with impressive canal houses, the National Opera and Ballet and Royal Theater Carré. You can also cycle towards Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to discover the natural surroundings.
Cycle through the Jordan
The Jordaan is a true working-class neighbourhood. Young entrepreneurs, artists and students like to come together in so many of the typical Amsterdam bars. You will also find the famous gay monument, Johnny Jordaanplein and old 19th-century mansions along the beautiful canals. Certainly worth a visit!
Check out the 9 streets (Negen Straatjes)
The 9 Streets have numerous monumental shops. And it’s wonderful to now that they are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Trade, craft and culture are all you find in these streets. You will find small, original and exclusive stores. Park your bicycle and enjoy a walk on the Negen Straatjes.
The Dam Square
On Amsterdam’s Dam Square, in the city’s centre, you will find the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk where lots of fun exhibitions are organised, Madame Tussauds, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, the war memorial and the luxury department store De Bijenkorf. Park your bicycle, take a rest on one of the benches or the stairs of the palace and look at the diversity of street artists before you cycle on.
The Amsterdam Forest
In the Amsterdamse Bos you will find more than 50 kilometres of cycle paths. You can follow the red posts, this is a 14-kilometre cycle route along some of the most beautiful places in the forest. You can stop for something to eat or drink at one of the two farms in the forest.
Jewish Cultural Quarter
Impressive synagogues, buildings and memorial sites adorn the streets of the old Amsterdam Jewish quarter. At the heart of the neighbourhood is the Jewish Cultural Quarter, formed by the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue with the ancient library Ets Haim, the Hollandsche Schouwburg and the National Holocaust Museum.
The Diamantbuurt – Diamond District (De Pijp)
The Diamantbuurt is close to the Jewish Cultural Quarter. In the past, many diamond cutters used to live here and worked for the Koninklijke Asscher Diamant Maatschappij. Nowadays, emperors, kings, queens, presidents and other dignitaries visit this historic neighbourhood on the Tolstraat to marvel at its beauty. Unfortunately, as a tourist, you cannot enter, but the building itself is admirable.
Like many large cities, Amsterdam also has a Chinatown. The first Chinese to settle in Amsterdam worked on large passenger ships. When this industry slowly disappeared, the Chinese opened up groceries and eateries in this neighbourhood. The best Chinese products and dishes can be found in the old city centre. It is also the place to celebrate Chinese New Year in Amsterdam.
In 1614, part of the canals in Chinatown was filled in and the Nieuwmarkt was created. The square fills itself daily with stalls and every Saturday you will find a variety of organic products on the organic market. On the square, you will also find the striking building “De Waag”. And the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, built in traditional Chinese palace style, can be found around the corner on Zeedijk.
Amsterdam is definitely one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and discovering her by bike is something every tourist should at least do once. Have you already done this? Let us know in the comment section.