Can I take my bike on the train in the Netherlands?
Yes. And it’s a whole lot easier than taking your train on the bike.
Bike-friendly culture in the Netherlands seems to know no limits. As if the thousands of kilometres of cycle routes, millions of bike racks, and special legal protection for those on two wheels weren’t enough, Dutch public transport is also geared towards cyclists.
Unlike other countries, the Netherlands understands the pain of leaving your bike behind as you board the train. So dry those tears and read on for a complete guide to taking your rental bike on public transport.
Can I take my bike on Intercity and Sprinter Trains?
If you hadn’t already realised, Amsterdam is a great place to cycle. You can get from one end of the city to the other in around 20 minutes, and there are more things to do and explore than you could manage in a decade.
But hats off to those who go further afield.
Amsterdam is part of the Randstad, a megalopolis consisting of the four largest cities in the Netherlands and their surrounding areas. Whilst it’s an adventure to tour around these places using only the power of your legs, it’s equally exciting to leave the long distance work to the train and conserve your energy for biking around the cities.
How do I take my bike on the train?
Make sure to arrive in good time to catch the train, as it takes a little longer to deal with your bike. In addition to your ordinary train fare, you will also need to buy a bicycle ticket – a Fietskaart Dal – which can be done online or at the station, and accepted as both an e-ticket and a paper ticket. This costs €6.90 irrespective of how far away your destination is.
Take note, that you are only allowed to bring your bike with you during off-peak hours. Rush hour runs from 06:30-09:00 and 16:00-18:30, so avoid these times. This restriction does not apply during weekends or the months of July and August. Trains can get very crowded with bikes during these periods, however, so arrive early to avoid disappointment!
Once you’ve bought your tickets, you can wheel your bike through the larger gates, and to your train. Whilst the escalators and stairs might look like an exciting challenge to ride down, stick to the elevators: any cycling in the station or bikes on the escalators could earn you a hefty fine.
You’ll notice that some of the train carriages have a bicycle symbol. Inside these, you’ll see a special place to leave your rental bike. Lock it up there, and remove all luggage so there’s enough space for others. Friendly train station staff are used to assisting people unfamiliar with the system, so they’ll be on hand to help if you can’t find what you’re looking for.
All of the bikes we stock at YourCityBike rental shop are allowed on the train. This includes e-bikes, cargo-bikes, and tandems, so whatever shape or size, your bike will be welcome on the train to enjoy the journey with its own kind.
Can I take my bike on the metro?
Whilst it’s usually easier and quicker to cycle around the city, there are times when tired legs, substances consumed, or longer distances make electric transport seem more attractive. Surprise, surprise, Amsterdam has got you covered!
Just like with trains, your bike is allowed on the GVB Amsterdam Metro too. They are super bike-friendly and this applies all across Amsterdam; the procedures are similar to trains.
You need to buy a supplementary bicycle ticket. This costs just €1.80 and is valid for a whole day. You can purchase your metro bike ticket at any GVB service point, vending machine, ticket counter, or on your OV-Chipkaart. Again, use the bigger gates, avoid stairs and escalators, and find the bicycle symbol to show you where to store your bike.
Rush hour on the metro runs from 07:00-09:00 and 16:00-18:30, Monday to Friday. You may only take your bike outside of these times due to limited space. If you’re not standing right by your bike, make sure you lock it up!
Can I take my bike on the Ferry?
You need to check out Noord. It’s awesome, and even many repeat visitors to Amsterdam haven’t ventured up there. The North is accessed by ferry, which is also the cheapest and most pleasant form of public transport I’ve ever encountered.
Ferries run between the North part of the city and the rest of Amsterdam south of the IJ. The ferry stations are found just behind Central station where it meets the water (duh).
Remember when I said it was cheap? It’s very cheap. €0.00 to be precise. Not only do you get a free boat trip, you can also take your bike with you for no extra charge. I’ve seen some people testing the limits of this with motorcycles, little cars, and some not-so-little cars – anything goes here!
You can get cosy inside, or wheel your bike through to the front deck and feel the wind in your hair and sun on your face as you take in the sights along the IJ.
And did I mention they also run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Well, I have now.
Can I take my Bike on the Bus or Tram?
Perhaps in a more enlightened future you can but alas, today, you cannot take your bike on the bus or tram. The one exception is the IJ-tram 26, which is more liberal in its approach to bicycles.
But it’s not all bad. You can take solace in two things. Your journey on the bike will be around half the time of the tram, and an infinity times cheaper.* So spare a thought for those trapped on their mobile sardine can as you breeze ahead down the cycle lane.
*€2.90 ÷ €0.00 = ∞
And if you weren’t reading, here’s a handy table for you
|Public Transport||Bikes Allowed?||Bike Ticket?||Time Restrictions|
|Train||Yes||Yes €6.90||Not during rush hour (06:30-09:00 and 16:00-18:30 Monday to Friday); No rush hour in July or August|
|Metro||Yes||Yes €1.80||Not during rush hour (07:00-09:00 and 16:00-18:30, Monday to Friday)|
|Tram/Bus||No (except IJ-26 Tram)||No||None|