If you hear the word ‘Amsterdam’, what comes into your head? Most likely a combination of canals, weed, prostitutes, skinny houses, and of course, bicycles. There are a lot of bikes here. Over 850,000 – around one for every local. Cast your eyes in any direction and we bet you see a dozen. And I’ll tell you one thing – they’re not just ornaments for Instagram. 58% of Amsterdammers cycle every day. And there is a reason.
So the question is, do you plod along on your human feet or join the merry mob and breeze down the cycle lanes? I’ll give you five reasons why you need to rent a bike in Amsterdam
#1 Bikes are the quickest way round town
Amsterdam is a big place. But it doesn’t feel like that if you follow the locals’ example and travel by bike. To get an idea, from Central Station in the center out to Vondelpark in the outer layer of the city would take you around an hour on foot and less than fifteen minutes cycling.
This is why people’s experience of Amsterdam is often so dependent on whether they rent bikes or not. Without them, you’re either going to be stuck in the centre, or end up hangry and tired. Not that you shouldn’t take a day to wander round the middle of the city, but keep in mind that there’s a lot more Amsterdam outside, and a rental bike is your golden ticket to experience some of its best spots.
#2 It's fun!
I get it – for first timers in the city, the jumble of trams, cars, pedestrians and bikes criss-crossing the grachts looks chaotic to say the least. But once you start pedalling along everything seems to flow. Given the fact bikes have the right of way, cars keep a sharp eye out for cyclists, meaning you’ll quickly feel safe rolling along.
Of course, there are buses, trams, and metro services taking you round the city, but at the height of summer these more closely resemble mobile sardine saunas than viable transport. Compare that to the wind at your back and the sun on your face as you navigate the tangle of streets, and I know which I’d choose.
#3 Everyone bikes in Amsterdam
How much more immersed in Dutchness can you get than renting a bike in Amsterdam? You’re in the Netherlands afterall! That means you’re going to be exposed to bitterballen, little beers, and Dutch pop. One of the best ways to experience a culture is to eat, drink, and travel like the locals do. Amsterdam is no exception.
A journey can either be a means to an end or an experience in itself, and cycling allows you to immerse yourself in a fundamental aspect of Dutch culture. With over 2 million kilometres cycled by Amsterdammers every day it’s easy to see they must be doing something right.
One of the issues with renting a bike is being given something bright yellow, covered in scratches and plastered in stickers. You might as well wear a huge ‘I’m a tourist’ sign. Whereas here at YourCityBike, we pride ourselves in helping visitors blend in with the locals by carrying a variety of sleek monotone colour bikes, allowing you to ride like a local.
#4 Renting a bike is cheap
Wallets, listen up: I’m talking to you. Did you know, a single journey by tram will set you back €2.90? Did you also know that public transport journeys usually take double the time you would have spent on a bike?
For a short city break, time is your most valuable resource, followed by your hard earned money. You can kill two birds with one stone by renting a bicycle. At YourCityBike, we will sort you out with top of the range wheels from as little as €13.90 per day. That’s less than the price of four tram journeys, two portions of vlammetjes, or one ticket to De School.
Included in our service, we always make sure to give you our top recommendations so you can see all of Amsterdam’s musts including our local hideaways. Before braving the road, we will also provide you with traffic safety rules so you leave our shop biking with confidence!
#5 Cycling makes you feel great
There aren’t many who want to keep up their exercise routine on holiday, and if you’ve got a bike, you don’t need to. Cycling along, you will quickly feel the benefit of intermingling small periods of exercise with eating, drinking, and sightseeing, and balance out any guilt brought on by typical Dutch fried and cheesy accompaniments to beer.
And for those who just want to bimble along as they take in the place, without a hill in sight – beyond the occasional push over a steep bridge – it takes next to no effort to get around.
Coming from London, I’m used to spending two hours a day in the sweaty sticky smog of the underground. Whether it’s commuting to work, heading out to meet friends, or coming back in the wee hours after a night out, biking is the most dignified way to get around. You can predict your arrival to a matter of minutes, and are fully in control of where you go and when. Very quickly you start to forget all about cancellations, diversions, and the dreaded replacement bus service. With a bike, you are fully in control.
So quit the car, and rent a bike from the top rated bike rental in Amsterdam.