Cycling in Holland

Cycling in Holland is an experience for many cyclists. There are two-lane bike paths, considerate motorists and a firmly anchored two-wheeler culture in society, of which we can only dream in Germany. The bicycle is undoubtedly the number one vehicle in the Netherlands. It is an integral part of mobile life and is considered a cultural object. Dutch indoor soak up the cycling almost with the mother's milk. According to statistics, every inhabitant has at least two bicycles.

In Holland, the bicycle is the primary means of transportation far ahead of the car. That's why motorists also pay much more attention to cyclists. Almost nobody is riding a bicycle helmet here because there are hardly any fatal head injuries. The Netherlands is one of the five most secure countries in the world. Only road cyclists and mountain bikers wear a helmet, certainly often for fashionable reasons. Partly I have seen small children who even ride behind on the scooter without a helmet. Nor do Dutchmen wear a safety vest in Holland on their bikes. In Germany, this has become normal - at least in the winter months. If you as a German car driver in Holland simply open the door without paying attention to the traffic from behind and a cyclist rushes into the car door, you will most likely be publicly executed by the mayor on the next market square in medieval style. This is considered a mortal sin in the Netherlands! Here one takes highest consideration for cyclists.

Holland bike paths are a dream

The total of 30.000 km long bike paths are an integral part of the Dutch transport system and not "mended" or "painted" on car-friendly highways as in Germany. The most beautiful routes in the middle of nature are actually discovered on the bike. Almost all bike paths are two lanes, in very good condition and have their own, car and pedestrian-independent wheel lane intersections with its own traffic light system and long green phases. A clearly legible signage with clear directional information of the routes clearly characterizes the cycle paths (in contrast to Germany). In some cases, cycling is very fast despite the high traffic density. Slower cyclists therefore always drive right on cycle paths in a row, so faster cyclists can overtake. In addition, there are many intersections on the bike paths, the situation is quickly confusing for inexperienced cyclists.

Bike path crossing in the old town of Haarlem

Bike path in Haarlem

The Dutchman says about the Germans: "The Germans only ride a bicycle helmet because they can not ride a bike." A spark of truth resonates there, because for inexperienced cyclists Holland is really a hot place. Especially in the larger cities, the highest attention is paid to cyclists in traffic. Amsterdam is absolutely unsuitable for practicing unsafe holiday cyclists. Here you really have to master your bike, otherwise you better walk. By the way, scooter, moped and mopeds also ride on the bike path. Of course, they are faster and like to overtake without a warning, but without a helmet. Even older e-bike cyclists will simply overtake you silently.

Bike tour to Zandvoort on beautiful bike paths

Eight meters wide bike paths are not uncommon in Holland

The moped riders expect only by their engine noise that cyclists in Holland voluntarily free the "left lane". In very rare cases, this can lead to traffic accidents. The police controls these so-called "Bromfiets" for unauthorized performance increases. As in Germany max. 45 km / h allowed. Teenagers fans with gasoline in the blood, of course, often see it differently.

In the photo on the left you can see the coastal cycle path along the sea from Zandvoort in the direction of Bloemendaal. The middle, wide path is closed to cars and only for pedestrians, ambulances and cyclists. The road for the cars is structurally separate next to it. This is pure cycling pleasure!

Bicycle rental in Holland

Holland bikes often only have 1-3 gears because there are hardly any gradients. But on the coast, even on the most beautiful cycling routes there is strong headwind - almost always from the west. In backwind or headwind, a circuit is also very useful. Tailwind almost always comes from the west. If you can somehow plan and drive with the tailwind, your Holland bike tour wisely starts from the coast to the interior. Bicycles can often be rented in Holland near train stations. They cost about 10 per day to 14, - EUR and usually have wide handlebars, a three-speed gear, a very sturdy luggage carrier, two locks and weigh as much as two German touring bicycles. To be honest, I was surprised how well the heavy budget bikes run. There is a parking problem for bicycles in the larger cities in Holland. Everything is full of wheels, every Dutchman has on average two bicycles.

Bicycle parking in Holland

Coveted bicycle parking in Haarlem despite high theft risk

It is important to connect your bike to a fixed object such as a lantern or railing overnight. Unfortunately, this is often forbidden. There are many no parking signs for bicycles in the cities, especially in front of shop windows. Personally, I would stick to it. Experts recommend using two different locks to prevent theft, as thieves often specialize in cracking only one particular type of lock. Because everything sounds so complicated, there are special bicycle parking facilities in Holland's cities for 50 cents to 2, - EUR per day. Here are rental bikes really safe to accommodate.

Bicycle paradise Netherlands

Holland offers cyclists undoubtedly fantastic conditions to have fun on the bike routes. If you follow the customary rules, you will actively experience how easy and relaxed it can be on the road - even when you are not on holiday. The city of Amsterdam alone has about 400 km of bike paths. Cycling is more relaxed than in Germany, despite the busy cycle paths. Helmet and safety vest can normally stay at home. Through Holland's dense population can be cycled on well-developed routes from city to city, in many villages there is a bicycle mechanic, which also helps on the weekend in a breakdown (just ask in the next café). This service network for cyclists is as well organized as in Germany the ADAC for motorists. Ancient cities, museums, canals, picturesque nature, relaxed people, wide sandy beaches on the North Sea and a lot of water inland make Holland a perfect holiday destination - especially for cyclists. Anyway, as long as the weather plays along. Discover the most beautiful bike routes in Holland not only on vacation. Use this bicycle in the Netherlands simply as an everyday object. In short: Cycling tours in Holland are a dream for everyone who knows the slightly different rules.

Cycling in Holland's nature Bike ride in the dunes of Bloemendaal

Haarlem at night Adventurous Bikes in Holland

Bicycle rides in Holland

Route Haarlem - Zandvoort - Bloemental - Haarlem approx. 30 km

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Holland bike ride on the beach north on Google Maps

Route Haarlem - Zandvoort - beach restaurant
Nederzandt - Haarlem about 40 km

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Holland bike ride on the beach south in Google Maps

Tips for cycling in Holland


  • On busy Dutch bike paths one behind the other and not next to each other
  • Take good care of other cyclists and oncoming traffic, let mopeds pass, do not cycle while drunk
  • Take two good locks from different home manufacturers if the wheels are parked overnight in a Dutch town under the lantern
  • For very careful people: take along kit - important if you do more tours and the bike in the evening until 18.00 clock on time to give back to the lender
  • I would rather avoid Amsterdam as an insecure cyclist, but experienced cyclists with experience will not have any problems
  • In the main season and bridge holidays it gets very busy in Holland. There are no more accommodations, but there are traffic jams and beaches. Avoid these times as much as possible.
  • Note holidaysbecause the Dutch like to celebrate: Ascension was 2016 eg the Dutch Liberation Day. In Haarlem, the 150.000 visitors (!) Distributed at various pop concerts in the city. For cyclists there is not much space left ...

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