Amsterdam might be the largest city in Holland, yet the distances in the city centre can easily be covered by bike. Amsterdam also has an extensive public transport network which can be very useful for cyclists. You can take your bike with you on the metro, train and ferries.
Tram at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
The train is an excellent way of getting to and from Amsterdam with your bike. There are regular train services from Amsterdam to destinations all over the country. There is also a late night service between Amsterdam and Amsterdam City Airport, Leiden, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. Please note that - unless you have a folding bike - you're only allowed to take your bike on the train outside rush hour and a ticket for your bike is required (see overview below).
If you don't bring your own bike, you can rent a bike at most train stations. This is why the train is such a popular way for Dutch cyclists to get to the starting point of a route and why our day trips usually start at a train station.Also see:
The metro is a good way to get around Amsterdam. You are allowed to take your bicycle on the metro, but there are some restrictions. You can take your bicycle on the Amsterdam metro outside rush hour. The prohibited times are between 7 and 9 a.m. and between 4 and 6.30 p.m. on workdays. You do need a special day ticket for your bicycle which you can purchase at a ticket office or ticket machine. To plan your trip by metro, go to the GVB journeyplanner.
Bus and tram
The bus and tram are a good way of getting around Amsterdam. However, the bus and tram are of little use for cyclists as the only type of bike you're allowed to take on board is a compact, hand luggage-sized folding bike. To plan your trip by bus and tram, go to the GVB journeyplanner.Also see:
The bike and foot passenger ferries of GVB offer a free service to various destinations on the north side of the IJ. They depart from behind Amsterdam Central train station. It's a great way of exploring a less touristic part of Amsterdam and enjoying the splendid views over the water. To plan your trip by ferry, go to the GVB journeyplanner.
View of Amsterdam Central train station from the ferry. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
Taking your bicycle on public transport
Taking your bike on public transport is often not allowed during rush hour. You might need to purchase a separate ticket for your bike. Here's a brief overview of the policies for the different modes of public transport in Amsterdam. For more details, go to our Getting around pages.
Mode of public transport
Regular bike allowed?
Folding bike allowed?
Bike ticket required?
|Train||yes||yes||not for folding bikes, |
compulsory for all other bikes
|outside rush hour only|
|Metro||yes||yes||yes||outside rush hour only|
|Tram (except IJ-tram 26)||no||only compact, hand luggage-sized folding bikes||no||no|
|IJ-tram 26||yes||yes||yes||outside rush hour only|
|Bus||no||only compact, hand luggage-sized folding bikes||no||no|