To get around Amsterdam by bike, there are two dedicated cycle maps available: one covers the whole of the city, the other the Amsterdam region. These maps are made in co-operation with the Dutch Cyclists' Union and offer more than a regular tourist map. They not only give the touristic sites, but also help you find the most bike-friendly routes through the city and to the surrounding countryside. What's the difference between these two maps? Which map should you choose?
The Amsterdam by bike maps are aimed at cyclists in the city. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
Amsterdam by bike map
If you just want to find your way around the city of Amsterdam by bike, your best choice is the cycle map Amsterdam op de fiets (Amsterdam by bike). Basically it's a regular street plan of the city, but with added information for cyclists. Besides the things you'd expect to find on a ordinary street plan, such as street names, places of interest and public transport, the map also gives you things that are useful to know as a cyclist, such as bike rental and guarded bike parking. Unfortunately, the listing only includes these bike services at train stations - we’ve been told this is for practical reasons. For more bike services and up-to-date information, go to our Amsterdam pages.
The map shows cycle paths, roads that are closed for cyclists and it even gives you recommended bike routes through the city, which are clearly marked in green. So whether you're a long-term resident in Amsterdam or it's your first time in the city, you can always find the most bike-friendly route to your destination. In a city as busy as Amsterdam this makes all the difference!
Amsterdam region by bike map
If you're planning to combine sightseeing in Amsterdam with some cycle trips in the region, you'll need a map that covers more than just the city. In that case the map Stadsregio Amsterdam op de fiets (Amsterdam region by bike) is most suitable. The scale of the map is 1:50,000 so it has a lot of detail (many cycle maps have a scale of 1:100,000), but it covers such a large area that you're not likely to cycle off the map if you're doing a day trip from Amsterdam. The map will take you to all the popular tourist destinations within cycling distance from Amsterdam, such as Marken, Volendam, Zaanse Schans, Almaar, the North Sea coast, Haarlem and the tulip fields around the Keukenhof.
The map offers everything you'd expect to find on a good cycle map, such as places of interest, bike services, cycle paths and the signposted national long-distance network and numbered cycle network. But unlike other cycle maps, it indicates where the numbered cycle network takes you over separate cycle paths and where it follows the roads. The map also gives recommended cycle routes that are not signposted, once again distinguishing between roads and cycle paths.
Other useful information cycle maps don't always give, is a list of ferries and when they run. Please note that this information is only in Dutch. If you turn the map over, you'll find a cutout of the Amsterdam op de fiets map which gives you a street plan of the city centre with added information for cyclists. Although it only covers the city centre, the area is large enough for a typical sightseeing tour of Amsterdam. The rest of the back side of the map is dedicated to information on cycling, bike parking, rental (with addresses), but again: only in Dutch.
We are really impressed by these two cycle maps of Amsterdam and the region. They’re relatively inexpensive, but it doesn’t show: they are a regular size, printed on quality paper and their distinctive, but not too bright colour scheme makes them easy to read. The Cito-plan/Dutch Cyclists’ Union series is unique as they're the only maps that are especially aimed at cyclists in the city. The maps are well thought out, practical and ideal for cyclists based in Amsterdam. In most cases, choosing one of the maps will be enough. Just get yourself the one that suits your needs.
If you’re planning to go further afield from Amsterdam, for example for a multi-day bike tour through Holland, we recommend using a cycle map with a scale of 1:100,000. For an overview of what’s available, go to Planning your route - maps & books.
Amsterdam op de fiets, 9th edition
Cycle map of the city of Amsterdam by Cito-plan
Stadsregio Amsterdam op de fiets, 4th edition
Cycle map of the Amsterdam region by Cito-plan
The maps can be purchased at tourist information offices, bookshops and via the Cito-plan website.