Are you coming to Holland by air? Do realise that taking your bicycle on a plane is never going to be easy. We will give you some tips to help you on you way. If this puts you off, consider renting a bike - it’s easy and not that expensive. Most likely you will be flying to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, which is the main Dutch international airport. Rotterdam Airport and Eindhoven Airport are a lot smaller, offering flights to just a few European destinations.
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport - the main airport in Holland. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
Taking your bicycle on a plane
Most airlines allow you to check in your bicycle. The costs and how your bicycle has to be packed vary significantly. Contact your airline before you buy a ticket to find out their policies related to taking a bicycle on board. What will it cost? And, more importantly, how should your bicycle be packed? Airlines don’t accept luggage that doesn’t meet their requirements.
Top tips from experienced cyclists:
- Make sure you know how to take your bike apart and fit it in the box or bag - and don’t forget, your bike needs to be reassembled again on arrival
- Use bubble wrap to protect your bike - luggage is often handled roughly
- If possible, pack your bike at home
- Checking in oversized luggage takes time - arrive early
Where to store your bike box
Once you and your bike have arrived savely at Schiphol Airport, you won't need your bicycle box until your return journey. So where can you leave it?
- Schiphol Airport has a baggage depot where you can store pieces of luggage for up to one month. Depending on the length of your stay, you might find this will cost you more than buying a new box. You can purchase a new bicycle box at Schiphol Airport. But do be warned, in the busy summer period the bicycle boxes can be be sold out.
- You can also arrange to leave your bicycle box at your first hotel - this is often possible for a small fee.
Airports in Holland
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
Schiphol is the main Dutch international airport. It is located 20 km outside the capital of Amsterdam and has direct flights and connections to all continents. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Transavia Airlines have their base on Schiphol Airport.
Leaving Schiphol with your bicycle
Schiphol Airport is a huge airport surrounded by motorways. Finding your way out with your bicycle can be tricky. There are two options:
By bicycle - Go to the cycle route planner to find the cycle route to/from Schiphol: it runs parallel to the motorway. Enter 'Station Schiphol' in the From box and your destination in the To box.
By train - You can take your bicycle on Dutch trains outside rush hour. You will need to purchase a special bike ticket. Folding bikes - as long as they are folded - are considered luggage and can be taken free of charge any time of the day. Read more on our page Getting around by rail.
Rotterdam Airport has direct flights to a limited number of European destinations.
Eindhoven Airport has direct flights to a limited number of holiday destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.