At tourist sites, at your accommodation, at train stations, at bike repair shops: you will find somewhere to rent a bicycle wherever you are in Holland. Renting a bicycle is easy and not that expensive. It can save you the hassle of bringing your own bike along.
Renting a bicycle - how does it work?
You can rent a bicycle for however long you want: a couple of hours, a day, or even several weeks. Renting a bike for a longer period is usually relatively cheaper. Please note, that it is usually not possible to drop off your bike at a different location. If you want to cycle from A to B you can take your bike back to your starting point by train, or book a cycling holiday which includes accommodation, bike rental and return of bike.
To rent a bike you will need to show a valid identification document. You will also be asked to pay a deposit, which you will get back when you safely return the bike. The rental fee usually includes an insurance for if the bike gets stolen or damaged.
Reserving a bicycle in advance is always a good idea, especially in the busy holiday season, or if you want to rent bikes for the whole family. Some rental places only have standard Dutch bicycles (see photo above). Others offer a wider variety of bikes, ranging from tandems, cargo bikes and electric bikes to children's bicycles in all sizes and bikes for cyclists with special needs.
If you want to know what type of bikes are available at a bike rental place, check out their website. Also find out whether accessories such as bicycle bags, child bike seats or bike trailers are available. A bicycle pump and basic repair kit to mend a puncture are not provided as standard. You can buy the latter for a few euros at a bicycle shop or even at some supermarkets.
Bicycle rental schemes
Are you in Holland for a longer period and do you want to rent a bicycle on a regular basis? You could subscribe to the OV-bicycle scheme (OV stands for Openbaar Vervoer = public transport).
The idea is that you go somewhere by public transport and then use the OV-bicycle to get to your exact destination. The OV-bicycle can also be used for day trips.
You can rent an OV-bicycle at most train stations. Some of the smaller train stations have a self-service system, whereby you use a special pass to take the OV-bicycle out of a storage place or locker.
How does the OV-bicycle scheme work?
- Subscribe to the scheme online on the website of Dutch Rail.
- You are charged a small fee for every time you rent a bike.
- The rental fee is automatically taken from your IBAN bank account afterwards.
- You can rent up to 2 bikes at the same time on one pass.
- Making a reservation is not possible. Visit the website of Dutch Rail for the number of bikes that are still available at your required location.
- Maximum period you can rent a bike for is 72 hrs. If you return the bike after that you pay a surcharge.
- No identification, paperwork or deposits. You simply scan your pass and you're done.
- You can adjust the height of the bike to your needs without any tools.
- If you notice the bike you have picked has a defect on departure, immediately return the bike and select another bike. If you do this within the first 15 min. no charges will be made.
- For an additional fee you can return the standard OV-bicycle to any train station that doesn't use a self-service system.
Are you in Holland for a longer period and do you want to have your own working bike for a fixed monthly fee? You could subscribe to the Swapbike scheme.
The idea is that you have your own bike that you can use whenever you want. If your bike breaks down, you get a replacement bike within 48 hours. In other words, you're not responsible for the repair and maintenance of your bike.
As membership to the Swapfiets scheme is per month, it can be an option for longer cycling holidays in Holland. One advantage is, that you can return your bike in a different location. If you want to carry luggage, you will need to bring your own rear bike rack and paniers.
How does the Swapfiets scheme work?
- Subscribe to the scheme online on the website of Swapfiets.
- Depending on the membership option you choose, you might have a joining fee.
- One-month notice period
- Choose your city
- Select your preferred type of bike
- Collect your bike at a Swapfiets store or opt for at-home delivery. The height of your bike will be adjusted to your needs.
- Free standard service and repairs in 48 hours or less
- If you have an emergency and are in one of the service areas, you can get help on the spot
Finding somewhere to rent a bicycle
Although there are many bike rental places all over Holland, finding out if there actually is one where you need one, is not that straightforward. Here are some options:
- Go to the online cycle route planner. Click on the locations tab and select the box ‘Bovag Cycle rental’. All the rental places that are a member of the Bovag trade organisation will appear on the map. Please note that this is only a selection of all the places in Holland where you can rent a bike.
- Look on your cycle map or in your guide book, they often tell you where some bike rental places are.
- Via search engine: type 'fietsverhuur' + place where you want to rent a bike.
- For bike rental options at train stations follow this link to Station information. Enter the name of a station to find out if you can rent a bike there.
For an overview of bike rental companies in the big cities, go to:
- Bicycle rental in Amsterdam
- Bicycle rental in Utrecht
- Bicycle rental in The Hague
- Bicycle rental in Rotterdam
fiets = bicycle
Ik wil graag een fiets reserveren/huren = I would like to reserve/rent a bike