Netherlands By Bike
Getting a closer look...
A selection of news and short documentaries on Dutch life, bicycling and historical events.
If you are thinking about a bicycling holiday to the Netherlands, this is the place to start!
Some trips to consider...
Allow us to introduce you to some of our favorite bicycle tour routes.
Here are some bike travel ideas we think you should know about.
A touring bike needs to be rugged, comfortable, sized properly and well maintained in order to handle the long miles and weight of you and your gear. You may find it difficult to locate a bike shop that offers such a bike to fulfill your needs. Most shop owners are not willing to carry the liability of theft and damage to rent out quality touring bikes to foreigners, therefore making this an unprofitable business.
You will, however, be able to find bike shops that rent bicycles that are acceptable for light duty use and shorter trips. If your situation requires this, just be sure that your expectations are clear. Most rental bikes are city and commuter grade bicycles and are generally not dependable or comfortable enough for long distance trips.
If you feel comfortable with the process of boxing your bike, transporting it by air and re-assembling it on your arrival, this is the option for you.
Let’s face it, you have the luxury of fully outfitting and testing your bike and gear long before you get over there and you have the added confidence and familiarity of having your own bike. A major advantage of bringing your own bike, despite the hassle of transporting it, is that you are ready to go on day one... or two. You can eat up a lot of precious vacation time trying to outfit a rental bike in order for it to meet your needs.
Schiphol is one of the most bicycle-friendly airports in Europe and provides a safe and convenient location to unbox your bike, store it if needed, and even purchase a new box for your return trip. And better yet, you have a modern and safe bike pathway system out of the airport to your first holiday destination.
The cost of flying with your bicycle just got cheaper on some major US airlines as your box is now treated as part of your standard baggage allowance as long as it meets size and weight limits.
Bicycle boxes for sale at Schiphol
If you purchase a bike in the Amsterdam area, consider a bike shop offering a concierge service where they will box your bike for a modest fee and arrange for a taxi van to transport you and your bike to Schiphol for your departure.
VAT Refund Warning
If purchasing a new bike in the Netherlands, you'll pay a 21% VAT tax up front which is fully refundable, but only if you work with a bike shop that is authorized to refund your full VAT directly back to you.
We recommend that you only work with a bike dealer that offers this service and that you do not attempt to go it alone in trying to recover your VAT.
OV-fiets Rental Bikes
You will see these popular Blue and Yellow OV-fiets in and around the NS train stations for rent but unfortunately these are not available to tourists. These require a membership and a Personal OV-Chipkaart which is only available to Dutch citizens or other Euro approved residents.