Netherlands By Bike


A useful guide to information and services...



Mobile Apps


NS Rail Journey Planner

If you plan on traveling by train, then the Reisplanner is an essential survival tool to have. This is a sophisticated and well designed mobile app which will help you understand and use the Dutch train system. You can minimize annoying transfers by finding the most direct trains to your destination. It will show you where the bicycle cars are located for each train before it reaches the station. While onboard, the built-in GPS functionality tracks your train's current location thereby helping you plan ahead for disembarking with your bike at the correct station. There is Free WiFi on most trains but it can be slow and spotty. Have your own data plan!

Dutch Railway Station

Unexpected rain drops along the way!


Rain Shower Radar

Here is an important tool to have while bicycle touring. The Drizzle Radar is specifically designed to give you rain and drizzle conditions throughout the Netherlands. Drizzle can not be measured with normal radar. This type of rain is in fact too fine and therefore the radar looks through the precipitation. But BuienRadar relies on actual observations on the ground, satellite and normal radar images, thus providing a reliable picture of where the drizzle and rain actually falls. Its visual maps are colorful and depict near real time status. In a bicycling nation like the Netherlands, this is very handy.




De Vakantiefietser

Premiere Touring Bike Shop

De Vakantiefietser is a bike shop located in the Jordaan, one of the most charming areas of Amsterdam's historic canal district. They cater to the unique demands of the bicycle tourist. It's worth a visit just to see their selection of beautiful high end Dutch-made touring bikes and accessories. Eric Schuijt is well known in the Amsterdam bicycle community as an author, advocate and promoter of bike touring and has a close advisory relationship with the product manufacturers that he carries. Many people who begin their European bicycling adventures start in Amsterdam, and that usually means a visit to De Vakantiefietser.

Eric Schuijt -  Shop owner

Carla van Tatenhove

Amsterdam / Netherlands

Carla Tours

Personal Tour Guide

Carla van Tatenhove is a native of Holland and is based in Amsterdam. She is a professional and certified bicycle touring expert and has traveled the world to remote locations by bike. Carla loves the Netherlands and enjoys sharing its rich history with foreign visitors. Her expertise and enthusiasm as a travel planner assures a perfect experience no matter your cycling background. Carla is an accomplished travel photographer and advocate of bicycle touring. Along with her partner Eric, who has written several books, Carla gives seminars on their bicycle touring experiences. They also make short documentaries of their adventurous trips, which can be found on the Internet.


EL MAR de Sloep

Private Canal Boat

Amsterdam is a beautiful city with a rich history centered around its canals.
You owe it to yourself to see the city by water! We will let you in on a little secret... you don't have to settle for the large canal tour boats which are limited by where they can take you. We would like to encourage you to seek out small private tour operators that can give you a more intimate canal boat experience. These smaller boats allow for more carefree opportunities and access to smaller canal locations. Our favorite is El Mar de Sloep (El Mar the boat) which is privately owned and operated by one of Amsterdam's native sons.

Roland Boelen


Bike Boxes

Premium Bike Box

Designed to be used for multiple trips


Air Caddy

The ultimate airline shipping box

Don't let the odd triangular shape of this box scare you. It's the shape of this box that makes it so strong and adaptable to your touring bike and accessories. AirCaddy is well thought out in so many ways. It provides generous space for arranging bike components and empty panniers. The bike frame is mechanically secured to the bottom of the box, making a secure and rigid connection. It also folds up into a manageable size for transporting and storing once you arrive at your destination. Just be sure to bring carrying straps to keep it in one piece when doing so, and be sure to bring packing tape for the return trip. AirCaddy meets US and Euro airline size requirements. There is an optional wheel kit that makes pulling the box through the airport a breeze. As an added bonus, baggage handlers are spooked by the odd shape, so it usually gets special treatment.

Schiphol Airport

Schiphol Bike Box

Basic Bike Box

Specifications:Length: 175 cm (68.9")Height: 99 cm (39")Depth: 21 cm (8.3")Weight: 5 kgCost: €23Schiphol Airport sells bike boxes in the long term baggage storage area located in the basement level of the Arrivals Terminal. The elevator and stairs are located between arrival 1 and arrival 2. During peak summer travel season, be sure to verify availability. It is highly recommended that you bring your own packing tape because it is impossible to find it in any shops at the airport. The baggage storage area is the perfect place to disassemble and pack your bike. They will even store it for you until your departing flight.

Basic Bike Box


Mapping Tools

Route Map Editor

Ride with GPS

Create detailed route Maps

This is where it all starts! Creating your own electronic map files is essential to making sure you stay on the correct path using your smart phone and modern GPS technology. We like Ride with GPS because they are primarily focused on creating bicycle route maps and less focused on health and performance data like other mapping providers. You can create your own route maps from scratch or bring in someone else's maps and modify them. There is a modest learning curve but you will master the process in little time. The final step is exporting your finished map so that you can use it on your smart phone - See next.


Mobile Offline Maps

 Here is a clean and smart looking navigating system that respects your phone screen real estate and memory resources and doesn't add clutter with unnecessary information. OsmAnd's major strength is that it's based on Open Source Maps (free), which are light weight and detailed down to the street level. Simply download the full Netherlands / Belgium maps from within the app and then import your GPX file. Once you have imported your GPX file to OsmAnd, you need only your phone’s built-in GPS function to stay on course. Offline maps are the only true method to insure you can see your route regardless of whether or not you have cell service and an active data plan.

Mobile Map with GPS



Cozy, comfortable and a unique Dutch experience


Rest Inn

Bike Friendly Cabins

The RestInn concept is perfect for the traveling bicyclist. They are a series of quaint individual cabins located on private farms throughout the Netherlands. Currently there are 9 locations. They are modern, comfortable, amazingly spacious and have everything you could ask for including internet, TV, a coffeemaker, and a refrigerator. The hosts deliver a traditional Dutch breakfast to you each morning. Don't be surprised if the milk tastes fresh as it was probably produced by your farm family's dairy cows that morning! They provide a stocked mini-bar in each room with wine and beer at a modest price.


Hotel Pulitzer

Luxury Hotel

This is an Amsterdam classic that shouldn't be missed. The hotel is made up of a series of historical row houses, each with their original character, and consolidated into a single hotel experience. It is located in "The Nine Streets" neighborhood in the heart of the canal district. Make no mistake that this is a modern hotel but with a centuries old feel. If you can find it in your budget to experience the Hotel Pulitzer then you won't be sorry. They are happy to accommodate your bike by keeping it secured in a locked room and available as often as you need it. The restaurant and bar are first class and a fun place to meet new friends.

Located along the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam

The Pulitzer canal boat provides tours most days

Historic luxury and elegance and bike friendly

Den Haag

Hotel Des Indes

Luxury Hotel

Welcome to a place in history. This hotel has been enjoyed through the generations by world leaders, entertainment celebrities and regular people like you and me. It provides you with an old world feel that is cozy with modern hotel amenities. It is located in a great neighborhood, across from the “Escher in the Palace” museum, and with easy tram access to all points of the city including the beach town of Scheveningen. There is real pride in this hotel from its employees, which you feel from the moment you walk inside. This is a bicycle friendly hotel that provides secure inside storage. It’s a perfect place to pamper yourself after a long stretch on the bike path.


Book Reviews

The Dutch and their Delta

Living below sea level

Your decision to bicycle the Netherlands must have something to do with visions of windmills, dijks and canals. This book will introduce you to the fabric of Dutch culture and how it is wrapped around the history of water and the struggles of living below sea level. Learn how Dutch cities and villages have managed the never-ending threat of flooding by implementing modern day technology as well as good old Dutch ingenuity. This hardcover book is full of large color photos and the author has an easy to follow style as he provides background on important aspects of Dutch history and development. Now in its 3rd printing.

Book by Jacob Vossestein

photo: Erik Veld / MEGAVOLT

Book by Pete Jordan

In the City of Bikes

History of Amsterdam's Bicycle Culture

This book provides a historical and social perspective of the Dutch cycling culture.  Written by an American researcher on urban development who lives in Amsterdam, it is told from an American’s point of view, outlining the differences between the two worlds. His coverage of historical and geographical factors that drove the Netherlands to become bicycle-centric while America’s transportation system was built around automobiles is particularly fascinating.  He also provides extensive coverage of how the bicycling city fared during World War II.

From Dutch TV news

Interview is in English

Bicycle Touring Holland

Bike Routes around The Netherlands

This is the book that we started with many years ago and it's still a valuable reference book today. Many of the bike routes that we suggest on this site came from this book. If you've never tried using online mapping software before, this book is for you because it provides you every start, stop and turning point along the way, allowing you to create your own GPX files. Of course this is something you'll want to do before you leave home since carrying this book with you is outdated now that you can use your smart phone to show you the way. There is something warm and reassuring having this book in hand as opposed to just downloading free routes online. It is well written and has many wonderful trips for all twelve Dutch provinces.

Book by Katherine Widing