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.
NS Rail Netherlands
The Sprinter trains are single level commuter style trains with more doors and large interiors. They offer local service, stopping at all stations along a route. Although they are not designed for long distance comfort, they are excellent for bicycles, offering easy on and off access. Bikes are welcome in designated cars during non black out periods.
The Intercity trains are recognized as the double decker style train offering comfortable seating. These trains travel longer distances at faster speeds, serving major towns and cities. Bikes are welcome in designated cars during non black out periods.
➤ Intercity Direct
Same as above but an Express train serving Schiphol airport, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda. They require purchase of an additional supplement (upgrade) which can be purchased on departing platforms with your ov-chipkaart. Bikes are welcome in designated cars during non black out periods.
A local Sprinter train
Owned by Deutsche Bahn under contract to NS, Arriva serves smaller routes in the Netherlands such as Friesland, Groningen and Limburg provinces. The service provides smaller trains where bikes are welcome in designated cars during non-blackout periods.
➤ Abellio (R•NET)
Abellio is a subsidiary of NS Rail serving smaller routes in the province of South Holland. They provide smaller style trains but they are the most modern of the fleet. Bikes are welcome in designated cars during non-blackout periods.
✘ FYRA (discontinued)
You may see reference to this train on the internet from older sites. This was a short-lived high speed rail project between the Netherlands and Belgium but was discontinued in 2013.
Stoptrein - Term used sometimes on train schedules which literally means that the train stops at every station.
OV-Chipkaart Not Accepted
➤ Intercity Brussels (Operated by NS and Belgium Rail)
Train service between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Brussels Midi-Zuid stations. Bicycles are allowed without restrictions but an additional €12.00 fee is required when purchasing ticket. This line provides maximum flexibility in ticketing and scheduling and is the best option when traveling to and from Belgium with a touring bike.
➤ Belgium Rail (NMBS/SNCB)
This is the Belgium domestic rail service which is very bicycle friendly! You may transport your bike on trains within Belgium without restrictions by purchasing a separate bike ticket costing €5 per trip or €8 per day.
Helpful Note: Since Belgium is a bilingual country you will typically see both Dutch and French names used. For example, Brussels Midi-Zuid station - You will see the word Midi (French) or Zuid (Dutch) used interchangeably. They are the same station!
➤ Intercity Berlin (Deutsche Bahn)
This offers train service between Amsterdam and Berlin. Bicycles are allowed without restrictions but requires an additional €12.00 fee when purchasing your ticket. It provides maximum flexibility in ticketing and scheduling and is the best option when traveling to and from Berlin with a touring bike.
➤ Intercity Express ICE (Deutsche Bahn)
German high speed service between Amsterdam, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark. Full size bicycles are not allowed on ICE trains traveling within The Netherlands.
High-Speed train to Berlin
Eurostar is a British high speed train. Effective 2020, you will finally be able to travel directly between London and Amsterdam without stopping in Brussels. Passport control is handled in London and Amsterdam. You are required to book your bike on Eurostar in advance since they limit the number of bikes on each train. Your bike must be checked as baggage and no disassembly or box is required. Limited availability so book in advance! The journey takes about 4+ hours between London and Amsterdam.
These are the French high speed trains offering service between Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. The full size bicycle policy is very restrictive, requiring disassembly and a special slip cover.
➤ NS International
NS International is an official ticket agent for Intercity Brussels, Intercity Berlin, Thalys, DB ICE, Eurostar and TGV reservations.
NS International customer service counters are available at the following locations:
Amsterdam • Rotterdam • Den Haag Schiphol • Utrecht • Arnhem • Breda
Can I bring my bike on the train?
Here are the facts at a glance...
Bike and Trains
Y / N
Bicycles Permitted ?
(No disassembly or boxing required)
- - -
- - -
- - -
£35 - £55
Must be checked
Disassembly and case required
Disassembly and case required
Not inside NL
Current prices for 2020
Here is your ticket for more answers!
With the bike? Not in the rush hour!
Intercity Bike Train Car
Buying a bicycle ticket
We can't stress enough the importance of keeping spare euro coins on hand to pay for these tickets at payment machines, especially in rural train stations that may not be able to process your non-Dutch credit card. It happens!!!
Problems you may encounter
At Schiphol: If your flight arrives early in the morning or at peak periods, you will be shocked to discover that you must compete for bike space on-board the train. Other foreign travelers who are heavily laden with luggage and who do not respect or understand the bike car rules will often use the open bike area for their luggage. You may have to wait for the next train! This is a unique Schiphol experience due to the volume of visitors coming through the airport and is not typical elsewhere.
Other Passengers: The bicycle parking area on board the train has priority over other uses such as baby carriages or people sitting in the folding seats. If you purchased a bike ticket, then you have the right to ask them to move. A polite way to handle this situation is to ask them where they are going. This typically cues them that you need the space. Most times they are going a short distance and getting off at the next station or two. Use your best discretion! The conductors will actively enforce this if you bring it to their attention, if you can find them. It is rare to run into these awkward situations but it does happen once in awhile.
Purchasing a bike ticket