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.
There are so many places in the world one could go bicycling and find awesome beauty with majestic landscapes and vistas, but The Netherlands offers a simple and peaceful beauty that is strictly a Dutch experience. There are the vibrant colorful flower fields of South Holland, endless waterways and canals, perfectly manicured farms and villages, old world and modern architecture, expansive landscapes with open skies, and of course the magnificent Dutch windmills.
The first thing you will discover is that the terrain is flat with very little elevation change except for the eastern provinces such as Limburg. The Dutch love to sail, so you can expect to see beautiful vintage and modern sailboats wherever you see open water. Family farms are plentiful throughout the country and you will surely come across a wide spectrum of farm animals that will greet you as you pass by. If you love waterfowl, you will be delighted by the abundance of species that you will encounter from sandpipers to spoonbills. Have your camera ready!!!
The Netherlands borders the North Sea, which provides a scenic coastline of endless beaches, sand dunes, aquatic wildlife and historic towns with a rich maritime history. The Wadden Islands are a must-see and easy to get to. If you have an appreciation for the vast engineering that went into creating the dijks and water management system throughout the country, you will certainly find beauty in this everywhere you go. It's awe inspiring! Don't be surprised to find your bike path surrounded by water, ducks, flowers, marshes and open pastures only to be rescued by the ever-present pedestrian bike bridge.
You can't talk about beauty without talking about the Dutch Masters and other well known Dutch painters. Their inspiration and influence can be seen in just about every part of the country. There is a deep national pride in their contributions! If you're not an art lover when you arrive, you might surprise yourself once you are there. Take the time to visit at least one art museum.
As you bicycle around the Netherlands you will appreciate the picturesque towns and villages, discovering the unique local character that each one has to offer. One can't help but notice the smiles on the faces of local residents and children as they safely carry on their daily activities by bike. It's a beautiful thing to see!
Sunrise at Zaanse Schans outdoor museum
Oil painting by Vermeer
photo: Shirley Agudo
A father taking his daughter to school
Who doesn't love a good bike ride?
The Dutch are known for being practical people and they have overwhelmingly adopted the bicycle as the most practical and efficient means of getting around. Not only is it used for personal transportation, you will also see the bicycle used for commercial purposes such as mail carriers, express package deliveries, home furnishings, carpenters, plumbers etc. The uses are endless.
The Dutch are consistently ranked among the happiest people in the world. Perhaps that has something to do with fresh air, daily exercise and families and friends who bicycle together in their daily life.
You will feel right at home in this land of bicycle imagination and opportunity. Don't be surprised if you return home with a different view of what is possible. But then again, isn't that why you are considering a visit to this bicycle utopia? You will be amazed at what is possible.
Bicycling in the Netherlands is serious business. All Dutch children are required to take bicycle education classes in their last years of primary school (age 11-12) and must take two tests to earn a diploma. First, they sit for a multiple-choice exam on the rules of the road. Then, they head to the streets for a real-world biking test on a course that winds through traffic. Much of the test is geared around interacting with other bike riders. Only upon successful completion are the children free to ride alone without supervision. Do you think you could pass such a test?
It is important that you observe the subtleties of how the Dutch bicyclist performs in daily traffic situations. They don't even seem to notice one another yet they flow together like fish in a stream.