Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience powered by Urban Adventures.
Discover Amsterdam’s passion for all things two wheels on a 3-hour guided bike tour. Pedal through cool, lesser-known neighborhoods on a tour inspired by Pete Jordan’s book, “In the City of Bikes,” passing landmarks such as the Rikjsmuseum and Maritime Museum. Navigate pretty districts such as Jordaan, ride a ferry to see the city’s northern 'dijks' (dykes), and on route, discover quirky bike-related places, unusual trivia and incredible tales such as how Amsterdammers used their bikes to beat wartime Nazi blockades.
Numbers are limited to 12 on this small-group tour, ensuring personalized attention.
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Pass By: Dam Square, Amsterdam The Netherlands
We will meet at a bike shop next to the absolute centre of Amsterdam: Dam square. On this site the first dam was built in the river Amstel sometime around 1265. The square has a rich history and has always been the site of national remembrances, events, and celebrations such as King’s Day.
Pass By: Nes, Nes, Ameland, Friesland Province
Next, we’ll be making our way down the Nes. A local favourite for its theatres and restaurants, the Dutch word Nes means headland or spit. In the 1500s it had a high concentration of monasteries, and the street was nicknamed Prayer without end. A side alley bears that name to this day. From early in the nineteenth century, Nes became a centre for entertainment, which it still is today.
Pass By: Oudemanhuispoort, Amsterdam The Netherlands
In the 17th century the Oudemanhuispoort, or ‘old man’s gate’ was the entrance to the old people’s home. Since the 17th century there has been a book market housed in the corridor. These days the building is part of the law faculty of the University of Amsterdam. We will stop here for a moment to explain some things about cycling in the city and decide which direction we want to take today.
Pass By: Amsterdam Centraal, Stationsplein, 1012 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Heading North we will pass by the Central Station. Built in the 1880s, this is the grand entrance to Amsterdam and part of the city’s ongoing plans for the “Red Carpet” stretching from the station to Dam Square. You can find a lot of interesting shops in the passageways, and a boulevard lined with tasty restaurants on the IJ-side.
Pass By: IJdok, Amsterdam The Netherlands
Behind the station lies the body of water called IJ, which separates the north from the rest of Amsterdam. In the Golden Age this was the harbour and It’s still a thoroughfare for the big barges transporting their cargo up and down the rivers of Holland. We will take one of the ferries that go to different parts of the north from the pier directly behind the station. On foot or by bike, It’s a fun ride across the water, and it’s free!
Pass By: Amsterdam North, Amsterdam North, Amsterdam, North Holland Province
Until 1795, Amsterdam-Noord was used as a gallows field, where the bodies of convicts were hung after the execution as a frightening example. We’ll be showing you that these days it has become one of the more edgy and innovative parts of Amsterdam, with music and theatre festivals, art spaces, trendy restaurants, and many new initiatives that are well worth a visit.
Pass By: NDSM, tt. Neveritaweg 61, 1033 WB Amsterdam The Netherlands
On this tour we might end up at the NDSM terrain. It’s one of the most interesting places in Amsterdam at the moment and has become a popular location for innovative theatre, music and art. We’ll show you around the terrain with it’s interesting buildings and landmarks, and point out a few good bars and restaurants if you want.
Pass By: De Pijp, Amsterdam, Netherlands
If we choose to go South we will make our way down the bohemian neighbourhood of the Pijp, or ‘the Pipe,’ so called because of the narrow, straight streets, that resemble pipes. These days it has a very diverse population, and you can see Turkish and Surinamese shops next to hipster lunchrooms and organic food stores. It’s a great neighbourhood for strolling around, sitting on a terrace, or visiting the famous Albert Cuyp market.
Pass By: Albert Cuyp Market, Albert Cuypstraat, Amsterdam The Netherlands
Reputedly the largest daytime outdoor market in Europe, the Albert Cuyp market started in 1912. Today you can find everything here, from fresh fish and clothing to exotic fruits and vegetables. We will stop here for a moment before we cycle on, but it’s definitely worth it to come back for a real Dutch ‘Stroopwafel’ hot from the plate, prepared right in front of you.
Pass By: Museumplein, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
We will spend some time at this square, appropriately called Museum Square, where you can find the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, and the van Gogh Museum. We’ll tell you a bit about it’s origins and in the winter there’s a Christmas market and an ice skating rink.
Pass By: Rijksmuseum, Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam The Netherlands
On our way south we will be passing underneath the beautiful Rijksmuseum, built in 1885 to house the national art collection. This passage is often used by musicians to busk or practise, because the acoustics are so beautiful. It’s a delight to the ear when you cycle past it.
Pass By: The Amstel, Amsterdam The Netherlands
The Amstel is the river that gave Amsterdam its name. It flows into the city from the south, and on a sunny day you can have a great time cycling all the way up the river to Oudekerk. We won’t go that far on this tour, but we’ll cycle along the banks for a while and tell you about the historical bond between Amsterdam and it’s river.
Pass By: ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo, Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam The Netherlands
As we cycle to the east we pass the elegant 19th century Artis Zoo. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and one of the oldest zoos of mainland Europe. With 27 monumental buildings, some of which you can admire while cycling past, Artis Zoo forms a unique cultural heritage example of 19th century design.
Stop At: Hortus Botanicus, Plantage Middenlaan 2A, 1018 DD Amsterdam The Netherlands
The route might take us past the Hortus Botanicus. Founded in 1638 as an herb garden for doctors and apothecaries, it’s one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. They have a café that serves a set lunch menu on their shaded terrace and in the Hortus shop you can find plants, seeds, gardening tools, but also books and the cutest gifts.
Duration: 5 minutes
Pass By: Van Baerlestraat & Vondelpark Museum Quarter, Amsterdam The Netherlands
On our way west we will cycle through the monumental Vondelpark. Named after a famous Dutch poet, the park opened in 1865. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s the perfect park for a cycle ride on the shady lanes underneath the amazing variety of stately trees. Or you can visit the rose garden, and afterwards chill out on the terrace of one of the cafés in the park. In summer there are performances at the open air stage.
Pass By: West Pacific Westergasfabriek, 8-10 Haarlemmerweg, Amsterdam The Netherlands
Celebrated these days as a beautiful example of industrial heritage, the Western Gas Factory was built in the 1880s. After it closed the buildings stood derelict for a long time, but slowly the terrain evolved into the cultural and entertainment centre it is today. We’ll spend some time exploring these picturesque surroundings: there’s lots going around here with weekly arts and crafts markets, festivals, and bars and restaurants, and even a cinema.
Pass By: Haarlemmerstraat, Amsterdam The Netherlands
On this tour we will make our way back into town by way of the Haarlemmerstraat. A street with a colourful history, today it’s a lively and diverse shopping street. We will pass many trendy bars like the small and cosy Harlem, said to serve some of the best nachos in town, and novelty shop Pappa Bubble, where you can make your own candy.