Jul 11, 2022 Canyon.com
Jul 11, 2022 Canyon.com

Five stunning cycling routes in Amsterdam

Explore Amsterdam by bike: Amstel River, Parnassia Beach, Zaanse Schans, castles and waterlands. It’s better by bike with these route recommendations.

Five stunning cycling routes in Amsterdam Cycling routes in amsterdam | © Adrien Olichon

Amsterdam isn’t just a pretty face – it has one of the most impressive cycling infrastructures in the world (second only to Copenhagen, to be precise). Cycling in Amsterdam is the most authentic way to experience every delight of the capital city. Its rich history, stunning nature and interesting quirks make it an ideal destination to travel to.

Whether you glide through the water lands, dip and dive amongst dunes or savour a well-earned ice-cream at the beach, we’ve got routes for relaxed afternoon rides and day trips alike. All routes begin and end at Amsterdam Central station, so wherever you choose to stay, you’ll always have an accessible start and finish point.

Without further ado, click on the links below to check out our 5 best recommendations for cycling around Amsterdam!

Five stunning cycling routes in Amsterdam Cycling routes in amsterdam | © Jako Janse van Rensburg

Ride along the Amstel River

Distance: 27 km
Estimated cycling time: 2 hours
Fitness level: easy

This route bundles many Dutch clichés into one memorable ride: windmills, water and barges greet you the entire way along the river. You’ll pass plenty of cafés along the way to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, including a SUP boarding place well known for their fries! Ride along the right side of the river towards Oudekerk aan de Amstel to admire the architectural beauty of the stately homes.

Heard of Rembrandt? You may be inspired to learn that this route is one he frequented for introspective walks to get inspiration to paint. See if you can spot his statue next to the Rieker windmill along the way. Stop for a refreshing drink at Oudekerk aan de Amstel before crossing over to the other side of the river, where you can cycle back to Amsterdam Central station.

See Zaanse Schans from a local perspective

Distance: 38 km
Estimated cycling time: 3 hours
Fitness level: easy

You can’t go to Amsterdam without ticking a trip to Zaanse Schans off your list: whilst it’s a hugely popular tourist attraction, you’ll skip the crowds along the scenic bike route and catch plenty of iconic Dutch windmills along the way. All 8 windmills have been preserved, are still working, and a sample of what was once the thousands of windmills that lined the Dutch shores.

If it weren’t for the innovative engineering of the Dutch, the Netherlands would still be underwater. They do say that God built the Earth, and the Dutch built the Netherlands – but maybe they’re biased.

Cruise to Ilpendam and back

Distance: 35 km
Estimated time of cycling: 3 hours
Fitness level: easy

Starting at Amsterdam Central and immediately taking the ferry to Buiksloterdijk, this beautiful route takes you out of the hustle and bustle of the city centre and right into the water lands. Easily marked by signposts and flat entire way, it’s impossible to take a wrong turn. Stop in Monnickendam for a coffee on one of their terraces overlooking the picturesque canals.

Explore Muiderport Castle

Distance: 33 km
Estimated cycling time: 3 hours
Fitness level: moderate

This light, breezy ride begins on the IJ-side of Amsterdam Central station before heading southeast along the Rhine. Once you arrive in the town of Muiden, follow the signs for the castle via the ice cream stalls to explore the historical area and its gardens. On the way back, you’ll head south, following the east of the Vecht river and passing through Weesp, where we recommend slowing down to enjoy the picturesque bridges and typical Dutch red brick houses. You’ll be back in Amsterdam in no time with plenty of memories in the bank.

Grab an ice-cream at Parnassia beach

Distance: 56 km
Estimated cycling time: 5 hours
Fitness level: moderate

Ride from Amsterdam to Parnassia beach for a well-deserved portion of fries at the end with a sea view! There’s no access to Parnassia beach by public transport, so it’s a lot less crowded and loved by locals. Passing through Haarlem, you’ll have plenty of options to stop for a quick refuel. Stop by Oosterplas for a refreshing swim – if you’re lucky, you’ll be visited by the Scottish Highland cows.

Five stunning cycling routes in Amsterdam Cycling routes in amsterdam | © Tim van der Wiel

Top tips for cycling in the Netherlands

Don’t underestimate cycling around Amsterdam! Here are some tips and rules for cycling in Amsterdam to ensure you avoid bike accidents and get back in one piece:

1. Know your route before you start
If you often stop and start on the cycle paths to check the map, you’ll get an indignant “ja, hallo!” from the Dutchies behind you.

2. Cycle confidently across the city tram lines at a 45-degree angle
The tram lines have seemingly been built to perfectly fit the wheel of a bicycle, but with a bit of confident cycling, you’ll avoid this rookie error.

3. Use hand signals to turn left or right
This is a widely accepted method of signalling where you’re going in the Netherlands.

4. When nature calls, find your nearest terrace
There aren’t many public toilets in or around Amsterdam, so pair it with a coffee break!

Discover our Hybrid Bikes

By subscribing to our newsletter, you are agreeing to our Data Protection Statement .

Did this article help?

Thank you for your feedback

Related Stories

May 21, 2022
Copenhagen has a huge range of bike rides for all abilities. Discover some of our favourites here.
Apr 27, 2022
18 stages, three countries, one path: Moselle Cycle Path from Thionville to Koblenz
Apr 5, 2022
Germany’s capital city is best explored by bike. Discover our favourite cycling routes and try them for yourself.
Jan 4, 2022
Discover the UK capital by bike with our guide to London’s best cycling routes.
Content is loading
Loading animation image