The best part of Amsterdam: biking the city

Each city has their own unique quirks to it that make it a one of a kind place to be. For Amsterdam, it’s their bikes. Everywhere you go, locals and visitors alike ride their bikes to get to where they’re going. Looking around, you realize that bikes are much more common for daily commuting than cars are. The city’s layout itself is flat, and there are bike trails in every direction you look. It’s such a fun experience, that I’d recommend it over walking when in Amsterdam. In fact, walking may prove a bit more dangerous, as these bikers move quick, and being on foot can pose to be in the way of bikers at times.

Along the river Amstel, in the alleys behind homes and shops, chained to every rail, post, and in designated parking lots, you’ll see hundreds upon hundreds of bikes. It’s like the equivalent of seeing car traffic in LA or New York. Except, in Amsterdam, there’s something about people biking from A to B that creates a community. People are in the fresh air, pedaling their way about life, and interacting with people along the way. It’s not always so peaceful though, in high traffic times. The bike roads in Amsterdam have rules just as any road does, and if you follow them, you really are in for a treat. If you visit Amsterdam, you’ve definitely got to rent a bike. I recommend going in the offseason, though (not the summer), because the bike trails are overwhelmed with bike traffic.

Checking out the city at sunrise or at sunset are some of the most beautiful times to be out on a bike. It does get cold in Amsterdam, though, so make for you bring a coat for your long day outdoors. The most common kind of bike they ride is a cruiser, best for smooth sailing across town. Not only is this an extremely healthy way of life for the Dutch, for many of them, it’s all they’ve known. The Dutch begin cycling at a very young age and continue on into adulthood. Can you imagine riding alongside you mom to school instead of in a big ol’ minivan? To the Amsterdam culture, bike riding is a way of life, so if you really want to get a local feel, hop on a bike and see for yourself.

 

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