Discover the Best 12 Cycling Routes in Amsterdam

Best Cycling Routes in Amsterdam
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Amsterdam is renowned for its impressive cycling infrastructure and offers a range of scenic and urban cycling routes that cater to all levels of cyclists. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a leisurely ride or an experienced cyclist seeking a challenge, Amsterdam has something to offer. The city’s beautiful landscapes, historic sites, and charming villages make it a cyclist’s paradise. Here are our top recommendations for the best cycling routes in Amsterdam.

Key Takeaways:

  • Amsterdam offers a variety of scenic and urban cycling routes for cyclists of all levels.
  • Explore the picturesque Amstel River and stop at cafes in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.
  • Discover Zaanse Schans and learn about Dutch engineering while cycling through the countryside.
  • Enjoy the flat terrain and picturesque canals in the waterlands outside of Amsterdam.
  • Visit Muiderport Castle and explore the historical town of Muiden.

These are just a few of the incredible cycling routes that Amsterdam has to offer. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or just looking to explore the city’s hidden gems, there is a cycling route in Amsterdam that will suit your interests. So grab your bike, put on your helmet, and get ready to discover the best cycling routes in Amsterdam!

Cycling Along the Amstel River

Immerse yourself in Dutch clichés and picturesque scenery as you cycle along the Amstel River, passing by historic windmills and stately homes. This 27 km route offers a delightful combination of natural beauty and cultural highlights. The flat terrain and well-maintained cycling paths make it a perfect choice for cyclists of all skill levels.

As you pedal along, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the river and the surrounding countryside. Keep an eye out for the iconic windmills that dot the landscape, adding a touch of charm and history to your cycling adventure. The route also takes you past magnificent stately homes, giving you a glimpse into the rich heritage of the region.

One of the highlights of this route is the opportunity to visit the charming cafes in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. Take a break from your ride and indulge in some authentic Dutch treats while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of this quaint village. Whether you choose to rest at a waterfront cafe or explore the cobblestone streets, Ouderkerk aan de Amstel is the perfect place to recharge before continuing your journey.

Route Details
Distance 27 km
Difficulty Easy
Highlights Amstel River, windmills, stately homes, cafes in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

Key Highlights:

  • Scenic route along the Amstel River
  • Iconic windmills and stately homes
  • Opportunity to stop at charming cafes in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist looking to explore Amsterdam’s beautiful countryside or a leisurely rider seeking to soak up the city’s culture and history, this cycling route along the Amstel River is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. So, hop on your bike, breathe in the fresh air, and embark on a cycling adventure like no other in Amsterdam!

Exploring Zaanse Schans

Embark on a scenic journey through the Dutch countryside as you cycle to Zaanse Schans, a historic village renowned for its well-preserved windmills and fascinating Dutch engineering. This 38 km route offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage.

As you pedal through the picturesque Dutch countryside, you’ll be surrounded by lush green fields and charming farmhouses. The route takes you along meandering canals and past traditional windmills that have become iconic symbols of the Netherlands.

Upon arriving at Zaanse Schans, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. This open-air museum showcases a collection of beautifully preserved windmills, which were once used for various industries such as sawmilling, oil production, and cocoa processing. You can explore the interiors of some windmills and learn about the innovative Dutch engineering that made these structures possible.

Route Highlights Distance Estimated Time
Scenic Dutch Countryside 38 km Approximately 3 hours
Well-Preserved Windmills Visit and learn about the iconic windmills of Zaanse Schans Vary depending on exploration time

After immersing yourself in the history and engineering marvels of Zaanse Schans, you can take a leisurely stroll through the village, admiring the traditional Dutch wooden houses and shops. Don’t forget to try some local delicacies, such as cheese and stroopwafels, before hopping back on your bike to continue your cycling adventure.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful ride through the countryside, the Zaanse Schans route offers an unforgettable experience. So grab your bike, pedal through the Dutch countryside, and uncover the wonders of Zaanse Schans!

Cycling Along the Waterlands to Ilpendam

Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the waterlands as you cycle through flat terrain and picturesque canals to the town of Ilpendam. This 35 km route offers a peaceful and scenic escape from the urban environment of Amsterdam. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to soak in the natural beauty of the waterlands and enjoy the tranquility of the Dutch countryside.

As you pedal through the flat terrain, you’ll be surrounded by lush green fields, grazing cows, and charming windmills. The waterlands are known for their calm and tranquil atmosphere, making it a perfect setting for a leisurely bike ride. The route takes you along well-maintained paths and scenic canals, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of this unique landscape.

For a delightful break, make sure to stop in the enchanting town of Monnickendam. This picturesque town offers a charming waterfront, lined with historic buildings and cozy cafes. Take a moment to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the peaceful ambiance.

Route Details:

Route Distance Highlights
Amsterdam to Monnickendam 15 km Scenic canals, windmills
Monnickendam to Ilpendam 20 km Flat terrain, picturesque countryside

This cycling route is suitable for riders of all skill levels, including beginners. The flat terrain makes it a comfortable and enjoyable ride, allowing you to focus on the natural beauty that surrounds you. It’s the perfect opportunity to escape the bustling city and experience the peaceful charm of the waterlands.

So grab your bike, pack a picnic, and set off on this delightful cycling adventure through the waterlands to Ilpendam. You’ll discover a world of tranquility, scenic landscapes, and charming towns along the way.

Discovering Muiderport Castle

Immerse yourself in Dutch history as you cycle along the Rhine to the town of Muiden, where you can visit the impressive Muiderport Castle. This 33 km route provides a picturesque journey, with the castle as the highlight. Built in the 13th century, Muiderport Castle is a well-preserved medieval fortress and offers a fascinating glimpse into the past. Explore the castle’s towers, admire the stunning views of the surrounding area, and learn about its rich history.

Continuing your journey, you’ll pass through the charming town of Weesp, known for its scenic bridges and quintessential Dutch red brick houses. Take a moment to soak in the quaint atmosphere and marvel at the beautiful architecture. With its narrow streets and historic buildings, Weesp is a delightful place to explore.

To make the most of your cycling adventure, pack a picnic lunch and find a spot along the route to enjoy a leisurely break. Take in the serene surroundings as you refuel and recharge before continuing on your way. The return route will take you back to Amsterdam, allowing you to reflect on the beauty and history you’ve encountered along the way.

Experience the magic of Muiderport Castle and the charming town of Weesp on this cycling journey. Immerse yourself in Dutch culture and history as you pedal through beautiful landscapes and picturesque towns. Don’t forget to capture the memories with your camera, as these are moments you’ll want to cherish forever.

Things to See and Do:

  • Visit Muiderport Castle and explore its towers and grounds
  • Enjoy the scenic views along the Rhine as you cycle to Muiden
  • Explore the charming town of Weesp and admire the Dutch red brick houses
  • Take a break and have a picnic lunch along the route
  • Capture the beauty of the castle and town with your camera

Route Details:

Starting Point Muiderport Castle Finishing Point Weesp
Distance 33 km Difficulty Moderate
Estimated Time 3-4 hours Terrain Flat

So grab your bike, follow the Rhine, and embark on a memorable journey to Muiderport Castle and the charming town of Weesp. Prepare to be enchanted by the history, beauty, and culture that await you on this cycling adventure.

Cycling to Parnassia Beach via the Lake

Escape to the tranquility of Parnassia Beach on this 56 km route, passing through the vibrant city of Haarlem and making a refreshing stop at the picturesque Oosterplas for a swim. As you set off from Amsterdam, you’ll cycle through the bustling streets of Haarlem, known for its charming architecture and lively atmosphere. Take a moment to explore the city’s historic landmarks, such as the Grote Markt and the St. Bavo’s Church, before continuing on your journey.

Leaving Haarlem behind, you’ll enter a serene landscape of meadows, canals, and windmills. Enjoy the gentle rhythm of pedaling through the Dutch countryside, surrounded by lush greenery and vibrant tulip fields. As you approach Oosterplas, take a break and immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of this idyllic lake. The cool water will rejuvenate you for the final leg of your journey.

From Oosterplas, it’s just a short ride to Parnassia Beach. Located in the beautiful Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, this beach offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling city. Feel the soft sand beneath your feet as you take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline or bask in the warm sun. Take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you before hopping back on your bike for the return journey.

Table: Route Details

Distance Terrain Highlights
56 km City streets, countryside Haarlem, Oosterplas, Parnassia Beach

Embark on this scenic cycling adventure to Parnassia Beach and discover the perfect blend of cultural exploration and natural serenity. This route offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. So grab your bike, soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Haarlem, and indulge in a refreshing swim at Oosterplas before reaching the tranquil shores of Parnassia Beach.

Exploring Amsterdamse Bos: The Urban Forest

Immerse yourself in nature’s beauty as you cycle through Amsterdamse Bos, an enchanting urban forest with glistening lakes and towering evergreen trees. This peaceful ride offers a unique opportunity to escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.

As you pedal through Amsterdamse Bos, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery, with the shade of the tall evergreens providing a cool respite from the sun. The glistening lakes within the forest add a touch of magic to your cycling experience, creating a serene atmosphere that is perfect for a leisurely ride.

One of the highlights of exploring Amsterdamse Bos is the chance to discover hidden spots tucked away in the forest. Whether you stumble upon a secluded picnic area, a charming wooden bridge, or a scenic viewpoint, each new discovery adds to the sense of adventure and wonder.

So hop on your bicycle and embark on a journey through Amsterdamse Bos. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful escape or a fun outdoor activity, this urban forest will captivate you with its natural beauty and provide a memorable cycling experience.

Route Distance Highlights
Amsterdamse Bos Loop Approximately 12 km Scenic lakes, picnic areas, and charming bridges
Amsterdamse Bos North Loop Approximately 8 km Peaceful paths, wildlife spotting opportunities, and hidden gems
Amsterdamse Bos South Loop Approximately 10 km Grazing Highland cattle, beautiful flower fields, and serene woodland

Additional Tips for Exploring Amsterdamse Bos:

  • Bring a picnic and enjoy a scenic lunch break in one of the designated areas.
  • Stay hydrated and bring a water bottle to quench your thirst during the ride.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and suitable footwear for a smooth cycling experience.
  • Don’t forget your camera to capture the breathtaking views and memorable moments.

Urban Tour of Sights and Canals

Immerse yourself in the unique charm of Amsterdam as you cycle through the city, passing iconic landmarks like the Anne Frank House and exploring the trendy Nine Streets, before indulging in delicious local food at the bustling Albert Cuypmarkt.

Start your urban cycling adventure by visiting the famous Anne Frank House, where you can learn about the inspiring story of Anne Frank and her family. As you continue your ride, make your way through the picturesque canals and charming streets of the Nine Streets district. This area is known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes, making it the perfect place to take a break and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the city.

After exploring the Nine Streets, pedal your way to the Albert Cuypmarkt, Amsterdam’s largest outdoor market. Here, you can find an array of fresh produce, local delicacies, and unique souvenirs. Take the opportunity to treat yourself to some traditional Dutch snacks or grab a bite to eat at one of the many food stalls. The bustling atmosphere and lively ambiance of the market will surely leave you with a memorable experience.

Highlights of the Urban Tour:

  • Visit the Anne Frank House and learn about the inspiring history of Anne Frank
  • Explore the trendy Nine Streets district, known for its unique shops and cafes
  • Indulge in local food and experience the vibrant atmosphere of the Albert Cuypmarkt

Embark on this urban cycling tour and discover the rich history, charming streets, and buzzing city atmosphere that Amsterdam has to offer. With its iconic landmarks, trendy neighborhoods, and delicious local food, this tour is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of the city.

Route Duration Distance Highlights
Approximately 3-4 hours 10-15 kilometers
  • Anne Frank House
  • Nine Streets district
  • Albert Cuypmarkt

Short City Cycle for Beginners

Discover the highlights of Amsterdam with this easy city cycling route, perfect for beginners, that takes you on a short circuit of the city center. This leisurely ride offers the opportunity to explore cultural gems such as the Botanical Gardens or the Science Museum, adding a touch of education and beauty to your cycling experience.

The route starts at the heart of the city, where you can rent a bike from one of the many rental shops. From there, you’ll embark on a scenic journey through the charming streets and canals of Amsterdam. Take in the picturesque architecture and bustling atmosphere that defines this vibrant city.

Exploring Amsterdam’s Cultural Gems

As you cycle through the city, make a stop at the Botanical Gardens, a serene oasis that showcases a wide variety of plants from around the world. Take a leisurely stroll through the different gardens, admiring the vibrant colors and fragrant scents. The Botanical Gardens offer the perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

If you’re more inclined towards science and history, make a visit to the Science Museum. Here, you can delve into the fascinating world of scientific discoveries and technological advancements. Learn about the wonders of the universe, explore interactive exhibits, and witness the progress of human knowledge.

Highlights Distance Duration
Botanical Gardens 1.5 km Approximately 2 hours
Science Museum 2 km Approximately 3 hours

Whether you choose to visit the Botanical Gardens or the Science Museum, this easy city cycling route offers a delightful journey through Amsterdam’s cultural wonders. So grab your bike, embark on this beginner-friendly adventure, and immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of Amsterdam.

Exploring the Countryside: Zaandam and Zaanse Schans

Experience the idyllic Dutch countryside as you cycle to Zaandam, passing by traditional windmills and immersing yourself in the charm of the picturesque village of Zaanse Schans, with delightful stops at cafes and shops along the way.

This half-day route presents a wonderful opportunity to explore the countryside outside of Amsterdam. Begin your journey by cycling through the countryside to Zaandam, where you’ll be greeted by the iconic sight of traditional windmills gracefully spinning in the breeze. As you continue your adventure, take the time to explore the delightful village of Zaanse Schans, known for its well-preserved historic buildings and traditional Dutch craft shops. Indulge in a coffee break at one of the cozy cafes, or browse the unique products at the local shops.

Throughout your ride, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Dutch countryside. Enjoy the peacefulness as you cycle through open fields, along winding paths, and alongside serene canals. Along the way, take advantage of the many opportunities to stop and appreciate the scenic landscapes, capture memorable photos, and even have a picnic surrounded by nature’s tranquility.

Table: Highlights of the Zaandam and Zaanse Schans Route

Distance Main Attractions Recommended Stops
Approximately 25 km Traditional windmills, Zaanse Schans village Cafes, craft shops

As you cycle back to Amsterdam, take the time to savor the memories of the beautiful countryside and the unique experiences you’ve had along the way. This route offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and local charm, making it an unforgettable cycling adventure.

Advanced Day Trip Out of the City

Embark on an unforgettable day trip outside of Amsterdam as you cycle through the stunning Dutch countryside, passing by the charming villages of Edam, Volendam, and Marken, with their iconic narrow houses and picturesque canals. This full-day cycling adventure will take you on a journey through the heart of traditional Dutch culture and provide breathtaking views at every turn.

Explore Edam’s Cheese Market

Your first stop on this day trip is the historic town of Edam, famous for its world-renowned cheese. As you pedal through the cobbled streets, you’ll be transported back in time to the heyday of the Dutch cheese trade. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the bustling cheese market, where cheese wheels are stacked high and traders haggle for the best price. Marvel at the beautiful gabled houses that line the canals and soak in the quaint atmosphere of this charming village.

Volendam: A Picturesque Fishing Village

Continuing your cycling adventure, you’ll make your way to the picturesque fishing village of Volendam. With its vibrant harbor, traditional wooden houses, and bustling seafood restaurants, Volendam offers a glimpse into the rich maritime history of the Netherlands. Take a stroll along the waterfront promenade, sample some freshly caught herring, or explore the local museums that tell the story of Volendam’s seafaring past. This village is a true gem and a must-visit destination for any cycling enthusiast.

Marken: A Quaint Island Escape

The final leg of your day trip takes you to the island village of Marken, a place frozen in time. Connected to the mainland by a dike, Marken is renowned for its houses built on stilts and its traditional costumes. As you cycle through this idyllic island, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard with its vibrant green fields, colorful gardens, and charming winding streets. Take a break at one of the local cafes and savor a cup of coffee while enjoying panoramic views of the IJsselmeer.

Highlights Distance Estimated Time
Edam Approximately 15 km 1 hour
Volendam Approximately 10 km 45 minutes
Marken Approximately 15 km 1 hour

This day trip offers a perfect balance of cycling, history, and natural beauty. Enjoy the scenic countryside, immerse yourself in the unique culture of each village, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So hop on your bike and set out on this incredible adventure through the Dutch countryside.


With its impressive variety of cycling routes, Amsterdam truly offers something for everyone, allowing you to explore the city’s natural beauty, historical sites, and urban charm on two wheels. So grab a bike and embark on an unforgettable cycling adventure in the Dutch capital.

From cycling along the Amstel River, where you can admire windmills and enjoy a coffee break in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, to discovering the picturesque Zaanse Schans and witnessing Dutch engineering firsthand, Amsterdam has an abundance of scenic routes to choose from.

For those looking for a more relaxing ride, the waterlands outside of Amsterdam offer flat terrain and serene canals that will take you to the charming town of Monnickendam. Or, if you prefer a beachside adventure, the route to Parnassia beach via the lake is perfect, with a refreshing swim at Oosterplas along the way.

Amsterdamse Bos, the city’s urban forest, provides a tranquil cycling experience with its glistening lakes and towering evergreen trees. Alternatively, you can opt for an urban tour of Amsterdam’s famous sights and canals, immersing yourself in the buzzing city atmosphere and stopping for lunch at the vibrant Albert Cuypmarkt.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, Amsterdam has the perfect route for you. Take a short city cycle to explore the central part of Amsterdam, visiting the Botanical Gardens or the Science Museum for a cultural experience. Or venture into the countryside and visit Zaandam and Zaanse Schans, where you can see traditional windmills and indulge in local cafes and shops.

For a longer, advanced day trip, explore the villages of Edam, Volendam, and Marken, cycling through the deep Dutch countryside and admiring the scenic canals and narrow Dutch houses along the way.

These cycling routes offer an incredible way to experience Amsterdam, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, natural landscapes, and vibrant culture. So get on your bike, explore the best cycling routes in Amsterdam, and create unforgettable memories in this cycling-friendly city.


Q: What are the best cycling routes in Amsterdam?

A: Amsterdam offers a variety of fantastic cycling routes. Some popular ones include cycling along the Amstel River, exploring Zaanse Schans, and cycling to Parnassia Beach via the lake.

Q: How long are the cycling routes in Amsterdam?

A: The length of the cycling routes vary. They range from short city circuits for beginners to full-day trips to explore the countryside. The distances can range from around 27 km to 56 km.

Q: Are there any scenic routes to enjoy in Amsterdam?

A: Yes, there are several scenic routes to enjoy in Amsterdam. Some notable ones include cycling along the Amstel River, where you can see windmills and stately homes, and cycling through the waterlands to Ilpendam, which offers picturesque canals and flat terrain.

Q: Are there any routes that pass by historical sites?

A: Yes, there are cycling routes that pass by historical sites in Amsterdam. For example, the route to Muiderport Castle takes you to the town of Muiden, where you can visit the castle and explore the historical area. Additionally, the full-day trip to Edam, Volendam, and Marken allows you to cycle through the Dutch countryside and see historic villages.

Q: Are the cycling routes suitable for beginners?

A: Yes, there are cycling routes suitable for beginners in Amsterdam. The short city circuit and the urban tour of sights and canals are both easy routes that provide a great introduction to cycling in the city. They also offer opportunities to stop and explore cultural sites such as the Botanical Gardens and the Anne Frank House.

Q: Are there any beach routes in Amsterdam?

A: Yes, there is a cycling route that takes you to Parnassia Beach, a less crowded beach loved by locals. The route passes through Haarlem and offers the opportunity to stop at Oosterplas for a swim.

Q: How can I rent a bike in Amsterdam?

A: Renting a bike in Amsterdam is easy. There are numerous bike rental shops throughout the city where you can choose from a variety of bicycles. You can also check with your hotel, as many offer bike rental services to guests.

Q: Are the cycling routes well-marked?

A: Yes, the cycling routes in Amsterdam are generally well-marked with signage and designated bike lanes. However, it is always a good idea to have a map or GPS navigation to ensure you stay on track.

Q: Can I bring my own bike to Amsterdam?

A: Yes, you can bring your own bike to Amsterdam. Many hotels and accommodations offer bike storage facilities. However, it is important to check with your airline regarding their bike transportation policies before your trip.

Q: Are there any bike tours available in Amsterdam?

A: Yes, there are various bike tours available in Amsterdam. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who will take you on a curated route and provide information about the city’s history and landmarks. It can be a great way to explore the city if you prefer a guided experience.

Q: Can I cycle in Amsterdam during winter?

A: Yes, you can cycle in Amsterdam during winter. However, it is important to be prepared for potentially colder temperatures and more challenging weather conditions. It is also advisable to dress warmly and ensure your bike is equipped with appropriate lights and reflectors.

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