Biking in Amsterdam is… something else. This city is build for biking, but not all people are built for biking in this city. Amsterdam can get very busy and chaotic, especially during the summer months. There are lost tourist that try to ride a bike for the first time, speedy grandma’s on e-bikes and trams that do not stop for anyone. It can seem chaotic, but no need to worry, just follow these do’s and don’ts and you will be fine.
The Red Light District for example might not be the best place to start your tour. With all the crowds, small alleys, turns, bridges and distractions, it is not the ideal place for trying to figure out your bike. Find a quieter place with more space to get familiar with biking in Amsterdam.
No seriously, you risk a 140 euro fine. It doesn't matter why you are using your phone, even if it is just to skip the song you are listening to, to send a text or when you are trying to find your way on Google Maps, if a grumpy cop sees you with a phone in your hand you are screwed. Also, not paying attention for a couple seconds might have you bump into someone that is trying to cut you off.
This goes hand in hand with not using your phone while biking. Nothing looks more dangerous and lost then a person on their bike obsessively checking their route. If you always get lost and really can’t go without Google maps, just let it guide you through your EarPods.
We have seen it happen, the little ditch of the tram in the city catches the best of us. The tires of standard bikes are just small enough to fall in between. Pay attention when crossing a tram track. Or not, if you have a bike with bigger wheels 😉
It is there for a reason! Any person walking in your way needs to know you’re coming. Give them the real Amsterdam experience by startling them with the melodic sounds of your bicycle bell.
Indicate where you are going by pointing with your hands. People will love you for indicating! It is also very important to use hand signals when you pass by people that you find attractive. Don’t be shy!
It might look chaotic from the outside, but once you’re part of the Amsterdam bicycle traffic, you will find that everything flows the right way. Enjoy your ride!