What better way to explore the Netherlands then by bike, after all with its flat picturesque landscapes this compact country is perfect for cyclists! It is very easy to rent a bike when in the Netherlands many tourist locations offer bike rentals or bike tours as it is such a big part of being in Holland. For example Mac Bike is one I see a lot around Amsterdam. Hostels such as the Stay Okay usually have biked for guests and typically it is quiet cheap or free.
If you are thinking of renting a bike for a few days then I recommend the OV Fiets (bike) scheme. OV means Openbaar Veroer in Dutch which translates as public transport. This is very handy as the OV bikes are typically in or near the train stations. Either in the bike parking area (fietsenstalling) or at a self service center. Many cities have a bike scheme like this but in Holland with so many cycle paths in the city and dedicated cycle routes through the country side to follow it is an excellent option for a day trip!
OV Fiets- How does it work?
If you want to use these Orange and Blue Bikes you need to sign up! You can do this via the NS website here: http://www.ov-fiets.nl/. Unfortunately this is only in Dutch ( if I can do it s can you!). This will cost €10/year. This is taken automatically from your bank account so be sure to unsubscribe if you no longer wish to use it after you leave Holland! When you sign up you will get an OV card, if you already have a card the ability to rent bikes will be automatically added to your card.
The next step is to find your bike! You can see a video of one of the newest OV points in Utrecht here:
OV Fiets Fees:
- Subscribe to the Scheme €10/year
- Rent per 24 hour €3.15 (as from Jan 1st 2016 €3.35)
- After 72 hours extra €5/day
- To drop the bike back at a different location from where you picked it up €10
- Loss or theft of bike key €20
- Damage OV-bicycle as a result of careless use - repair costs
- Theft OV-bike with police report and key € 50
- Theft of bike without police report and without key € 250
Remember if you take the bike on the train it will cost €6 for a bike ticket – I have a full post about this here
There is so much more I can write on this topic from how to store your bike to the bike routes you can take in different Dutch cities- so stay tuned!