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Explore the Netherlands the Dutch way: get on a bike

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What better way to explore Dutch cities and countryside like the Dutch do themselves: on a bike? It’s a great way to get a more intimate taste of what Holland and its inhabitants are like. Cycling is an especially ideal way to explore this compact and flat country, with so much variation in its landscapes, its picturesque towns and vibrant cities, and so much to see and do.


Much of the cycling network is off-road, and very safe. In fact, you’ll see very few Dutch wearing a helmet.

Thanks to the extensive network of cycling routes that has been established in recent years, both for long distance and short distance cycling, cycling tourism is sure to grow exponentially in the coming years.


There are a number of ways to enjoy Holland by bike:


Long distance cycling – The long distance cycling routes (LF-routes) have a total length of more then 4,500 kms. You can either get a ‘Basiskaart netwerk LF-routes’ map, which shows the entire network of LF-routes, or purchase a guide for one of several compiled routes, such as the Tour of Holland, or the Zuiderzeeroute. View this video to see how the LF-routes work. 


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Shorter day trips - For those who prefer to go on a day trip by bike, the cycle junction network(knooppuntennetwerk) is very simple to use. You can make your own route by cycling from junction to junction. Each junction has a number. The information panels that you’ll find at each junction will help you to plan your trip, and if you want you can make changes as you go. The routes between the junctions are signposted in two directions, as are the LF-routes. Here’s a video that shows how to use cycle junction network. 


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Organized trips – There are a number of companies that will do all or some of the planning for you, offering Bed and Bike, or Bike and Barge trips. They can look after your luggage between destinations, book your hotel or bed and breakfast, and arrange bike rentals.


Cycling maps are available from Dutch tourist- (VVV) or the Dutch road users association (ANWB) offices.


Rental bikes can be found at most train stations and many other convenient locations and are not expensive.