Amsterdam: The cheapest bike in town

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Amsterdam is one of the best European cities for cycling. See the city, speed along the canals, and act like a local.

Ready to roll? First, grab a good map. The tourism office facing Centraal Station offers a bike-specific map with highlighted biking paths and touring suggestions.

Then, go get a bike! Where?

Mike’s Bike Tours
Kerkstraat 134

One of the most popular bike rentals in Amsterdam, Mike’s (along with other rental agencies) requires you to leave some sort of deposit when you rent a bike:  your passport, an imprint of your credit card, or a deposit of €200. They provide you with two bike locks, and will even demonstrate how to use them!

(A word of caution: Mike’s also has a location in Munich and it can be a bit tricky to navigate their web site, so if you decide to book online, make sure you’re on the Mike’s Amsterdam page!)

Rates – 1/2 day: €5 (€8 with insurance); 1 day: €7 (€10 with insurance).

Frederic Rental Bike
Brouwerstgracht, 78

All bikes go for €10 a day (no hourly rentals) and Frederic requires a deposit of either a credit card or passport. Insurance is included in the price.

The advantages of renting from Frederic are simple: It’s cheap, you don’t have to deposit any money, and the bikes are free of giant logos that make them look like dorky, commercial rental bikes. These bikes are “originals,” and thus great for cycling hipsters. Also, Frederic’s staff claims they are “gastronomical freaks” and will fill you with their culinary expertise before you speed off.  While we don’t recommend eating your meals on wheels, you’ll at least know the best places to stop for a meal.

Canal Bike
Weteringschans 26- 1 hg

Ok, so this isn’t a traditional bike company. Canal Bike only rents “canal bikes,” which are pedal boats for two, three, and four people. With pedal boats, you’re free to tour the city via its famous waterways. Canal Bike holds onto a €50 deposit due at the time of your booking. Dock your boat at the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, or countless other city attractions.

Rate – €8 per person for 1-2 people;  €7 per person for more than 2 people.

Mac Bike
Multiple locations around the city

If you’re making a group booking (10 people or more), we think Mac is the best plan of attack. They offer great rental discounts and even lead some of the most unique tours in town, grouped by interest (gay, architecture, even Hans Brinker).

Rates – From €6 (3 hours) to €25 (1 day), depending on type of bike and length of rental.

Bike City
68 – 70 Bloemgracht

Bike City is great if you plan to rent for more than a day. They offer really reasonable 5-day rates (€34-44.50) and prices are significantly reduced if you rent for more than 5 days.

Rates – €10-14.50 per 24 hour period.

Note: Prices are shown for half-day and full-day rentals, although multiple day rentals are available through most bike agencies.  A half-day rental makes sense for a fun tour of the town, although real cycle nuts (we see that Lance Armstrong bracelet!) and tourists looking to use their bike for daily transportation will want a longer rental.

About the author

Meredith Franco Meyers

About the author: Meredith earned an MFA in fiction writing at The New School in New York City. Her feature stories and articles have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, American Baby, Self, Bridal Guide, Time Out New York, Fitness and more. She joined EuroCheapo in summer 2007.

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7 thoughts on “Amsterdam: The cheapest bike in town”

  1. I own a B&B in Amsterdam and I advise all of my guests to avoid Frederic Rental Bikes.

    Four guests rented bikes from Frederic. Within an hour they returned because one of the bikes wasn’t working properly. Frederic’s either couldn’t or wouldn’t exchange the bike and then refused to return their money. And, they were exceptionally rude about it.

    A few months later, four guests rented bikes from Mac Bikes. They returned within an hour because there was a problem with the wheel on one of the bikes. Mac Bike’s exchanged the bike for a better one, gave them all an extra half day, apologised for the hassle and off they went. They took a free ferry to the north and cycled in the country side.

    My advice is to go with Mike’s Bikes, Mac Bikes, Yellow Bikes or Zwarte Fiets. They are used to working with tourists, have better customer service and are more likely to have a bike to exchange or return your money if you have any issues.

    And, the Canal Bikes? Amusing and fun for about 20 minutes. Then, they become hard work. There is a reason the rental companies charge a hefty fee if you abandon the canal bike. If they didn’t charge the pick-up fee, most people would abandon the canal bike within 30 minutes, max.

    Enjoy, and remember, everything approaching from the right has the right-of-way, be it auto, bike, pedestrian, dog, horse, wheelchair. Bikes DO NOT have the right of way in Amsterdam; that is a traveler’s myth. Everything on your right has the right-of-way.

    Reply
  2. I know a new cheaper bike shop on Kinkerstraat 1.
    You can get pretty good deals there, the guys are nice and work really fast.
    10% student discount on rentals.

    Reply
  3. Cycling in Amsterdam is a must! and it saves on the public transport costs! This place rents nice typical Dutch black bikes so you can look just like a local! They are near central station and near Leidsche plein!

    Reply
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