The Dutch government has set up rules for all users of the road (including bikes) to ensure everybody’s safety. You can find a complete overview of the rules here (in Dutch), and make sure to follow these general guidelines:
- Notice those weird triangles on certain roads / bike paths? Those are shark’s teeth (in Dutch: haaientanden). If the triangle points towards you, you should give way at the traffic injunction. The same is true for the opposite – if they point away from you, then you have the right of way
- Always give way to traffic coming from your right-hand side if there are no traffic lights or shark’s teeth
- Always make sure you have working lights. As soon as visibility gets bad, bike lights and reflectors are a must, and without them you risk getting a fine
- Always park your bike in a bicycle rack
- Always make sure that your bike’s tires have enough air in them
- Use your arm to indicate if / when you are turning (e.g. if you are exiting right, stick out your right arm clearly to signal any other road-users that you are about to turn)
- Cycling is prohibited in pedestrianised streets (the inner city) from 09.00 until 18.30 (Thursdays until 21.00)
- It is forbidden to cycle while holding your phone. This means that you cannot have your phone in your hand to make phone calls, send messages, listen to music, or navigate. Doing so may result in a fine!
Look at the map below to see what we mean by pedestrianised streets, they’re in the area marked in grey. It’s really important that you don’t cycle here during the day, as the fine is 64€, and the police are starting to be more active in looking for people breaking this law.
Failing to comply with the other rules might also result in a fine, or your bike being relocated by the municipality. Read more information on the website of the Royal Dutch tourist union (ANWB) or Holland.com.