When you get off the train at Centraal, the first thing you see is bicycles. Kids biking. Old folks biking. Moms with babies on their laps biking. Men texting and smoking and biking. The only suckers using their own two feet to get around are foreigners like you, so it is high time you get on a bike and ride.
Lucky for you, Amsterdam is filled with bike shops ready to rent a bike to you for a reasonable rate. Mac Bike is the best with locations all over the city. Rent one at their Centraal Station location and take the free ferry across Het Ij from the station to Noord Amsterdam and the towns of Monnickendam, Volendam and Edam (yes, that Edam) beyond. Or visit their location off of Leidseplein and venture south, following the Amstel past windmills and Amstelveen. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will answer your questions, so tell them where you are planning on biking. Chances are they have been there and will give you pointers and a map if they have one.
The Dutch are professional bikers. Just because you are not doesn’t mean you can’t rent a bike-it means you have to be extra careful. Be safe and use common sense. Obey all traffic signals and lookout for cars, canals, pedestrians and especially trams.
To rent a bike, bring your passport and 50 euros for a deposit (they will also accept a credit card). Cost ranges from 9.50 to 25 euro for 24 hours of cycling bliss and they are open daily from 9.00 – 17.45.
Amsterdam and the Netherlands are very bike-friendly. This is your chance to get out of the city center and see the beautiful Dutch suburbs, countryside and villages.