Illustration of an orange Omafiets with the text Fietsen te huur written on tag hanging off the bike.

How to rent a bike in The Netherlands

Whether it’s for practicality or you just want the full Dutch experience, you might find yourself wondering “Can I rent a bicycle in the Netherlands like I would a car?” and the answer is: YES! In this article we’ll give you the training wheels needed to get you rolling.


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Important Words

Words you need to know

You’ll find your biking experience better if you know some of the Dutch words involved. Knowing these will help you locate rental & repair shops throughout the Netherlands, as well as be able to navigate the country's many bike paths.

  • Fiets

    • The Dutch word for bike. The plural is fietsen.
  • Fiets Huren

    • Bike Rental. This is what you’ll want to search for when looking for locations near you that rent bicycles.
  • Fietsenstalling

    • The literal translation is “Bike Garage”, and like a typical garage, these are places where your bike can be parked for free or a fee. Like their auto counterparts, they can be found in open paved areas, underground, and multi-story buildings.
  • Fietsenmaker/Fiets reparatie

    • Bike Repairer/Bike Repair. When you get a flat, break a chain, or need new brakes, you’ll want to search for this to find someone to help get your bike back in working order.
  • Fietsstraat

    • Bicycle Street. If you see this on a sign, it likely indicates that the given path is for bicycles. Sometimes it will be accompanied by “Auto te gast”, which means that cars are allowed, but they are considered secondary traffic to bicycles.
  • Fietsdepot

    • A fietsdepot or “bicycle depot” is kind of an equivalent to an impound lot for automobiles. This is where the city will take your bike if it’s found to be parked illegally. (Think your bike has been taken to one of these? There is a website where you can check: )

Where to rent?

There are tons of options for renting a bike. Aside from the options we list below, you’ll also want to consider searching the internet for “Fiets Huren” in the city you are staying. This will return locations near you that offer bike rental. Having a location that is nearby can be handy if you experience any problems with your bike.

Online Rental Options

There are some sites that allow you to book a rental online or via app.

  • NS OV-Fiets Netherlands Residents Only

    • The NS (Nerderlandse Spoorwegen, or Dutch Railways) is a major railway company in the Netherlands. You probably recognize them more for their yellow & blue trains. For residents, they are likely to be the most convenient option since they have rentals available at a large number of stations. This means you don't have to worry about when you can and can't transport your bike. You can just catch a train to your destination, and then rent an OV-Fiets when you arrive.
  • ListNRide

    • If you’ve used Turo, then ListNRide will be very familiar. It’s a service that lets anyone post their bike for rent (huur). On their website, you provide your desired dates, location and type of bike you would like to rent, then you place your order. Once a renter accepts your order, they’ll provide you with instructions for pick-up. This service is great for if you want to rent a very specific type of bike (e.g. perhaps you want a cargo bike to carry some large souvenir you’ve located, or maybe you’d like to ride a tandem bike with your loved one).
    • (English site)
    • (Dutch site)
  • DonkeyRepublic (app)

    • This company provides its own bikes for rent via its app in various spots throughout a few of the major cities in the Netherlands. The way it works is you install the app, locate a bike, and then use the app/your phone to locate and unlock the bike from a designated parking section. It’s great for those who might be timid around others in another country and are comfortable doing everything through their phone.
  • FlickBike (app)

    • FlickBike is another app that allows you to rent a bike completely through their provided app. You install it on your phone and use the app/phone to reserve, locate, and unlock a bike.
  • Go About (app)

    • Go About is an app that allows you to rent a bike completely through their provided app. They offer various rates, including a monthly subscription. You simply install it on your phone and use the app/phone to reserve, locate, and unlock your bike.

    • We’ve listed last because it’s not dedicated to just renting bikes. On their website, you’ll find a wide variety of things to rent. However, bikes can be found here and could be an option if you are having trouble with the other sites or perhaps you already know and are familiar with
    • (app) WARNING!

    • You may find these electric bikes for rent at some bike garages by train stations. They are easy to rent and function well, as long as you're aware of all of their rules. One in particular that you need to BE AWARE of is that if you go outside of their designated areas they will limit the bike's output and if you park outside of their designated area, you'll likely comeback to a fully disable/locked bike. Additionally, they may charge you a €50 relocation fee if you accidentally do this.
    • (English site)
    • (Dutch site)

Where do I park?

Once you have your bike, you may find yourself wanting to stop and enjoy your destination – but where do you leave your bike? On one hand, it seems like bikes are littered everywhere, but then when you get to your destination, it seems like there are none parked nearby. This can leave you feeling like maybe it’s not allowed or there are special rules for certain areas that you aren’t aware of. Well, now you can set your mind at ease.


Unless there is a sign specifically forbidding bike parking, you can park your bike on the sidewalk. This doesn’t mean you can leave it in the way of pedestrians any more than you could leave your car parked in the middle of the sidewalk.

Bike Parking Lots

Bike parking lots are just like car parking lots, and can often be found situated amongst a car parking lot. It's often distinguished by metal or wooden forms protruding from the ground, for which you can safely chain your bike to. Their locations are sometimes marked with signs containing a large 'P' and a bicycle icon.

Fietsenstalling (Bike Garages)

Outside of the Netherlands, it’s possible that you’ve never heard of a “Bike Garage” or Fietsenstalling. But in the Netherlands, they are quite common. These are places where you keep your bike, when not riding. Some of them are free and some require a fee. Often, if it’s protected and indoors, there’s a fee involved. They are even found in some train stations (see link below) .


    • (translates to Safe Garages) maintains an amazing directory of both city and independent/neighborhood parking facilities throughout the Netherlands. You can find addresses, rates, and services provided at each one (the city maintained locations tend to have the most information available).
  • NS Fietsenstalling

    • The Netherlands rail service provides bike parking at many of their stations. You can locate them using their site below. It will give you addresses, rates, and services available. Additionally, they provide subscription plans for those who may need them (most tourists will not benefit from this).
  • Biesieklette

Bike Riding Laws

Here are just a few of the laws you should be aware of when cycling in the Netherlands.

  • No holding of phones

    • You can not hold a phone or other electronic device while riding a bicycle.
  • Up to two cyclists side by side allowed

    • However, if riding side by side hinders the flow of traffic, you must ride single file instead.
  • Safety seats for children under 8

    • Children under 8 can only ride with you if they are placed in a safety seat.
  • Cyclists can only pass other cyclists on the left

    • However, cyclists can pass other vehicles on the right.
  • Bicycles must have a working front AND rear light at night

  • Cyclists may turn right on red ONLY where allowed

    • Without a sign saying “Rechtsaf voor fietser vrij” (Cyclists are free to turn right), you must wait for a green light.
  • It illegal to ride while under the influence

    • As with cars, it is illegal to ride your bike when drunk or stoned. Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean you’re safer. You still share the road with other people, including children and automobiles.

Traffic Signs

It might seem straight-forward to simply hop on a bike and hit the road. While, for a large part it is, understanding the different road signs is an important part in keeping yourself and others safe.

Here’s a video from Bicycle Dutch, one of our favorites, that explains some of the different signs you’ll see and their meanings:

Bike Safety

Personal Safety

You might come from a country where helmets and padding are common accessories for riding your bicycle. However, it is not a common thing here. This is because the Netherlands pours a ton of funding into its public transportation options outside of the automobile. So much so that traveling by bike is often preferable because it provides the most direct route to a location. Because riding your bike is so commonplace, it has become incredibly safe. Most drivers on the road also have bikes of their own, and so are used to being around them.

With that said, there is no problem with wearing safety equipment. You might get weird looks and it may identify you as a tourist, but it’s not so uncommon that nobody does it (just…very few).

Bike Theft

The Netherlands is a safe country. However, that does not mean you can leave your bike unsecured. While it’s less common outside of the major cities, bike theft is a big issue in the Netherlands and one that you help avoid with just a few tips.

  • Use a good lock

    • Bike rentals tend to come with a chain & lock. However, you’ll want to purchase a good one (e.g. one made of hardened steel) if one is not provided. You can expect to pay between $75-125 (€70-120).
  • Use Bike Racks/Lamp posts/Fences

    • When you park your bike, make sure that you chain your bike to something that can’t be moved. If you’re parking near other bikes, make sure that you aren’t accidentally locking another person’s bike to yours or that you aren’t attaching your bike via a part that can be removed (e.g. through your wheel).
  • Use Bicycle Parking (fietsenstalling)

    • These areas are intended for bike parking and can be found with attendants watching over the area.
  • Keep locks away from the ground

    • The lower your lock is, the easier it will be for someone to smash it on the ground.

Oh no, my bike is gone!!

Many rental bikes can now be tracked by the companies loaning them out. If you think your bike has been stolen, then you’ll want to notify your rental company immediately. They’ll instruct you on what needs to happen next.

But, keep in mind that not all missing bikes are stolen. If you find that your bike is missing, it’s possible that it was parked illegally and the city has picked it up. If you think this may be the case for you, you’ll want to check a local fietsdepot to see if they have it. There’s also a website that you can search, but you may have better luck checking locally since they’ll be able to give you the most up to date information.

  • Verloren of Gevonden (Lost of Found)

    • This website allows you to search for lost items (not just bikes). If you think your bike is missing, this is one place you can search for it.

Bike Repair

  • Just a heads-up before you spend your own money to fix someone else’s bicycle. Your rental probably covers any needed repairs, check or contact your rental company before doing anything to the bike.

Just like with an automobile, any bike you rent may require a repair at some point. As you’d expect with a country that has a large focus on biking, there are many options available.

Bike Repair Shops (Fietsenmakers)

If you’re keeping your bike parked in a large/major bike garage/fietsenstalling, odds are that they also provide services to repair or maintain your bike. So, you may want to inquire with them before seeking out others. However, that said, you’ll find many other bike shops in the Netherlands and if you’re specifically looking for repairs, then you’ll want to look up “fietsenmakers” in your area.

Roadside Assistance (Mobiele Fietsenmakers)

If you experience an issue with your bike and need someone to come to you for repairs, then you’ll want to look-up “mobiele fietsenmakers”. You should be able to find many options near you. However, we’ve provided a couple below that offer service in a few cities around the Netherlands.


If you have better suggestions for any of these topics, please let us know! We would love to hear them so that we can improve this page.



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