Getting around Holland by bus, tram or metro

Holland has an extensive network of local public transport. However, you can’t take a regular bicycle on buses and trams. Bikes are allowed on the metro, but Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the only cities with a metro service. You can use the public transport journey planner to plan your trip.
Holland has good bus connections, but you can't take your bike. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com

Holland has good bus connections, but you can't take your bike. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com

Bus

Holland has an extensive bus network maintained by different local bus companies. The bus is a good way of getting to the starting point of your cycle route, but you won’t be able to take a regular bicycle with you. 

Buses in Holland will only take a folding bicycle. You have to fold it outside the bus and carry it inside as luggage. Some bus companies specify sizes, others require you to put your bike in a bag. Basically, if you have one of those bikes that fold up really small, you’re ok. If you have a less compact folding bike, you are dependent on the goodwill of the driver. In general, it may be easier and quicker just to cycle to your starting point.

Tram

Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht are the only Dutch cities with a tram service. The tram is a good way to get around the city, but is of no real use to cyclists as you can’t take your bicycle on most trams.

There is one exception: you can take your regular bicycle on the IJtram 26 in Amsterdam outside rush hour. The prohibited times are between 7 and 9 a.m. and between 4 and 6.30 p.m. on workdays. You have to buy a ticket from the driver. All the other trams in Holland will only take folding bicycles. You have to fold it outside the tram and carry it inside as luggage.

Metro

Amsterdam and Rotterdam are the only Dutch cities with a metro service. The metro is a good way to get around the city. You are allowed to take your bicycle on the metro, but there are some restrictions.

Amsterdam

You can take your bicycle on the Amsterdam metro outside rush hour. The prohibited times are between 7 and 9 a.m. and between 4 and 6.30 p.m. on workdays. You do need a special day ticket for your bicycle which you can purchase at a ticket office or ticket machine.

Also see: City pages Amsterdam - Public transport

Rotterdam

You can take your bicycle free of charge on the Rotterdam metro outside rush hour. The prohibited times are before 9.00 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. on workdays. There's one exception: when there are special events in Rotterdam taking your bicycle on the metro is not allowed. Space for bikes is limited, so taking a tandem, cargo bike or bike trailer is prohibited.

Also see: City pages Rotterdam - Public transport

Tips for taking your bicycle on the metro

  • Lock your bicycle.
  • Make sure your bike can't fall when the carriage rocks from side to side.
  • Don't block the doors or passageways.
  • Remove your luggage.