Rotterdam is a city that actively promotes cycling, so what better way of getting around than by bike. Unfortunately, bicycle theft and vandalism are a real issue. So use a guarded bike parking facility when possible. There are several of them in the centre of Rotterdam.
Where to park your bicycle
Basically you're allowed to park your bicycle anywhere, as long as there are no signs saying it's a no bike parking area and your bike is not in other people's way. Unfortunately, bicycle theft and vandalism are common occurrences in Holland. So look carefully where you leave your bike and lock your bike at all times.
Rotterdam has a strict bike parking policy. Signs indicate where it's forbidden to leave your bike. Look out for signs saying Verboden fietsen te plaatsen (Forbidden to park bikes). In the city centre you'll find Fiets parkeren signs (Bicycle Parking signs). There are also zones - e.g. around Rotterdam Centraal train station - with a 'no parking outside the designated facilities' policy.
Be warned: wrongly and dangerously parked bikes, abandoned bikes and bikes left in one place for longer than 28 days in designated areas may be removed by the police. To retrieve your bike, you need to go to the Fietspunt, where you'll have to pay a small fine. For more information on where and how to collect your bike, go to the Rotterdam City Council website (in Dutch).
In Holland hundreds of thousands of bicycles are stolen every year - especially in the big cities. Whether you’re just popping into a shop or enjoying refreshments on a terrace, leaving your bicycle unlocked is never an option. Anybody might grab your bike and cycle off and rest assured: somebody will.
If you're bringing your own bike to Rotterdam, make sure it has good locks (preferably two) and use them at all times. Here are some top tips from the police for preventing bike theft.
Guarded bicycle parking
Bike theft is a real issue in the centre of Rotterdam. Even if you've locked you bike properly, you might find it missing on your return. Especially if you have an expensive bike, or depend on it for your holiday, it's advisable to use one of the guarded bike parking facilities.
Rotterdam City Council provides guarded bike parking which is free of charge for the first 24 hours. After that you pay a small fee. On the Rotterdam City Council website (in Dutch) you'll find a map with all guarded bike parking facilities in the centre of Rotterdam. It is not possible to book a place in advance.
Rotterdam residents who don't have a safe place to leave their bike at home, often get a year ticket for a guarded bicycle park near their home. It works out cheaper than constantly replacing stolen bikes! To find a guarded bike parking facility near your home, go to the Rotterdam City Council website (in Dutch).
For more on bicycle parking in Holland, go to: Bicycle parking.