Rotterdam might be one of the largest cities in Holland, yet the distances in the city centre can easily be covered by bike. Rotterdam also has an extensive public transport network which can be very useful for cyclists. You can take your bike with you on the metro, train and ferries. The journey planner of the RET (in Dutch) will help you plan your journey.
Rotterdam Central Station. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
The train is an excellent way of getting to and from Rotterdam with your bike. There are regular train services from Rotterdam to destinations all over the country. There is also a late night service between Rotterdam and Amsterdam City Airport, Amsterdam, Leiden, The Hague and Utrecht. Please note that - unless you have a folding bike - you're only allowed to take your bike on the train outside rush hour and a ticket for your bike is required (see overview below).
If you don't bring your own bike, you can rent a bike at most train stations. This is why the train is such a popular way for Dutch cyclists to get to the starting point of a route and why our day trips usually start at a train station.Also see:
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.
Bus and tram
The bus and tram are a good way of getting around Rotterdam. However, the bus and tram are of little use for cyclists as the only type of bike you're allowed to take on board is a compact, hand luggage-sized folding bike.Also see:
The Waterbus bike and foot passenger ferries take you from several stops in Rotterdam to various destinations in the region, such as Dordrecht, Kinderdijk and National Park De Biesbosch. You can take along a regular bike for free. Cargo bikes and bike trailers are not allowed on the Waterbus ferries.
For more information, go to the Waterbus journey planner (in Dutch). Scroll down for a route map of the various lines. There's an English page with information on getting to the windmills at Kinderdijk.
The Waterbus will take you and your bike to various popular destinations. Photo © Holland-Cycling.com
Taking your bicycle on public transport
Taking your bike on public transport is often not allowed during rush hour. You might need to purchase a separate ticket for your bike. Here's a brief overview of the policies for the different modes of public transport in Rotterdam. For more details, go to our Getting around pages.
Mode of public transport
Regular bike allowed?
Folding bike allowed?
Bike ticket required?
|Train||yes||yes||not for folding bikes, |
compulsory for all other bikes
|outside rush hour only|
|Metro||yes||yes||no||outside rush hour only, not during special events|
|Ferry||regular bikes are allowed, but cargo bikes and bike trailers are not allowed||yes||no||no|
|Tram||no||only compact, hand luggage-sized folding bikes||no||no|
|Bus||no||only compact, hand luggage-sized folding bikes||no||no|