Amsterdam – City of Bikes!

Some of you may have noticed that I went to Amsterdam recently – but Bike Portraitsince I had a backlog from my Morocco trip, I haven’t yet gotten around to posting any of my stories or photos.

It was an excellent trip (aside from all the business meetings, of course), during which I fell in love with a city that I used to think was all about sex and drugs and, well, that was pretty much it! But it turns out that there’s much more to Amsterdam than that – like beautiful buildings, gorgeous canals, an incredible history, and… bikes!

Someone told me before I went that “everyone cycles in Amsterdam”. But even so, the minute I stepped out of the train station I was struck by the sheer number of bikes in the city. They were everywhere; the roads were filled with more cyclists than cars and there were clusters of bikes chained to every fence and post in sight. Between the multitude of bikes and the excellent tram system, Bikes - Crowd Shot Twocars really are scarce and as a result, the city is bright and fresh and simply a joy to walk around.

Now that I’ve started going through my photos, I’ve noticed how much the bikes really stood out to me, since I snapped up dozens of shots of the things. What I love about them is the way the old-fashioned bikes and wicker baskets really seem to fit in with the landscape, with the peeling and weathered paint of the river boat houses, with the black metal fences lining the canals, with the skinny bare trees and the cobbled streets. Cars seem too modern, bikes are just right amongst the narrow, crooked houses and grey canals.

So, I thought I’d share a little gallery of my favourite bike shots. I love the way so many of them seem to have taken on the colours of the buildings they lean against, and I really think these bikes sum up my impression of the city.

About Emily Luxton

An award-winning writer and travel blogger on a mission to explore the world through deeper, more intelligent travel. Seeking out adventure, cultural exchanges, food experiences and more as she attempts to get to know the world. Lover of the great outdoors, sunsets, good food, and the odd bit of luxury!

10 Comments

  1. I <3 Amsterdam and all the bikes there!

  2. Ouw .. Love the old bikes! 🙂

  3. I grew up in Amsterdam, so I loved seeing this. I never thought of bikes as a photo opportunity until I lived abroad. Travel does open your eyes to the things in your own country too! I love the way the bikes are sometimes decorated.

    I remember one time sitting on an Amsterdam terrace with my (very American) mountain-biking daughter and she surveyed a huge row of parked bikes. “What a bunch of crap,” she commented. Well, they were. It’s because they get stolen, and for transport you don’t use your fancy sport bike and leave it sitting around along a canal!

    • Thank you for stopping by! Since I’ve returned from Amsterdam I’ve begun to notice that London is pretty full of bikes, too – though no where near on the same scale, and usually the only parked bikes are the now archetypal Boris bikes!!! Even though a lot of the bikes in Amsterdam look all rusted up and ancient, that makes them seem even more picturesque to me!

  4. The locals told me that the older the bike looks the less chance it gets stolen, so I was always worried of my new look bike “a barclay” issued to us by the company. 😀 Thousands of them get stolen in a day. Wow! And one thing I am not so eager to drive here in the US was that the biking concept made more sense than spending so much money on cars, gas and polluting the air. 🙂

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