Cycle routes around Amsterdam – not standard tourist routes, but cross-sections of the urban region. Unlike most cycle routes, these routes have a political, social, and urban perspective – see the introduction. Shorter routes are listed first. All the regional routes have rural sections, but especially routes 4, 8, 9, and 10. For urban planning and urban design, try routes 5 and 8, and for dikes and historical land reclamation, routes 2, 8, and 9.
The cycle routes
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 6: western cross-section of the city
A cross-section through western Amsterdam, in roughly chronological order from 17th-century to 20th-century areas. Revised August 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 5: city cross-section, new nature, heritage town
Along the historic route eastwards out of the city, and across the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal to the ‘heritage town’ Weesp. Return through the failed housing projects, and the new retail/entertainment zone, of south-east Amsterdam. Revised August 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 7: Port, Westzaan and Zaan river
Past the west port basins, crosses the North Sea Canal by ferry, through the polder village of Westzaan, to a heritage windmill park, and back along the still-industrial Zaan riverside. Revised August 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 2: Spaarndam/Velserbroek, dikes, heritage, and suburban landscape
This route follows the mediaeval coastline and sea dike of the IJ estuary, through the mediaeval settlements of Spaarnwoude and Spaarndam. The reclaimed estuary is now threatened by suburban expansion from the Haarlem side, and port expansion in Amsterdam. Revised January 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 8: Linear villages, historic reclamation, expanding satellite town
Crosses by ferry to the IJ docklands, follows a linear settlement which extends north of Amsterdam, goes through the new suburbs and the historic core of Purmerend, then a reclaimed lake-bed polder, returning along a 19th-century ship canal. Revised September 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 10: Linear urban extension, Green Heart, Amstel river
Exits the city via Amstelveen, the most linear of the post-war extensions, into the still-rural ‘Green Heart’, and returns along the river Amstel, in its rural setting and in the city. Revised September 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 4: docklands, heritage villages, newest suburb
Through gentrified docklands and interwar housing, along the Amsterdam-Rhine canal and heritage villages, returning through Amsterdam’s newest suburb, IJburg. Revised January 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 9: dike villages, grassland landscape, heritage tourism
Along relict dike settlements, and interwar garden-city housing, and through the reclaimed marshes to the heritage-tourism island of Marken, returning along the mediaeval sea dike. Revised February 2011.
- Amsterdam Cycle Route 3: dune villas, castle ruins, and sea locks
Through Haarlem, to the narrow strip of land just behind the dunes, with the oldest continuous habitation. The dunes are suburbanised since the 19th century, and cut through by the sea lock complex at IJmuiden on the North Sea Canal. Revised February 2011.
- Finally, there is a much longer all-day cycle route from Amsterdam to Zyfflich – the nearest village in Germany.