Cycling in the Netherlands

28 March 2022

It will not have escaped your notice that the Dutch get around a lot by bicycle. Not only school children and university students, but also people on their way to work, parents whizzing past on an electric bakfiets full of bags and children, and dedicated canine custodians on a day out with bicycles fitted out with a dog trailer. 

Cycling is the cheapest mode of transportation and it is healthy too. So of course as a resident of the Maastricht Region you will want to be part of it. With neatly laid-out cycle paths, its own traffic lights and signs, it is clear that in few other countries are cyclists as well looked after as in the Netherlands. However, that doesn't mean that it can't be dangerous, especially if you're not used to cycling. 

In the Netherlands, we’re raised on two wheels and we even have to take a practical traffic exam in primary school called the fietsexamen. Traffic is busy and sometimes chaotic. Every road user, regardless of the vehicle, is expected to obey the traffic rules. If they don't, it can be dangerous, especially for “Koning Fiets”.

Cycling lessons

It may be that you find cycling not so easy at all. For example, because you were never taught how to ride a bicycle. Or maybe you enjoy cycling, but in all the chaos of traffic it's not so easy to determine your place on the road? Then know that there are cycling instructors who can teach you this.

On the Nederlandse Fietsersbond website, you can find cycling instructors in Limburg who give lessons to adults and can teach in various languages. 

You can read through the basic rules yourself with this online guide prepared by the Fietsersbond. Also, watch their step-by-step guide to cycling in this short film (in Dutch) and get to know the terminology in Dutch at the same time.

Did you know?

It is also important to realise that cyclists are allowed certain freedoms that other road users don’t have, but not everything. For example, cyclists are not allowed to use a mobile phone while cycling. They can even be fined for this. Did you know that there are very specific rules with regard to bicycle lighting and reflectors?

Also, you cannot just leave your bicycle just anywhere. On the website you can read about the right zones to park your bicycle. Via their Smart Map you can find the easiest and safest route from A to B.


You are cycling home and your chain flies off or your front tyre starts to hiss. It happens to everyone. The Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijdersbond – ANWB (Royal Dutch Touring Club) offers a membership especially for these types of breakdowns with their Wegenwacht Fiets coverage (in Dutch). If a repair is needed on the roadside and you cannot do it yourself, you can call them up and receive help from the roadside assistance service.

Rent, buy or share?

Do you not yet have a bicycle and are you looking for more information about buying and/or renting a bicycle here in the Maastricht Region? Then take a look at the Transport section on our website. It also has information on OV-fiets and Swapfiets  – two different ways you can get yourself cycling within seconds, as well as tips on how to keep your trusty two-wheeler secure when you’re not traversing the cobbles and fietspaden of the Maastricht Region.


De Fietsersbond
Cycling in Maastricht Region