Dutch infrastructure is built for cyclists and consists of a network of clearly marked cycle paths with smooth surfaces. Discover the cycling rules in the Netherlands.
Although there are separate signs and traffic lights for those on two wheels and there are almost everywhere cycle paths, there are several rules that cyclists in the Netherlands must abide by. The prejudice that those using pedal power have priority is, for example, not true.
The rules of the road in the Netherlands are easy to learn. There are general cycling rules, legal rules for your lights, priority rules, and important road signs for cyclists. Let's start with the general rules. It's wise to read these before you step on your bicycle.
Besides official cycling rules, there are a lot of do's and don'ts when you're on a bike. You'll save yourself and others a lot of frustration by reading up on the Dutch road etiquette for cyclists.
In the Netherlands, motorized traffic is often alert to cyclists around them. But that does not mean there are no rules regarding priority for cyclists. Quite the contrary.
There are a lot of road signs. If you want to get your car license, you need to know them all. Cyclists don't have to follow all the car traffic signs. There are special bicycle traffic signs that cyclists need to follow. These are the most important road signs in the Netherlands for cyclists:
There are legal rules for your bicycle lights. If you don't follow the rules, you could be fined. Before you hit the road, check if everything works. Especially in fall and winter, as it gets dark early in the evening. You need:
A fine for having no, or partially non-working, lights on your bicycle is €60.
Do you want to attach lights to your clothing? Then you can only attach them to the upper part of your body. Attaching lights to your head, arms, or legs is forbidden.
If you don't follow the rules as a cyclist, you can be fined. Bicycle fines are expensive because they ensure the safety of traffic and other road users. We give you a handy overview of the most common cyclist fines that apply from March 1, 2023 (without €9 administrative costs).
Hopefully, these rules won't scare you away. Cycling in the Netherlands is a matter of practice, practice, practice. When you get the hang of it, it becomes a natural thing. Trust us!