Getting around in Utrecht
The best tips to get you around Utrecht ‘in one piece’!
Buying your very first ‘fiets’
When you get a little more used to all of the additional bike traffic it’s time to get brave and buy a bike! There are a few ways to get yourself a bike, and of course you don’t want to spend a fortune on your first one being as bikes are the most stolen items in The Netherlands. Be sure to also purchase a good double lock, yes two! The below bike shops sell bikes for a reasonable €60-€100 price range, second hand of course. Another option, if you’re comfortable buying direct from a non business seller at a reasonable price, check out ‘expat community group pages’ on Facebook, a lot of bikes are also advertised here.
Right in the city center you’ll find Willemstraatbike! The owner of this bike shop is a really nice guy and is always willing to make you a great a deal. Feel free to get your bargaining skills out!
Sometime’s when you’re walking in the city you might hear things like ‘fiets kopen?’ (Want to buy a bike?). We would really recommend you steer clear. The bike will be really cheap, but really stolen! The police sometimes set up traps so be careful if you find this offer tempting, you never know what you could be getting yourself into. Not only will you get a fine when you are caught with a stolen bike, you will also get yourself a nice criminal record which will certainly not do you any favors when moving to another country!
The rules of the road in Dutchland
There are designated spots around the city where you can park your bike. These are clear to see (wherever you see mountains of bikes). Be sure to adhere to these spaces AND make sure you are within the lines, or don’t be surprised if your bike is not still locked to the random lamppost or railing which you securely locked it to when you return. The patrol will cut your lock and take your bike to a storage where YOU have to pay to have it released. Been there, done that, not worth it, trust us! So now that you have your first Dutch bike and you’re feeling a little more prepared, here are a few useful ‘rules of the bike path’…
1. Always indicate with your hands when turning right or left
2. Give way to the right
3. Always keep to the right hand side (you overtake on the left here)
4. Ring your bell when you want to pass
5. Expect scooters on the bike path with you, for obvious reasons be extra vigilant where these are concerned