Printable cycle routes around Amsterdam – not standard tourist routes, but cross-sections of the urban region.
There are no GPS files, because as yet there is no platform to upload combined route and description. The description matters: unlike most cycle routes, these have a political, social, and urban perspective. 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.
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. About 3 hours. Revised June 2017.
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. 40 km, 4 hours. Revised June 2017.
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. 40 km, 4-5 hours. Revised February 2017.
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. 28 km and return by train, total 3 hours: otherwise 5 hours if you cycle back. Revised March 2017.
Amsterdam Cycle Route 8: Linear villages, historic reclamation, expanding satellite town
Crosses by ferry to the northern docklands, follows a rural linear settlement north of Amsterdam, goes through the new suburbs and the historic core of Purmerend, and returns through a reclaimed lake-bed polder, and along a 19th-century ship canal. 41 km, 4-5 hours. Revised March 2017.
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. 42 km, 4-5 hours. Revised March 2017.
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. 46 km, about 5 hours. Revised March 2017.
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. 47 km, 5 hours. Revised March 2017.
Amsterdam Cycle Route 3 to Haarlem has been removed: the original return route by hydrofoil (along the North Sea Canal) is no longer available.
Finally, there is a much longer all-day cycle route from Amsterdam to Zyfflich – the nearest village in Germany.