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I cycle all over Amsterdam almost every day, come rain or shine, on my pinkish-purple, basket-fitted bike. I go by bike to work, to meet people, or shopping. Basically anywhere I need to go. But I’ve never been on an organised bike tour until now. When the guys from We Bike Amsterdam invited me to go for a city tour with them, I thought it wasn’t actually a bad idea! I like to imagine I am a tourist from time to time and see the city from a different perspective, maybe learn new things about Amsterdam.

So I made an effort to wake up early on a Sunday (I am totally not a morning person). I had a strong coffee and headed to the meeting point: Dam Square. There I met the group and our guide — charming Charlotte — and we went to pick up the bikes (which, by the way, are included in the price). I think I made a mistake by using my personal bike for the tour: the rented bikes had gears and, according to my fellow companions, were very easy to ride. While my bike is a city bike, so no gears involved, the wheels are a bit deflated and for the last hour of the tour I felt a bit tired.

It was a lovely ride, nonetheless. The city tour lasts about 3 hours and brings you to a few cool neighbourhoods, with stops on the way for explanations, for visiting hidden places and for a coffee with croissants in a cosy café. The coffee boost was more than welcome, although by that time I was totally awake and enjoying myself. The weather was fine for most of our ride, although while we were enjoying the green of Vondelpark, dark clouds surrounded us and not only did it rain, it also hailed while we tried unsuccessfully to shelter under a fallen tree. We survived, the rain was short, the sun came back and we continued on the last part of the journey.

I think it’s a great way to get to know the city, if you are here for a holiday or if you are new to Amsterdam. You learn some history, a bit about the current life of Amsterdammers and you can ask your guide all the questions you have about the city. I like how it combines lesser-known parts of the city (hidden churches and courtyards) with a few of the famous places like Museumplein and Vondelpark. It can give you some ideas about where to explore later on your own, and hopefully convince you, if you are a tourist, to not spend all your time in the centre. It’s a nice idea to experience Amsterdam on a bike, and, if you are a bit unsure about your ability to ride a bike in traffic, you shouldn’t worry about it: the tour is done at a slow pace, you will be in a group of around 10 people, the guide will take care of you. It’s also a good way to make some friends (if you’re travelling alone, for example, and you want to meet other travellers).

If you’re interested in a city bike tour, have a look at their website for more information. The city tours are done daily, at 10:00 A.M. They offer private tours, and countryside tours as well, which I think would be great in the summer!

Here are some photos from my adventure:

 

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