The Dutch railway companies offer limited possibilities to take your bike with ou in a train.
If you have a foldable bike (Dutch: vouwfiets), you always are allowed to bring it with you for free, provided you fold the bike.
For other bikes, a number of restrictions apply:
- You need to buy a ticket for the bike. It costs about Euro 6.50 for a day ticket (price 2008).
- Bikes are not allowed between 6:30 and 9:00 and between 16:30 and 18:0. This restriction does not apply in the months July and August. It also does not apply on Saturday and Sunday, at national holidays and in the period 25th December till and including 1st January.
- Luggage must be removed during travel
- You only can load bikes at so marked spots on the train. The number of bikes is normally limited to 4 per train
- You are not allowed to ride your bike on the platforms
- You cannot take carriages in the train
Rent a bike at the station
An alternative is to rent a bike at the station. At larger railway stations you can rent a bike for one day. These bikes are suitable for day trips and may have up to 7 gears. For Dutch circumstances this is sufficient. You should look for the bike parking. Many large stations have a guarded bike parking. You can park your bike there for one or more days, have your bike repaired or hire a bike. They will ask for a deposit and identification if you want to rent a bike. It may be a good idea to make reservation.
Other places to rent a bike
Hotels may have a few bikes for rent. You should ask for it. Most holiday housing parks also will rent you a bike for a day or for a week, provided you are a customer. At the Waddeneilanden (the islands in the North East part of the country), you can rent a bike at special bike rental shops. They have plenty of bikes, reservation is not required.