Sometimes it is a breath of fresh air to escape the business of city life. Luckily, Amsterdam is surrounded with beautiful greenery and you are out of town in no-time. So do as the local do, and cycle! One of our favourite cycling routes on a beautiful, sunny day, is the 40 to 50 kilometre route in Waterland, just North of Amsterdam. The landscape views alternate between fields of the greenest grass – often ‘decorated’ with the typical black and white cows; unique polders – full of lively water birds; lots of water – either in the form of straight ditches separating the farm lands, meandering streams or the inland sea, Markermeer. The route takes you along dikes and picturesque villages.

A picturesque cycling route along the wetlands North of Amsterdam

Hire bikes at one of the many bike rental places in Amsterdam. We like Bike city on the Bloemgracht []. Make sure you also have a map of the greater area around Amsterdam (North). The you are ready to start…


Find your way through town towards the Amsterdam ZOO, Artis via the Plantage Middellaan. You will not stop at Artis, but do pay attention to the early 19th century architecture of the main buildings when you cycle along Plantage Middenlaan.
2. Turn left in front of De Tropenmuseum along Mauritskade – follow the Mauritskade and keep right onto Zeeburgerdijk.
3. Cycle all the way to the end of Zeeburgerdijk, till you hit the Zuiderzeeweg.
4. Cross this major road and turn left, crossing the Zuiderzeeweg bridge.
5. Keep cycling – through traffic lights – till you cross another major bridge; the Schellingwouderbrug.
6. You will now get to a roundabout where you take the first exit and straight after, turn right again onto the Durgerdammerdijk.
7. When you hit the T-junction, turn left and cycle underneath the A10 ring road.
8. Cycle further along the dike, until you arrive at Durgerdam.

Here it is time for a rest and a drink on the terrace of De Oude Taveerne (The Old Tavern). I would have liked to suggest you to have a coffee with traditional Dutch apple pie, but unfortunately the coffee is not great…so just stick to the apple pie and have something else to drink. 

After a short break: get back on your bike and start cycling again.

9. Keep cycling over the dike along the Markermeer. If you are in good shape and have enough energy, keep cycling and follow the signs to Marken. Marken is a typical Noord-Hollands fishers village.
10. If cycling all the way to Marken is too much for you, then follow the signs to Holysloot.
11. In Holysloot you get to a T-junction.

Is it time for lunch yet?

Depending how hungry you are, or what time it is, stop here for lunch at eatery Het Schoolhuis (The School House) (NL). This cute former house of the town’s head master, dates back to 1875.

12. Otherwise turn left here. At the end of this road you will get to a little ferry that will take you to the other side of the water.
13. On the other side of the water (Holysloter Die), you continue your trip through the open farm fields and across simple, little crossovers, connecting the neighbouring fields. This is quite an experience and a great way to soak up this picturesque Dutch country side – so close to Amsterdam, yet it seems so far away!
14. After hopping from field to field, you get to a T-junction after the last field. Turn right here and right at the next one, along the Poppendammergouw.
15. Follow the signs to “Zuiderwoude”.
16. Turn right at the first three-way crossing onto Dijkeinde.
17. At the end of Dijkseinde is a T-junction where you turn left onto the Zuiderwouder Dorpsstraat.

Suyderwou’s Wijnloods – Hidden, but well known (for good reasons)

Here, tucked away on number 60, you will find Suyderwou’s Wijnloods (Zuiderwoude’s Wine Warehouse) (NL). First check whether there is a spot on the terrace at the back, where you sit on the water and have great views over the fields. The terrace in the front of this wine warehouse might not be very fancy, but to sit here after the long cycle you have done, is a royal treat. Ben the owner, is a very passionate and knowledgeable wine connoisseur. It is a pleasure to hear him talk so passionately about ‘his’ wines. Tell him what you like in your wine and he will give you the best advice. Ask for the meat and cheese platter to go with your wine, so you have enough energy for your return trip.

18. Cycle further along the Zuiderwoude Dorpsstraat. You will pass by very picturesque typical Noord-Hollands Dutch houses and a little church.
19. Turn left at the end and keep to your right onto Burgemeester Peereboomweg, across the bridge.
20. Follow this road till you get to Broek in Waterland.

Pancakes are perfect as a typical Dutch dinner

Depending on what time it is, how hungry you (still) are and how tired you are, we suggest you to have a pancake at De Witte Swaen (The White Swan) (NL). Follow the signs to “Centrum” or “Broek in Waterland”. You will go under a major road, via a cyclist and pedestrian tunnel. Turn left when you get out of the tunnel. Here at Dorpstraat 11-13 you will find pancake restaurant De Witte Swaen, situated in a house dating back to around 1596!!!

 Our favourite is the one with nuts and Australian ginger. YUM!

21. If you are not hungry, stay on your bike and cycle back to Amsterdam, turning left before you hit the bigger road (N247).
22. After you have eaten your pancake, get back on your bike to burn off some more carbs. Cycle back through the tunnel to the other side of the major road and then turn right.
23. Just before you leave town, turn left onto Hellingweg, which takes you through the open fields towards Amsterdam.
24. Keep following the road.
25. Go straight ahead when you hit the urban area of Amsterdam North.
26. Keep following the signs to “Amsterdam Centrum”.
27. At one point you get to the end of the road onto a T-junction, go right here onto the Nieuwendammerdijk.

This is a very picturesque part of Amsterdam North, which used to be Nieuwendam, an independent little village.

28. Keep following the signs “Centrum”.
29. Eventually you will get to the ferry that brings you back to Amsterdam, behind Central Station.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this full day of cycling, as much as we always do!


Cycling through beautiful Waterland

Address: Waterland, Amsterdam, Nederland

Extra: Self-guided