Waterland – Cycleseeing in and around Amsterdam
Includes ferry crossings
Check ferry timetable.
3 in total
Bike Touring Highlight
I amsterdam planned a bike ride.
June 10, 2021
Prepare to fall in love with Amsterdam's Waterland. The route takes you past typical Dutch jewels, such as 17th-century wooden houses, typical Dutch villages and countryside, the leafy Noorderpark and unusual windmills.
The route starts and ends at Amsterdam Central Station. Take the free ferry behind Central Station (Buiksloterveer). From here, you ride along the cycle paths in the direction of Het Schouw, with the Noorderpark on your left and the North-Holland Canal on your right. It is also fun to cycle on the Buiksloterdijk (a dyke), just past the Noorderpark. When you see the 16th-century wooden houses on the Buiksloterdijk, you can imagine how Amsterdam must have looked in the past.
Continue cycling past Krijtmolen d'Admiraal (built in 1792), then ride a little past the motorway and prepare yourself for breathtaking panoramic views. You pass a number of historic farms, many of which have been in continuous operation since the 17th century.
Take the ferry from Landsmeer to Het Schouw. It costs less than a euro and you get to the other side in no time. Take some cash with you to be sure you can pay the skipper. Cycle through the sleepy waterside towns, with all the characteristics of classic Dutch villages: picturesque houses, canals and a relaxed rural lifestyle. You can also cycle on the quieter, left side of the water and take the ferry across at Ilpendam.
Stop at the town square of Ilpendam for a cup of coffee at Het Wapen van Ilpendam, also known as Café Biljart. This traditional 'brown café' is known for its authentic menu and warm hospitality.
From Ilpendam, you can cycle to Purmerend in around 10 minutes past green landscapes, farms and open fields. The town has a long history: it was founded by a wealthy banker in 1410 and received the status of town in 1434. The drainage of the Beemster and Purmermeren lakes in the 16th century exposed rich fertile land, making Purmerend even more prosperous.
After a lovely break on the historic Koemarkt, you will cycle through Purmerland to Het Twiske. This beautiful recreational area is full of little beaches and has a wonderful lake. Cycle through the park or hire a boat at Twiske Haven to experience the area in a very special way.
The last leg of this superb route runs from Twiske through the trendy northern suburbs of Amsterdam. The abandoned shipyard NDSM has become a huge cultural hotspot in recent years. There are festivals (check the listings: ndsm.nl), an impressive street art museum and at the coolest restaurant spots where you can enjoy a great view over the water. You’ll love to hang around here for a few hours before you take the ferry from NDSM Wharf back to the starting point of the route.
Wonderful route, I rode it all today. Beautiful sights!
One suggestion: the last leg of the journey, after you turn south in Landsmeer (33.5 km into the ride) takes you on a busy street that is not bike friendly because you're sharing the roadway with traffic going in both directions. Maybe I was there at rush hour. In any case, it was a disappointment after the peace of the marshes just before.
I'd recommend modifying the route to just continue all the way south down Het Luijendijke, past the highway, and then rejoin the route via residential streets.
August 18, 2021