The steep canal bridges dispel any claim that Amsterdam is flat. In the last 25 years, cycling among those in the city’s higher income brackets has more than doubled, while bike ownership has increased from 63 to 73 per cent among all residents.
Amsterdam – Fact Check

Why bike helmets are uncommon in Amsterdam

Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Amsterdam – Fact Check Why bike helmets are uncommon in Amsterdam

Wearing a cycle helmet is not obligatory in Amsterdam, and it’s rare to see one. Some families will insist their smaller children wear them, however. So why don’t the adults set a good example?

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

It’s a complex topic, but the scientific evidence is that cycle helmets don’t do much to protect adults in a typical accident. Small children, with their softer bones and larger heads in proportion to their bodies, are an exception.

Amsterdam sees an average of 15 deaths from 900 traffic accidents every year, of which 58 per cent involve cyclists. Safety is maintained in less obvious ways, such as dedicated bike lanes, which keep cars and bikes well apart, road safety education, traffic priority for cyclists and the banning of trucks or buses from certain roads.

Perhaps the best safety precaution is the fact that there are no drivers in Amsterdam, just cyclists in a car. When everybody cycles, there is much more awareness of other road users.

The greatest danger may be to pedestrians, particularly foreign visitors who look the wrong way before who stepping out in front of one of the many big, heavy Dutch shopping bikes.

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Wolvenstraat, part of the 9Streets with trendy shops and cafés in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam.

7 cliché activities in Amsterdam you will actually enjoy

Amsterdam is one of those cities that is drenched in clichés. I’ve overheard people saying that they thought Amsterdam was itself a country (Holland clearly isn’t interesting enough to benefit from word of mouth publicity), that the Dutch  all wear wooden shoes (imagine the pain!), that Amsterdam is  covered in tulips, and that literally everyone   smokes weed. All. Day. Long. I’m not here to smash your dreams into a thousand tiny pieces, but that’s plain bullcheese. On the other hand, some Amsterdam clichés are true and are definitely worth giving a try. They aren’t clichés for nothing, am I right?