Be prepared for any kind of weather. Average day temperatures in May are around 63F, but it can easily drop down to 50F or go up to 75F. In average May has 12 days with (some) rain, but in total that is not more than 2 inches. So expect some showers during our tour, and bring your rain gear. Sun shines in average about 220 hours in April. Since we are never very far from the North Sea, there will always be wind, either tail or headwind.
. It costs about EUR 55-60 one way, and takes about 30-40 minutes. Without reservation you can just take a taxi from the taxi stand, which can be a bit more expensive, depending on the time of day. You can find the taxi stand just outside the arrivals hall (follow the signs). Warning: it is strongly advised not to take rides from drivers soliciting within the airport. Even when they look very official, with their yellow "Amsterdam Taxi" jackets, they are not official taxi drivers, their taxi is not on the taxi stand but far away on a parking lot, and they will most likely scam you. Official drivers are not allowed to offer rides within the arrivals hall, they are supposed to wait for you outside, on the taxi stand.
Public transport: underneath the arrivals hall is a train station. Follow the sign and you will see an information desk, ticket machines and an escalator to the right platform. Trains run every 10 minutes, and go directly to Central Station (15-20 minute ride). From there you can either walk (20 minutes) or take a 5 minutes tram 26 (platform A), 2nd stop, Kattenburgerstraat, then walk 5 minutes to the hotel. The Public Transportation Information Desk at the airport offers 1, 2 or 3 tickets with which you have unlimited access to the local public transport, including the train ride from and to the airport, for EUR 18-30. Also available online here:
. Simply show your e-ticket on your phone to the conductor, and also scan the it to get in/out of the train station. The public transportation sounds like a hassle, but it is really easy, especially if you buy multiple ticket in advance. It’s cheaper than a taxi and it gives you unlimited access to go wherever you want in Amsterdam.
🌷 Tourist Info - For more information about Amsterdam we recommend to check:
Click on arrows to expand/collapse individual daily itineraries
Day 1 - Tuesday April 25th - Amsterdam – Marken – Amsterdam
🏨Meeting point: Pension Homeland Hotel, Billiard Room - 9:15 AM
Kattenburgerstraat 5, Amsterdam, +31207232550
💪 Stats: 29 miles / 46 km
9:15 AM: meeting / introduction.
9:45 AM: set up bicycles, do a testride, etc.
10:15 AM: Start riding North to the peninsula Marken, an old fisherman’s village. As soon as we leave Amsterdam behind us we experience Holland tot he max: green fields, lambs, spotted cows, windmills, wooden shoes, the “polderlandscape”, springflowers, etc.
12:00 PM - We will do a cafe lunch, and people have time off to walk around Marken on their own.
2:00 PM - Afterwards we will ride back to Amsterdam north.
3:00 PM - Tour and tasting at Krux Brewery
~6:00 PM we will be back at our hotel, and then have the night off to explore Amsterdam.
🗺️ Marken @ 15 mile mark
An idyllic peninsula, Marken was separated from the mainland in the 13th century by a storm. There then followed centuries of isolation for the population, who earned their daily bread by fishing. Marken was an island in the Zuiderzee (South Sea) untill 1957. Then it got connected with the mainland by a 1 mile long embarkment. Also the Zuiderzee got disconnected from the ocean by a big fortressed dyke, the Afsluitdijk, so from that moment the Zuiderzee became a lake, named IJsselmeer. Marken is known in particular for its authentic, colorful timber houses, white drawbridges, a lighthouse and fishing harbor. As Marken used to be flooded on a regular basis, residents built their homes on earth mounds.
🥪 Lunch: Today’s lunch will at a cafe in Marken
🍻 Brewery: Krux Brewery - 3:00 PM @ 26 mile mark
Krux Brewery is located on Cruqius Island, a man made island, created in the late 19th century, meant to expand the Amsterdam Port at that time. On one of the few wharfs left brewery Krux started here in 2020. It is the smallest brewery in Amsterdam. The full production is sold in their pub, they do not distribute their beers. This gives them the opportunity to experiment with recipes, and to serve all their beers superfresh. We will do a little tour and a tasting of 5 sampling glasses here.
🍜 Dinner Suggestionsnearby our hotel:
Pension Homeland - Has a good restaurant for those who do not feel like going out tonight.
Make sure you make a reservation the night before or in the morning.
Het Lagerhuys - A restaurant that serves “comfortfood” and has a the best beer menu of all restaurants in Amsterdam. The Belgian owner Yuri Hegge, is a true expert on Belgian beers, so here you can enjoy the best selection of Belgian beers. Entrance is at a side alley, a bit hidden.
Sea Palace - A floating Chinese restaurant with good reviews.
Kanteen25 - 2 minutes walk from our hotel), awesome food and atmosphere.
Hannekes Boom - Young urban vibe, affordable prices. Always busy, so make a reservation ahead of time: https://hannekesboom.nl/
🍻 Beer Bar Suggestions:
Homeland - We are in luck, our hotel serves all the beers of their own brewery
“Homeland”. They recently won several medals at the Brussels Beer Challenge.
Proeflokaal in de Wildeman - The most famous beer bar of Amsterdam
Proeflokaal Arendsnest - Over 300 (only Dutch) craft beers.
Brouwerij De Prael - Taproom of the brewery next door. Both the brewery and the taproom work in a social project together with the town, employing people who can not have regular jobs due to mental disorders. The staff is not always as quick as we are used to, and they sometimes make mistakes, that is all part of De Prael, be patient.
Café Gollem - Great atmosphere, classic beer bar, that was already here decades before the current craft beer revolution started.
Beer Temple - Same owner as Arendsnest, but this one is focused on American craft beer.
🚲 The Bicycle Chaos
First thing you notice when you arrive in Amsterdam is the huge bicycle chaos with people riding their bikes everywhere. They commute to work, ride to school, do their daily shopping. The Dutch start riding their bikes when they are 3 years old, and they are acrobats on a bike. You see mothers with 2 kids, without helmets, texting through traffic, ignoring traffic lights. To everyone’s surprise there are hardly any serious accidents. We try our best with out routes to avoid this chaos and to stay safe.
Day 2 - Wednesday April 26th - Keukenhof – North Sea – Haarlem
🥞 Breakfast: Starts at 7:00 AM
🧳 Loading luggage: 8:00 AM
🚕 Group taxi to Keukenhof: 8:15 AM
💪 Stats: 17 miles / 27 km
🏨Hotel: The Niu Dairy
Zijlsingel 1, 2013 DN Haarlem
Phone: +31 23 206 2230
9:15 to 11:30 AM - Keukenhof visit
11:30 AM - After having some snacks and drinks we meet our bikes and start our ride along the Tulips Fields and then through the sand dunes of the North Sea Beach.
1:30 PM - Lunch at a North Sea beach club Tijn Akersloot.
3:30 PM - Arrival at hotel. Time off to explore Haarlem
6:15 PM - Meet in the hotel lobby and walk tot he Jopen Church
6:30 PM - A tapas and beer pairings at Jopen Church!
🌷 Keukenhof - The most beautiful flower park in the world!
Keukenhof (English: “Kitchen Garden”), is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, situated in the municipality of Lisse. It covers an area of 32 hectares (79 acres) and approximately 7 million flower bulbs are planted in the gardens annually. Keukenhof is widely known for its tulips, it also features numerous other flowers, including hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations and irises.
When we arrive we give you pre-booked entrance tickets, no need to wait in line to get in. You can walk around on your own, and we will meet at 11:30 again at the entrance again.
🥪 Lunch: Today we will have lunch at the North Sea beach club “Tijn Akersloot” @ 11 mile mark
🍻 Brewery: Jopen Church, Haarlem
Started in 1992 when homebrewer, Michel Ordeman decided to focus on brewing old forgotten recipes from the middle ages. His Koyt beer (with herbs and spices) was chosen to be the anniversary beer of Haarlem’s 750 years anniversary in 1995. In 2010 Jopen got its own brewing location: the completely renovated Jacobs Church. Within 1 year the church became too small for the successful brewery, so now they have a second, bigger brewery on an industrial zone of Haarlem, where they brew the bigger batches. The Church brewery is also still in use though, mainly for smaller batches, seasonal beers etc.
The main restaurant is closed today but the brewery offered to prepare us some small plates to pair with their many beers. The cost is included in your tour fees! Depending on the amount of food we are served everyone can decide if they are still hungry to go out to dinner elsewhere, or we can stay longer at the brewery.
🍻 Recommended Beer Bar: Uitlje Bar (before dinner)
Uiltje Brewing Company was founded by Robbert Uyleman (“owl man”), who was a brewer at Jopen. After a few year of contract brewing he started his own brewery, focused on IPA’s. At the same time he opened the Uiltje Bar just across the street of our hotel, a taproom for Uiltje beers and other beers. A cool, young vibe, always crowded and fun. Uiltje was taken over by the big family brewery Swinckels (who also owns Belgian Rodenbach and distributes the La Trappe trappist beers) and Robbert no longer works in the brewery, but he still owns the Uiltje Bar.
Day 3 - Thursday April 27th - Haarlem - De Molen – Bodegraven
🥞 Breakfast: Starts at 7:00 AM
🧳 Loading Luggage: 8:15 AM
🚲 Depart: 8:30 AM
🏨 Hotel: Gr8 Hotel
Goudseweg 32, 2411 HL Bodegraven.
Phone +31 88 454 0631
💪 Stats: 40 miles / 65 km
Today we ride through beautiful forestry parks belonging to old castles, then we pass the bulb fields
and the Keukenhof, and after that we ride through the typical Dutch “polders”: until a few centuries
ago this was all swamps, where people lived under poor health conditions. They learned to use
windmills to pump the water away, and create new dry land. Nowadays that work is done by modern
machinery, but still they need to constantly pump water away to avoid the land from flooding. The
whole area, just like half of the Netherlands, is at or even below sea level. Today we will make a quick stop at a windmill and also at a modern water pump station.
Today is our longest ride of the tour, with lots of different sceneries and many things to watch!
1:00 PM - We will have lunch at Restaurant Pannenkoe in Alphen aan den Rijn after 28 mi / 45kms.
3:15 PM - Approximate arrival time at the hotel
4:00 PM - We meet in the lobby and ride in 15 minutes to Brewery De Molen for tasting, tour, followed by dinner.
🥪 Lunch: Lunch at Restaurant Pannenkoe in Alphen aan den Rijn, after 28mls / 45kms - 1 PM.
🍻 Brewery / Dinner: De Molen 4:00 PM (after hotel checkin)
Brouwerij De Molen was started by homebrewer Menno Olivier in 2004. Located in windmill “De Arkduif” from 1697. In the windmill is also a botlleshop and a restaurant. In 2011 co-owner John Brus joined and the brewery was moved to a brand new and 20 times bigger location 100 meters further down the road. In 2019 De Molen was taken over by family brewery Swinckels, after Menno had an heart attack and John wanted to go back to his roots of microbrewing instead of running a huge operation. The taproom was already independent from the brewery and is still run by the same enthusiast people as before. We will do a tasting in the windmill taproom, then a tour in the new brewery, and then have dinner in the taproom.
The famous Gouda cheese is not made in Gouda. It is made mostly in Bodegraven and in Woerden! The grassland you see today is the food of the dairy cows that produce the finest milk, that goes to small scale cheese farms for delicious farm cheese. There are also bigger cheese factories here, who produce Gouda cheese that are exported worldwide.
👞 Wooden shoes
Cheese-yellow wooden shoes were the common shoes in the old days for people in the countryside. Far from comfortable, but strong, and waterproof. Even today in the countryside you see some people still walk on them. And in response to the changing city culture, with hipsters, rappers etc, the teens in the countryside use the wooden shoes more and more to show they are proud to be farmers.
Day 4 - Friday April 28th - Bodegraven – Utrecht
🥞 Breakfast: Starts at 7:30 AM
🧳 Loading luggage: 8:45 AM
🚲 Depart: 9:00 AM
💪 Stats: 22 miles / 35 km
🏨Hotel: Crowne Plaza Hotel
Catharijne Esplanade 13, 3511 WK Utrecht.
Phone +31 30 237 7100
12:30 - Cafe lunch
2:30 PM - Welcome to Utrecht, home of the biggest bicycle parking lot in Europe, with a capacity of 12,500 bikes!
2:45 PM - Hotel check-in
3:30 to 5:00 PM - Walking tour of Utrecht, including welcome drinks in town
5:00 PM - Ride or taxi to Brewpub De Kromme Haring
5:30 PM - Tour and tasting at De Kromme Haring. They also serve pizzas here for those who like to
hang out longer. No group dinner planned, night off to explore Utrecht city.
🍻 Brewery / Optional Dinner: De Kromme Haring
Brewpub De Kromme Haring: Located just outside the city center Brewpub de Kromme Haring
was founded in 2016 by local beer celebrity Gijs van Wiechen and American brewer Stephen Grigg.
They are appreciated in the craft beer scene for their focus on brewing high quality beer and creating a nice atmosphere in their pub, instead of being on social media all day telling people how cool they are. A big relief actually in nowadays craftbeer scene. Another thing that makes this brewery one of Henk’s favorites is their connection to cycling: every Sunday a group of cyclists starts and ends their weekly bikeride here, and all the big cycling races like the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix and De Ronde van Vlaanderen can be watched on big screens here. The slogan on their merchandising wear says: “the only thing we fear is shitty beer.”
Utrecht is the 4th largest town of the country, with a long religious and university history. The Bishop of Utrecht was one of the most powerful politica land church leaders in the middle ages, controlling almost half of the country. Today Utrecht is a fun and lively town full of architecture, culture, bars, and restaurants.
🍻 Recommended Beer Bars
Café de Rat - Awesome little beer bar with an excellent beer menu including many Belgian Lambics. No dinner option, just some snacks here.
Kafé België - The oldest beer bar in Utrecht, already into craftbeer in the ’80-s. This is where Henk had his first trappist in 1986! No dinner option, just some snacks here.
De Drie Dorstige Herten - Quiet little beer bar, too small for groups, but really worth a visit. Great atmosphere. No food.
Belgisch Biercafé Olivier - Focused on Belgian beers, nice location.
Taplokaal Gist - Very good food , very good beers. Reservation required.
Eet- en Biercafé Lombok - A 15 minutes walk out of the city center. Very nice place, with very good food and beer menu.
Beers & Barrels - Nearby the hotel, in the wharf cellars along the Oudegracht canal. Good burgers, nice beers.
Kloek - Just a few minutes walk from the hotel. It is a chicken restaurant, very reasonably priced, and they serve many local beers.
Day 5 - Saturday April 29th - Utrecht - Amsterdam
🥞 Breakfast: Starts 7 PM
🧳 Loading luggage: 8:30 AM
🚲 Depart: 8:45 AM
💪 Stats: 31 miles / 50 km
Today we cycle through De Vechtstreek, the region north of Utrecht, named after the winding river Vecht that we follow this morning. In the 18th and 19th century ruch families moved from Amsterdam to this region and built beautiful castles and mansions that are here still today. One of the little towns we pass is Breukelen, the town that Brooklyn, NY, was named after. It looks a bit different though!
1 PM - We reach our last beer spot of this tour, and a very special one: House of Bird. We will have lunch here and do a tasting of their beers, guided by beer sommelier, Stephanie.
~3:30 PM - Tour end - From House of Bird it is about 11 km / 7 miles to Amsterdam Central Station, where we return the bikes to Tom and get our luggage. Our Tulips Tour has come to and end!
🍻 Brewery / Lunch: House of Bird @ 24 mile mark
House of Bird is the taproom and experience center of contract brewery Bird Brewery. Founded by a group of bird watchers / craftbeer lovers, they decided to start their own brand of beer, made by Jopen in Haarlem. All the beers are related to bird names in Dutch, or Dutch sayings that include bird names. They were very successful, and after a few years they decided they wanted more: their own taproom. But not just a taproom. It should be an experience center for both beer lovers and bird watchers, and since many young families live in this part of town, they do a lot of activities for kids as well. The taproom is located in a small nature reserve, surrounded by highways, and very close to the big city.
👍 Thank You!
We hope you enjoyed your tour! Thanks for allowing us to make it happen and live out our dream jobs. Tips are optional, but do help to support the future growth of our tours. We hope you will consider joining us again!
Feedback / Reviews - Feedback is always welcome! Please contact me (Evan, email@example.com) know how we can improve the tours for the next group! If’ you’d like to leave a review, here are a few places you can do it:
Since this is a Spring tour, please ensure you have adequate warm clothes / layers for possible cold and wet weather riding. Some suggestions: Gloves (rain proof, or bring multiple pairs), Rain jacket, Rain pants.
Cycling-specific shoes are not necessary, but you are welcome to bring them if you are more comfortable. Most people bring one pair of shoes for on the bikes and some type of sandals for off the bikes / at the hotel.
There will not be laundry services available during this tour, so please ensure you have enough clothing packed in your suitcases to get you through the the tour, both on the bike and off the bike.
Bikes will be equipped with 1 pannier each for you to have easy access to items you need during your ride. A water bottle is included in your rental, which you are welcome to keep after the tour.
Other useful items to pack:
US to Euro power adapter
Beer(s) from your hometown - They make great gifts to the brewers we meet during the tours and/or to share with your fellow Beercycling friends
Safety Rules / Cycling Tips
Helmets are to be worn while riding at all times. We are assuming you are all bringing your own, if you need a rental helmet please let us know.
We will provide a safety debriefing on Day #1 of the tour, but are including some of the tips also below as a quick reference:
Communication - When cycling in a large group we occasionally need to pass messages up and down the line. For example:
If we are on a narrow street and a bike or car is trying to pass us the person in the back of the line may say “Car Back”. The person in front of him passes the message to the person in front of them, etc, until the message reaches all the way to the front.
Likewise, if the person in the front notices a hazard they may say something like “Post Ahead” or “Bike Up”, the person behind them repeats that, etc, until the message makes it to the back.
Other useful messages you may hear: “Stopping”, “Slowing”, “Clear”, “Pothole”, “Glass”, “Jogger”
Making turns - It is useful to point your hand to the left of the right when making turns. This is so that both bikes and cars know your intentions. Note that while in the US we can raise our left hand to indicate a right turn, that is not as well known in Europe. So just point your hand to the right or indicate a right turn.
Stop signs / Lights / Intersections - When traveling with a large group always check when passing through intersections that the road is clear. You can say “clear” so the person behind you knows as well. But always check and obey all signs/lights. Don’t assume that just because the person in front of you made it through that you will be able to. It is OK if some of the group makes it through a light and some of the group stops and waits for it to be clear. The group ahead will stop at the next available safe location and let the back group catch up.
Keep safe distance between bikes - There is no need to “draft” off each other on our tours. Ensure you have time to stop if the person in front of you needs to stop quickly for whatever reason.
One way streets - It is very common that roads are one way for cars, but are two ways for bikes. You may see a sign that says “Fietsers Uitgezonderd" (Dutch) or "Excepte Cyclistes" (French) or a bicycle symbol under the one way sign.
Always stay on the right side of the road, even on the narrow quiet roads and on cycle paths, so other cyclists can pass you on your left.
Priority - All traffic that comes from the right, including bikes, have priority, unless you are on a “priority road”. You recognize a priority road by the square orange sign, and you recognize you are crossing or entering a priority road by white triangles on the road named "shark teeth". We will stop and point these out during the tour so that everyone is aware.
Always stop for pedestrians who cross a "zebra" (cross walk)
Riding on the sidewalks is forbidden in Europe. And so is walking on bike lanes.
Bike Prep - We will have everyone test their bike out at the start of Day 1. Here is a list of what to check:
Seat height - You should have only a small bend to the knees.
Check gearing - Ensure you are comfortable with the switching between all of your front/rear gears and how to adjust into a climbing position (small ring up front, large ring in back), flat/downhill position (large ring up front, small ring in back), etc.
Cross chain - Be mindful that some chain rubbing will likely occur if you are in a “cross chain” position (e.g., small ring to small ring, or large ring to large ring), please try your best to avoid using the gears in this configuration as it can be harmful for the bike chain. Ask a guide for a demonstration if necessary.
eBikes - Please ensure your battery gets removed at the end of each ride and charged in your room. Double check that the battery is fully plugged in and the charge light is visible.
Bike locks - We will demonstrate how to use the wheel locks and chain locks on Day #1. Always ensure your bikes are locked when we need to stop and go inside somewhere where we can’t keep an eye on our bicycles.
While is it awkward for us Americans while we are in Europe we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in a different system to talk about mileage, temperatures, and beer volumes. I find the best way to get “normalized” to it is by not trying to convert KM to miles, C to F, or ml to ounces, but to just use the local metrics and pretend you know what it means. It takes a bit, but I promise after a few days you will feel confident in discussing exactly what you are doing with locals out here. You’ll get more street cred. Plus, as a bonus, you’ll always cycle a lot more KM’s than you ever could in miles.
While US credit cards (Mastercard and VISA) are accepted at most places in Europe, it is still a good practice to have some Euros with you during the tour.
Make sure to alert your bank / credit card companies of your travel plans so that your cards won’t be declined while abroad.
The easiest way to get money is to use an ATM after you arrive in Europe. You'll typically find better conversion rates that way vs. going into a bank to convert USD to EUR. Some banks make you submit a travel notification so ensure you do that, or call them first.
Keep in mind splitting checks is not as customary at restaurants in Netherlands/Belgium/France. So it's helpful that everyone has cash available so we can easily pay for the dinners.
There will also be ATM's along our route, so you'd have an easy option if you need to get more.