Dutch Quirk #60: Have ginormous bike parking lots

HomeUltimate List of Dutch QuirksDutch Quirk #60: Have ginormous bike parking lots

Everyone knows that the Netherlands is home to millions of bicycles. And with plenty of bikes, you’re also going to find a lot of parking spaces to put them in! 🚲

While there are bike racks on almost every street sidewalk in the Netherlands (and many sidewalks to be colonised) there are actually plenty of parking lots made specifically for your bicycle — potentially even under the ground you’re walking on. 😉

What is it?

Cycling is a very popular mode of transportation in the Netherlands, with hundreds of bike lanes spanning across the cities and countryside. 🛣

READ MORE | 19 things the Dutch did to make cycling easy and attractive

Many Dutch people use their two-wheel drives to get around on a regular basis. But, of course, people have to eventually park their bikes somewhere when they reach those places — and ta-daa bike parking lots were born!

Why do they do it?

Bike parking lots can be very beneficial for cyclists in the Netherlands. For one, it creates an efficient system where bikes can be stationed closely together.

The bike parking lots consist of both a bottom and a top bike rack, which helps reduce the amount of space needed. 

Another great perk is that underground parking lots help reduce the chances of bikes being stolen because there are usually people working there to make sure all goes well. 

READ MORE | Amsterdam Centraal is opening an underwater bike garage (finally!)

Also, having bike parking lots helps to clear a lot of space on pedestrian lanes and near houses in the city.

You’ll actually find many signs on city streets that say: “geen fietsen tegen het raam” (no bike under the window). So, make sure to look out for those! ⚠️

It’s better to regulate bike parking spots to help cyclists, or else they would be searching for a biking space for 2 hours.

Why is it quirky? 

While other countries mostly have enormous car parking lots, the Dutch prioritise huge bike parking spaces.

This is because the Dutch have so many bikes! Without the necessary parking lots, the streets would be LITTERED with them. 

The biggest bike parking lot in the world is actually right here, in the city of Utrecht. It opened in Stationsplein in August 2019 and has more than 12,500 parking places. 🤯  

Should you join in? 

Of course! While you’ll find bikes scattered around the country, you actually can’t park your bike just anywhere in the Netherlands. 

There are many bike parking restrictions, especially in the city centres. The 1994 Road Act says it’s legal to park your bike anywhere on public roads.

But, municipalities still have the power to restrict parking your bike in terms of how long or where you can park it. 

So, let op! Bikes that are either left too long or parked outside of designated bike rack areas can be taken — and not by thieves!

If you ask us, it’s best to make use of the parking lots. 

Have you ever parked your bicycle in a bike parking lot? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below!

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in April 2022, and was fully updated in June 2023 for your reading pleasure.

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea Shamaa 🇺🇸🇱🇧
Lea has a passion for writing and sharing new ideas with the world. She enjoys film photography, Wes Anderson movies, fictional books and jazz music. She came to the Netherlands in 2019 for her media studies and has fallen in love with the country and its culture ever since. She loves to ride her bicycle in the city but also feels the need to overtake everyone on the bike lane (she's working on it).


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