by Rafal Sulowski

With 2 million km cycled every day by its habitats,  58% of people cycling daily and 881,000 bikes in this city itself, Amsterdam is a global biking capital. Living in this beautiful, full of diversity place is much easier to move around with a good old dutch bike. Of course, Amsterdam is well known for its very good communication infrastructure, but public transport can be very pricey in the long run. That’s why you need a good bike.. or.. hmm it doesn’t really have to be a high-end bicycle. Amsterdam is pancake flat so you don’t need 21 gears and very light frame – actually you can get something very cheap and you’ll be just fine 😉 But if you want a style so you can post cool photos on Instagram you may need to invest a little bit more or just make your old bike look cool. You can find on this blog a few tips and tricks on how to pimp your bike.

The best way to get a second-hand bike on a budget in Amsterdam is to buy it online or from a second-hand shop. There are very typical Dutch Shops with used goods and you can find there everything – also bikes. They are called “kringloopwinkel”

Buying a second-hand bike in Holland

It’s very easy to get a second-hand bike in the Netherlands. There are many options.

  • You can search for used bikes on the Internet, Facebook groups, Craigslist.
  • If you would like to go to used bike shop there are many of them in the Netherlands. Just type second-hand bike and find the closest one on google maps.
  • Keep in mind that you can find used bikes in shops with used things. These stores are called: Kringloopwinkel.  
  • Bike Renting companies sell used bikes too.

When you buy a bike from shop remember that you always have to pay more for maintenance and warranty they give. If you look for an affordable bike – online marketplace is a way to go.

Buying a used bike Online

I would recommend you to choose this option. There are many different ways to get a second-hand bike but this one is the most affordable and there is a huge amount of bikes people sell every day, so I am sure you will find something for you.


On the Internet, people sell bikes at very reasonable prices. You can even find bikes which people want to give away for free. If you want to find an affordable bike in good condition you simply go to the website marktplaats and type fiets in a search bar. Please take a look at the graph I did for you. First, you need to type Fiets in a search bar and then Sorteer op Prijs (laag-hoog) and it means that now marktplaats is going to show you bikes from lowest to highest price.  

Get a second hand bike in Holland


There are also other options to get a second-hand bike online. You should definitely check facebook groups. Groups I would recommend are:

  • ISN Amsterdam online market This is an online marketplace for all international students in Amsterdam to buy or sell bikes, furniture, tickets, household items,  rent rooms/apartments etc. You can find a lot of things here.
  • Bike Marketplace Amsterdam – This is probably the best place to get a second-hand bicycle in Amsterdam and surroundings. In this group you find only bike posts, so if you live in Amsterdam or any other city around you should definitely hit Bike Marketplace.
  • Bikes – Second Hand Bikes  Another group on facebook where you can get bike in Amsterdam

Another way to buy a used bike in the Netherlands, if you live in another city of Holland you can simply type in facebook search: Bike Netherlands then hit the enter button and scroll all the way down to see a MARKETPLACE. There are many offers from the whole Netherlands.

Buy a bicycle in a shop

If you were at a bike shop in Holland you probably understand why I suggest you to get a used bike. New bikes prices are crazy and because you would like to get a bike to save some money – buying a new bike at a bike shop is not the most affordable choice. Saying that you have to know that you can buy a used bike which has no signs of use and is twice or three times cheaper than the new one.

Maybe in another country, I would say to buy a new bike, but in the Netherlands, there is such an enormous amount of bikes that it is really not necessary to spend a fortune on this. You can get a good bike at a decent price.

You should also know that you can buy a used bike in a bike shop. Some of them sell second-hand affordable bikes, but for sure more expensive than online. However, buying in a shop you can be sure that your bike is in good condition and probably you can get a warranty for it. That’s also worth considering. Sometimes it is better to pay a little bit more.

second hand bike amsterdam

Buying a bicycle on the market in Amsterdam

  • Ij-Hallen – It is the biggest flea market in Europe. It takes place every two to three weeks in old halls in Amsterdam Noord. You can go to their website to check the upcoming market agenda. Every time there are 500 to 750 stands and you can also rent one of them and sell anything you want. You find there a lot of second-hand bikes and going to Ij-Hallen is pretty good idea to spend a day. You have to pay 5 Euro entrance and you can get there by a free ferry from Amsterdam Central.
  • Waterlooplein Flea Market and Albert Cuypmarkt – these are also big Amsterdam markets and many people would recommend them to buy a second-hand bike. If you would like to buy a bicycle from a second-hand shop there are few of them and you definitely find something, but remember that you will pay a little bit more.

How to buy a good second-hand bike guide!

For a first time buyer, it may be difficult to judge if a bike is in good condition or not. There are many details which can cost you extra money later on and you don’t really want this, right? That’s why I write about a few important things to check before you take up a buy decision.

  • What you want to do is take a new bike for a test ride.
  • Pull brakes when a bike is in standing position and try to move a bike forwards and backward to make sure brakes are in good condition.
  • Give a spin to both wheels and make sure that they are straight. You definitely don’t want to realize on your way back home that something’s wrong with your wheels.
  • As you check wheels, take a short look at spokes. They should be nice and tight and of course, none of them can be missing.
  • Grab the tire and the handlebar and try to move a wheel from side to side. If it moves or you can hear knocking it means that wheel bearings aren’t in good condition and that can be expensive to replace.
  • Inspect tires and make sure they don’t have any cuts and holes.
  • A chain can’t be too loose and actually, it is very often. If it’s not tight enough it will most probably fall very often and you will end up with dirty hands. It doesn’t cost a lot to make it tight and you can definitely do it yourself but it is better to be prepared for upcoming expenses.
  • Check if gears change smoothly

If you are still not sure about your biking knowledge you can always ask somebody who has at least a little bit of experience to take a look at a bike. It’s always easier to find damages if you are with two.

How not to buy a stolen bike

Did you know that every year only in Amsterdam – 50.000 to 80.000 bikes are stolen? Bike theft is the most often committed crime in Amsterdam. Considering that buying a second-hand bike has a pretty high possibility that it was stolen. There is even a chance that it was stolen a few times from many different owners.

What if I buy a stolen bike?

Now you are aware that you can be fooled very easily. Let’s say it already happened so what if you own a stolen bike? There is quite a low chance that police check your bike, as long as you don’t look like a homeless riding a very expensive bike ;p If you have an old Dutch bike nobody is going to check you, they would have to check everybody and that won’t happen.

But on the other hand, I know people who were very surprised when the police checked their bikes and they appeared to be stolen. In this case, you need to give “Your” bike back and pay a fine of around 250 euros but it can be as high as 400 euros. A maximum penalty for this crime is 6 months of imprisonment but you would have to be a pro thief to get it, so don’t worry.

How to avoid buying a stolen bike in Holland?

First of all, go with your intuition. If an offer seems to be way too good it probably is. Don’t buy 1000 worth bike from somebody on the street for 50 euros.

The best way to check if a bike was stolen is to check it in national stolen bike registry. You can always ask a seller for Frame Serial Number and check if a bike is ok on this site: https://fdr.rdw.nl/

second hand bike amsterdam

Where to find a Frame Serial Number?

Most often the serial number is located under the bottom bracket and more specifically under pedal crank. If you don’t find it there you should search other places such as a front headset, rear stays, seat downtube next to pedal crank, top of pedal crank

Rent a bike

If you come to Holland for a short period of time, for example – holidays, you can just rent a bike and that is probably the best option for you. It cost approximately €10 per day. But because you are reading this article you are most likely looking for a long-term solution and that can be a bike lease! Yes, you heard me correctly – a bike lease – that is possible in the Netherlands.

For 10-15 euros monthly you can get a basic 1 gear bike and you don’t need to worry about repair. In the case, your leased bike is damaged or you get a flat tire they repair it in 15 minutes or replace your commuter. You can hire a very basic bike and that is enough for streets of the Netherlands but if you only wish you can lease an electric or a high-end mountain bike. There are multiple companies in Holland that provide that kind of service and for example, in Amsterdam, you can go to DeLeaseWinkel or if you live in Leiden your best choice is to go to EasyFiets.

The only thing you need to remember is that you can lease a bike only for long periods of time, at least one year, so you pay for example 116 euros for the whole year. That can be a good choice for you if you are here for one year and then you are planning to move from the Netherlands. It is also a good solution when you don’t feel like repairing your bike yourself because the lease company is responsible for reparations. If you consider paying 116 euros for this year of cycling you should also consider buying a second-hand bike. For this price, you can definitely find something for you and after some time, if you keep your bike in a good condition, you can, of course, sell your bike for the very similar price.

If you are here for a period of two weeks or more and you need a bike on a daily basis, it is the best for you to buy a bike. You can actually get one for 50 euros. When you leave the Netherlands you can sell it or just give it to a friend.

How not to get your bike stolen?

Has my bike ever been stolen? Yes. Only once I forgot to lock it and it didn’t take long before it disappeared. You can save yourself a lot of stress by investing a little bit more in a good lock and please don’t buy the cheapest one. You can go to the recommended gear section to find a good lock.

  • When it is possible, always try to lock your bike to bicycle racks. There is a lot of them in the city and your bike is much safer when attached to something firm. If there are no bike racks around try to attach your bike to any other object(tree, fence etc)
  • Lock your rear wheel, not a front one because a front wheel is very easy to remove.
  • Lock your bike high, because if your lock in on the ground it is much easier to smash it with something hard for example rock. If a chain is on the ground it is also easier to cut it.
  • Lock your bike in crowded, busy areas.
second hand bike amsterdam

My bike was stolen! What now?

At first, you can’t be sure your bike is stolen. City council removes bikes which have been parked in one place for longer than two weeks or have been parked in place not allowed for the bike park. Sometimes when your bike is parked too long in one spot you can be surprised to see attention strap around your wheel. It is a blue paper strap on your bike with a note saying that if you won’t park your bike in another place during the following three days it’s going to be removed.

No worries, within next three months you can still get your bike back. If your bike disappears it is worth checking Bike Depository to make a check and ensure they don’t have it. There are Bicycle Depository in many places in The Netherlands but if you live in Amsterdam you can contact them under phone number 020 334 4522 from Monday till Friday from 8:00 to 18:00 o’clock. You can also visit Bike Depository personally. You can find an address here.

If your bike was stolen, you should call the police (0900 8844) or you can fill a police report online. To be honest with you there is a very little chance that you get your bike back, but if you don’t try you won’t get it back for sure.

If you have a chip or bike frame number it’s much more possible that bike will come back to you.

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