Amsterdam wouldn’t be Amsterdam without the Amstel River. Named after small fishing village Amstelredamme (dam on the river Amstel), built during the 13th century. The Amstel River route follows the flow of the river out of the city. Meandering through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Nes aan de Amstel, Uithoorn and Waver.
Level 1: Blauwbrug – De Riekermolen (6.6 km)
1a. City Hall and Blauwbrug Your pedaling starts at the Blauwbrug. It owes its name to the original bridge built in 1600, which was painted the characteristic blue of the Dutch flag.
1b. Icons at the Amstel In the first 300 metres, 400 years of Dutch history. The Magere Brug, the Hermitage museum, the Royal Theatre Carré and the Amstel Hotel.
1c. Riekermolen Large windmill built in 1636 to drain the surrounding land. Nearby, a bronze statue of Rembrandt, celebrating the many sketches he made here.
Level 2: De Riekermolen – Amstelzijde Amstelveen (4,1 km)
2a. Rembrandt Hoeve A traditional farm specialized in making clogs and cheese. Take a look at the landscape around you, dotted with old houses and windmills. You might imagine that you have cycled into the 15th century.
2b. Gemaal Middenpolder A still-working water pump to drain or add water to the polders (low-lying areas of land enclosed by dikes). The water level is controlled by manually operated devices.
2c. Wester-Amstel country house Established in 1862 as a getaway from hectic city life. So much for change in the last 150 years.
2d. Amstelzijde and Amstelveen Restaurants on the river include Brasserie Paardenburg and Loetje aan de Amstel. “Eet smakelijk!” as they say in Dutch.
Level 3: Amstelzijde Amstelveen – Nes aan de Amstel (5,6 km)
3a. Kruidfabriek Built on what was formerly a gun powder factory, the Kruidfabriek is now a restaurant that provides a taste explosion!
3b. Nes aan de Amstel Cycle just a little further and you arrive at the cute little village of Nes aan de Amstel. Follow the river to Uithoorn.
Level 4: Nes aan de Amstel – Uithoorn (5 km)
4a. Zomerbloemen Pluktuin What could be more Dutch than picking your own tulips at the Zomerbloemen Pluktuin? If you’re tired, you can take a shortcut with the ferry to the other side of the river and cycle back to Amsterdam. Make sure you have some small change, they don’t accept plastic.
4b. Thamerkerk The original church stood on another location which had water management problems. It was hard to have a church service when the congregation were knee-deep in water. Nowadays it is a National Monument.
4c. Uithoorn: Wilhelminakade / Dorpsstraat The place to stretch the legs and have lunch or a relaxing drink. The Wilhelminakade and Dorpsstraat offer the best view of the small harbour and the Amstel. Happy days.
4d. Detour: Fort aan de Drecht Part of ‘The Stelling van Amsterdam’ or the Defence Line of Amsterdam. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, 135 km long ring of fortifications around Amsterdam, consisting of 42 forts. Today they serve pancakes.
Level 5: Uithoorn – Waver (11,2 km)
A nice long cycle for lovers of nature and peace and quiet.
5a. Polderland Cycle while enjoying the view of Amsterdam’s financial district in the horizon. Or if you prefer, forty different kinds of birds to spot!
5b. De Ronde Hoep Beautiful Dutch countryside, flatness as far as the eye can see.
Level 6: Waver – Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (4,7 km)
6a. Stokkelaarsbrug Stokkelaarsbrug, named after the bridge over the Waver, is a hamlet west of Abcoude. On the other side of the river lies the province of Utrecht.
6b. Gemaal de Ronde Hoep A splendid industrial monument of bygone times. This diesel engine centrifugal pump was built in 1913 and still works.
6c. Restaurant de Voetangel Cycling on from here and you will pass Restaurant de Voetangel. Traditional international cuisine with a Dutch touch.
6d. St. Urbanus Parochie Built in 1872 by the famous Pierre Cuypers, who also built the Rijksmuseum and Amsterdam Centraal Station.
6e. Ouderkerk aan de Amstel Take a well-earned breather in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, a quaint medieval village dating back to the 12th century. Visit the Beth Haim graveyard, opened in 1614, the oldest Jewish cemetery in the Netherlands.
Level 7: Ouderkerk aan de Amstel – Amstelkwartier (6,8 km)
7a. Tuinpark Amstelglorie Officially recognized as one of the most interesting garden parks in Europe. 400 allotments with everything from ornamental gardens with flowers, shrubs and ponds to traditional vegetable gardens.
7b. George Marina Congratulations! You have done some serious cycleseeing. Now it’s time to wind down. Perhaps the George Marina, for seafood and a glass of wine on the water.