When moving to The Hague be prepared to make your bike your best friend and worst enemy at the same time.
Especially if you are an international student you will notice that costs for public transportation will add up quickly. Therefore, biking is the prefered way of transportation for most students.
Where to get a bike?
- Local Bike shops (also sell second-hand bikes), can be pricier
- Decathlon (new, affordable bikes)
- Facebook marketplace (lots of second-hand bikes)
- Swapfiets (monthly paid bike subscription, including repairs)
- OV fiets (NL: bikes):
- You can load the ‘OV fiets abonnement’ on your personal OV card. There is no fixed amount per month/year. OV fiets stations can be found in all bigger train stations and are usually labelled within the building (find all the locations here). You always need to return the bike to the station where you got it from.
- A bike costs 3.85€ for 24 hours, the maximum rental period for one bike is 72 hours. If you fail to return the bike within 72 hours, you pay 5€ for every 24 hours started. Click here for more information.
- TIP: You can always return your bike and immediately pick up a new one – the timer starts from 0h again.
Unwritten Bike Rules
- Bike on the bike lanes only (car drivers will inevitably get mad at you if you don’t!)
- If it is very busy on the bike lane, stay on the right side to let other bikers pass you on the left
- Scooters are allowed to use the bike lane so don’t be surprised by a motorized vehicle passing you on what appears to be the sidewalk
- When stopping at a red light take a look on the ground to find white lines that indicate where you need to stop in order for others to still be able to pass when coming from different directions
- Be aware of the tram tracks, especially when wet! They are slippery and you can get stuck in them so make sure to always approach them at a large angle
- Lastly, there are only certain areas where you are allowed to park your bike. They are clearly marked by white lines. Do not park your bike anywhere else as it can be taken away by the municipality.
Don't worry, you will get used to biking soon and will learn to appreciate the flexibility that comes with it and the joy of getting some fresh air on your way to and from uni.
Just don’t forget to lock your bike!