Bikes Abound: I’ve Moved to Amsterdam!


This past weekend when we touched down back in Europe after three months away in Australia, we arrived home to a slightly different land.  Rather than say Bonjour to immigration officers, we were instead saying Goedemorgen. That’s because we now live in the Netherlands!

Yup indeed!

Why the move?

Well, we’ve actually long been interested in Amsterdam, and have continued to really enjoy our visits to the city (and country of the Netherlands at large).  That included a couple of trips last summer that kicked things off, along with a few more that I didn’t post about here.  Whether it be the immense number of bikes, to the more easy going lifestyle, to the lack of hilly objects The Girl has to run over.  All of it was appealing…minus the weather.

Which isn’t to say we don’t love Paris – we really do (especially the food!).  And in fact, we’ll be back in Paris this weekend again for a few days, and probably back quite often.  After all, it’s only a three hour train ride away.  We’ve got many friends there given we lived there nearly six years, and numerous places throughout the country we’re likely to continue coming back to year after year.

Our time living in France was incredible.  We went from just The Girl and I, to having two little ones born there (plus a dog, also born there).  Not to mention owning businesses there and becoming a small part of our Parisian neighborhood.  We learned a ton about the culture and the people, but also about us as a family.  We got to visit countless spots around Europe with new and old friends, and got to explore places easily reached from Europe (all of which we’ll continue doing!).

2017-12-12 12.21.30-2-1

When The Girl and I started looking at homes in Amsterdam, we were thrilled that many street-level apartments had small backyards that you could hang out and BBQ in, or even put up a swing set.  We weren’t able to BBQ from our apartment in Paris (or the DCR Cave or the CupCakery), so this had huge appeal to us.  As did having a place both The Peanuts and Lucy the dog could run around in.

So when we found a spot that included a great backyard, a place for a BBQ, and lots of quietness (and even a fig plant)…we said Yes to the dress…err…home!

Just after Christmas we packed up the whole Paris apartment, and with the help of a bunch of the Expatriés Triathlon team folks, we threw caution to the wind and moved out of our Paris apartment. It was quite the day, mostly because we did it without the assistance of professional movers.  That saved us about 10,000EUR in moving costs (for just the apartment, let alone another 10,000-15,000EUR it would have cost for the DCR Cave and Studio move).  But, it also meant we were exhausted the weeks around Christmas.

2017-12-28 14.18.10

We were not only moving two full entities to different countries, but also trying to figure out what we’d need for three months away on the other side of the world in Australia (both as a family, and as the DCR blog). Yikes!  Again, our friends were amazing in helping here – especially David, Catherine, Karsten, and Sarah who all stayed crazy late into the night as we crammed every last centimeter of stuff into our moving truck. It was a totally nuts night.

Now you may remember way back to the annual DCR party that I said it would be the last one in that location?  Well, this probably provides a bit more insight as to why.  Though, I was definitely out of space – soooo incredibly out of space.  The good news is I’ve got a few options here that I’ve been looking at both before our Australia trip as well as the past couple days, for a new DCR Cave.  Definitely much bigger, which if nothing else keeps me more organized (and that in turn means I can pump out more goodness!).  Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll definitely have another DCR Cave Open House…this time, Amsterdam Edition!

2017-12-20 14.36.40

It’ll probably be at least a few more weeks until that’s all sorted though, but once I’ve got everything signed I may be looking for a few good folks to help move the gear via moving truck from a nearby storage unit into the new DCR Cave.  Plus, I’ve got one heck of a story to tell about nearly catching the entire DCR Cave moving truck on-fire on the side of a French highway late into the night.

2017-12-26 10.31.33

I ended up doing 3-4 truckloads of stuff, all moved myself.  Roughly 12-hour round-trips from Paris to Amsterdam and back, including unloading each time.  Again why things were pretty quiet on the blog back in late December (including packing everything to move!). But I’ll detail some of that hilarity in the next few weeks.  Plus, The Peanut even assisted me on a journey (and Nemo too):

2017-12-29 11.48.07

I’m now very well versed in the road routes between Paris and Amsterdam, as well as all of the rest stops along the way.  Also, without question, the best time to do such a journey is 10PM to 5AM. Efficiency level is high!

A Few Questions:

Now, I’m sure you’ve got plenty of questions.  So we’ll dive into a few of them.

Do you speak Dutch?

Nope. Not yet anyway.  But we’re gonna learn.  Because starting earlier this morning the little ones go to school/daycare, and it’s all Dutch, all of the time. And as of now, neither speaks a word of Dutch (just English and French).  We hope to be able to find a way for our oldest daughter to continue hearing French.  She doesn’t speak it well, but does seem to understand it fairly well, since when in France she was in French-only school (with zero English at all).  And of course, we’ll (attempt) to learn Dutch too.  For now, I’m just thankful most of the food packages are also listed in French, so at least I have a fighting chance of figuring out if I’m eating beef or horse.

Where in Amsterdam are you living?

We’re about a 2-minute run from the southwestern end of Vondelpark.  Thus you’ll often find us running loops around that, or out with the kids at the park there.  We wanted to avoid the super-touristy central portion of Amsterdam, and live near more normalcy.  We think we’ve found that balance.  We live on a tram line with easy access to anywhere we need to go, plus of course, bike or walking access is simple. Not to mention the airport is a mere 10-minute drive away (sadly, no good tram/train connections to it from us).

How long are you staying?

We haven’t decided, beyond the first year or so.  It may be a one year thing, or it may be a five year thing. We’re going with the flow and seeing where it takes us!

Are you getting a cargo bike?

Absolutely! The girl and I are eager to start research there and do some test drives over the next week or two.  It’s gotta be able to easily carry two or more kids and a dog. And maybe cakes.

What about the Cupcakery?

We started in 2017 slowly ramping down day to day Cupcakery stuff and instead focusing mainly on custom cake orders (weddings, special events, corporate stuff, etc…).  For one, it’s just easier to manage (less employee pieces, etc…), and two – it’s simply far more profitable.  The Girl hasn’t quite decided what she wants to do in Amsterdam yet, whether it’s more cake-focused, or perhaps some other business ventures she’s got brewing.  She’s always got ideas (lots of them!) and I’m sure you’ll be the first to hear of them!

Is Lucy coming?

Of course! Though, at the moment she’s actually up in Norway with a close friend.  She spent the winter there since she wasn’t allowed in Australia.  We’ll go get her in the next week.  She’s likely displeased she got sent to the frozen north while the rest of us went all tropical.  Sorry Lucy.

Are you still doing DCRAINMAKER?

Yes, of course – it’s still my full-time job! I haven’t taken some magical job here or anything.  We just packed up and moved (and of course, did all the fun visa work too).  In some ways it’ll make it easier here than in France for various companies that are also in Amsterdam in my space.  Tacx is headquartered here, and Wahoo/Shimano/TomTom and others all have meaningful presences here.  On the flipside, Withings/Nokia and Garmin and a few others had spots in Paris, so that made that easier too.

Does anything change on the site?

Aside from more bike pics in Amsterdam? Nope, nuttin’ else that I can think of.  Perhaps less Eiffel Tower photos, but don’t worry – we’ll work to maintain the same level of Nutella inclusion as before.  After all, if there’s one thing we learned in France, it’s how to make a Nutella-Banana crepe.

To be fair – one of the things that’s hard to understand until you’ve been in the previous DCR cave is how small it really was.  Photos make it look big, but in reality, it’s smaller than many American kitchens.  As such, I was spending a ton of time always re-arranging stuff to find what I needed that day, usually an hour or so of lost time on setup and tear-down, especially for video/photo shoots, or anytime I needed to compare older units.  So with a bigger space I’ll gain that time back and hopefully be able to pour it into more (and better) content.  Or…I’ll just eat more waffles with that time.  We’ll see.

More questions!


But then of course, we’ve got plenty of our own questions as well!  Most of these are pretty simple, but things you have to figure out anytime you move somewhere new – but especially a new country!

– Building stuff: What’s the equivalent of Home Depot/LeRoy Merlin (in France).  We found Gamma, which I bought a pressure washer at today…but wasn’t sure if there are other options.

– Tech Goods: I found MediaMarkt for electronic stuff, which we bought a replacement TV (sadly the one item that died in our move).  But if there are other retail or online sites that are akin to Best Buy/FNAC, that’d be great!

– Bike goods: We’re on the lookout for a cargo bike (for transporting the kids and other things).  We’ve got plenty of protected hallway storage space, so it doesn’t need to live outside 24×7.  Any suggestions/tips/thoughts in this area are greatly appreciated! We want something that The Girl can easily navigate around with a full load.  So one consideration we haven’t decided on is e-assist or not.

Events: What are the big running and triathlon events to not miss registering for?  Right now I’m looking at this triathlon in May as a potential option, mostly because it’s super close…and because you get to play next to giant airplanes mid-ride.  But if you’ve got suggestions – we’re all ears!

– Food: Got a favorite restaurant? We’re definitely well within the foodie category, but we love eating at anything that’s great – be it a small food shack or something more elegant.  Food is our friend!

Of course, if you’ve got any other tips for living here, we’re all ears.  The kids are already in daycare, so that’s taken care of.  But we’re certainly up for meeting lots of folks, especially in our neck of the woods (and even more if you have little ones in the 0 to 2y.o. range).  The girl is looking for a running club, possibly Tri Team, and/or a new Squash partner. So we’ll take any advice or things not to miss that you can give us.

With that – thanks for reading, and see ya around town!


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  1. EJ

    Hi Ray – as a true NL fan of your site living and working right around your corner I’m more than happy to get you further up to speed in NL and the NL triathlete arena. Just PM me. Also looking forward to a site visit to your NL Cave – once up and running.

  2. Pieter G

    He Ray,
    Why not somewhere in Belgium – nicely between Amsterdam en Paris :-)

    Enjoy the new home!


  3. Welcome! and enjoy your new home! maybe we’ll bump into each other during a bike ride :)

  4. Edwin

    Hi Ray,

    Welcome in the Netherlands! I live close to Gouda, so I could definitely help you out with some tips! Feel free to email me for some dutch questions/tips!

    For now:
    – Gamma is good for building stuff, but there are plenty of options: Karwei, Hornbach, Praxis etc. Most of the time they are located near each other
    – Tech: Coolblue might also be a nice option next to Media Markt
    – Events: There is a nice Triathlon (1/8 and 1/4) in Krimpen at the 26th of May: link to tvkrimpenerwaard.nl Site is in Dutch, but I could help you out if you want. This is the only triathlon with numerous free cakes and cookies after the finish, baked by volunteers!


  5. Phil Harvey

    Hey Ray,
    Great news to have you guys moving a bit further north.
    The main hardware stores are
    Unfortunately none of these is as good as Bunnings, hornbach is by far the buggest although they don’t seem to like Philip’s head screws.
    Most people just run a standard bakfiets, if the local ladies can do it with multiple kids in high heels you should have no problems.
    The biggest running event is the Dam to Dam, in September and a real party. There are a few tris scattered around the year and it can help to hook up with the Amsterdam triathlon and cycling club (ATAC).
    Restaurants, near you I have to give a reference to the drovers dog. it is an Australian cuisine restaurant that is pretty popular.
    Anyway, welcome to the neighbourhood, the description sounds like you will be right near where I am and let us know if you want to go for a ride sometime.

  6. Sjoerd

    Buidling stuff

    – Praxis http://www.praxis.nl
    – karwei http://www.karwei.nl
    – hornbach http://www.hornbach.nl And there are more.

    Tech goods.
    – i use tweakers for a pricewatch. It’s Dutch but the site says pricewatch with an search Option. You they give you the best Price for most of the tech goods. link to tweakers.net. For the more expencive parts you could be better off with amazon.de or amazon.fr

    – dam tot dam loop – run from Amsterdam to Zaandam
    – Amsterdam marathon
    – Rotterdam Marathon
    – City pier city

    There are alot more events and i don’t know any triatlons. But you can do the Amstergold race the day before the pro’s

    Also No need to speak Dutch in Amsterdam. When i’m in Amsterdam everybody speaks English to me..

  7. Dan G

    For food check out restaurant red (restaurantred.nl)… one of our favourites when we lived there!

  8. Thom

    Some big running events:
    link to damloop.nl
    link to nnzevenheuvelenloop.nl
    link to nncpcloopdenhaag.nl
    link to bruggenloop.nl

    The biggest:
    link to nnmarathonrotterdam.nl (next edition is already on the 8th of April, it will be broadcast on national television)

    A smaller one, but lovely: link to meijendelloop.nl

    Running calender:
    link to hardlopen.nl

    Tech sites for best buy:
    link to tweakers.net
    link to nl.hardware.info

    And welcome to the Netherlands, of course.

  9. Lieven

    Tech buying: next to CoolBlue, you should also check bol.com which is like a Dutch Amazon. Amazon.de is a good option too in a lot of cases.
    But in the end, you should always start with the Tweakers.net Pricewatch which is very complete!

    Cycling-related buying: in NL you have Futurumshop and Mantel which would be my top-of-mind choices.

  10. Frank

    Building stuff: Gamma, Praxis, Hornbach, Karwei. Google “woonboulevard” for locations with many home (furniture) stores located in one single spot.

    Tech stuff: Coolblue (online, highly recommended), bol.com (online, recommended but be careful with external sellers), BCC, Expert

    Bike stuff: mantel.com (highly recommended), futurumshop.nl

    • Paul

      Ok, now I am truly jealous. We visited Amsterdam last year and wanted to live there. It seemed perfect with the cycle friendly culture. Enjoy.

  11. Sami

    Good choice man! As a recent expat, feel free to ping for any Qs! PS. How about joining this swim event IJ-Swim this September in the fabulous island of Ijburg?

  12. Shaun Moran

    nFor the cargo bike – recommend you look at the Urban Arrow range if you havent already! Congrats on the move. If I wasnt jelous enough you living in Paris I am twice so living in Amsterdam. I hope to convince the wife to move there one day myself!

  13. Sami

    One more thing, depending on your business setup, make sure to take advantage of the 30% ruling, this has a huge tax benefit for the next 8 years in case you are eligible.

  14. Fulco

    Building stuff: Praxis and Karwei are alternatives, no general preference over Gamma, all pretty similar.

    Tech goods: MediaMarkt is notorious for poor customer service. CoolBlue is an online retailer with great customer service and a few physical shops around the country, one in the south of Amsterdam. But most of their stock is in warehouses, so best order online. Mantel or Futurumshop for bike gear online.

    Events: the organizer of the triathlon you mention is pretty good, and they do several events throughout the year. TriAmsterdam is also a fun race. http://www.amsterdamsetriathlons.nl

    Food: loads of good restaurants, but Fou Fow Ramen and Choux are the first two that come to mind. But I could come up with a huge list.


  15. Alex

    Welkom thuis!

    hope this is useful!

    Building stuff:

    my favorite diy store, great personnel: http://www.hornbach.nl
    the other ones: http://www.karwei.nl, http://www.praxis.nl

    bike stuff:


    tech goods:

    tech site with reviews and best pricewatch: link to tweakers.net
    good site that sells everything up to diy tools: http://www.coolblue.nl

    events: don’t know only go to bars

    food: sorry our food sucks!

    best of luck!

  16. Roelof Koelewijn

    Hi Ray,

    Welkom in Nederland! (Welcome to the Netherlands).

    Funny to read that you moved to my country. I hope you’re gonna like it here. Amsterdam is a great city, a little busy on my account but a great city nonetheless.

    I hope you like the running here and when you get around to it, you should definitely check out some trail running events in south of Limburg.

  17. rene

    Welcome to the Dutchies.
    Almost all triathlons in NL are listed here: NTBinschrijvingen.nl.
    May and open water triathlon can be a cold combination.

    retail electronic stuff:

  18. Sandy Milton

    All the best to you and your family for the move Ray.
    This year was going to be the one for me to try to join you in December, so hopefully see you then.

  19. Mimi

    Wow! Congrats to the move.

    If you decide to get an e-cargo bike: look at Riese & Müller. We tried quite a few (bakfiets, Urban Arrow, …) and found that Riese & Müller is great with or without load on board. Because you will not always have a full cargo on board ;-)

    Enjoy Amsterdam and good luck with the start in the new town!

  20. FrankJ

    Welkom in Nederland. Het is niet echt nodig om Nederlands te leren; iedereen spreekt hier Engels. Goede bouwmarkt is Hornbach, maar Amsterdam kent ook veel kleinere speciaalzaken. Van de bekende jongens vind ik Gamma persoonlijk de beste. Voor fietsspullen zijn Hopmans, Mantel en Futurum goed. Wil je een stadsfiets dan is een dozenschuiver als Fietsenwinkel.nl prima. Verwacht geen service, wel lage prijzen. Ik denk dat een bakfiets wel iets voor je is, is er ook een elektronische versie.

  21. ReHMn

    Light drugs like are legal there… and Shimano HQ for EU is based in Eindhoven…
    The Girl’s cupcake recipe tuned with weed will be a bestseller there.
    Enjoy your stay!

    • Funkright

      Having JUST been in Amsterdam a few days ago, now back in the Vancouver BC area, I can definitely say there were a TON of pot stores and cafés in the downtown area. It drives quite the tourism industry. Much more than I anticipated.

  22. Damon

    Welcome in the Netherlands!

    Enjoy your new home.

  23. Caferey

    Best of luck with everything! Training wise, what do you prefer, Paris or DC? I guess both have pros and cons. Don’t have to worry too much about heavy snow and ice in Paris and easier to train through the summer in Paris, not many days more than 25C or 30C and less humid too but I imagine you miss some sun which you don’t see much of in Paris.

    • I think cycling-wise I definitely prefer the Paris for the most part, just easier to get in good car-free or minimal car rides. Though, Skyline drive some 70-mins by car outside of DC is epically awesome.

      For running, they both have their pros and cons. There’s more runner-specific continuous paved paths in DC than Paris. Weather is definitely more mild in Paris at both extremes, so I can basically run all-year in shorts (but sometimes requires a long-sleeve top in winter). Trail-running is roughly a wash, with DC having Rock Creek, and Paris having the two major Bois on both sides. And you can run along the river for both cities. There’s roughly equal numbers of running races in both cities.

      I enjoy both!

  24. Frank

    Maybe consider setting up some way to ask for quick NL related questions, e.g. WhatsApp group. There are more than enough readers from NL happy to help you get settled :-)

  25. Kerbedis

    The weather in Paris and Amsterdam is awful, why you are not moving to Los Angeles or San Francisco? If I had opportunity I would definitely move to only pleasure weather cities :)

  26. Matthijs

    Welkom in Nederland! The Vondelpark is a really nice area, I skated there a lot during my student years in Amsterdam. In terms of local tips, many things are already covered, but I’ll add two more:

    Cargo bike is a wise choice, I would not let my little ones cycle on the loose in that busy traffic. E-assist is definitely recommended: although the lands are flat, the canal bridges are deceptively steep and the headwinds can be quite considerable.

    As for food, one of my favourite restaurants in that area was Addis Ababa on the Overtoom, a small informal Ethiopian place with excellent cooking. link to goo.gl

    Cheers, and good luck with the settling in!

  27. Rob

    Welcome to The Netherlands!

    One date you definitly should in your Agenda is the 27th of April. It’s kingsday and Amsterdam will be one big party.

    The one question you forgot to ask is: Will you come to our welcome in The Netherlands party?

    Maybe an idea to pick a pub and a date for a welcome party..

  28. Welcome! The A’dam area is my home too!

    Home Depot: Check out Praxis in Amsterdam Zuidoost, I think that store is their flagship store. Its the one closest to their HQ near Bijlmer (opposite the adidas office) and has an equally impressive garden centre.

    fnac online: look at MediaMarkt or Coolblue (or Bol), instantaneous delivery (almost), welcome to the land of e-fulfillment.

    Those urban arrow bikes look pretty cool and the Bosch e-bike set up is a hoot, but I needn’t tell you that.

    If you want to speak french and miss fondue… check out “Le Bistro des Alpes” on Utrechtsedwaarsstraat. It’s legit Savoie food made by an actual Savoyard. I’ll vouch for the authenticity.


  29. Welcome to the Netherlands!

    Nothing to add to the shopping tips, but of course I can’t help shamelessly promoting the cross triathlon I am co-organising myself: link to beach-challenge.nl :-)
    It’s in the sea, on the beach and in the dunes near The Hague! You do need an mtb though…

  30. Hippo

    Check this site for food-tips: link to happynothangry.com

  31. Peter Speight

    Congratulations on the move & I hope you enjoy your time in the Netherlands!

  32. JMJSD

    About cargobikes…

    We have one for the last ten years and I can only recommend one. Our children are old enough to cycle themselves most of the time, but we still use it on an almost daily base to run errands, drop a child (or myself or my husband) off somewhere, bring the Christmas tree home etc.
    Cargobikes are very easy to ride and, once loaded, are much more stable than a normal bike due to the low point of gravity.

    We have one with two wheels and I prefer that a lot above a tricycle. Much more stable (cornering!) and easier to handle in tighter places (abundant in any city center).
    If you consider doing longer trips with it, loaden with two children, a dog and a picknick, I would recommend an ebike. We don’t have that, and sometimes we wish for it. It’s not that it is necessary but it would be easier.

    We installed a long saddle pen (english?) on it with a quick-release so we can easily swith between accomodating my husband’s long legs and mine.

    We have a gazelle and are very happy with it. It has the added advantage that you can lock the cargo-part. I have to admit though that after ten years of (ab)use, the bike starts to show some traces of wear and tear.

    Good luck with the shopping!

  33. Niek te Hennepe

    Welkom in Nederland,

    I have to say, in Holten is a nice triathlon and the big plus is, it is a international triathlon with some times big names like Rachel klamer and her boyfriend Richard Murray.

    But have a nice stay in Nederland

  34. Welcome to the Netherlands!
    I think link to ntbinschrijvingen.nl was allready mentioned; it’s a list of most (not all!) Dutch triathlons. Don’t forget to visit Challenge Almere in September; I think it’s the oldest European long-distance triathlon…
    And keep an eye out for ‘het rondje eilanden’ (‘the lap of islands’); a short swim-run (12 islands, total of 1500meter swim / 5km run), with a full weekend of camping, music, food and fun for the whole family! link to hetrondjeeilanden.nl

  35. Dave

    Congrats on the move! My wife and I just recently packed up our stuff (and 1 year old boy) and moved to Helsinki (from Hong Kong), and it is quite the crazy change. So we get the madness that is involved with moving. In fact, we are still unpacking boxes, it’s a bit crazy. Good luck in the new city! We hear it is amazing out there, and plan on visiting at some point. :)

  36. tadaka

    I got the Taga 2.0 (link to taga2.com) when it was on kickstarter as a means for the wife to go biking and carry the kids/groceries. I think that it could be a great bike for what you and The Girl need as there’s an e-assist option if needed but not necessary, plus lots of space for everyone plus storage.

    hope that helps!

  37. Jimmy

    Congrats on the move! Selfishly, I’m a bit disappointed. I was looking forward to stopping by the CupCakery next month while on vacation. :(

  38. Kevin

    AND Schipol > CDG so that’s a win.

    We did a similar thing in that after 7 years in the 11eme we moved up to Brussels in 2009. We were beginning to feel cramped in our apartment and missed having a slice of outdoors for ourselves (and the BBQ!)

    We have not looked back, though we still love Paris and go back often.

    All the best Ray to you and your family in another great city.

  39. John B

    I swear I saw that play house and back yard on an episode of House Hunters International.

  40. Welcome to The Netherlands! I think you’ll enjoy this triathlon as well: link to tri.amsterdam

    And while you’re here, can you do me a favour and sort out the Tom Tom GPS scrambling device. Every time I run in the neighbourhood of their HQ the GPS signal is messed up and my Garmin data as well. I honestly think they do this on purpose.

    Like this: link to strava.com (around km 16).

    Enjoy your stay!

  41. Pieter

    Welkom in Nederland!
    For tri’s try T Veerke Oud Gastel 1/3th; http://www.frysman.nl (full in Friesland and IJsselmeer) and stadstriathlon Weert (next year the locatie for the etu championship). For swimming: cross the Gouwzee near Amsterdam 3,5k from pittoresk Marken to Monnickendam (stichting aqua dynamic).
    And hopefully do some speedskating next winter on “open water”! Or at leest the winter Triathlon in Biddinghuizen.
    Maybe I see you at your annual run (I planned Paris but Amsterdam is easier to do) or whenever you like a tour in Delft please be welcome or join our swim run the 22th of April!

  42. Nice one! Can’t wait for you to move to Barcelona when you are fed up with the weather :-)

  43. Chris Benten

    Congrats on the move. In my experience, and I have traveled most of Western Europe, the Dutch have the best pastries. The first thing I think of whenever The Netherlands come to mind. As far as the New Cave, I guess you have not heard the First Rule of Home Space…If there is space, it will be filled:-) I predict within 6 months you will have similar cramped Cave as in Paris.

  44. Woohoo!!

    Loads of people I see have already reached out to you I see, but add another one to the mix..
    I am a Brit in Haarlem.. so feel free to reach out to me and I can give you my number for when you find yourself in my neck of the woods or along the coast

  45. Augsburg

    You and your family strike me as a Harry vs. Larry types.

    My daughter went with the Xtracycle Edgerunner with e-assist. She loves it, but lives in hilly Seattle – where e-assist is a must on a cargo/family bike.

  46. Martijn


    Futurum has a location in Amsterdam: Haarlemmermeerstraat 114-116
    You can get a coffee but also work on your own bike there or get workshops.

  47. Emily W.

    Exciting! I love reading your travel and family posts, so a new setting is wonderful :)

    I just returned from a trip to Amsterdam and a couple restaurants to recommend:
    1. Grown-up dinner: Frenzi (Zwanenburgwal 232)
    2. Fun pancake experience: De Carrousel. That is IN a carousel and right across from the Heineken Experience, so convenient to the area you’re living in. Kids (and parents) would love it.

  48. Harm

    Welkom in Nederland!

  49. Ronald

    hi Ray,
    welcome to the Netherlands and (the) Amsterdam (area) specifically! My guess is that your annual open Cave day is going to attract a lot more visitors than it did in Paris…


  50. Arthur

    Hi Ray,

    if you want somthing to read about the Dutch I can recommend The UnDutchables (link to undutchables.com). Being Dutch I found it very funny and revealing how “outsiders” see us Dutch people :-)

  51. Peter

    Back in 1985 when on a family rip to Europe when I was 13 years old we stumbled upon the best french fries I ever had. For years my family dreamt of the fries referring to them as Anne Frank fries given the location of the cart around the corner from the Anne Frank House. I returned to Amsterdam as an adult in 1996, living and working there on a three month assignment. My first weekend there I went in search of the now mythic fries knowing only it was around the corner from Anne Frank House. I was pleasantly surprised to have found the cart. I’ve sent numerous friends there over the years and have even found the actual name of the place on-line (through Google and Facebook). If you have a chance check it out: Wil Graansta Frites. Hope it’s still good. Google link: link to g.co

  52. gingerneil

    Great news – best of luck in the next chapter of your life.
    (I wasn’t toooo far off with spain! :) )

  53. John

    Ray, although I’m a big fan… we don’t need ‘rainmakers’ in the netherlands… we already have lots of rain … hahaha! Welcome !

  54. Steve

    Welcome to the great tiny Netherlands. Pop me a message when you want a bike ride at the Kinderdijk (I live next to it). I’ll guide you along the famous Dutch windmills, small towns and sceneries. And don’t forget, we have mountains in Holland, we call it wind. It’s always there :-)

  55. John

    NLRainmaker! ???‍♂️?

  56. Duane

    Just wanted to say, as someone who has enjoyed reading your reviews and perspective for many years now that I think it is refreshingly nice to see people willing to do interesting things. It gets hard to do up and move as the years pass on but you are giving your kids a truly unique experience. I’m happy, and just a tad jealous, for you.

  57. Ezio

    Hi Ray!
    going to join at Amstel Gold Race in two weeks?
    we will be there from Italy!

  58. Rene vd Mark

    Welkom in Nederland!

  59. Mr Alpaca

    Hey – U would like to say I lived there to and have advice. If you know the small Albet Heijn on the walk there is a place called Carter – it is really good. If you are looking for a beautiful run or ride head out twords Amstelveen which is to the east of Amsterdam. Near De Bos which is another great place.

  60. Waldo

    You won’t have to miss out on Nutella pancakes in Amsterdam! For starters, try the touristy one here: funny and good: http://www.upstairspannenkoeken.nl

  61. Doron

    Injoy the new home.

    Good luk


  62. Lennart

    I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times over the last decades and I’ve always loved it there. Such a great atmosphere.

    Although touristy, the Foodhallen are a great way to spend the evening eating whatever street-food you like and the adjacent movie cinema is really nice, too.

    For a somewhat traditional food experience you should check out “Restaurant Hap-Hmm”. It’s like being served home-style food while sitting in a living room. Be patient as the wait might be more than 30min to get in but I absolutely enjoyed it.

    I hope to find the time to join one of your open-houses somewhen.

    All the best with setting in into your new home.

  63. Greg

    If you haven’t gone there yet, I would recommend a family trip to see the Valkenburg caves, where you can also bike through the caves as part of a tour.

  64. Arno

    Welkom in Nederland!
    (welcome in Holland)

  65. Harry

    Well Ray,
    A tip i didn’t see for electronics is http://www.bol.com and not just for electronics. Besides we have Ikea as well…….
    Take a walk through amsterdam and youll find some mom and pop stores.
    Besides why would you want all these tips ?
    Get on your bike and look around, I think the search will be lots of fun, and as i read in your pieces about Paris, the search was half the fun, okay the other half was frustration, but at least most dutchman speak english and you have two adorable kids to break the ice when contacting the dutch.

    Welcome to holland !!!

  66. Jirnsum

    Welkom in Nederland! I echo the people that suggest Hornbach for building stuff, and coolblue and Tweakers Pricewatch for tech stuff. Fir big running events: I don’t think I have seen Zevenheuvelen yet (link to nnzevenheuvelenloop.nl) for if the Girl ever starts missing those hilly things ;) For food: be sure to check out the apple pie of Kobus Kuch (link to kobuskuch.nl) if you ever visit the city of Delft (which you should since most of our Kings and Queens are buried there). If you do, stop over in the village 8k over (where I live) to check out a very nice Italian restaurant (link to trattoriarodolfo.nl).

    And now that you mention not having a tram or train connection to my employer (the airport) from your house: I have been waiting for that metro connection between Dulles and DC to be finished ever since I went there first in 2001! ;)

  67. Koen

    Events: triathlon, you should look into http://www.triathlonholten.nl. Lovely event, which has hosted the European Championships a few time.

    In november you should join the biggest run in my hometown: Zevenheuvelenloop (Nijmegen). Roughly translated as Seven hills run. Though, there aren’t really seven hills. But with 35.000 people on the 15km run it’s quite a nice run. The route is superb.

    Bike goods: look into 12gobiking or Mantel. They also got some good stores in Limburg.

  68. Jasper

    welcome in Holland!
    If you are looking for a cargo-bike these are some options in the Netherlands:

    – Babboe https://www.babboe.nl
    Cargo-bikes made out of wood. Very common.

    – Urban Arrow link to urbanarrow.com
    The rolls royce of cargo-bikes but very big

    – Dolly http://dolly-bikes.com
    A cargo-bike that is not very common but I like it very match. We chose this one one year ago for our 3 children.

  69. Wow, time flies. I remember the move to Paris!

  70. Harro

    Rotterdam! Visit the Rotterdam marathon 8 april 2018. With 950.000 spectators and 14.000 participants THE city marathon of the Netherlands.

  71. Rhett B

    Family cargo bike, try this link link to butchersandbicycles.com, based in Denmark but they must have a presence in the Netherlands.

  72. Daniel

    Amsterdam is for sure a very nice place to live evenfor just a couple of months.
    When it comes to eating I recomend “Hemsle Modder” where they do wonderful Dutch food, for burgers go to The Butcher, Albert Cuypstraat 129, and there is the “Seafood Bar” just close to Vondelpark.
    Have a good time!
    All the best

  73. Wim Schelfaut

    If you’re getting a cargo-bike you NEED e-assist, it makes everything easier and faster. We have a Johnny Loco Cargo Dutch Delight and it’s really easy with the e-assist and it’s a pain in the ass without it.

    And I would love to run the Amsterdam Marathon and the Dam-tot-Dam-loop (10 miles)

  74. Amelie M

    Welcome to the Netherlands, Rainmakers!

    Runningholland trains in the Vondelpark (As do a multitude… Not a Multatuli, least there be confusion). Phanos is one of the largest and best track and field clubs in the country, and they train in and around the Olympic Stadium (pretty awesome). All ages, all levels, all distances/events. De Dolfijn is probably your best Tri Team bet. They are the tri analog of Phanos, and their teams have Sloterpark as home base.

    I gotta plug Roost, over by the OLVG ziekenhuis, as a quiet little spot with great coffee and always-evolving brunch/lunch/baked etc. selection… Mostly because it’s run by an old University of Washington rowing “ploeggenoot” of mine.

    Go out for your first Amsterdam Indonesian at Blauw on Amstelveenseweg. Have fun settling in to this small town of a city!

  75. Jesper N

    On the cargo bike. I know AMS is mostly flat and you are in excellent shape, but you might wanna consider an e-bike version! Gives you the option to get somewhere, without being too sweaty. Or turn the E off and get the exercise…
    And to increase driving pleasure, consider a 2 wheeled one..
    link to r-m.de

  76. You should have said something! Most of us know what it means to move home with a family. I’m pretty sure many would have offered to help. Myself included.

  77. Iris van Breda

    Building stuff
    Hornbach in the outer West part of Amsterdam link to goo.gl
    Next to that Hornbach is a Praxis and others link to praxis.nl
    Don’t go to the Amsterdam IKEA, but to the one in Haarlem instead, more easy accessible certainly from your side of town. link to goo.gl

    Tech Goods
    Coolblue (webstore with brick and mortar store at the “Zuid as” near Amsterdam Zuid station.)
    Bol.com Dutch Amazon
    Big Media Markt store at Amsterdam Bijlmer link to goo.gl
    Marktplaats.nl is the Dutch version of craigslist

    Bike goods
    Zwarte fietsen plan for Dutch cargo bikes and oma and opa bikes link to hetzwartefietsenplan.com
    For (custom) road bikes go to Cycle you, on the other side of town for you but very much worth the ride. link to cycleyou.nl Also visit the Landmarkt next door to it, a posh supermarkt, a foodie’s paradise. link to goo.gl
    Get a Babboe Carve (link to babboe.nl) or a Bullitt cargo bike if you want a more sporty experience. link to larryvsharry.com

    Amsterdamse Triathlons are all very well organised, so Haarlemmer meer triathlon seems like an excellent choice. link to amsterdamsetriathlons.nl
    Another good one, and close by with a swim in the Sloterplas is link to triathlonnieuwwest.nl
    Try to get your hands on tickets for the Dam to Dam run. Probably through marktplaats.nl a week before the start of the event. link to damloop.nl

    Go to the food market on Saturday at the Noorder markt link to noordermarkt-amsterdam.nl
    Go to the Pure Markt on Sunday, different locations link to puremarkt.nl
    Check iens.nl for restaurant reviews. The Dutch version of Yelp.
    Go to the Food hallen, must go, and close by link to foodhallen.nl
    Restaurant Wilde Zwijnen link to wildezwijnen.com
    Breakfast and Lunch at Gartine link to gartine.nl
    Friday afternoon drinks at Vrijdag link to cafevrijdagamsterdam.nl
    Hipster bar / restaurant IJsbreker with nice terrace link to deysbreeker.nl
    Off track restaurant on the North Side Noorderlicht link to noorderlichtcafe.nl
    Best view A’dam Toren link to adamtoren.nl

    Other stuff
    Best pool Sloterpark bad link to optisport.nl
    Best outdoor pool Miranda bad link to amsterdam.nl
    Most posh pool Zuiderbad, next to Rijksmuseum link to amsterdam.nl
    Triathlon club Dolfijn link to dolfijntriathlon.nl
    Running club Phanos based of the Olympic stadium link to phanos.amsterdam
    Bike to Zandvoort beach, or Ronde Hoep and in a couple of weeks go to the flower fields and bike through de Bollenstreek (where I live around Lisse)

  78. Swim N bike Ken

    Hi Bobbie, P1 & P2 and Ray,

    It’s wonderful to hear you guys have moved to AMS my hometown.
    Unfortunately I’m now based in HK. And when you guys went to AUS I quite mt job with my Dutch employer which means I’m not going to AMS all the time.

    Otherwise I could have visited you on a regular basis.

    Food wise one can not compare to Paris I think never the less the Dutch cuisine also had it’s charms.

    I saw lots of recommendations already.
    I’d say you should also check out the Dutch version of eBay. http://www.marktplaats.nl

    If you’re looking for inspiration for routes for running N cycling in and around A’dam I suggest you check out my friends Strava. He is did six 70.3 in 2016-2017 in six continents but that’s a different story.
    Kelvin van der Doe.

    You’ll manage just fine with English, although some knowing she Dutch won’t hurt.
    Starting secondary School French is mandatory for 2(??) Years? But that’s still far away for P1. I guess it’s TV 5 and perhaps some french friends would be your best bet to get some french in.

    Good luck and enjoy the Dutch life.


  79. Swim N bike Ken

    One more thing.

    As someone alluded to it earlier.
    April 27 is celebration of Kings day. A very Dutch event.
    The night before you should hit town to check it out.
    On the day itself there will be fairs and children’s games organized all over town.

    My 2cents.


  80. Francis Paulin

    We are considering buying an e-assisted Harry vs. Larry instead of a second car, when our daughter starts at nursery school. Do you have first hand experience with them? :)

  81. Norbert

    Hi Ray

    I see you have a lot of good advice, but for triathon race checkout amsterdamsetriathlon.nl. They organize a couple of triathlons in and around AMSTERDAM with one that even has a sea swim. Always well organized. For a triathlon club, checkout https://triathlonhaarlemmermeer.nl. Another tip try: https://swimgym.nl

    Enjoy amsterdam

    Regards Norbert

  82. Jean-Claude

    Hmmm Cupcake … Netherlands … Space Cake ;-) too obvious

    I live in Belgium, but work in BeNeLux 3 different countries and yeah definitely different.


  83. Gerben Kuiper

    Welkom in Amsterdam!!

  84. Roy de Wild

    Welkom in Nederland!

    What a great move! I hope you and your family will enjoy yourselves :)
    Most, if not all, is said I think. There is one missing though, running the Dutch hills in the 7 heuvelenloop (http://www.nnzevenheuvelenloop.nl) 15Km and a really fast!! Busy run, but absolutely beautiful surroundings.

    Greetz, Roy

  85. Marvin

    Hi Ray,

    Welcome to the Big country! i knew you would love the stroopwafels so much you would be living here some day ;-)

    – Building stuff: What’s the equivalent of Home Depot/LeRoy Merlin (in France). We found Gamma, which I bought a pressure washer at today…but wasn’t sure if there are other options.
    the options people already have mentioned are all good

    – Tech Goods: I found MediaMarkt for electronic stuff, which we bought a replacement TV (sadly the one item that died in our move). But if there are other retail or online sites that are akin to Best Buy/FNAC, that’d be great!
    We got lots of them but mainly the dutch just search the internet for the cheapest ones :)
    those are the big ones

    – Bike goods: We’re on the lookout for a cargo bike (for transporting the kids and other things). We’ve got plenty of protected hallway storage space, so it doesn’t need to live outside 24×7. Any suggestions/tips/thoughts in this area are greatly appreciated! We want something that The Girl can easily navigate around with a full load. So one consideration we haven’t decided on is e-assist or not.
    Any bikestore will do, maybe it’s to far to drive but 12gobiking in moordrecht has alot of bikes (4500) to choose from.

    – Events: What are the big running and triathlon events to not miss registering for? Right now I’m looking at this triathlon in May as a potential option, mostly because it’s super close…and because you get to play next to giant airplanes mid-ride. But if you’ve got suggestions – we’re all ears!
    The closest is of course is the Marathon Rotterdam 2018 this weekend. Weekend after Amstel Gold Race.

    – Food: Got a favorite restaurant? We’re definitely well within the foodie category, but we love eating at anything that’s great – be it a small food shack or something more elegant. Food is our friend!
    If you need to treat the girl a very nice dinner and got some money to spent then InterScalders in Kruiningen(3 michelin star) is a must visit. You can combine it with a visit to the “Deltawerken”. The solution from the dutch to keep the water out of the land.

    Have a very nice stay in the netherlands and don’t worry too much about the language, everybody speaks English also.

    • Marvin

      o and if you go cycling, try “Het groene hart”. This area has lots of green.Happy to share you rides which you can follow.

    • Marvin

      o and i completely forgot to mention the “Bosbaan” in Amstelveen it’s near you and you can walk,cycle or run there. Lovely place also for the kids.

  86. Ian Berman

    Good luck learning Dutch. It’s tough because something like 85% of Dutch people speak English well. (Probably a higher English literacy rate than the U.S. or UK!)

  87. Nathan

    Well, Amsterdam has always had a big jewish community, so you both feel yourself right at home. And yes, Paris is not a very safe place anymore for the jewish people.

  88. Barry

    do you need a Bakfiets?

  89. Brian Hazard

    That’s not Nemo.

  90. Marmot

    Congrats on the new adventure! I’d love to briefly hear how this affects residency, taxation, etc. between US, France and now the Netherlands?

    • US Citizens (as I am) are required to pay taxes to the US no matter where we are. But, we’re also required to pay the foreign country as well. Basically, you first pay the foreign country, and then you get a ‘credit’ for the US portion. If you still owe more to the US, then you pay the remainder.

      In the case of the Netherlands, there’s a Dutch-American treaty which helps visa processes substantially. We could have technically moved our EU Carte Blue over from France, but it’s far easier and faster to just go via the Dutch-American treaty. That also limits the Dutch side taxes a bit through a unique ruling they have for the first number of years, though at the end of the day due to the American taxes we still pay, it’s basically a wash for us. We specifically moved prior to Dec 31st, to minimize having to do three countries worth of taxes for tax year 2018.

  91. Thanks everyone for all of the amazing suggestions and links, they are most definitely appreciated!

    Plus all the boatloads of e-mails and contact form notes folks sent as well, so much good info to digest! The Girl and I have been quite distracted tonight Googling all the suggestions you’ve sent – you’re awesome!

  92. Alice

    Hello Ray, wishing you good luck for your stay in Amsterdam! I must admit I’m very surprised, I thought you would have picked someplace like the sunny Barcelona on the warm shores of the Mediterranean with a food culture based on fresh local produce. I’m guessing there are faster connections from Schiphol, otherwise I can’t imagine why put up with 130 plus days of rain for someone who loves the outdoors? And you thought London was wet…

    • Barcelona was very high on our list – primarily for the weather, but the two main reason for going Amsterdam over Barcelona were the bike culture in Amsterdam simply can’t be beat, and then language barrier is easier in Amsterdam (actually, it’s non-existent).

      Certainly quite a bit of French carries over to Spanish indirectly, but neither of us know Spanish, so in terms of being able to jump right in (everything from paperwork to day to day life), Amsterdam was a bit easier.

    • Jesper

      If you don’t mind shitty weather (most of the time), then Copenhagen has a pretty developed cycle culture too. Where else do you find “super bike paths”???
      Maybe next stop…. If you drop by in July or Aug, you might even see the sun….

  93. Francis C

    Good luck with your new adventure! The world is small and you are definitely exploring it in a way that is enviable. Wish you, the girl, and the rest of the family happy memories and fun in Amsterdam!

  94. Erin

    Hey! Everyone already covered all the obvious items with regards to online shopping but maybe something that was missed in between was baby related stuff – namely the awesome thing called kinderopvangtoeslag(it’s like a child allowance for daycare) you can typically get up to 1/3 of the daycare costs back from the Belastingdienst (Dutch daycare is super expensive – link to info in dutch – link to belastingdienst.nl) also if buying nappies use Amazon.co.uk for now as their specials on diapers and other goods are souch better than any of the other local places – typically half the cost from what I have seen. Also besides the kinderopvangtoeslag you can get a kinderbijslag which is another sort of allowance for having children and this is paid quarter and the amount increases with age of child link to svb.nl

  95. Larissa

    Regarding cargo bikes, have you ever seen this blog? This family in Minnesota used a cargo bike exclusively for a year. Might give you some insights, since it seems you are seriously considering.
    I look froward to your next update!

  96. Gary B.

    Nice change Ray & family.

    Looking forward to some fresh blog entries on The Netherlands.

  97. Artur

    Gambrinus bar in de Pijp. Very far from tourists. Kids are welcome. We loved de Pijp when lived there for 10 months.

  98. Mark A

    If you go e-assist, I highly recommend the Riese & Müller Packster 80. I have one here in Seattle, and it’s great on the hills! Congrats on the move!

  99. Rinke

    Welcome to the Netherlands!!

    I think all good events are already mentioned. One (already mentioned too) is link to hetrondjeeilanden.nl
    (rondje eilanden). A really great event in summer near Amsterdam. running over 12 island and swimming in between in a time trial form. Great fun in a festival set up.
    Other thing I like a lot is the free open water training of Zwemanalyse.nl in summer.
    link to zwemanalyse.nl
    This is also a 20 minutes drive from Amsterdam, next to Utrecht in a small lake and is always fun!
    (website is in dutch, feel free to contact me).

    Good luck, enjoy your stay and take care of the cars in Amsterdam ;)


  100. Pieter

    Welkom in Nederland!
    The best 2nd hand e-bay site is marktplaats.nl mostl likely have to google the dutch word before looking but it’s one of the best filled used stuff place to go. For new places / restaurants etc I recommend the app my little black book. It’s more for inhabitants that like to be kept up to speed of new places opening. The best two events in my opinion are Kingsday (27 April) and the pride (believe first or second weekend in August). Enjoy your stay! Foodhallen is great by the way.

    • Roeland

      Hi. Welkom in NL. I used to live in your neighbourhood, great choice! Food galleon is nice, also try van mechelen. Pizza you can get at yum yum. As for triathlons: Almere is a big one. Egmond is a great run. And don’t forget to visit de veluwe. Maybe try an XTERRA in Belgium Namur. You can drive along.

  101. Pieter

    Welcome in Amsterdam!
    The best 2nd hand e-bay site is marktplaats.nl mostl likely have to google the dutch word before looking but it’s one of the best filled used stuff place to go. For new places / restaurants etc I recommend the app my little black book. It’s more for inhabitants that like to be kept up to speed of new places opening. The best two events in my opinion are Kingsday (27 April) and the pride (believe first or second weekend in August). Enjoy your stay! Foodhallen is great by the way.

  102. Stephan

    If you’re looking for routes to bike or run take a look at http://www.afstandmeten.nl. There are tons of great routes just south of amsterdam around some of the lakes and the coastal bikepaths are a plenty.

  103. Welcome in Amsterdam! If you are really looking for a cargo bike please let me know, we could provide you with one of the best in town and make your living even more Dutchy. It is the urban arrow family that will fit your needs. Just drop me a mail.

  104. Bernard

    Typically Dutch are several runs along the coast or on the Dutch islands in the North. Most of them will take you to run a few miles on the beach. Just to mention a few:

    Egmond (Half marathon, January)
    Groet’n uit Schoorl (Half marathon, February)
    Kustmarathon (Marathon, October)

    On the Islands:
    Texel halve marathon (September, starts from the ferry! Always sold out within 5 minutes, though some people may offer their ticket on internet in the last weeks to the event)
    Berenloop Terschelling (Marathon, November)
    Adventure run Ameland (Half marathon, December)
    etc etc

    As most of the runs are in Fall or Winter, the weather may put up an additional challenge

  105. Jordi Backx

    Welcome in Holland! The weather seems to improve, so you come at a good time.

    For Holland-specific biketraining, try this (or the Girl) setup in the pic.

  106. Nuno Pinto

    Good luck in Amsterdam.
    Funny, that we are both moving to Netherlands in the same time. I will be a little more to the south, in The Hague….so this time I will for sure want to visit the cave or join one of your events.
    Meanwhile I will be looking for your post, your questions are mostly the same I have in terms of moving/adapting…
    How I will miss the Flemish Belgium :-(

  107. Hopjesvla

    Congrats on the move!

    Imaginable you moved to Amsterdam, but please don’t stay only in the ‘Randstad’ area, also check out the other parts of the Netherlands when you are settled and tiered of all the tourists.

    And, check out the Dutch Fastfood scene, something like Frikandel and Kapsalon and Friet Speciaal.. food that will keep you going :-)

  108. Kaz


    cargo bikes/trikes: There are a lot of great cargo bikes in Holland – but don’t forget to check out the Danish competitors as well – there is a friendly? rivalry between DK & NL for Cargo bikes.

    The most famous ones in DK are Nihola & Christiania Bikes. Nihola has less cargo space but better steering. Both are available with electric.

    The most famous NL bikes I see in the UK are Bakfiets and Babbooe. They are also available with electric assist.

    Off all the above Trikes I do like the Nihola the best despite slightly smaller cargo area. But each person is different – so find dealers and try them out – or rent them for a while would be another solution.

    Congratulations on the move & enjoy Amsterdam – it is a lovely place.

  109. Kris

    Welcome to the Netherlands! We have rain and “gezelligheid” :-)
    I’m looking forward to be able to visit the DCR Cave.

    I’m not familiar in Amsterdam (except for work), but you should visit Utrecht.

    And tips, I see a lot of nice good ones from my fellow countryman.
    Enjoy your stay :)

  110. Kasper

    Although you now live in a city with more bikes than Copenhagen, you should take a look at Copenhagen based Harry vs. Larry for a cargo bike…

  111. Dora Kemecsei

    Hi Ray,

    We are a small Amsterdam based women triathlon team, looking for new members!
    link to trispiration.eu

    Hope you will enjoy living here, I also moved to NL 8 yrs ago and still love it!

    Regards, Dora

  112. John-Pierre

    Welcome in NL!

    For running events, here are a few calenders. It doesn’t list all of them though and you gotta learn Dutch ;)
    link to hardloopkalender.nl
    link to runnersweb.nl

    A really great event is Landgoed Twente Marathon (already fully booked this year). It’s for fun, you can run it by yourself or in couples of two where one is running and the other biking. Every 5km or so you get local food and drinks and you switch running/riding. There are more events like this.
    link to landgoedtwentemarathon.nl

    For bike stuff, have a look at the online FuturumShop. They also have a ClubHouse in Amsterdam at Haarlemmermeerstraat 114-116 where you can pickup orders, get a coffee, follow a workshop. It’s also a meeting point for people to start and finish their weekend ride.
    link to futurumshop.nl

    Have fun here

  113. Wai

    Hi Ray, a warm welcome to the Netherlands! I live a few miles from Amsterdam. But also looking forward to the new NL cave!

    You are just in time for Kings day which which will be on the 27th of April, Dutch people dressed up in Orange and having fun.

  114. David

    Used to live in Haarlem, but now down in the south (work in Eindhoven).
    Have very good friends who used to live right where you are (JacobMarisStraat and LegmeerStraat) – nice part of the city to live, but parking a real pain (in your wallet).

    Didn’t spot it in the list, but a great source of nice cycle tours to get you into great places to cycle is the NTFU (Dutch touring cycle union) the affiliated clubs have tours of all distances almost every weekend of the year: link to ntfu.nl
    Other great places to cycle is in the dunes along just the whole coast. Good cycle paths and no traffic, but very busy at weekends

  115. Part Two…

    Rollende Keukens in early May, in the Westerpark.(http://rollendekeukens.amsterdam)

    Places to take the nuts (especially once you guys have acquired your electric Urban Arrow bakfiets):

    Geitenboerderij in the middle of het Amsterdamse Bos.

    Boerderij Meervaart on the northwest end of het Amsterdamse Bos.

    Pretty much any place with a kinderboerderij… Little ‘uns can chase and be chased by baby farm animals, endless entertainment for all! We like to watch the kids (goat type) eating kids’ (human type) loose scarves and gloves.

    There’s a cool old 1940s (?) electric tram line that runs Sundays from near you guys to the south end of Amstelveen and back.(https://www.museumtramlijn.org)

    Japanese cherry tree blossoms… There’s a “bloesempark” on the south end of het Bos that makes the Quad at University of WA look like child’s play. They should be blooming in another week or two.


    Pedaling out to the beach is a great summer day. If you like it less busy, the Waterleidingduinen are a nice alternative to Bloemendaal or Zandvoort. Here be foxes!

    One note on hills (like if you want to run them). There is exactly one natural hill in Amsterdam. In fact, it’s called De Heuvel (the hill). It’s not much of a hill. In moments of desperation, we’ve run hill repeats on the NEMO stairs at night, or up the Nesciobrug. But in general, head to the dunes or the Utrechtse Heuvelrug for some topography. The NL has beautiful natural areas that most people wouldn’t associate with a country made of polders. For a spectating LOL, check out the “klimduin”, a September sprint competition up a big dune in Schoorl… that actually draws some serious athletes!

    Lastly, on learning Dutch: Folks here (with best intentions) will tell you that you don’t need to learn Dutch. Strictly speaking, that’s accurate. But not the point. I’ve worked a Dutch-speaking job and am enrolled in a school where I speak Dutch five days a week (have been here nearly six years, started learning Dutch the day we arrived, was level B2 after one year). English is the language of business. Dutch is the language that makes us feel at home here. Dutch is not inherently a “difficult language”… But there are plenty of folks who are proud of that myth and perpetuate it. My advice as an expat: If you really want to integrate with Dutch culture, learn Dutch.

  116. Majken

    I am looking forward to the DUIN Triathlon in Almere end of May… Swimming in the Markermeer seems really cool to me. When I came to the Netherlands 13 years ago the best things, I remember, were Kinderdijk, stroopwafels, kayaking waters, the “island” Schokland on the former bottom of the Zuiderzee and the Waddenzee with especially Terschelling

  117. Hi Ray, welcome to the Netherlands!
    Of course some tips here.

    Nice te eat (and not in every book): link to omelegg.com great eggs!

    Running calender link to hrdlpn.nl

    Coolblue and Bol.com are great shops. Special bike shops are Mantel.com link to wielrenner.shop and more if you want.

  118. Welcome! For the more exclusive Garmin devices like Forerunner 5X en Sapphire edtions you can go to WayPoint http://www.gps.nl. You won’t find these devices at Mediamarkt or Coolblue. We are more specialized then the big guys and sell all sorts of Garmin, Wahoo, Mio and other tech. We also have a good relation with Garmin (they have an office in the Netherlands) and we are one of there launchpartners for new devices. Feel free to contact if you need anything.

  119. Thijs


    About bakfietsen: skip Babboe and Bakfiets.nl. They’re the cheapest both in price and quality, don’t expect them to last long in dreary Dutch weather.
    Urban Arrows are expensive, but very well built. Then there’s Fietsfabriek, also expensive but quality build. So far I’ve seen a very straightforward connection between price and quality on the market.
    Also take a look on Marktplaats.nl for second hand ones. The Dutch second hand market is pretty big, just be wary of scammers.
    Oh, and get a decent bike lock, or two. Or three. And insurance that covers theft. Everyone here knows how to use a bike, so it’s currency for the less fortunate (addicts etc.).

    Your decision on e-assist probably depends on where and how far you go. Continuous streams of traffic lights and acceleration can be much more comfortable with an e-bike, as well as longer rides or the ups and downs of the canal streets. Anything short and low on stops, I’d skip the e-part since it comes at quite a premium.

    Running: this Sunday the Rotterdam Marathon is held in, well, Rotterdam. It’s pretty massive, with sunny weather forecast and a fast course. I personally don’t care much for Rotterdam as a city :P but I work here and there is tons of tourism. You’re probably a bit late to join in though ;)
    Biggest marathons are Rotterdam (April), Amsterdam (October) and I believe Leiden.
    Other distances that might be interesting: Egmond Half Marathon (beautiful course, usually rough and cold so a genuine challenge), Zevenheuvelenloop (15 “hilly” k’s but a relatively big event with fast times being ran) and the all-women Marikenloop from the same organisation.
    I’ve seen Dam-tot-damloop being mentioned, which is also a very popular (and massive) event.

    You’ve also moved in time for Koningsdag (27/04, not 30/04!) so you can join the orange madness then :)

    Store-wise: Coolblue is a major electronics (online) store, with some physical presence as well, which is known for its excellent service. Mediamarkt is usually good pricewise, but their service can be miserable or good, YMMV. Bol.com is probably thé biggest Dutch online retailer of about anything. You might already be familiar with Decathlon, basically cheap sports goods.

    Running clubs: pop in to a local run store and ask around! Run2Day, Runnersworld are the bigger franchises. You can also take a look at a local atletiekvereniging (I can’t imagine that there is none in A’dam).

    As for the kids, indoor playgrounds have become more popular lately. I like to call them krijspalies (scream palace) but it can be an excellent place to take the kids out on a rainy day. At 2, peanut #1 should be able to actually enjoy some stuff there.
    To meet more people, kid friendly festivals are a good place to start! (Google on “kindvriendelijke festivals”) and use Translate ;) )

    And all of this is from a non-Amsterdam Dutchy ;)

    I wish you and your family a very pleasant time in this country! There’s a lot here to comment on (and we continuously do), but all in all we’ve got a lot of good stuff going on here.

  120. Welcome Ray and family. I am not sure how you are going to fit all that stuff into a typical Amsterdam home, but good luck with that. Here are my tips:

    indoor swimming:
    sloterparkbad: swimmingpool with 50m pool and a change to see some Dutch olympians training: link to optisport.nl
    They also provide training where swimmers and tri-athletes can train and improve their technique: https://www.personalswimming.nl

    In the Netherlands, kids start swimming lessons at a young age (4-6).
    Best swimming school for kids: Anemoon zwemschool http://www.anemoonzwemschool.nl
    (better trained teachers, different method, all kids start in deep water)
    But not in your neighborhood, unfortunately. On the overtoom, there is a hospital (de Reade) with a small pool for revalidation. During the weekends there are lessons for kids by Zwemschool Pardoes link to zwemschoolpardoes.nl

    Open water swimming in Amsterdam:

    Swimming in the old olympic rowing track in August:
    link to amsterdamsebos.nl

    Swim for a good cause (ALS) in the Amsterdam canals:

    IJ-swim: https://ijswim.nl

    There is a French school in Amsterdam with an international section. Children learn Dutch too.
    Not cheap, though not as expensive as some American/International schools. https://www.lyceevangogh.nl

    Laatste kruimel: In the city centre, but don’t let the tourists make you think it is not good. All fresh, handmade sandwiches, scones, pies, cake. http://www.delaatstekruimel.nl

    Bakken met Passie: bread, cakes: link to bakkenmetpassie.nl

    The best pizza in town: Thin crunchy pizza’s baked in a wood oven : http://daportarevia.nl

    The best gelato, from our familyfriend Massimo, the real thing, Authentic Italian, homemade with natural ingredients from Italy (Pistache, lemons and Almonds from Sicily) link to facebook.com

    This is close to Sir Hummus: https://www.sirhummus.nl

    And also close to https://glouglou.nl where you can taste all kinds of wine by the glass.

    They have a sister bar where they also serve food: https://www.barcentraal.nl

    Best restaurant in Amsterdam for me must be “Le Restaurant”. Chef Jan de Wit returned his Michelin star years ago to start anew with a small, simple, living-room like restaurant in Amsterdam. Not long after that he got his star back. Later he moved to his current location. Again it did not take long to be rewarded with a new star. Still, it is a very cosy, informal and small (22) place. One menu, 60 euro.

    Another fine restaurant: http://scheepskameel.nl

    Bakfietsen You might want to look into an electrically assisted cargo bike, like urban arrow. Although I think that they are sometimes a bit too fast to comfortably fit into the normal bike traffic. This, off course, depends largely on the rider.
    I saw someone advising “ de Fietsfabriek”. Personnaly, I would steer away from them. Their iron bikes tend to rust terribly, since the iron (who uses iron anway) is not galvanised underneath the thin layer of paint. If you complain they’ll say it is your own fault. Also resellers reported problems with severe rust.

    Car sharing:
    There are lots of them. Greenwheels was the first and is the biggest: link to greenwheels.com
    Car 2 go: electric smart cars that you can drop off anywhere (in the city) link to car2go.com

  121. Lukian

    The best wishes, to you the Girl and the Peanuts Ray, I’m glad I made to one of the Paris meetings. I’ll miss your Paris recommendations.

  122. Frank

    Are you now or do you plan on being a dual-national?

    • We’re not dual nationals now, though our kids are (Canadian/American). We’re not opposed to becoming citizens if we’re here long enough. But, that’s probably getting ahead of ourselves.

  123. Steven

    Everyone touched on most of the parts already. Dutch food isn’t all that special. The only special thing is that you can eat pancakes for lunch and dinner and not be weird (if being weird in the Netherlands is possible).

    What’s nice is you can eat just about any type of food in Amsterdam as it is one of the most “international” cities. I remember hearing 5 different accents (as in native languages) in English there at one table.

    Please advise when you are ready for help with the cave or otherwise. Or when you need a vacation to somewhere with hills to climb.

  124. Fabio P.

    Wish you and your family all the best.
    Amsterdam is my favorite city in Europe, although Italy is the nicest country.

    Another question?
    Don’t you have the “server tech traveller guy” job anymore?

    Cheers from Brazil

  125. Good for you guys! It is so good to live in different countries (especially if you are from North America). It sounds amazing. Amsterdam is a very cool city with more bikes than cars but also a very high level of bike thefts so be careful.

  126. Thijs

    Welcome to NL!

    To add to the practical stuff above; Formido, Praxis, Hornbach and Karwei are alternatives to Gamma. You could try Intratuin for the green gardeny stuff as well.
    Bikeshops: Futurum, Mantel, 12gobiking, and the big UK (Wiggle) or German (Rose) webshops are also alright.
    For electronics the internet is your friend, MediaMarkt, CoolBlue, Bol.com or Amazon.de are the big picks, but mostly any cheap and trustworthy Google result will do.

    When it comes to events; http://www.ntbinschrijvingen.nl is the central subscription service of the national Tri union (www.ntb.nl) and doubles as a good tri-calendar.
    http://www.inschrijvingen.nl does that for running races, although somewhat overwhelming.
    Also, http://www.mudsweattrails.nl is a great source for NL-trailrunning with some of the major trailraces and a good trailrun calendar as well. Definitely try a trail race in the dunes, they are much harder than they look at first glance.

    In any case, all the best and much fun in NL, and I’m looking forward to the ‘housewarming’ open cave!

  127. Joop

    What’s good to know, is that Amsterdam is called 020 when you’re in Rotterdam (which is 010). You might recognize them as telephone area codes, which they are, and every now and then 020 is used by the inhabitants of 010. Mostly when it is about Ajax and Feijenoord (soccer clubs) but also when it is about talking a lot (020) or just work and getting things done (010). Local folklore!

  128. Theo

    Ray, Great to hear about you and your family’s new adventure. I grew up in the Netherlands (Bodegraven) until I was 12 and then we emigrated to Canada. When I and my family visited Amsterdam a couple of summers ago we stayed at the West Side Inn Hotel Amsterdam, and from your description it sounds like that’s pretty close to where you’ve found your apartment.
    I’m sure you and your family will have a great time exploring all the different regions of the Netherlands!

  129. Andrew

    Are cargo bikes compatible with power meters and/or trainers?

  130. Kwen

    Good luck learning Dutch, will be very hard when everyone will reply in English ;).

    Some routes:
    – Rondje Ringvaart (60 km all around Schiphol)
    -Ronde Hoep (nature reserve South of Amsterdam)
    -The coastal route from Haarlem/Bloemendaal aan Zee all the way south to Scheveningen is very recommended.
    -And of course the local “mountain”: Kopje van Bloemendaal :)
    – Rondje IJsselmeer, if you’re in for 300 plus.

    Go to Limburg for some real hills, or Arnhem (Posbank), Amerongen or Nijmegen area for some smaller versions.

  131. Marcel

    Welcome to the Netherlands! Another dutchie here :)

    *online store*
    Regarding your questions, you have a lot of answers already. Only one person mentioned bol.com so let me repeat that – with a link to the beta English page: link to bol.com
    It’s our version of Amazon, and the main reason why Amazon doesn’t dominate Dutch online sales (even though they’ve recently opened a webpage in Dutch, your stuff comes from elsewhere). They deliver next day, and for many items even same day if you order early. They have a lot of pick-up points, e.g. in the supermarket Albert Heij (AH).

    By the way AH also delivers, through their (Dutch) webpage link to ah.nl At least you can shop by pictures and then translate with google from home. AH is not the cheapest grocery store; that would Lidl or Aldi. Jumbo is a mid-range store, not super cheap, not expensive.

    *running stuff*
    link to hardloopaanbiedingen.nl (great shoe sales every now and again)
    link to trailrunshop.com
    link to hartslagmetershop.nl
    link to decathlon.nl – cheapest and largest store; they’re in the center of Rotterdam, not Amsterdam, but close enough

    *biking stuff*
    Friends mentioned a good specialised bike store somewhere.. I’ll post if I find out which one it was.

    For fitness, the largest and cheapest is basicfit.nl – one subscription is enough for the entire family, although only one person at the same time can go, if I am not mistaken.

    check out the apps from:
    NS (dutch railways)
    link to 9292.nl (door to door navigation, all public transportation combined)

    Many more things, of course, feel free to ask!

  132. Martijn

    Welkom in Amsterdam :)

    Don’t forget to try an icecream from Van Der Linde.. It’s the best :)
    link to facebook.com

    There are a few triathlons arround Amsterdam, you can check link to amsterdamsetriathlons.nl for that. One of the triathlons is on the circuit of Zandvoort. Also the triathlons in Flevoland are great..

    And in July you can do a Rondje Markermeer, famous in Holland.

  133. Sudipto

    Fantastic decision. Amsterdam is perhaps the most English speaker friendly country in Europe. Very friendly bunch of people everywhere. More cycles than humans (and none of them very fancy) and so few cars. I loved it and wish I could stay there forever.

  134. Tony


    I’ve got a spare bib for Marathon of Rotterdam this Sunday…. it’s yours if you want it.

    Keep it up

  135. Marije

    Welcome to The Netherlands! Just to add to the many run, cycle and tri-events, there are a few great open water swimming events around the Amsterdam area, at a really nice scale and and great family-minded atmosphere:
    Zeemijl Bloemendaal link to reddingsbrigade-bloemendaal.nl
    Great people, small-scale event, very friendly and, from my own experience, accommodating if you are bringing kids with you: they literally picked us out of the ‘crowd’ to a better spot to be with a baby, including access to facilities.
    Rondje Pampus link to hetblauwehart.org
    Swim (one or more laps) around a former fortress island in the IJsselmeer. With boat trip and BBQ, so basically a fun day out with the family as well as a nice outdoor swim event!
    From the tri events already mentioned, I can heartily recommend the Nieuw West Triathlon. For open water swimming, the Sloterplas is great. I would be careful and only swim in the Bosbaan when a local knows it’s ok, as this is also the training water of the Dutch National Rowing team (and various club teams)! A great open water swimming location is ‘t Wed near Haarlem/Overveen. Within cycling or running distance from the Overveen train station (a direct line from Amsterdam Centraal or Sloterdijk), no boats, and especially in the evening hours a stunning and quiet location.

    Last of all, if you want to pick your own apples within the season, this is a great place to do so: link to olmenhorst.nl

    Enjoy, and maybe I’ll see you around soon!

  136. Patrick Utrecht

    Welcome to the Netherlands,
    Maybe you can come checkout Utrecht (you choose the wrong city in my opinion) but seeing how Amsterdam is always more popular with people not born here I can forgive you ;)

  137. Lots of god tips in the comments, I’m having a hard time to suggest anything else.
    I am not a local myself but come there reasonably often due to my job and I’ve been stationed in south-west of Vondelpark and found it to be a livable area.
    I used to take a train from Schiphol to Lelylaan station and then walk or take a tram, all in all talk me about 15 min from arrivals hall to the office. But depends where you live of course.
    Congrats on the move, my wife and myself find Amsterdam more kid-friendly than Paris but both cities have lots of charm!.

  138. Jake DeWispelaere

    You will definitely have to go to some Cyclocross races when fall comes around. Many of them use gps watches to deal with bike swaps

    Jelous of the dutch move. My grandparents were dutch and it looks like a great place to be

  139. Wayne Ralph

    The Girl is going to have trouble mixing up her NLs.

  140. Guillermo D.

    Congrats for this new stage with your family, wishing you the best and more DCR stuff.

  141. Giovanni

    I moved to Amsterdam from Italy last month, and my family will join on July!
    So I don’t have any tips or suggestions on places to go or restaurant where to eat (I know how to do risotto, though)
    But I bookmarked this page, as it will be really useful for the next months, so thanks a lot to everyone who answered!!

  142. Rob

    link to veganjunkfoodbar.com

    Right near to Vondelpark (on the North side, just off the main street). Sooo goood… and no animals were harmed. :)

  143. Daniela S.

    How exciting! Congrats on your new adventure. Looking forward to reading more about Amsterdam on your blog.

  144. Ray,

    Welcome to the Netherlands and don’t forget to visit each of the provinces. Will probably catch you on the roads during the upcoming Amstel Gold Race. :-)

    // Remo

  145. Patrick Craenmehr

    Welcome to The Netherlands! I hope you and your family will feel at home soon.

    As for events…

    My favorite event you just missed… The ‘Venloop’ semi-marathon in Venlo (https://www.venloop.com). The athmosphere there is incredible because of the massive amount of spectators.

    You may also be interested in the Ironman in Maastricht (link to m.eu.ironman.com).

    Another special event is the semi-marathon on the island of Texel (one of the so called ‘Waddeneilanden’). That event (http://texelhalvemarathon.nl) has a boat start, where most of the runners go on a ferry boat from Den Helder to the island of Texel and then the start is directly from the boat. However that event is in September and was sold out within 3 minutes.

    More interesting runs you can find on this Top 50 ‘leuke loopjes’ list:
    link to leukeloopjes.wordpress.com

  146. Richard Stuckey

    Wow congrats on the next adventure DCR crew!

  147. I forget to mention the swimclassic Beusichem – Culemborg, the 8th july.
    Start in Beusichem and finish in Culemborg.
    Swim in river “Lek” between the cows and the ships, it doesn’t get more Dutch than this.

    promo film here: link to youtu.be

  148. Peter VM

    You’re gonna love the Dutch cycling roads.

  149. Bart

    Welcome to Amsterdam,
    not sure what has be mentioned already but here some tips from me.

    triathlon team : link to dolfijntriathlon.nl
    big for dutch standards 5 swim trainings 1 track and 1 bike training on a closed circuit. all levels and you can always come and tryout for a couple of times.

    race: link to start-2-finish.nl
    with teams from all divisions (like soccor we have a team competition with divisions) and a triple mix race. for teams.

    restaurant: link to cafe-de-engelbewaarder.nl
    a bar with a suprising menu.

    open water en sea swim training: link to swimsensation.nl
    personal and group training in openwater (from may depending on water temperature)

    have a good time in Amsterdam !

  150. Scott

    Congratulations on your move to Amsterdam DC.

  151. marten jenkins

    loved your review of the garmin fenix 5X. use it every day when I run.

  152. Eelco

    Hi Ray welkom in Amsterdam. I’ve been following your site for some years now specially when looking for new gear. Never expected you to move to my city. Hope you like it so far. Luckily weather was great tis weekend (hasn’t be so well this year). Amsterdamse Triathlons organises nice Triathlons in and around the City (one withe sea swim and biking on former Formula 1 race track). On Strava heatmap you probably with have spotted most popular bike round ex. Ronde Hoep just south of Amsterdam of Waterland in the North. Regads Eelco

  153. Bert

    Welcome to Amsterdam! I’m sure you’ll have a great time here :-)

    – Building stuff: as mentioned before, there is Praxis (there is a small one at kinkerstraat, a bigger one next to westerpark), gamma, and hornbach, I think the closest by is in Zaandam, but worth the drive.

    – Tech Goods: For online, try using the tweakers pricewatch: link to tweakers.net. The biggest dutch IT related site has lots of price comparisons and reviews

    – Bike goods: link to vosfietsen.nl is nearby and a great store, a bit more racing bike oriented tho

    – Food: In my opinion, the best dutch food is actually food coming from former colonies. Indonesian and Surinam is great. Try the indonesion Rendang for a great treat!

    • AvL

      Agree on the food comment. Poffertjes are great as well. Get used to eating thick French fries with mayonnaise. Geniet ze.

  154. Eileen

    Welcome! Be sure to check out ATAC (Amsterdam triathlon and cycling club) as well!

  155. Marc

    Welkom in Nederland :)

  156. dusty1971

    6th picture. That poor boxe on the bottom of the pile in the back of the van.

  157. Williams

    Hello fellow DCR readers. I’ll be in Amsterdam in a coupe weeks for 4 days. Is there any chance there is a local bike shop where I can rent a road bike and helmet and do a group ride on April 29th in the 80-110km range? Or at least rent a bike from somewhere and find a group ride somewhere else.

  158. Karl Lord


    Welcome to NL! I lived in Utrecht for eleven years but moved three years ago due to work.

    Many good tips so far.

    There are a lot, A LOT, of bike shops in NL. :) In addition to your lbs, take a look Futurum Shop, https://www.futurumshop.nl, and Math Salden, https://www.salden.nl. On trips down to Limburgs Mooiste, or the Steven Rooks Classic, now the Klim Classic, http://www.klimclassic.nl we’d stop in Salden shop – they have (had?) the best prices on Conti race tyres.

    Check out NTFU, https://ntfu.nl. I still maintain membership – it includes bike insurance!

    Driebergse Tourclub link to dtcnet.nl has a lot of great non-competitive rides in and around the Veluwe. You don’t have to be a club member to participate, and you’ll discover it’s an easy train ride out to Dreibergen-Zeist from Amsterdam. Or cycle there.:)

    Lekdijk and the area around Wijk bij Duurstede are also fun cycling areas. I guess I’m fond of the

    Check out Babboe for interesting bakfiets.

    Electronics and white goods I used to order from Amazon.de or Redcoon.de. German prices tend to be less than in NL.

    https://www.europeanbeerguide.net for all your biertje needs.

    Restaraunt Blauw, Kantjil & de Tijger, Cafe Gollem, Café de Dokter, Wildeman and many more for good eats and drinks.

    and finally there’s a Hash House Harriers if that’s interesting for running group. http://www.harrier.nl


  159. Nikolas K.

    Your organization and planning skills & mindset, make me feel like a 4year old.

  160. Delano

    Hi Ray and welcome to Holland. all trough the weather wouldn’t be as nice as in France. The Bike routes wil be verry nice. If you’re heading to Almere feel free to contact for some info.

    Also make sure to visit Both Cities in the North (like Groningen) as South (Breda, Maastricht) to see the variety of people and foods. Amsterdam – Utrecht could be a fine family trip as well. Enjoy, hope to catch up at the DCR cave Amsterdam.
    Delano (on a Fenix 5X cause of DC Rainmaker ?

  161. Siemen

    A few more tips as I live in your neighborhood.

    All4running at the Amstelveenseweg is a small but nice running store ( with a big webshop attached). There is also big cycling store near the Hoofddorpplein.

    The biggest running races are the Amsterdam Marathon (which also has a big 21k) that starts and finishes in the Olympic Stadium. The other big race is the Damloop ( from Amsterdam central station to Zaandam) which is lots of fun. In Amsterdam there is also a nice running circuit called Rondje Mokum which exist of smaller scale 10k ‘sllen in different neighborhoods. For training, the Amsterdamse Bos is great and easily accessible. It has far more options for running routes than the Vondelpark or the Rembrandtpark and is far less crowded.

    A great restaurant nearby is Ron’s Gastrobar (also at the Amstelveenseweg). It has one Michelin star, so it is slightly upscale. You can get cheap great food for take away at Kok Kita (5 euro for an Indonesian meal).

    Good luck living here.

  162. Rae

    Transition magazine has a good tri kalendar link to transition.nl (though they don’t yet list the new high-tech tri here in Eindhoven on 2nd september link to hightechtriathlon.com)
    and loopagenda has a pretty comprehensive running one link to runinfo.nl

  163. Margie

    The real question is…will the delivery man actually bring you your packages in Amsterdam?

    • So, in that phrase, there’s two key words that one needs to analyze “bring you”.

      Based on my experience with having 1-2 packages a day arrive for the last two weeks, I’ve found that the deliveryman here are overwhelmingly great at bringing ‘someone’ my packages. But bringing them to me precisely? A bit less so.

      Instead, if for whatever reason I’m not available to receive them, he’ll bring them to someone on the block. Perhaps are closest next door neighbor, perhaps someone 5 doors down. One day last week I had 4-5 packages delivered to 4-5 different peoples houses. Oh, plus the tobacco shop.

      When UPS fails to deliver to the house, it goes to a tobacco shop about 1KM away. To be fair, I actually don’t mind that – because at least I can get the package from 4-5PM that same day. And, I mostly don’t mind the block party dropoff scheme, since at least the package isn’t stuck in package hell.

  164. guido

    Welkom in ons kleine landje :-)

  165. Michael Janssen

    Triathlon: Challenge Almere (September)
    Running: Venloop (March)

  166. Thijs

    Ah, that would have been me on de Fietsfabriek. You can disregard that suggestion then :) I based it on some very sturdy non-cargo bike models they sold several years back.

  167. Thijs

    Yes, yuck. I hate that this exists.

  168. Steve

    Congrats on the move. I have loved learning more about Paris from following your blog, and am excited to learn more about Amsterdam, which is high on my list to visit some day. Nothing like being a World History teacher, who can’t afford to travel internationally. Oh well, I have you, Rick Steves, and Anthony Bourdain to help make the world smaller. Anyway, your in NL now, forget that triathlon business, it’s time to take up cyclocross. It’s a much fun form of traithlon: bike, run, drink hand-ups.

  169. Egon

    Welcome to the Netherlands! We really need to do a Rondje Gooimeer on the bike or running together!! Best course in the Netherlands!!

  170. Steve

    Congratulations on your move to Amsterdam Ray! As a Brit who lived in Paris for the last 9 years, and who also moved with my family to Amsterdam at the end of last year, I can relate! Enjoy the settling in and keep up the great work. Steve

  171. Ivo

    Welcome here!
    I hope to see you around at the Bosmarathon link to bosmarathon.eu in Soest (close to Utrecht) in October or the Sylvestercross link to sylvestercross.nl at December 31!
    Best regards, Ivo

  172. Michel Leijenaar

    Hi Ray, welcome to The Netherlands.

    Some smaller runningevents in the neighbourhoud coming up in May/June:

    13th May: Geinloop in Driemond (10km from amsterdam) great trail around a small river, all kind of distances up to 1/2 marathon.
    24th June Vechtloop in Weesp (i live here) 5/10km along a river.
    Weesp is a bit to the east 16km from Amsterdam and easy to reach by train. Or grab your bike, you really should hit the roads around here. Of course let me know if you like to meet. greetings Michel

  173. Fred

    What? Did nobody mention Patisserie Kuyt in de Utrechtsestraat?
    As a cake maker you must pay them a visit, true works of art.

    Also you’ve got 4 days to decide if you want to take part in the most beautiful half/full marathon of the Netherlands, De Berenloop, on Terschelling. The Wadden islands are all beautiful, and running a race there is magical. Inscription starts the 20th, and the half is usually full in a day… More time to ponder if you want to run the full.

  174. Michael

    We (US-French couple) lived in the Netherlands for the past 11 years. Our daughter was born there and went to school as well. Now in the US. We were in The Hague for most of this time and absolutely loved it. For a family it’s a very good country to be in.

    In terms of renovation/construction material, Gamma sucks. You want to find the nearest Hornbach store: much higher quality for same or lower prices. We renovated our house and being french I got lots of things from Leroy Merlin (mostly for electric cables and components) and Hornbach for raw construction material.

    We had a Babboe cargo bike which died after 7 years of continuous daily use while staying outside the whole time. It may not be the best quality but it was definitely worth every penny. We got it start from the factory near Eindhoven for around €700. It was a lot we had to assemble ourselves. Their servicing program is also worth it.

    For food you have the omnipresent Albert Heijn, in some areas the cheaper (and good) Jumbo. For a Whole Foods “equivalent” you have Markqt.

    If you want your daughter to keep up with French you should check the CNED for remote schooling in French. You can pick the french curriculum only. I think it starts around 6. I’m doing this myself to keep my daughter up to speed with French. Or check what the Alliance Française has to offer. Or hang-out with french people: there are plenty in Amsterdam.

    Good luck with the relocation and all that that entails.

  175. Klaas


    Do NOT, i repeat, do NOT get a cargo bike!…… the most unmanly thing created!
    There is absolutely no need for one of those.

    if you do then weld a steel bar on it so it somewhat looks like a proper mans bike…

    but seriously, dont!

    21st of may travel to Bolsward to see 15.000 riders take part in a 236km tour.


  176. Karel

    Hi Ray,

    Welcome to the Netherlands and Amsterdam! I think you will love it here!
    I used to live in A’dam for quite some years, but moved to the greater Haarlem Area some half a decade ago. And I must say, running and cycling in the Dunes and beaches of Zandvoort/Bloemendaal is the best there is.
    So, if you have the time, visit the Kennemerduinen for a nice long run in the weekend or take the family for a nice stroll.

    Running events (I’m not much of a fan of cityruns, so these are more nature/trailruns):
    * Egmond halve marathon, the event to start your marathon season. One of the most challenging HM in NL (January 13th, 2019)
    * Zandvoort Circuit Run, 12 or 21K, run 5K on the racing circuit of Zandvoort, quite an experience. (March)
    * The (half) marathons of the Dutch isles are extremely beautiful. Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling (1st weekend of November) (De Berenloop). Texel is usually sold out within 20-30 minutes and starts from the Ferry.
    * Groet uit Schoolrun (february), for the past years also the Dutch Championship (NK) run of the 10 NK roadrunning. Next to the HM and 30K.

    But running along the Amstel is nice too…

    I wish you lots of luck and enjoy our beautiful country! It’s after all the second best country of the world!
    link to youtube.com


  177. You will also need good gardening tools which you can find at link to robotmaaiervergelijken.nl

  178. Hey Folks-

    Just want to drop a note once again thanking everyone for all their tips. Even a month and a half later I’m finding all these comments invaluable on a day to day basis in terms of figuring out both big ticket items and little items.

    You’re all awesome!

  179. phranck

    Hi Ray,
    I just returned to your site after haven’t visiting it for a while and just found out you moved to Amsterdam, really close to were I live actually.
    Cool to see!
    One more thing that I want to add to the comments already given regarding triathlons which may be interesting, is:
    link to triathlonnieuwwest.nl

    It is really close to were you live + besides have a recreational triathlon it is also a competition track, so well organized.

    Have fun here!

  180. Tong

    Hello, what is the brand model of the car seat for your daughter please? Thanks

  181. Maarten

    Just want to point out the Weesper kwart triathlon. Close to your house, well organized, most part in the city center with lots of spectators cheering. 1/4 distance. Their Facebook gives a better impression than their site:

    link to facebook.com
    link to weespertriatlon.nl

  182. Nuno Pinto

    Hi There community,
    Similar to Ray, I moved recently to The Hague, coming from Belgium (Limburg area).
    Right now my pain is to the lack of climbs and missing the bike locals clubs that are so common in Belgium.
    Having said that, I would like to ask is if anyone knows a group/club in the area of The Hague for weekends bike rides….you know the type, weekend warriors style, 100km…middle stop for coffee…


  183. Slim

    Duh! So I didn’t read your blog for a mere two years, and now you’ve suddenly moved to my country!? That’s a nice surprise! As others have said: welkom!

    I know I’m a bit late to the party, but still: as for hardware/building material stores, I’m not a big fan of the consumer-grade stuff that they sell at Praxis, Gamma (same parent company) and the like. What they sell is actually pretty pathetic, mostly cheap Chinese stuff. At Hornbach (which is actually German) you can sometimes run into some pro-level gear (for hand tools, Knipex comes to mind), but it’s mostly consumer-grade too. Pro’s don’t get their stuff there. They want the good stuff, like Spax screws. They go to places like Groenhart (Westzaan would be the closest), Bouwmaat (2 of them in A’dam, you need a Chamber of Commerce membership here), Stiho (also 2 in Amsterdam, same parent company as Bouwmaat, but different products, which is nice). Great hardware store in Amsterdam Noord: Gunters en Meuser (Johan van Hasseltweg), check it out just for fun. If you’re into hand tools, get the best German brands (Wiha, Knipex, Wera) at the best price at Amazon.de. Some online retailers in the UK (toolstop.co.uk, ffx.co.uk) will sell you pro-level power tools (Makita, Milwaukee etc.) at sometimes very interesting prices. Be sure to order the 220V versions, and be ready to change the wall plugs on them.

    For tech gear, look over the eastern border. There are some really huge online sports/cycling retailers in Germany. Although not always the cheapest, bike24.com dwarfs any Dutch online retailer. And hey, their website is available in English too, convenient.

    As for the cargo bike, I’ve seen you’ve made the right choice: Urban Arrow trumps all other options in sleekness.

    Now how can it be that you haven’t gotten your hands on a pair of PowerBeats Pro’s yet? If there’s one person who can answer the question: “will these block wind noise better than Airpods when riding a bike at moderate to high speeds?”, when it would be you Ray. I’ve read that you were a bit too early in trying to order them, but hopefully they’ll end up with you soon. I keep my eye on the DCR blog, because so far, reviewers of the PowerBeats Pro’s did a pretty disappointing job at telling us how they work out when doing some real excercise (like, you know, sports, not the *$&#*ing gym…)


      If you are interested in a great pair of bluetooth headphones with good sound isolation, then have a look on the JABRA 65T ACTIVE. I have those an I am very happy with it, great sound, works on my android, Iphone and best of all with FENIX 5 PLUS. Sound drops are rare. I also run with it and can vouch on the sweat resistance…

    • Slim

      Thanks, will have a look at those! But anxious to know how well the PowerBeats Pro perform, nonetheless.

    • Minor update Sam: I did manage to order a pair today, albeit to the US, and then a friend will bring them over in early July. On the bright side, I’ll get to test them in some nice warm and sweaty weather. :)

    • Slim

      Great! And indeed, the PowerBeats Pro’s are still not available in NL, so I’m looking forward to your findings.

  184. John Seymour

    Congratulations on your move to Amsterdam which is our favourite city. The people, the food and the cycling opportunities make it a very special corner of the world.
    We are a retired couple from Australia and now living in southern Portugal. As an elderly cyclist I have a question which I trust, with your product experience, you can solve.
    I think I need a HRM with audible alert function that can be activated when max pre set HR is reached. I notice that both Garmin and Apple have an alert however this only works after the wearer has been stationary for at least 10mins.
    I have purchased a Polar H10 chest strap and hoping that you may know of an interface that can ‘fill the bill’?
    As a cyclist it is my impression that I am generally too busy with other safety issues when hill climbing in traffic etc, to have time to check a visual reference and that’s why my hunt and frustration continues.
    All the best to you and your family at this very difficult time in history. Stay safe. Cheers and thanks, John

  185. Joel Goldberg

    Hi Ray,

    I have been a long time fan of yours, thanks for the great reviews over the years. I am (our used to be) a triathlete and fellow American who has spent the past 15 years living in Europe, including 10 great years in the Netherlands. I am not in Budapest and boy do I miss those cycling paths. My family and I lived in Wassenaar during our time and almost consider NL to be our home base. I hope you are enjoying it.

    I have a friend here who I bike with who is moving to Amsterdam in a few weeks. He is looking for a good cycling club or some folks to ride with. If you have any suggestions, welcome them.

    Otherwise, just reaching out to say hello and thank you for the great work. If you find yourself in Budapest, please reach out, beers on me.


  186. Fidel B.

    Would you ever move back to say, Seattle? I live in Portland

  187. Chris H

    Ray, thanks for all the great content. Have a quick question based on your move to the NL – aside from immersion, did you take any classes in Dutch? I’m looking to learn Dutch and won’t have the benefit of immersion so am looking at classes. Curious to hear your experience.

    • Nuno Pinto

      Hi Chris,
      Maybe I can I help a bit. I moved to The Hague almost at the same time as Ray. Concerning the dutch learning experience, I have started lessons (online) 1 year ago, once per week plus a subscription to DUOLINGO. I have to confess that the language is difficult to master, but if you are anglosaxonic it is probably easier. The main problem is that there are not many chances to “immerse”, it is rare to find someone that does not speak english, most speak with a good level, so, you spend most of the time speaking english. I am stil willing to spend time and devotion to learn as I am expected to stay here for long…but I don’t think I will achieve a level that is enough to integrate totaly. On another note, my daughters and my wife were able to achieve a level o Dutch I can only hope to achieve with one more year of hard study.

    • I haven’t taken any formal Dutch classes yet, aside from Duolingo. The Girl has taken a number of Dutch classes though.

      Our children go full time to fully Dutch schools (no English spoken), and since they’ve been here now three years, they’re fully native-speaking Dutch according to their teachers (and our Dutch friends). Zero difference in their language abilities to any other kids their age (it helps that one was born here, one was born a mere two months before coming here, and one was only 1.5yo when she moved here).

      As for me – I’d like to learn to speak Dutch, but as Nuno pointed out, so much is done in English here, or quickly switches to English if not proficient. But as the kids get older in school, or, they simply start having conversations in front of me in Dutch (as they already), I need to get onboard!

    • Chris H

      Thank you, Nuno! Very much appreciated. My primary goal is to be able to understand it first, maybe a basic level of speaking after that. With no travel, I don’t expect I’ll be able to really practice it at all for quite a while.

    • Chris H

      Thank you! Sounds like it might be quite a challenge, but hopefully learning to understand will be easier than being able to speak it such that someone could understand me.

  188. Erik Krause

    My wife and I are heading to Amsterdam to meet our sons this upcoming weekend. Big fan of your blog. Also from the Seattle Area. Staying close the Museum area. Any cool “local” place to eat you’d recommend or site to see? Thinking about doing one of the country side bike tour for the four of us. Thoughts? Also can I use your peloton? I’m on a 40 week streak. (Just kidding)- There is an app for that! Erik

  189. Beth

    I couldn’t help but notice your Amsterdam routes in your Apple Watch 9 review- I had no idea you also moved here in 2018! If you haven’t found a running group in the past 5 years, we have a great one with social runs on Tuesdays and track on Thursdays 😁