Dutch traffic, basic traffic rules

The Netherlands is a very hectic and full country with lots of traffic. Bikes, cars, busses, taxis, and lorries all use the same streets and lanes. Dutch traffic rules and signs may differ from your home country. It is therefore wise to acquaint yourself with the traffic rules and signs in the Netherlands. The Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and Environment has posted a summary on Road Traffic Signs and Regulations on their website.

More information about cycling in the Netherlands can be found on this website.


Dutch drivers are not as polite as you might hope. It is therefore wise to acquaint yourself with Dutch traffic rules. The most unexpected traffic rule for foreign pedestrians or cyclists is that all traffic approaching from the right has priority, unless signs or markings indicate otherwise. This includes cyclists. Trams have priority over everyone, no matter where they come from. As a pedestrian, you should also get accustomed to the network of bicycle paths (‘fietspaden’), which you might at first mistake for pedestrian paths.

Attention: the Dutch drive on the right side of the road. Be aware of this when you cross the street.