Blue-bikes in Belgium

If you have ever used the public transport bike (OV-fiets) in the Netherlands, you will know how easy it is to rent a bike when you arrive at a train station. Belgium has its own variation on this: the Blue-bike. This is not only an alternative travel option for Belgians, but also offers numerous advantages for people living in the Netherlands who regularly visit Belgium.
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What is a Blue-bike?

Blue-bike is similar to the Dutch OV-fiets: the bikes are located at stations and the rental price is low. But whereas OV-fiets in the Netherlands are linked to a train subscription, Blue-bike in Belgium works slightly differently. With Blue-bike, you pay an annual subscription of €12, which allows you to collect a reliable bike at 110 locations in Belgium. Do you visit Belgium regularly? Then Blue-bike is a convenient and economical option.

Why become a Blue-bike member?

Many cities have a system of shared bikes: for about €5, you can use a bike for a day, which you have to put back in a storage area after cycling for a maximum of half an hour (for example Velo Antwerpen). Very useful when making many short trips in a day. You can also rent a bike for a full day from several rental companies for about €15.

Want to rent a bike for longer, not pay much and be in Belgium more often? Then Blue-bike is a good option: the same bike for a day at a low price are between €0 and €3.50, in addition to the one-year membership. On the Blue-bike website, the answer to the question "I live abroad; can I become a member?" is that this programme is intended for residents of Belgium as well as frequent visitors.

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How to rent a Blue-bike

It is easy to subscribe on Blue-bike-site, although instructions are in Flemish. After subscribing, you will receive an email telling you that the membership card and the PIN code will be sent by post. Change that code online or write it down somewhere. You will need it when you collect your bike. The card will arrive in a few days, together with helpful instructions. You can then download the app and book train tickets to Antwerp, Liège, Ghent or any other city of your choice.

Bike in Antwerp for the day

The choice fell to Antwerp. The search begins after arriving at the beautiful station. Where are the bikes located? The map in the app shows that there are 47 bikes available... somewhere. The Velo bikes are located at the front of the station. But where are the Blue-bikes? The answer: downstairs. Just in front of the station in Antwerp, a staircase goes down to a bike shelter where you will find a large number of Blue-bikes.

In Antwerp, bikes still have old-fashioned locks whose keys hang in a vending machine. Using your card and pin code, you can grab a key and then look for the corresponding bike. A long staircase with a bike slot takes you back up and you can start having fun.

You can borrow two bikes with one subscription.

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Blue-bikes in Antwerp

The bike has 7 gears, a practical basket at the back and a solid stand. You will have an adventurous day with such a reliable bike, bike paths and routes in Antwerp and the surrounding areas. Of course, you can go shopping on the lovely Kloosterstraat. But cycling to the edges of the city might also be great fun. Visit the Havenhuis, take your bike through the Sint-Annatunnel, ride to Schoonselhof cemetery or Rivierenhof park.

Returning the bike

At the end of the day, you can return the bike at the station you will be departing from. If you want to use the bike for longer, you may do so. For an additional charge of € 3.50, you can borrow the bike for an extra day.
When returning the bike, carefully follow the instructions on the screen at the key vending machine. If anything does go wrong, customer service is readily available to help.


Always bring your blue blue-bike card! Some destinations have bikes with digital locks and you can take a bike there without the blue-bike card. But nothing more annoying to be ready with the app and unable to hire a bike because the card is at home and the bikes have 'old-fashioned' locks.

Conclusion: why is Blue-bike practical for residents of the Netherlands?

  1. No Belgian train pass needed: One of the biggest advantages for residents of the Netherlands is that you do not need a Belgian train subscription to use Blue-bike. With an annual subscription, you can simpy show up and cycle away.
  2. Everywhere in Belgium: Whether you are travelling to Antwerp, Bruges or another Belgian city, with Blue-bike you always have a reliable bicycle at your disposal. You can already collect a bike at 110 locations.
  3. Environmentally friendly and healthy: Blue-bike offers an environmentally friendly way to travel. Moreover, you get the chance to be active while exploring Belgium's beautiful cities and landscapes. The city break need not be limited to the city centre. You can now also discover the surrounding areas on a comfortable bike.
  4. Convenience and accessibility: The user-friendly interface of the Blue-bike website and app make it easy to locate, reserve and pay for a bicycle.

Visit Blue-bike website