Amsterdam Central Station - Centraal Station
Amsterdam Central Station main train station is the real heart of the city: central not only by the name, but also as the biggest public transport transfer spot, serving not only visitors to Amsterdam, but also city inhabitants. Every day 250,000 people go through the Amsterdam Central Station (Dutch: Amsterdam Centraal or shortly: CS; code: Asd).
Final stops of several lines of city trams and buses are here, as well as waterfront stations of city ferry lines taking cars and passengers to Amsterdam North (Amsterdam Noord). It is also here, that a main Amsterdam Tourist Office is based, as well as departure quays for the tourist boats cruising around the city canals.
Central Station impressive Neo-Renaissance building has been open to the public in 1889. As the city grew, the station had to change. The situation of the station renewal became permanent throughout the last decennia. At present, the station area remains a huge construction site because of the creation of the new metro North-South line, which will be completed in 2017. The new bus terminal had been recently added at the back of the station - on so called Ij-zijde (Ij Lake Side). It is here that the busses depart to other Dutch cities.
Trains to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Local trains to the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport during the day depart each ten minutes from platform 14a or platform 15. Night trains to the Airport depart from other platforms – please check the airport train schedule for the correct departure time and the platform number.
Buying train tickets
All the locals do not use paper tickets on trains and public transport but they use the public transport charge card called Chip-card or OV-card valid on all means of transport everywhere in the Netherlands. However if you are a visitor for a short stay in the Netherlands, you are advised to buy a specific ticket for one trip. You still have to validate this ticket at the entry to the platforms area on each train station (chip-in) and signal the end of your trip leaving the platforms area of the station (chip-out). Through the deregulation of the public transport there are many possibilities to travel on the same train, busses and trams. Compare the prices and terms and choose the option most convenient for you.
Through the following link you can buy tickets online and avoid complications.
Amsterdam train tickets from airport to city
The station has three tunnels under all of its platforms, leading you in two directions: to the Amsterdam Centre side (Centrum) or to the Amsterdam North side which is located behind the Ij Lake now called the Ij-zijde (The Ij side). These tunnels are called Eastern, Main and Western and each of the leads to all railway platforms. There is also a new tunnel under the station, centrally located Ij-passage which is more of a shopping area because it does not lead to the train platforms but is a convenient way of getting to the lake side of the station.
Unless you plan to travel by city ferry to the north of Amsterdam or by bus to the cities you should exit into the Centre (Centrum) side of the station.All city busses, trams and metro to all areas of Amsterdam are there, including the bus lines to the north of the city. Only the taxis stand is now also located at the Ij-side to the left from the Western tunnel.
The taxis are waiting on the Ij-zijde (waterside) to the left from the Western tunnel thus behind the station looking from the city centre side. Other means of transport, busses and trams are at hand on both sides of the station building but most of them depart on the city side. The entry to the metro is in front of the station Main Entry on the Centrum side. Also the tourist boats sailing through canals depart on the City side.
The city ferry boat lines linking the city with Amsterdam North are behind the station at the waterfront (Ij-zijde). Pay attention to the traffic of scooters making sometimes access to the ferries quite inconvenient. Also busses departing to other cities in the Netherlands depart from the terminal on the waterfront.
Departures from the Central Station – accessing the station
There is no easy access by the car to the Central Station. The only access by car is from the Ij-zijde (Ij-Lake side) of the station, but there is no parking possibility there: you may only stop to drop off passengers and luggage. Taxis and city busses will bring you closely to the station, but the most convenient are city trams, which stop just in front of the station building.
The main entry tunnel as well as the two other tunnels lead you to the station platforms. The station has 15 platforms, additionally often divided into “a” and “b” parts. Entering the station, you may inquire about the number of the platform you need at the Information desks set inside at the entries to the station.
Trains to Brussels, Paris, Cologne
Amsterdam has convenient fast train connections with other European cities as Brussels, Paris and Cologne. None of leaving from Amsterdam trains is fully High Speed yet, but the line to Brussels is presently under construction, and beyond Brussels Thalys trains travel as High Speed at max. speed of 300 km/h (190 miles/h), reaching Paris in only 1 h 22 min. Even now, it takes only ca. 2h30 to get by train from Amsterdam to Brussels, thus you may with ease visit Brussels during your stay in Amsterdam.
An effort has been made to serve well the traveler. There are convenient Information desks at the entry and numerous vending machines sell train tickets to other stations in the Netherlands. Service Centre sells international train tickets (open: 6 am - 11 pm). The station luggage lockers are open daily 24 hours, 7 days a week. If you want to use cheaper option, there is a Drop&Go independent Amsterdam central station luggage storage in 10 minutes walking distance outside the station. Lost luggage desk is directly at the lockers vault.
Central Station is also an active open shopping centre with some shops open 7 am – 1 am and GWK Travelex Change offices. It has several cafés and fast food restaurants. There is also a vast bicycle storage, bicycle repair shop and Mac Bike bicycle rental place. Big underground car park facilities are in the direct vicinity of the station.
Station is accessible for the handicapped people.
The Meeting Point is located directly at the Central Station main entry, outside the station hall.
In front of the station Main Entry, in a traditional wooden white Dutch coffee house you will find the main Amsterdam Tourist Office of the state run VVV (Dutch: Vereniging voor Vreemdelingenverkeer - Association for the Foreign Visitors; open daily: 9 am – 5 pm, Sunday: 9 am – 4 pm, closed 25 Dec., on January 1, it opens at 10 am). Phone: +31 20 702 6000
To the left in the same building you may find an Information Service of the public transport GVB (open: Monday through Friday 7 am – 9 pm, Saturday-Sunday 8 am - 6 pm; they also sell public transport tickets).
There are several hotels based in front of the Central Station and in its direct vicinity. You do not need any mean of communication to get there – all you need is roll your luggage to the hotel lobby. Best known five are star NH Barbizon Palace and Hotel Victoria, while established on the Station Island Amsterdam Ibis Centre is the closest along with Bellevue Hotel, A-Train Hotel and Multatuli Hotel as other good budget choices. Online reservations.
Tips for passengers
Amsterdam Central Station and its area are by and large safe. Nonetheless, stay alert about your luggage and as on any train station in the world beware of pickpockets.
If you depart from the station, arrive 15 minutes earlier and set aside some time for the quiet transfer to the platform. If you buy a ticket at the vending machine, be careful with your wallet and do care about the secrecy of your PIN identification code.
Amsterdam Central Station - Centraal Station
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