Amsterdam Transportation

Getting to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of Europe’s top destinations and can be reached easily by air, land or even sea. Cheap flights from within Europe and direct flights from outside Europe are readily available, serving Amsterdam airport Schiphol - Europe’s fourth largest and located just a few kilometers from the city center.

Transport from the airport

A Direct Rail Link connects Schiphol International Airport to Amsterdam central station and is the fastest and most convenient way to get to the city center. Trains run every 10 minutes (airport train schedule) from platforms 1 and 2 in the main arrival plaza and cost just € 3.60 for a single journey. Have change on hand to use the ticket machines to avoid the lines and € 0.50 surcharge at the ticket office. From October 2005 a fine of 35 Euro will be added to the fare if you do not have a valid ticket with you on the train.

Airport Shuttles run by Connexxion depart every 10 minutes with service to more than 100 hotels throughout the city. Tickets cost € 15,50 one way, € 25 for a return, and can be purchased inside the main arrival plaza. Guests of major hotels should first check the shuttle area to see if their hotel provides a complimentary service. The tickets be purchased at the Amsterdam Shuttle Desk in Arrivals 4 and at the bus stop A7.

Taxi and Limousines from and to Amsterdam start at € 45 and can be reserved through our partners at Dutch Business Limousine.

Getting Around Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a wonderfully walkable city with most major sites located in or near the city center. Public transportation is excellent and driving is strongly discouraged within the canal ring. Of course biking is the preferred Dutch way to travel and some would say the only way to truly experience the city.

Tram AmsterdamPublic Transportation - GVB (www.gvb.nl) is the public transport company of Amsterdam providing integrated metro, tram and bus service throughout Amsterdam and its surrounding areas. In 2010 one comprehensive OV-chipcard ticketing system has been introduced allowing you to travel on trams, metro, busses and even trains using one card OV-chipcard. There is a whole complexity of these cards, which carry the credit you purchased earlier on special machines located on stations and at the entry of many supermarkets.

There are 24-, 48-, 72-, 96-, 120-, 144- and 168- hour OV-chipcards, which allow for unlimited travel on all trams, buses, metros and night buses for the duration of the card and provide economical way for visitors to explore the city.

A one hour OV card can be purchased onboard from GVB drivers and conductors, however this is not recommended due the premium charged for this ticket: it costs € 2,70 for one hour unlimited travel on different busses and trains in the city, counted since the begin of your first journey. This card is not valid on another day or longer than one hour, even if your actual first journey has been very short.

If you have been in Amsterdam before and used the strippenkaart, we should inform you, that these tickets are no longer in use in Amsterdam.

Trams provide the best way to get around Amsterdam (map) and run regularly until 12:15am.

City Buses are primarily used to reach outlying suburbs and after the trams have stopped running. Night buses run from midnight until 7am with routes connecting to Central Station, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein.

Amsterdam Metro

While the most important Metro line led under the Amsterdam Old City is still under construction, the four already existing lines will quickly carry you to the distant suburban areas of the city. Three Amsterdam Metro lines start their run from the Central Station. Some of the Metro stations like Amstel Station and Sloterdijk, share their platforms with regular trains and may be a convenient place to begin your travel out of Amsterdam (metro map).

Tourist bus Amsterdam

City tours around Amsterdam in a traditional American school bus painted red and converted to serve the tourists called Touristbus. Almost 2 hrs long guided tour through the city centre.

Canal Boats

The Canal Bus (www.canal.nl) runs every 40 minutes from 9:50 until 7:25 with 14 stops along three different routes throughout the city. Day passes cost €16 and are valid until 12:00 the next day. All of Amsterdam’s major attractions are on the route and historical commentary is provided along the way. The Museumboot (Museum Boat) is a similar concept for €14.25 per day with stops at Central Station, Prinsengracht, Leidseplein, Herengracht, Muziektheater and the East Dock. Tickets includes half-price entry to most city museums.

Bicycles

Amsterdam bicycleBicycling in Amsterdam is a way of life for most Dutch and still the best way to get around. There are dedicated bike paths throughout the city and few hills to conquer. A number of companies offer bicycle rentals for around €8 per day with discounts for longer rentals.

Taxi

Taxi stands are available at most tourist hubs including Leidseplein, Dam Square and Central Station. Hailing a taxi is quite difficult and virtually impossible on weekends, but cab service is generally prompt if you call ahead (city cab: 0900.677.7777). Rides cost €1.80 per km regardless of the time of day and a 5%-10% tip is expected.
For a truly Dutch taxi twist, catch one of the many bicycle taxis around the city. The pedal powered taxis can carry up to two people and are actually cheaper than conventional taxi.

Rent a car

Although driving in Amsterdam is not recommended, car rental services are readily available at Schiphol Airport and in the city center along Overtoom Straat near Vondelpark. All major agencies are represented including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National and Alamo. Driving and parking in the city can be a nightmare, but may be worth the hassle for those wishing to explore the countryside by car. Here is the list of car parks.

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