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 Amsterdam Airport
A direct link rail transport connects Schiphol International Airport with the Amsterdam central station and is the fastest and most convenient transport to get to the city centre. Trains run every 10 minutes (airport train schedule) from platforms 1 and 2 in the main arrival plaza and cost just € 4 (full rate, second class) for a single journey. You may use the major credit cards to pay at the special yellow ticket machines. There is a € 0.50 surcharge if you buy the ticket at the ticket office. A fine of € 35 will be added to the fare if you do not have a valid ticket with you on a train.
Amsterdam Airport Shuttles run by Connexxion depart every 10 minutes with service to more than 100 hotels throughout the city. Tickets cost € 17 one way, € 27 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 of Amsterdam transport. The tickets be purchased at the Conexxion Shuttle Desk in Arrivals 4 or the Holland Tourist Information desk at Arrivals 2.
Taxi and limousines Amsterdam transport start at € 45 and can be reserved through our partners at Dutch Business Limousine.
Amsterdam public transportation
Amsterdam is a wonderfully walkable city with most major sites located in or near the city center. Public transport 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.
Public transport in Amsterdam - GVB (www.gvb.nl) is the Amsterdam public transportation company providing integrated metro, tram and bus service throughout Amsterdam and its surrounding areas. In 2010 one comprehensive ticketing system has been introduced allowing you to travel on trams, metro, busses and even trains using one Amsterdam transport 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.
24-hour OV card is now € 7.50 and € 2.50 for children age 4-11. 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 € 2.80 for one hour unlimited travel on all busses and trains in the city, counted since the beginning 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 for Amsterdam transport.
Amsterdam Trams provide the best way to get around Amsterdam (map) and run regularly until 12:15am.
Amsterdam 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.
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 transport 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).
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.
Amsterdam Canal Boats
The Amsterdam 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. If you would like a romantic experience then the canal cruise is the right for you.
Biking in Amsterdam
Bicycling in Amsterdam is a way of life for most Dutch and still the best way of Amsterdam transport. There are dedicated bicycle paths throughout the city and few hills to conquer. A number of companies offer Amsterdam bicycle rentals for around €8 per day with discounts for longer rentals.
Taxi stands are available at most tourist hubs including Leidseplein, Dam Square and Central Station as a convenient Amsterdam transport. 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 in Amsterdam
Although driving in Amsterdam is not recommended, Amsterdam 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 choosing car as their Amsterdam Transport. Here is the list of car parks.
Amsterdam Travel Tips
- Organized groups of travelers between 10 and 25 persons can take advantage of a group Amsterdam transport ticket.
- Head to the Amsterdam tourist office and pick up a one, two or three-day Amsterdam Card (Amsterdam Pass) for free unlimited travel on all public transport and including free entrance to most Amsterdam museums and Amsterdam attractions.