To move around the city is sometimes necessary but sometimes just an interesting ride. Amsterdam transportion is usually cultured and well organized. No reason why not to give it a try.
A direct railway line connects Schiphol International Airport with Amsterdam Central Station, and is the fastest and most convenient form of transport to the city centre. Amsterdam airport trains depart from Platforms 1 and 2 under the airport main arrival plaza day and night every day of the week. From 6am to 1am it runs every 10 to 15 minutes and from 1am to 6am it runs once per hour on the 00 minute.
We recommend to buy an online train ticket so you can avoid complications and get on the train immediately.
Amsterdam Airport Shuttles run by Connexxion depart every 10 minutes, with services to more than 100 hotels throughout the city. Tickets cost €17 for one-way or €27 for a return, and can be purchased inside the main arrival plaza. The tickets can be purchased at the Connexxion Shuttle Desk in Arrivals 4 or the Holland Tourist Information desk at Arrivals 2.
Amsterdam is a wonderfully walkable city, with most major sites in or near the city centre. For attractions that are further away the public transport is excellent. Driving is strongly discouraged within the canal ring.
For unlimited public transport for tourists we recommend the I Amsterdam City Card which also offers other benefits like free entry to museums and attractions.
Public transport in Amsterdam city center is operated by GVB company which provides integrated metro, tram and bus services. As tickets you will use an Amsterdam transport OV-chipcard loaded with money or timeframe product. For example 24 hours for €7.50 to 168 hours for €34 in 2017. You can buy these from a machine at places like metro stations or shops. Note that they are not valid on the regional buses run by Connexxion and EBS or to travel by train. It is vital to check in and out for each ride. If you have been to Amsterdam before and used the strippenkaart, please note that this ticket format is no longer in use for Amsterdam public transport.
Amsterdam Trams provide an interesting way to get around Amsterdam and run regularly until 12:15am.
Amsterdam Buses are primarily used to reach outlying suburbs during the day. Night buses are available after the trams have stopped running and are available from 12:30am until 7am, with routes connecting to Central Station, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. Those without a specific GVB day or multi-day ticket will have to purchase a separate ticket for €4.50. You may use this ticket to transfer to other GVB night buses.
Amsterdam Metro system currently has four lines in service that can quickly take you to the distant suburban areas of the city (see the metro map). Three of the Amsterdam metro lines begin their journeys from Central Station. Some of the metro stations (e.g. Amstel Station and Sloterdijk) share their platforms with regular trains, which make them convenient points for travelling out of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam ferries can transport you through and along the Amstel river and can be an interesting addition to your stay in Amsterdam. Especially if you travel with children. Many of them leave from the central station and are available day and night. The most popular one is the one that goes to the Eye Museum.
Finding an on street parking spot in Amsterdam is not easy and you have to pay for it everywhere. The rate is €5/hour in the city center and gets cheaper as you get further away. There are commercial garages however. Another popular option is to park at the Park+Ride parking lots at the A10 ring and continue by the public transport. But these are not guarded. The easiest and safest option is to make an online parking spot reservation. You can do this and also read more about other options on our dedicated Amsterdam parking webpage.
It is not recommended to drive to Amsterdam city center due to its narrow streets, often construction and high parking fees. However if you do, look out for bikers and pedestrians. They are everywhere. Also be prepared to wait behind unloading trucks without being able to pass them. If you have electric car the infrastructure is there.
Some would say that the only way to truly experience Amsterdam is by bike. There are dedicated bicycle paths throughout the city, but on crowded streets and pedestrian zones you are expected to push your bike while walking. Cyclists are well respected on the roads and people are used to bicycles being parked everywhere. Also there are very few hills to conquer. All of this bicycle friendly environment makes cycling a safe and convenient Amsterdam transportation option. A number of companies offer Amsterdam bicycle rentals for around €12 per day, with discounts for longer rentals.
Taxi's are available at most tourist hubs including Leidseplein, Dam Square and Central Station. Hailing a taxi can be difficult, especially on weekends, but cab service is generally prompt if you call ahead. You can reach the Amsterdam city taxi line on 0031 (0) 900 677 7777. Rides cost around €2.50 per kilometre regardless of the time of day.
For an alternative Dutch taxi, catch one of the many bicycle taxis around the city. The pedal-powered taxis can carry up to two people and are cheaper than conventional taxis.
Although driving in Amsterdam is not recommended, Amsterdam car rental services are readily available at Schiphol Airport and in the city centre along Overtoom Straat, near Vondelpark. All major agencies are represented including Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, National and Alamo. Driving and parking in the city may be worth for those who have chosen to travel through the Netherlands by car and don't want to change modes of transportation.
By taking advantage of the low cost bus companies you will be able to reach your destinations without having to take frequent changes of trains or planes nor the exhaustion from driving.