Amsterdam is easy to walk around, with most major sites located in or near the city center. Public transportation is of a high quality and driving is discouraged within the canal ring. GVB is the public transport company of Amsterdam and provides an integrated metro, tram and bus service. You can purchase passes at the GVB tickets and information offices located at all major train stations that last for twenty-four, forty-eight and seventy-two hours and offer unlimited travel on trams, buses, metros and night buses. Twenty-four hour passes can be bought from GVB drivers and conductors, as well as at most major hotels and the VVV Tourist Offices.
Amsterdam Public Transport Travel Guide
Alternatively, you can buy a Strippenkart, which charges per trip according to the number of zones passed through. They are available from GVB offices, newsagents, post offices and a number of supermarkets. Single trip tickets can be bought onboard but will you cost much more.
There is a national public transport information service you can call on 0900-9292 – you say when and where you want to go, anywhere in the Netherlands, and they tell you how to get there.
Trams are the best way of getting around Amsterdam and run regularly until 12:15am. Trams are frequent, fast and reliable. If you have a ‘strippenkaart you stamp it on entry. On some trams a conductor stamps your ticket for you. Once stamped, a ticket is valid for an hour, regardless of how often you change tram. Several people can travel on one strippenkaart, you stamp one time for each person. You need to hail a tram to let the driver know you want to get on. If the tram has a conductor you must use the rear door to get on.
Buses are mainly used to reach outlying suburbs and after the trams have stopped running. There are night buses running from midnight until 7am connecting to Central Station, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein.
The Metro is used for travelling outside the city or to the Amsterdam Arena. There are a number of lines combined with a rapid train system.
4. Canal bus
The Canal Bus runs every forty minutes from 9:50 until 7:25 with fourteen stops along three different routes. 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. So apart from transporting you around this is a major tourist experience.
The Museumboot costs €14.25 per day with stops at Central Station, Prinsengracht, Leidseplein, Herengracht, Muziektheater and the East Dock. Tickets for the Musemboot include half-price entry to most city museums.
The most popular method of transport in Amsterdam is the bicycle. There are dedicated cycle paths throughout the city and with Amsterdam being so flat it makes for easy cycling, even for the less fit. Numerous companies offer bicycle rentals for about €8 per day with discounts for longer rentals. Dutch bikes only have back pedal brakes. When hiring a bike, you need to pay a deposit, and show a form of identification.
- Bike City, Bloemgracht 68 (Westerkerk), 6263721
- Damstraat Rent a Bike, P Jacobszoondwarsstraat 11 (Dam), 6255029.
- Macbike, Leidseplein (next to Paradiso) 528 7688, Mr. Visserplein 2 (Waterlooplein), 6200985, and Central Station, 625 3845
Taxi stands are available at a variety of locations including Leidseplein, Dam Square and Central Station. Hailing a taxi is difficult and it’s best to call ahead on 0900 677 7777.
8. Bicycle taxis
Bicycle taxis are to be found throughout the city. They can carry up to two people and are much cheaper than a conventional taxi.
9. Car rental
Driving in Amsterdam is not recommended, but if you want to travel further afield, you can easily rent a car from Schiphol Airport and in the city center along Overtoom Straat near Vondlepark. Parking is difficult and expensive in the city, with parking regulations strictly enforced.