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Moped, bikes, and a canal cruise show all the ways there are to get around in Amsterdam

Getting Around Amsterdam

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There is no need to rent a car in Amsterdam. Bicycles are the primary mode of transportation for locals, though most of the city center is easily walkable, and public transport is convenient and economical. 

The metro stretches out from Amsterdam Central Station across the city and into the suburban areas.

The trams and buses are the best forms of public transportation within the city center. Free ferries located behind Amsterdam Central Station head to various locations in Amsterdam Noord (North).

Want to get around like a local? Rent a bike (€12 – €15 a day).  King Bikes has a good reputation and insurance is included in the price.

Getting To And From Schiphol Airport

The airport is located about 10 miles south of Amsterdam Central Train Station and there are several options to get to and from the airport.

  • The train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station costs €5.50 and takes 20 minutes.
  • There are two Airport express buses. GVB 69 drops off at Amsterdam Sloterdijk (€3.20/40 mins) and Connexxion 397 drops off at Amsterdam Elandsgracht (€5/30 mins). Neither of these buses go to Amsterdam Central Station. 
  • There is also a Connexxion hotel shuttle bus, that will drop you off and pick you up at your city hotel (€18.50 one-way/€29.50 return).
  • Airport taxis are the most expensive option, prices typically start from €39 to the city center.
  • Uber is available in Amsterdam, with prices typically cheaper than a taxi.

Getting Around Amsterdam

GVB is Amsterdam’s primary public transportation provider within the city center. The metro moves from the city center to the outer suburbs. Most visitors primary use the tram or bus systems to get around to the attractions in Amsterdam. Use the free ferry system to get to north Amsterdam for attractions such as A’Dam Lookout.  

The GVB site has pricing and a route planner online.

Getting Your Transportation Tickets

  • Tickets must be purchased ahead of travel.
  • All metro stations and some tram stations have ticket vending machines, but only main stations have manned ticket counters.
  • Manned GVB Service Points are also available at Primera, AKO, Vivant, Techador, Cigo, and Bruna stores.
  • It is very important to check-in before traveling and check-out at the end of each leg of your journey, even if you are transferring, for example, from one bus to another, or from a bus to a tram. Look for the card readers that say OV-Chipkaart. They are usually by the doors on the trams and buses.

Public transport is now cashless, and requires a chip and PIN card to purchase tickets.
American credit cards usually do not have a PIN, look for a manned counter, or use a debit card to pay.

Getting The Best Ticket Value

To determine which travel ticket is best value for you, estimate what you can reasonably do with your time. Keep in mind, many attractions can eat up a half a day or more and public transportation is relatively inexpensive.

Travel Resources

We recommend and use these companies to arrange our travel plans; they make travel planning easy and affordable. If you have questions on our experiences, feel free to ask us!

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