Arrival and Getting Around Amsterdam

Whether by rail, road or canal, here's a guide to getting around Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a fabulous array of ways to get around whether you board a speedy tram, a water taxi, or get on your bike to travel around the city on two wheels. Here is our handy guide to the best ways of using transport around the city.

Arriving by Air 

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Schipol Airport, Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the world’s most efficient and aesthetically pleasing airports, it has more than 40 works of art, plus a Rijksmuseum annex on Holland Boulevard, behind Passport Control. Schiphol is 18 km (11 miles) from Amsterdam. Trains to Centraal Station leave 24 hours a day at 10-15 minute intervals; the journey takes 20 minutes and tickets cost €3.60. KLM shuttle coaches leave every 20 minutes and service 45 hotels in the city centre (€14.50).
www.schiphol.nl

Arriving by train

Centraal Station

Centraal Station, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The station is an attraction in itself having opened in 1889 and originally built on wooden stilts. After reconstruction, in 2018 it can be known as 'World Class Railway Station'. Trains make round trips to other points in the Netherlands and the rest of Europe. It is also a major transport hub in the city, with trams, buses and taxis outside plus the ferry piers behind.

Stationsplein 15, 0900.9292, www.ns.nl

Getting around Amsterdam

In addition to buses and cabs, Amsterdam has the appeal of ways of getting around the city by canal boat, tram and of course bikes.

By Bike

Parked bikes by the canals in Amsterdam, Netherlands

There are a number of options to get cycling with the locals at these bicycle hire outlets. For the newcomer, watch out for oncoming trams and wheel-trapping tram lines!

Bike City: Bloemgracht 70, 020.626.3721, www.bikecity.nl

Macbike: Waterlooplein 199, 020.4287.005, www.macbike.nl

Amstelfietspoint: Julianaplein 1, 020.6923.584, www.amstelfietspoint.nl

Canal Bikes

Slow but fun, canal bikes are one- to four-person pedalos available 
for hire from moorings on Singelgracht (Rijksmuseum), Prinsengracht (Westerkerk), Keizersgracht (Leidsestraat) and Leidsekade (near the American Hotel). Rental is from 
€8/hour, with a €50 deposit.

020.623.9886, www.canal.nl

By Boat

Canal Bus and Museumboot

Starting from the jetty opposite Centraal Station, the Canal Bus does three loops around the city: the green and red lines stop off at 16 sights between the Rijksmuseum, Leidseplein and Waterlooplein; the blue line travels east, taking in Artis Zoo, the Scheepvaart Museum, NEMO and the Tropenmuseum. You can hop on or off at any point along the route. Tickets, which are valid until noon the following day, are €20 and include discounts on museum entrances.
www.canal.nl

Taxis

Taxis are expensive but easy to get hold of if looked for in taxi ranks in the main squares. Taxis cannot be flagged down but must be entered at taxi stands with locations around the city. Use TCA cars with sign on roof (Taxi Centrale Amsterdam).

Trams, Buses & Metro

Trams are quick and convenient. Buses and metros are good for getting to the outskirts of town. 
The Opstapper bus runs around the Prinsengracht and can be hailed anywhere along the route.

For all transport, you’ll need a strippenkaart (strip card). Buy them from drivers or shops, post offices, automatic dispensers or train stations. On trams, hand the strip card to a conductor or fold it and stamp it in the franking machine. Stamp two strips for a journey in the central zone plus an additional strip for each further zone. On buses, drivers stamp by hand and on the metro there are franking machines located at all station entrances.
www.gvb.nl

Footprint Guidebooks
About the author