Getting to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s top destinations and is well served by air, road and sea links. The city boasts Europe’s fourth largest airport, Schiphol International Airport, with easy access to the city centre.
Schiphol International Airport: The airport lies 15 kilometres southwest of the city centre. For aviation enthusiasts, the airport has a large rooftop viewing area. It also hosts over 100 shops, cafés and restaurants, including the Schiphol Plaza, a shopping centre located before customs and open to passengers and visitors alike.
To/from the airport
By train: the railway station is located underneath the terminal complex and offers the cheapest and most convenient form of transport into central Amsterdam. There are also regular services to other Dutch cities, Paris, Hanover, Brussels and Berlin. Trains to the city centre run every 10 minutes. Tickets cost € 3.60 and can be bought from ticket machines.
Airport Shuttles provide a service to more than 100 hotels throughout the city and run every 10 minutes. Tickets cost € 11 (€ 17.50 for a return ticket), and can be purchased inside the main arrival plaza. Major hotels often provide a complimentary service, so check with them first.
Taxis to the city centre cost around € 40
Getting Around Amsterdam
Amsterdam enjoys excellent public transport. Most major sites are conveniently located in or near the city centre, and are within easy walking distance of each other. Or you can opt for a bike - cycling is a way of life in the Netherlands. Remember that Amsterdam is famous for its canals, so taking a car into the city is anything but simple, and finding somewhere to park even more of a headache. Car parks are available on the edge of the city.
All public transport is run by the GVB. They have an information and ticket office outside Amsterdam central station. They operate the metro, tram and bus service throughout Amsterdam and its surrounding areas. The small metro is best for outlying districts. Buses run from 6 am till 03.30am, and 12 night buses cover most parts of the city outside those hours. Tickets can be bought at tram stations, newsagents and on board trams and buses. Buying a strippenkaart works out much cheaper than buying individual tickets. A 15 strip-card costs 7.50 euros, children under 4 travel free. Tickets must be stamped when you board, either by the conductor or at stamping machines: 2 strips for a trip within zone 1 (central Amsterdam), 3 strips for 2 zones and so on. The cheapest option is to buy a 24-, 48- or 72-hour GVB pass which allows unlimited travel on all trams, buses, metros and night buses throughout city. They can be purchased at GVB Tickets & Information Offices located at all major train stations. Day- passes can also be bought from GVB drivers and conductor, at most major hotels and at the tourist office.
Trams run until 12:15am.
For further information about routes and fares: www.gvb.nl
Tourist Bus Amsterdam
The tour lasts 1 hour 45 minutes and an audio-guide is available in several languages. It takes in the most beautiful streets, canals, squares and famous landmarks in the city. You will enjoy great views with the glass rooftop, which is open on sunny days. The tour includes a visit to a diamond factory, and can be combined with a canal cruise.
The commentary is available in 15 languages.
Cost: 20 euros (adults), 10 euros (children). A discount price is available for internet bookings: 10.20 euros (adults) and 16.15 euros with the canal cruise.
Canal Bus hop on hop off
They run every 40 minutes from 10 am until 7.30pm with 14 stops along three different routes throughout the city. Day passes cost 22 euros (children under 3 travel free) and are valid until midday the following day. This is an enjoyable way to discover Amsterdam’s major attractions and beautiful houses along the canals. A commentary in English is provided along the way.
Several other companies offer short cruises:
100 Highlights cruise:
One hour cruise through the old centre of the city;
Price: 12.50 euros
City canal cruise:
75 minutes. Price: 12 euros
A number of companies offer bike rentals in the city, for around 8 euros a day, and as little as 4 euros for longer periods. Main pick-up points are located at Amsterdam Central station, Leidseplein and Dam square. Bikes usually come equipped with locks and you will be given a map with recommended routes.
You will find taxi stands at the major tourist spots, including Leidseplein, Dam square and Central station. Fares start at 7.50 euros including the first 2 kilometres, and 2 euros per additional kilometre.
city cab: 0900.677.7777
taxi-bestellen: 0031 (0) 621240373
TCA Taxi 7x7: 020 7777777
For a cheaper, and truly Dutch experience, you can choose a bicycle taxi: they take up to 2 passengers.
Renting a car
Several car rental companies have desks at Schiphol Airport and in the city centre along Overtoom Straat near Vondelpark.
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