Getting around Amsterdam

Getting around Amsterdam

There are many ways to get around in Amsterdam. Within the centre, you will be able to reach most destinations on foot or by bike. The line from the train station (Centraal Station) via Dam, Spui and Leidseplein to Museumplein (plein means square), crossed by the four main canals (from outside to inside: Prinsengracht, Keizergracht, Herengracht and Singel – gracht means canal) will serve as your orientation. The Red Light District is to the east (to the right on your map) of this line; Jordaan is situated at the left. When distances are a bit bigger, the tram, metro and (regional) busses will be ready to serve you. Parts of the centre are closed for cars and finding parking space might prove to a challenge, but outside the centre a car can be practical. If you want to do a sightseeing tour by bus, contact the agencies at Dam and Leidseplein. Boat tours are leaving from several places along the canals, such as the main station, Rokin and Stadhouderskade.

Tram Amsterdam

Amsterdam has about twenty tramlines, which cover all areas of the city. In the centre, line 1 and 5 cover the line just mentioned from the train station to Museumplein, where the Rijksmuseum, van Gogh museum and the Concert House are located. To use tram, metro or bus you will need a so-called ‘public transportation chip card’ or ‘OV-chipkaart’. You can buy single cards, valid for one hour, at the driver, or charge a card with a certain amount of money to pay the individual price of the distance you travel. To do so, do not forget to check in when you enter and check out when you get off; otherwise, you will have to pay a fee. The metro serves routes to the suburbs of Amsterdam Zuidoost and Amstelveen, whilst buses are the best way to get to those local destinations that cannot be reached by train.

Night bus Amsterdam

After a night of partying, the night bus is there to bring your home. There are about twelve lines, all starting at the main train station. Halve of them pass Leidseplein, whilst the other halve cover Rembrandtplein. Conveniently, these are the two most common places to go clubbing. You have to buy your ticket at the driver, for a higher price than during daytime. Buses leave once an hour and twice an hour from Thursday to Saturday.

Bicycle in Amsterdam

As you will see right from the exit of the main station, Amsterdam is full of bicycles. For Dutch people, the bicycle is the primary means of transport, so do not be surprised to see men in business suits or mothers with one child in front of them and one child behind them on their bicycle. There are sufficient biking lanes virtually everywhere and cyclists tend to behave as the king of the road. Their authority generally remains unchallenged in the Netherlands. So, if you can’t beat them, join them, and hire your own bike. Major rental agencies are situated at main station, Dam and Leidseplein.

The chain MacBike has offices at the main station, at Weteringschans 2 (Leidseplein area) and at Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 116 (near Waterlooplein).
Yellowbike is situated on Nieuwezijds Kolk 29, a couple of minutes away from the main station. Next to their bike rentals, they organise guided biking tours.

From airport to city center Amsterdam

There is a train station in the building of Schiphol Airport, within a range of five minutes of any of the arrival halls. The train to the main station takes approximately twenty minutes and runs up to six times an hour the entire day and once an hour at night. The train will also get you to locations situated at the southern, western or eastern sides of the city, although you might have to change. Alternatively, you can take a taxi. Like in any big city, use official taxis only and do not accept taxis offered to you in the central hall.

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