After arriving in Holland without a car at your disposal, the easiest way to get to Amsterdam is by train. Amsterdam has more than one train station, with international buses arriving at Amsterdam Amstel train station. Amsterdam’s main train station; Amsterdam Centraal Station, is located at the top of the medieval city center and because of its architecture worthy of your visit, even when you don’t plan to take the train. Amsterdam’s airfield, Schiphol Airport, has a great train connection to Amsterdam Central Station with trains departing every 10 minutes. A one way ticket costs around €4. Buy your ticket from the yellow NS machines that you’ll find throughout the train station. Check out the map below to the left to see the locations of Amsterdam’s train stations. The map on the right shows all the metro lines running through Amsterdam.
Public Transport in Amsterdam
Public transport in Amsterdam consists of trams, buses, metro lines and ferries. Central Station gives easy access to them all. You’ll find tram lines both on your left and right when coming out of the southern exit of the station. The bus stops are located on the left side and on the new bus platform on the northern side of the train station. The ferries crossing the IJ river are also located on this side and these are always free of charge. The metro entrance is located at the southern end of the train station and runs underground through the city center.
Costs of public transportation
For all public transportation you can either buy a single ticket every time you hop on, or buy a day pass that gives you unlimited travel around Amsterdam. It is also possible to buy a pass that is valid for several days. You can buy tickets from the drivers/conductors or from the GVB machines at the train stations. Some tram lines run without conductor; here you’ll find a ticket machine in the middle of the tram. Every time you board a tram, bus or metro you have to check-in with your pass and don‘t forget to check-out when you get off.
Travel tips for trams
When travelling by tram, enter it through one of two entrances: the one up front or the one somewhere in the middle. The other doors are exit-only. You’ll recognize them by their signs. Be prepared to be publicly corrected by the conductor if you do enter the tram through the wrong door. And mind you, drivers and conductors in Amsterdam are known to be somewhat arrogant to tourists anyway. Don’t let it discourage you. They are that way to locals too.
Travel tips for buses
When travelling by bus, enter it at the front where you’ll find the driver. Check-in with your pass. If you want the bus to stop at the next stop, press the red ‘stop’ button. The doors don’t always open automatically: use the green button next to the doors to open them yourself. Night buses run between many locations in the city. The fare for the night bus is different than that during the day. If you have a day pass, you can use that. Otherwise, buy a special ticket with the driver.
Travel tips for metro lines
Metro lines in Amsterdam run underground in the city centre. Once you get to the outskirts of town the lines go above ground. Check-in or check-out to open the gates at the metro stations. Just like other forms of public transport, the metro is safe to use at night but it is always a good idea to be aware of what is happening around you. Trust your instincts. The metro runs until 00.30.
Travel tips for ferry lines
North of Central Station you’ll find ferry lines that cross the river IJ in different directions. You don’t need a ticket to hop on and you can take your bike with you. Only the ferry Buiksloterwegveer runs 24 hours a day. All other lines stop somewhere around midnight.