Amsterdam: Local Travel Info

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Amsterdam Local Travel Info

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) is served by all major international airlines and is located a short bus ride away from the city centre.

Getting to and from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)

Getting to and from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is relatively straightforward. Amsterdam has a Direct Rail Link connecting Schiphol International Airport to Centraal station which is the quickest way to reach the city centre. Trains run every ten minutes from platforms 1 and 2 which are located in the main arrival plaza. Tourists can also take one of the Airport Shuttles run by Connexxion which depart every ten minutes and serve many of the city's hotels. Some hotels offer a free shuttle ride so make sure you check before you pay. A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs around €40 and the journey takes around 20 minutes.

Travel costs in Amsterdam

Travel costs in Amsterdam can be relatively high but there are plenty of ways to save on the pennies. One way to reduce your Amsterdam travel costs is by exploring the city by bike which will set you back between €9 and €20 per day. If you plan on using public transport such as the bus or tram you can buy tickets onboard but your travel costs in Amsterdam will be significantly reduced if you opt to purchase a strippenkaart beforehand. These can be bought from machines in the metro and railway stations, the GVB office opposite Centraal Station and from supermarkets, newsagents and tobacconists. A strippenkaart can also be used on NS trains within Amsterdam although you will need a separate ticket if catching the train to and from Schiphol airport. The strippenkaart is made up of a collection of strips which need to be stamped as you board. On the metro it is stamped by a yellow machine and on trams and buses it is stamped by a conductor. Travel for one hour through a single zone costs two strips, two zones cost three strips and so forth. A strippenkaart of 15 strips costs €7.30. It is also possible to purchase 1, 2, 3 or 4-day travel passes although these usually work out as more expensive for tourists who mainly stay within the city centre. If you can avoid getting a taxi in Amsterdam do, as drivers often charge very high fares even though no trip within the city centre should set you back more than around €10. Some drivers, usually those based at Centraal Station, will refuse to take passengers on short trips.

Renting cars in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is not a car-friendly city with tough restrictions on vehicle access and limited parking spaces. Renting cars in Amsterdam is only recommend it if you plan to explore the city's surrounding countryside or nearby towns. You must be at least 23 years old to drive rental cars in Amsterdam and most national company rental car prices start at about €90 per day. Renting automatic cars in Amsterdam cost around twice as much as hiring standard manuals.

For Cheap Car Hire in Amsterdam, view our links in the main tab above. These are updated hourly to provide you with the latest deals and special offers on car rental in Amsterdam.

Drivers licenses requirements in Amsterdam

To rent a car in Amsterdam you will need a valid national or international driver's license.

Driving rules in Amsterdam

When driving in Amsterdam remember to stay on the right-hand side of the road and always carry your driving license. Driving rules in Amsterdam state that if you do not have a photocard driving license, you must carry your passport as further proof of identification. According to Amsterdam driving rules, seat belts are a must for both front and rear passengers while using a mobile phone while behind the wheel is against driving rules in Amsterdam. Children under three years old must travel in the back but kids from three to 12 years can sit in the front as long as they have an appropriate child seat. Keep in mind that when cyclists meet or join traffic they have right of way and make sure you watch out for trams when driving in the city. The speed limit in Amsterdam is 30mph and 60 or 75mph on the motorway.

Trams in Amsterdam

Trams in Amsterdam city centre are the most efficient form of public transport with the majority running from Centraal Station to the east, south and west of the city. A number of other Amsterdam trams connect these lines in a half circle shape. Amsterdam is broken into zones with the cost of every trip on trams in Amsterdam based on the number of zones that you travel. If you buy a ticket while you are on the tram, one zone for an adult is €1.60 while each additional zone will cost you an extra €0.80. This charge is the same for seniors and children if you forget to purchase your ticket before boarding. If you want to save money on trams in Amsterdam consider buying a strippenkaart which reduces costs and makes travel much easier.

Taxis in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has an efficient public transport system and is very accessible by foot so taking taxis in Amsterdam is not recommended. Amsterdam taxis are notoriously difficult to hail from the street but there are ranks outside Centraal Station, the bus station at the junction of Kinkerstraat and Marnixstraat, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. Taxis in Amsterdam have clear signs on their roofs and blue license plates. They are relatively safe but no cheaper than any other European cities.

Cycling in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the perfect place to explore by bicycle indeed it is often referred to as the City of Bikes. There are bike hire shops all over Amsterdam and you can rent a bicycle in all train stations. As well as cycling in Amsterdam itself, the perfectly flat surrounding countryside also feels like it was made for cycling enthusiasts so try to squeeze in a quick cycling trip out of town. There are bicycle lanes that are marked out by white lines but be warned, cyclists still need to watch out for cars, trams and pedestrians. To hire a bike you will need to have some form of identification such as a passport and a deposit is usually required. When cycling in Amsterdam, keep in mind that cycling two abreast is against the law, along with not having reflector bands on both the front and back wheels of you bike. Theft of bicycles is also prevalent so if you are cycling in Amsterdam make sure you securely lock it to a lamppost or railing.


Water transport in Amsterdam

Water transport in Amsterdam is a popular and efficient way of getting around the city. Amsterdam's canals and main river are often enjoyed by those in water taxis which can be booked in advance or even hailed at the dock outside Centraal Station. Water transport in Amsterdam can often be faster than transport on land and will give you a unique view of the city. Some water transport in Amsterdam is free including the ferry between the centre of Amsterdam and the north of the city via the IJ channel. These boats leave from Waterplein West dock on De Ruijterkade behind Centraal Station. One route goes to Buiksloterweg, with ferries running every five to ten minutes, while a second ferry travels to IJplein, a more easterly point on the north shore, every ten to 15 minutes. For tourists, water buses can also be a popular way to travel as they bring you to, or close to, many of the city's top museums, attractions and sights. This method of water transport in Amsterdam has three routes, the Green Line, Red Line and Blue Line and buses stop at landmarks such as Centraal Station, Westermarkt, Leidseplein, Rijksmuseum, Waterlooplein and east Amsterdam.