Traveling to Amsterdam
Arriving by plane
You arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. From there take a train or bus into the city.
Buy your train ticket at one of the vending machines. But sometimes it is incredible busy at these machines.
The most comfortable way to use public transport is with the Amsterdam Travel Ticket. This ticket is sold on various places at the airport.
If for some reason there are no trains available, you can also take a bus to Amsterdam.
Avoid taxis. They are expensive and often give you a detour, so they can charge you more. If you have to take a taxi, take it ONLY from the official taxi stand. Absolutely NEVER go with a taxi driver that is approaching you inside the airport or outside on the square!
Uber is available in Amsterdam and the airport and most of the time much cheaper than regular taxis.
Arriving by train
International trains from Germany frequently have delays. So book an early train, to be sure you will arrive in time in Amsterdam.
Belgium railway employees love to strike! For that reason I prefer to avoid traveling through Belgium by train. International buses take more time, but are reliable.
Keep in mind that trains from Paris to Amsterdam cross Belgium. So also for your trip from France to Amsterdam, you might encounter problems.
The website of the Belgium railways www.belgianrail.be/en/ does not warn you in advance for strikes!!! But luckily the Dutch railways do understand the needs of international travelers. So check www.nsinternational.nl/en/overview-service-alterations before you book a ticket and before you leave to the station.
Arriving by (international) bus
Pubic Transport in Amsterdam
The best way to reach your destination is by tram or metro. The main entrance of each tram is almost at the rear. There is a conductor to buy your ticket and ask any questions you have. Most of them are happy to give you all the information you need.
The directions of trams and buses are well indicated on the outside of the vehicles. Inside the trams and buses the upcoming stops are well indicated, so you don’t have to be afraid to miss your exit.
To plan your trip, use any of these websites:
- Google Maps
Up to date information about all public transport in The Netherlands. Just click the symbol with the bus.
This is the official website for all public transport in The Netherlands.
Public transport Amsterdam.
Public Transport tickets
Public transport is well organized in Amsterdam and The Netherlands. Trains, metro, trams and busses run frequently. More than 9 out of 10 arrive as scheduled. The vehicles are most of the time clean and staff is friendly. Only buying a ticket can be difficult…
The government managed to create an icredible difficult system to buy a public transport ticket. So I recommend you take some time to read the information below and visit the websites of the transport companies. The ticket you buy is called “OV-chipkaart”. This means “public transport chip card”. Every time you use public transport you need to check in with your OV-chipkaart en check out when you leave the vehicle. When you take a train, you sometimes have to check in before you enter the platform. Sometimes you can only check in on the platform itself. And it is not always easy to find the check-in/out points…
More information about the OV-chipkaart is on their website, but as mentioned above, most of the information is way too complicated and you don’t need to know as a visitor.
Like everywhere in The Netherlands a transition is going on in how you can pay. To reduce the risk of a robbery, it is more and more impossible to pay cash. In that case a Maestro card is always accepted. Credit cards are not very popular (because of the high fees) and often not accepted. So just be sure you always have enough cash and different cards.
In the night bus and some trams you can only play with Maestro or credit card. But it is still recommended to have enough cash with you as well!!!
- Single train or metro ticket
You can buy a single train ticket from the vending machines at every station.
- Single tram or bus ticket
You can buy a single tram or bus ticket with the driver, or in the tram with the conductor.
They also sell 24 and 48 hour tickets. These tickets are not valid in the train!
- Amsterdam Travel Ticket
This is the best solution if you arrive at the airport or need to go to the airport, because all public transport to and in Amsterdam is included, including the trains. The Amsterdam Travel Tickets are available for 24, 48 and 72 hours. These tickets are only sold at a few places:
- AKO bookstores at Schiphol Airport
- Holland Tourist Information, Schiphol
- NS Tickets & Service, Schiphol
- GVB Tickets & Info kiosk at the main stations, including Schiphol
- I amsterdam City Card
At the tourist information office you can also by the I amsterdam Card. This card gives you access to a huge amount of museums and includes free transportation on GVB tram, metro and bus. Unfortunately this card does not include the train, so you need a seperate train ticket.
GVB price information: click here
Prepare your trip. Buy a multi day pass for the Amsterdam public transport at the airport or railway station.