Getting around in Amsterdam

Basically, there are 7 ways to get around in Amsterdam.

  1. Tram/Metro
  2. Bus
  3. Train
  4. Taxi
  5. Boat 
  6. Bicycle
  7. On foot


If you use the tram and the bus, you can by a ticket with the driver. Usually a ticket will be valid for an hour and a half. You can also buy a ticket at a machine or at an office, the supermarket or a tobacco shop. You have a choice between a one way ticket, a 1 to 3 day ticket (I Amsterdam card, including discounts for various tourist attractions) or a "strippenkaart" (a stripe ticket) which you can use for several trips. Single tickets are always more expensive than a "strippenkaart" or day tickets if you travel a lot. The trams stop at midnight, but there are buses all night, though routes and numbers may change.  From the RAI convention center, the fastest way into town is with the metro. It passes on the east side of the center of Amsterdam and finishes at central station. You can also get on tram 4. It runs through the center of Amsterdam and also finishes at central station.


Amsterdam has 7 train stations. At the RAI convention centre you can get on a train to Schiphol Airport. Tickets can be bought at a machine where you can pay with your credit card or in a wizzle shop. Amsterdam Centraal Station (central station) is the biggest train station in the immediate centre of Amsterdam. Here you can get on a train to nearly every location in the Netherlands and many destinations in Europe. There are machines as well as offices where you can buy a ticket, but at the office you pay a small extra fair. Trains run all day and have a night line connecting the airport and the main cities in the Netherlands.


Traveling by taxi is presumably the fastest but also most expensive way to travel through Amsterdam. Taxi drivers are usually well-informed and know most locations in Amsterdam. All drivers have a meter which they must use. If there is a taxi line, you are presumed to enter the first car waiting, though you are officially allowed to pick any taxi you like. The biggest taxi company is TCA (020-6777777)


Traveling by boat is fun but slow. You can hire a water taxi (020- 5356363 ) which is expensive, but will take you as close to your destination as possible or you can go by Canal bus. The bus ticket is about €16, - and valid the day of purchase and the next day till noon. The Canal bus has designated stop points and three different lines running through the center of Amsterdam. On the way they will inform you about the sights. The lines run in winter from 10 in the morning until about 6 at night. You can buy a combined ticket for the Canal bus and the public transport. This ticket will also get you a discount at various other locations, like museums, restaurants, etc. You can also go for a one-hour sight seeing tour with one of the many companies.


Hiring a bike is a fast but slightly more dangerous way to get around. Cars, taxi and trucks are used to bikes though, accidents are usually minor. Nevertheless you should take care about where you bike and get to know the road rules. The biking lane is often red. It is however a good way to see the city. Bike rentals can be found all around Amsterdam.

On foot

Amsterdam is not a very big city, on foot you will be able to walk and see the centre. Take care about the bikes, the sidewalks are small and although you might think you are in a pedestrian area, mostly there are bikes and cars allowed as well. Most bikes have a bell which will warn you.

General Tips

General tips about getting around in Amsterdam: - Bring a map of the city (good maps are found at the VVV or tourist offices) and of the tram and bus lines (for free) - Watch where you are going, most sidewalks are small, but walking on the road might be dangerous. - Prepurchase tickets, it is cheaper - Public transport:   (also in English) or  (trains)

Tourist information

There are two tourist offices in the center of Amsterdam. One can be found at central station, one in the Leidsestraat, near Leidseplein. Here you can find all sorts off information, from city maps to restaurants, excursions and museum information. On the website:  all information is available as well.


In the Netherlands the currency is Euro. If you want to change foreign money to  you can do so at any bank or GWK offices, who are open longer hours than the banks. In the Netherlands, 1 and 2 cent coins are not used. All amounts will be rounded up  to 5 or or down to 0 cent.

Medical emergency

In case of medical emergencies call 112. This will alert the emergency services, ambulance as well as police. If you need assistance, but are not in an emergency situation call 0909-8844.

Where to go to...

Amsterdam has a variety of restaurants and pubs. Here you can find some suggestions, there are of course many more restaurants available. For good reviews look at  The bill does not cover tips, if you are content with the service provided at restaurant or pub, you can add up to 10% tip on the bill.

Suggested Pubs

  • Café de Sluyswacht Jodenbreestraat 1 020-6257611 A very nice cafe in an old lock workers house which is leaning over badly. Beautiful view over the canals. Service and prices are good.
  • Latei Zeedijk 143 020- 6257485 Latei is a shop as well as a café. Very interesting for a cup of coffee
  • Café Katoen Nieuwe Doelenstraat 1 020-6262635 Small café where can settle down for coffee, tea and a sandwich. Good and fast service in the middle of Amsterdam
  • Het Elfde Gebod Zeedijk 5 020-6223577 Nice café on the border of the red-light district



  • Vis Aan de Schelde Scheldeplein 4 020-6751583 Close to the convention centre, serves mainly fish dishes in a French style.
  • De Vijff VLieghen Spuistraat 294-302 020-5304060 The restaurant is nicely decorated in Rembrandt style. Pricy restaurant but the food is good
  • Nam Tin Jodenbreestraat 11 020-4288508 Good Chinese food where all the Chinese tourist eats.
  • Het Pannekoekenhuis Prinsengracht 358 020-6208448 Pancakes can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner. Dutch specialty
  • Lieve Herengracht 88 020-6249635 Belgian restaurant. Good food and good beers
  • Pata Negra Utrechtsestraat 124 020-4226250 Good and noisy Spanish tapas restaurant. Always very crowded, but it adds to 

Other places to go .......