Getting around Amsterdam is easy. The city centre is very compact, so you can get pretty everywhere by foot or by bike. A lot of people here don’t own a car because you simply don’t need it inside the city. The city centre simply isn’t build for cars, so it is usually not the easiest or fastest way to get around. Parking space is hard to find and is very expensive.
Transport from the airport
The easiest way to get from Schiphol International Airport to Amsterdam Centre is by train: it’s fast and convenient. Trains to Amsterdam Central Station run every 10 minutes. A one way ticket costs € 3.60. You can buy tickets from the ticket machines to avoid the lines and € 0.50 surcharge at the ticket office. Always buy a ticket before getting on any train: a fine of 35 Euro will be added to the fare if you do not have a valid ticket with you on the train.
Amsterdam has extensive network of public transport: the trains, busses, trams, metro and ferries will take you pretty much everywhere you need to go. Most of them are operated by the GVB.
If you plan to use public transport a lot during your stay, you can buy a 24-, 48-,72- or 96 hour tickets that are valid on all busses, trams, metrolines and night busses at the GVB ticket outlets.
To use the buss, tram and metro, you need a OV-chip card. You can buy disposable cards for single, double or four journeys. Be careful: If you buy a nondisposable card it costs you € 7,50just for the card! You can buy a single journey ticket on a tram, but this will cost you more than using a OV-chip card.
The ferries take you across the IJ to different locations in Amsterdam Noord, the up and coming north of the city. The ferry dock is behind central Station, and they are free!
Getting around by Bike
The best way to get around the city is by bike. It is fast, fun and it’s a great way to explore the city. For many Amsterdammers, bicycling is not just a means of transportation, it’s a way of life. Riding a bike eases congestion, is good for the environment and keeps the air clean. You can rent bikes all over Amsterdam, for 8-10 euros a day or less if you rent them for more than one day.
Getting around by Taxi
Taxi stands are available at most tourist hubs including Leidse Pein and Central Station. Hailing a taxi is quite difficult and virtually impossible on weekends, but taxi service is generally prompt if you call ahead (TCA -Taxi Centrale Amsterdam : 020-6777777). Rides cost 1.80 euro per km regardless of the time of day and a 5%-10% tip is expected.
Taxi drivers have a lousy reputation here, so calling a taxi is usually the fastest, cheapest and safest option. And if you do have a complaint about the driver, you can complain to the TCA.
Not in a hurry? Catch a bicycle taxi. The pedal powered taxis can carry up to two people and can be cheaper than conventional taxis. However, be prepared for glares form cyclists, as bicycle taxis are considered to be a big nuisance by cycling Amsterdammers!