Getting around in Amsterdam: info, costs and tips

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Lluis Enric Mayans

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Also known as the Venice of the North for its many canals, Amsterdam is a fascinating city, prized for its romantic and changing aspect. It offers multiple cultural activities, but is also highly sought after by the most transgressive young people. The coffee shop and the red light district have in fact earned it the title of capital of entertainment and the forbidden.

Here is a guide on how to get around Amsterdam: info, costs and advice!


  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Amsterdam
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. How to get around by bicycle
  5. Con i mezzi pubblici
  6. By car
  7. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

Amsterdam isn't huge and that's enough simple to orient yourself. If you love to travel by "alternative" means, to the classic tram, bus or metro, the Dutch capital can be navigated on its canals: the canal cruise is an unmissable experience, especially the evening cruise.

There are many ways to get around Amsterdam, but walking or cycling remain the best and cheapest options. For a first approach to the city, we recommend a walking tour in Italian or a guided bike tour, in both cases accompanied by a guide who will show you the main landmarks and guide you to discover the city.

For a longer stay in Amsterdam, we recommend that you obtain the GVB public transport pass, with savings on the purchase of a significant single ticket! In addition to the hourly booklets, it is also possible to obtain the OV-chipkaart, a rechargeable prepaid card of variable duration. Alternatively, there is also the city card option: the I Am Amsterdam City Card which allows you to travel for free and unlimited on vehicles, even at night, for its entire duration, as well as having discounts and free admissions in some of the main attractions of the city.

  • Recommended solutions and means: on foot, by bike, by ferry
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car, taxi
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: GVB public transport pass (from € 8,00 -), I Am Amsterdam City Card (from € 65,00 -)

How to get from the airport to the center of Amsterdam

L'Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the main airport in the city, is located 20 km southwest of the capital of the Netherlands, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. It is just half an hour from the center of the capital, easily reachable from the airport by public transport (you can buy the ticket for the Amsterdam Airport Express bus online), by taxi or by private transfer.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

  • Distance from the center: 22 km / travel time: 25 min;
  • By train: Schiphol-Amsterdam Central line / ticket cost: € 5,50
  • By taxi: average cost € 50,00 / travel time: 30 min
  • By bus: average cost € 6,00 / Airport Express line 397 - buy online
  • Private transfer: transfer from the airport to the center or to the hotel

How to get around on foot

Despite its particular semicircular structure, the city of Amsterdam is really accessible on foot. The main attractions of the capital, from museums to coffee shops, are located in areas that can be easily explored on foot, literally two steps away from each other. The presence of numerous bridges that cross the canals and of pedestrian areas scattered throughout the centerthey also make walking through the streets of the Dutch city pleasant.

For a first approach to the city, we recommend the 3-hour walking tour in Italian, so you can get to know and settle in the historic center, even in view of the visits of the following days! If you are looking for fun, then we recommend an unprecedented Amsterdam, with an evening walking tour or a walking tour of the coffee shops!

How to get around by bicycle

Very convenient solution that will make you feel "one of the place" is definitely the rental of a bicycle. The cycle paths are present throughout the city and its surroundings, including Ronde Hoep which connects the center with the countryside in just 15 min.

In the city you can find a large number of rental companies, among the most famous are MacBike and Bike City. The costs vary from the chosen rental company, but generally they range from € 11,00 to € 15,00 per day.

To familiarize yourself with the cycle paths and traffic in Amsterdam, we recommend first taking a guided bike tour, which will take you for a walk around Amsterdam among its main attractions, with explanations and the help of a local guide, allowing you so to move in total safety! +

Con i mezzi pubblici

We could summarize the use of public transport in the city of Amsterdam with a simple joke: "to each area of ​​the capital, its vehicle". For example, the subway is strongly discouraged for those who want to move easily along the main roads, while it is perfect for moving from the center to the suburbs; in reverse, trams and buses are perfect for getting around the main perimeter, and they offer a really helpful 24/7 service. All urban connections are ensured by GVB, the public transport company that offers bus services (day and night), trams, ferries and metro.

If you expect a high number of journeys by public transport, we recommend that you buy the GVB public transport pass! If, on the other hand, your itinerary is very rich, the best solution is the I Amsterdam City Card, which also includes theunlimited use of means for its entire duration!

A typical and characteristic experience to live absolutely in the city is that of a canal cruise, evening cruise also available! On the way you can admire the city from another perspective!


The Amsterdam metro system, operated by the GVB company, it connects the center to the slightly more peripheral districts such as Amstelveen, Diemen, Bijlmer and Amsterdam Zuidoost. Is composed by five lines three of which start from Central Station (51, 53, 54); it is active from 6 in the morning until midnight.

  • Downloadable map: metro-amsterdam
  • from 6:00 am to midnight
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 3,20
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 24 hours € 8,00, 48 hours € 13,50, 72 hours € 19,00, 4 days € 24,50, 5 days € 29,50, 6 days € 34,00, 7 days € 37,00


The bus network in Amsterdam, both urban and interurban, is particularly extensive. There are numerous bus lines that pass through and lead to different areas of the city. The number of trips and the waiting time are indicated on practical electronic panels at the stops. The bus service allows you to move quickly.

One-hour tickets can be purchased at the GVB information desks or on board the tram itself. Day tickets can also be purchased online. The daytime city buses they are active from 6:00 in the morning until half past midnight; those Night, indicated by the numbers from 281 to 293, enter into service at half past midnight until 7:00 in the morning. For night buses you can use a ticket with night rate (1 trip = € 4,70)

  • Downloadable map: transport-amsterdam - night-service
  • h 24
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 3,20, night service € 4,70
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 24 hours € 8,00, 48 hours € 13,50, 72 hours € 19,00, 4 days € 24,50, 5 days € 29,50, 6 days € 34,00, 7 days € 37,00


Trams in Amsterdam are one of the daytime public transport (GVB) more comfortable and frequent that allow you to move quite quickly. The city's tram network currently consists of 15 lines, each indicated by a number and a route color, well indicated both on board and on the front of the vehicle.

Le two main tram stations are located in front of the Central Station, one on the east side and one on the west side. You can identify the route and direction by looking at the number and the final destination on the front of the vehicle; moreover, once on board, information about the stops is always announced. As with buses, one-hour tickets can be purchased at the GVB information desks or on board the tram itself. Day tickets can also be purchased online.

  • Downloadable map: tram-amsterdam
  • by 6: 00 00 to: 15
  • Ticket / single ride cost: € 3,20
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: 24 hours € 8,00, 48 hours € 13,50, 72 hours € 19,00, 4 days € 24,50, 5 days € 29,50, 6 days € 34,00, 7 days € 37,00

Boat and ferry

Considering the shape of the Dutch capital, there is certainly no lack of means of transport on the water. The boats are certainly a alternative means of transport (not so strange for the inhabitants) and in fact they are often used by tourists who want to combine business with pleasure. Amsterdam ferries provide frequent connections on the River IJ for pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds; many of these start behind the Central Station and are free.

The most popular is the one going to Buiksloterweg (ideal for reaching attractions such as the EYE Filmmuseum and the A'DAM Lookout). The other main routes served by Central Station are those to IJplein (a little further east) and NDSM Wharf (home to many cultural events). The races are very frequent, it is rare to have to wait more than a few minutes.

For real canal cruises, the price varies according to the company and the time slot (more expensive for example evening cruises with dinner).

  • Downloadable map: ferries-amsterdam
  • variable according to the company. Approximately from 10:00 to 22:00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: from € 16,00


It is about the means less economical and less convenient. Taxis can be very convenient though, especially with rush hour traffic, public transport, in comparison, is much faster. The main points where you will find taxis ready to wait for you are Leidseplein, Dam Square and Central Station. Service Taxi Leader allows you to book a taxi and know in advance the costs and distances between your places of departure and destination.

  • 24 hours on 24
  • Ticket / single ride cost: starting rate € 3,19 + € 2,35 per km

By car

If you are not planning to explore the surroundings of Amsterdam to visit other Dutch locations, it is We strongly advise against renting a car or in any case traveling around the city with your own vehicle. Apart from the efficiency of public transport (which would be really a waste not to use it), you have to keep in mind that the streets are very narrow and maximum attention must be paid to pedestrians, cyclists and trams.

In some hours of the day, the center is very busy and finding a free parking space becomes a really difficult task; in this case, the best option is to leave the car in the garages near Centraal Station or the museums and then continue by public transport. There is no shortage of car parks that offer the convenient Park & ​​Ride service: with about € 10,00, 24 hours of parking and a return ticket to the center are included.


In Amsterdam the Low Emission Zone, specific neighborhoods where access to certain vehicles is prohibited. The ban also applies to foreign vehicles, it is active 365 a year and there is a risk of a penalty of € 95,00 + administrative costs. Specific details on the official website of the city of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam AR

There is also an access regulated by other requirements than those of low emission. Again the the ban applies to all vehicles, including foreign ones, and is permanently active every day of the year. Currently the ban is active: on Singel (at Spui), at Rembrandtplein (corner of Amstelstraat) and at Muntplein. More info on the official website of the city of Amsterdam.

Stops and parking

Parking on the street results expensive and a bit complicated. Along the canals there are also some sporadic places but, in addition to the complicated maneuvers, the rates range from € 5,00 to € 7,50 per hour. You pay in the special machines by credit card.

For more days of parking private garages are useful. For example, the garage at the Ramada Hotel on the west side of town offers 1 day for € 15,50 and can be booked online. Other private garages are i Parkeren P1 which offer daily rates from € 20,00 to € 25,00 if you book online, on site, at the automatic ticket machines in the garage, the daily rate rises to € 50,00 / 60,00.

The numerous Park & ​​Ride are very comfortable and convenient. You can park your car for up to 96 hours at the following prices: € 8,00 for the first 24 hours + € 1,00 for the next 24 hours on weekdays before 10:00; € 1,00 for 24 hours if you park on weekdays, after 10:00; € 1,00 for 24 hours during the weekend. You can then reach the center by GVB public transport (bus, tram or metro). There are 8 Park & ​​Rides in Amsterdam, located in different areas of the city and are well marked by road signs:

  • P + R ARENA, near the Johan Cruiff Arena. Take Metro 54 to go downtown - Get directions
  • P + R VUmc, near Amstelveen. Open only on weekends. Take tram 5 to the city center - Get directions
  • P + R Olympisch Stadion, near the Olympic Stadium. Travel downtown with tram 24 - Get directions
  • P + R RAI, near the Amsterdam Rai convention center. Here you can park for a maximum of 24 hours. With the metro service you can reach the center in a few minutes - Get directions
  • P + R Zeeburg, in the Zeeburg district. Take tram 7 to get to the center of Amsterdam - Get directions
  • P + R Sloterdijk, in the Sloterdijk area. Take tram 19 to the city center - Get directions
  • P + R Bos en Lommer, in the Bos en Lommer district. Take tram 7 or 19 to get downtown - Get directions
  • P + R Noord, Amsterdam Noord area. Accessible only when metro 52 operates the transport service - Get directions

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