There are numerous options when it comes to travelling around Amsterdam, either by public transport, or under your own steam. Bus, ferry, tram and train services are all operated by GVB and their transport network reaches to every corner of the city. Alternatively, a bicycle or boat trip will also allow you to visit the many places of interest within the city’s confines.
If you are considering mostly travelling by public transport, then the OV chip-card would be a great investment. One hour or one day unlimited travel cards provide a cheap option for exploring at your leisure. You can use your card on buses, trams and the metro. Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://en.gvb.nl/ontdek-amsterdam/gvb-dag-meerdagenkaart and are also available at tourist offices which can be found at Schiphol Airport or at Central Station. Alternatively, many hotels also provide information on GVB tickets and routes. Always remember to check in and out when using your chip-card by holding it in front of one of the many card readers situated at every destination point.
You may take your car to Amsterdam but it is not advisable to try and drive around the narrow and bustling streets of the City’s centre. Leaving your car just outside of the city centre and jumping onto public transport is not only kinder to the environment, but is a lot safer for the many cyclists who populate the roads.
Is Public Transport Accessible to all?
Many, but not all, of Amsterdam’s buses trams and metro trains are equipped with accessible features such as wheelchair ramps. For a full breakdown of which stations and routes may be suitable for your visit, please visit the GVB accessible transport information at http://en.gvb.nl/reizen/toegankelijk-ov
Blue and White trams are a regular sight in the city centre and provide a fast and convenient way to see the city sights. Tram stations can be found outside of Amsterdam Central Station. If your journey is unplanned and you have not bought in advance an OV chip-card ticket, you are allowed to purchase certain types of OV chip-card travel tickets aboard the tram. You can find detailed route maps at all tram stops along your chosen route. Please note: most on-board announcements during your trip will be made in Dutch, although important destinations are also announced in English. For an interactive map of the City’s tram network, please visit http://maps.gvb.nl/en/lijnen?tram&show
The Metro system in Amsterdam is a fast and convenient way to travel further around the city. Whilst still a project very much in progress, there are four main Metro routes that run under the City, with a fifth currently under construction, due to be opened in 2017. Starting your journey at Central Station, Nieuwmarkt or Waterlooplein, routes cover most of the outlying districts and inner city areas. You must obtain a ticket or travel pass before boarding the metro. Ticket machines are situated inside the stations. For an interactive metro map, provided by GVB, please visit http://maps.gvb.nl/en/lijnen?metro&show=away
Amsterdam’s public transport system includes a comprehensive network of bus routes, both around the main city and to outlying neighbourhoods. Most bus routes start the main Central Station and you may purchase certain types of OV chip-card tickets from the bus driver. Alternatively, you may purchase a single journey ticket. For a map of all bus routes within the city, and a journey planner, please visit http://maps.gvb.nl/en
The train as a mode of transport is very useful when travelling to or from the airport to the city centre, or for visiting other cities outside of Amsterdam. The Central Station is the busiest of the City’s terminals. This handy journey planner is a good starting point for planning your route – http://www.ns.nl/en
Central Station is the principal railway station in Amsterdam although there are a number of other stations around the city which may be useful for visitors. These include Amsterdam Amstel, Amsterdam Lelylaan, Amsterdam Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Zuid, Duivendrecht , Amsterdam Muiderpoort, Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA, Amsterdam Science Park, Amsterdam Holendrecht, Amsterdam RAI
Ferries provides a handy and free connection across the River IJ for those on foot, and cyclists. The ferries can be boarded behind the Central Station. Routes include Central Station to Buiksloterweg, Central Station to Ijplein and Central Station to NDSM Wharf. The ferries run every few minutes and waiting times are short. Digital boards will announce the arrival of the next ferry, so you will always be informed on your journey time. Use this handy ferry guide and timetable to plan your route – http://maps.gvb.nl/en/lijnen?boat&show
Cycling is the most fun way to view Amsterdam. Join the thousands of locals who take to the roads every day with their two wheeled friends to explore, shop, meet friends and see the sights. It is always a relaxing way to explore the meandering canals and waterways which link the various areas of interest. An abundance of cycle paths means that this is one of the safest modes of transport around the city. Bicycles may be rented from a variety of hire shops situated around the city.