Amsterdam airport Schiphol
When you travel to Amsterdam by air, you will arrive at Schiphol airport, which is outside the city. You can travel to Amsterdam Central Station very easily by train; this takes about 15 minutes. You can walk straight to the train station from the arrival hall, through the shopping center Schiphol Plaza. You can buy train tickets from the yellow ticket machines or at the ticket offices, both located close to the platforms. Watch the signs above the stairways to the platforms to see which trains go to Amsterdam Central Station. See the video how to take the train from Amsterdam airport to Amsterdam:
Places to stay in Amsterdam
Arriving by car
When you arrive in Amsterdam by car, the best thing to do is to leave your car in a parking garage outside the city and travel to the center by public transportation. There’s a system in Amsterdam called ‘P+R’ (Park and Ride), it works like this:
Parking in a P+R car park costs only €1 or €8 per 24 hours – with a maximum parking time of up to 96 hours
The P+R rates are calculated as follows:
• Enter on weekdays before 10:00: €8 for the first 24 hours, then €1 for subsequent 24 hour periods
• Enter on weekdays after 10:00: €1 per 24 hours
• Enter in the weekend: €1 per 24 hours
Park & Ride users must continue their journey into the city centre zone of Amsterdam. You can do so by using your own OV-chipkaart (public transport chip card). However, it is also possible to purchase discounted P+R GVB cards from the blue ticket machine at each site (you require 1 card per person and can purchase up to 5 cards per car). The P+R GVB transport cards can only be used for travel on GVB bus, trams or metro services.
Price of P+R GVB cards:
• 1 person: €5
• 2 persons: €5
• 3 persons: €5.90
• 4 persons: €6.80
• 5 persons: €7.70
Please note: after entering the P+R facility, you have one hour to purchase your P+R GVB cards. Each P+R GVB card is then valid for one hour of travel into the city centre and one hour of travel back to your P+R location (including transfers if required).
Condition of P+R: onward travel to city centre zone by public transport
To be eligible for the discounted P+R parking rate you must travel into the city centre zone using your OV-chipkaart or purchased P+R GVB card. Upon return, the P+R payment machines check whether your last check-in on your return journey took place in the city centre zone. You will only be entitled to the discounted P+R parking rate if this is the case.
If your last check-in was at a public transport stop outside the city centre zone, then you will not be entitled to the discounted rate and you will pay the regular parking rate. This ranges from €1.40 to €3.50 per hour. Additionally, the discounted P+R parking rate does not apply to journeys by other means of transport (taxi, bike, walking etc.).
Amsterdam has an extensive network of trams, buses and metros (subways). You can get to any destination within the city center from another in less than an hour. When you book with CityMundo, we will always provide information about the tram, bus or metro that goes from Central Station to your accommodation. An excellent Dutch route planner that advises you on which public transportation to take from one place to another, is 9292ov.nl (In Dutch).
The trams, buses and subways ride up to around midnight or 0:30, depending on the line. If you want to get around at night, you can travel by night bus. These buses charge special (higher) rates and do not stop at all of the regular stops. You can find a map of the night bus network on the site of the Amsterdam public transportation company (available in English).
OV-chip card – the public transport ticket in Amsterdam for tram, bus and metro
Since August 2009, a new public transport ticket has been introduced in Amsterdam for tram, bus and metro: the OV chip card.
There are 2 types of OV-chip card, the disposable and rechargeable card:
-The disposable chip card is for sale by vending machines at the train station, and in busses and trams.
He has a preset valid for a fixed number of days or runs, for example a ticket for one hour or one day, or two days.
The rechargeable chip card is sold by vending machines at the train station.
You can recharge the OV-chip card at the vending machines, but also at tobacco shops, C1000 grocery stores, AH-to-go shops and post offices. In Amsterdam are now about 250 vending and charging points.
Amsterdam is known for its small and busy streets. Traveling through the city center by car is considered by many people to be a nightmare, with Amsterdam’s many one way streets, constant changes in traffic situations and high parking rates. The easiest thing to do is to travel by Amsterdam public transport, to walk, or to rent a bicycle. To bike is an easy way to get around the city, like most Amsterdam people do every day. Bicycle theft is very common in Amsterdam, so make sure to stall your bike carefully, with good locks (lock at least both wheels and try to attach the bike to something so that it can’t be dragged away). You can rent regular pedal bikes at companies like Mac Bike for prices starting at EUR 4.25 a day. Mac Bike is located at popular locations like Central Station and Leidseplein. If you want to know the best route from one place to another by bike, you can use this bicycle route planner (available in several languages).
Of course, you can always take a taxi to get around:
Fun ways to explore the canals
You will get a whole different view of the Amsterdam canals when you travel through them by canal bike (in Dutch: ‘waterfiets’) or by canal boat (in Dutch: ‘rondvaartboot’).
Canal bikes are small boats with pedals; so you provide the power, just like cycling. You can rent them from Canal Company and move around freely through the canals by yourself or follow a tour together with others.
Canal boats or ‘rondvaartboten’ are very common in the Amsterdam canals. There are lots of companies organizing shorter or longer cruises through Amsterdam, passing several major tourist attractions and providing a good view on Amsterdam’s beautiful architecture, the house boats on the canals and of course the canals themselves. Possibilities range from one hour tours without stops, to museum boats where you can get off at several museums, to special candlelight dinner cruises. A cruise at night is also a unique experience, with a nice view of the lights on Amsterdam’s many bridges. Many canal boat cruises start from Damrak (close to Central Station), but there are spots to get on board throughout the entire city.