Traveling to and around Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a well-connected city, offering lots of different transportations getting in and out of the city. Amsterdam offers a great airport, named Schiphol Airport, where most destinations from the world fly on. As many travelers are also coming to Amsterdam from neighboring countries Belgium and Germany, taking the car could be a great solution. But where do you keep your car in the mean time? In this article, we're sharing the best solutions from traveling to and from Amsterdam. There are plenty of options to navigate to and through the city effortlessly, so let's get the logistics sorted out, so you'll have more time to enjoy the city.
Parking your car in Amsterdam city center
As you can imagine, parking in the center of any major city can be a hassle, and Amsterdam is no exception. Have no fear, the city has a special discount to sort out all your parking problems called the Park + Ride.
- Weekdays prices before 10:00 is €8 for the first 24 hours, then €1 for any additional hours after that
- on weekdays after 10:00: €1 per 24 hours
- Over the weekend: €1 per 24 hours
Parking your car in Amsterdam city center requires visitors to purchase an OV-Chipcard (a transportation card that allows you to travel on trams, trains, and buses all across the Netherlands) or a P+R GVB card (the Amsterdam transportation card) before parking at the designated P + R parking. After you've parked your car at P + R parking, you can travel into the city center on your OV-chipcard or your GVB card, and upon returning, you can pay at one of the ticketing machines. The discount is only applied to if you 'check in' location was within city limits.
Parking your car nearby Schiphol Airport
Coming into Amsterdam by car? The 17th-century narrow streets and complicated bike lanes can cause some problems if you want a hassle-free drive. Not only would you have to look out for pedestrians, but the horde of cyclists in Amsterdam is known for their fast riding style. We’d recommend you park your car nearby Schiphol Airport. The official airport parking lots are expensive, and you wouldn’t want to be out €89! But at Vliegen & Parkeren, you can park your car for around €48 for 8 days. This price includes a shuttle service to the airport. You can compare the parking prices and immediately book them with a secure payment method!
Traveling from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam
Trains from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam City Center
If you’re landing at Schiphol Airport, the fastest and most convenient way to travel to Amsterdam is by train. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Dutch Railway (NS) trains run from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Central Station. If you’re arriving during the day or the evening, trains frequently run from platforms 1, 2 & 3. Only sparsely during the morning hours of 02:00-05:00.
- Choose from several trains: Intercity Direct (high-speed trains), InterCity (trains with more frequent stops) and the Sprinter trains (which stops at many stations before Central Station).
- The fastest train will take you into the city within 15 minutes.
- Know where you’re going. If your end destination is the City Center, board the train that says ‘Amsterdam Central Station,’ which is stated on the screens or the side of the train.
- There are other trains going to Amsterdam Zuid and Amsterdam RAI, which use different routes. -If you have a question, ask one of the train assistants with the yellow neon uniform by the platform during peak hours, or at the Service Desk.
- Ticket prices are €5.20 for 2nd class couches (designated by blue seats on the train), and €8.10 for first class. Return tickets are only valid on same day returns. Children between the ages of 4-11 can travel on a ‘Railrunner’ ticket for €2.50, and children younger than four rides for free.
- It might be worth investing in an OV-Chipcard if you will be taking public transportation regularly during your stay. This covers trains, trams, the metro, and buses.
Tip: Becare of theft activities on the trains between Amsterdam Central to Schiphol, and vice versa. Keep your eyes on your luggage and don’t leave your bags unattended, particularly if your bags are left in the overhead space.
Taxi or car service into Amsterdam City Center
If you don’t want to take the train, there are a variety of taxi/car services that can get you into the city. A ride into the city will cost you around €45-50. The taxi rank is located in the Schiphol Plaza, just next to the I Amsterdam sign.
Choose from the list of options:
- TCA Taxi, TAXI-E (Nissan and Tesla cars)
- Tinker (online taxi booking service)
- Abel, a startup taxi-sharing service (possibly cheaper than Uber).
- Obey the rules of the road. The Dutch are masters at maneuvering on bikes, but if it’s your first time biking here, stick to the bike lanes, don't bike on pavements, and follow the traffic rules (don’t run red lights or block pedestrian walkways).
- Be attentive on the road: we don’t need to tell you that Amsterdam is a busy city. It is always flowing with people walking biking and driving. Watch out for other cyclists, pedestrians, and trams!
- Always use hand signals when turning.
- Give the right of way to people coming from the right-hand-side. Yield to traffic when you see triangles marked on the streets.
- When passing, ring your bell to let the riders in front of you know you want to pass – and do this quickly.
- Use the 9292.nl app to plan your trip
- There are 15 tram lines with over 500 stops, connecting the city center to the outskirts of Amsterdam.
- To ride the trams, you must either use an OV-Chip Card or valid travel card to Check-in from your entry stop and check-out at your destination.
- You can either purchase these OV-Chip cards from a Kiosk, service desk or ticket machines at the Central Station or purchase a day pass directly from the driver.
- Ticket cost for a 1-hour ticket is €2.90; a 24-hour ticket is €7.50; a day pass for children between the ages of 4-11 is €2.50
- There are currently four different lines, connecting 45 stations (Isolatorweg – Gein, Central Station-Westwijk, Central Station-Gaasperplas, Centraal Station-Gein)
- To access the Metro lines, you must use an OV Chipcard or valid travel cards to go through the gated entrances.
- In 2018, the City of Amsterdam has announced the opening of the highly anticipated Noord-Zuid line, which will connect Amsterdam Noord to Amsterdam Zuid station.
The 197 Amsterdam Airport Express bus is great for visitors wanting to travel to Museum quarter (Museumplein). It takes about 30 minute minutes. A disposable ticket cost €5 euros for a one-way ticket, but with an OV Chip, it costs around €3.00. However, this bus does not stop at Amsterdam Central Station.
Getting around in Amsterdam
You’re probably well aware that Amsterdam is a cycling city. It is the most preferred mode of transportation for locals (and some tourists). Amsterdam is the City of Bikes, renowned for their well-maintained bike lanes that connect the city like arteries. If you want to experience the city like a true local, biking is your best bet. However, if you’re not an avid cyclist, biking in Amsterdam can be quite tricky.
Here are some tips before you get peddling:
Disclaimer: While cycling seems like the best way to take in the city like a local, it can be quite hectic, busy and crowded during peak hours (before and after work). To avoid the traffic, it’s best to start on your two-wheelers well away from these times.
Traveling by the well-connected tram system is probably the easiest option for travelers visiting Amsterdam. It gives you the freedom to get from point A to point B without much hassle.
Things you need to know:
The Metro is a fast and efficient way to travel from the City Center to the suburban areas of Amsterdam, which is great for commuters and visitors staying in these regions. Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein are the two stations that are located close to the center.
Here’s what you need to know: