Tourist’s guide to Transport in Amsterdam: metro, buses, trams, bicycles

Public transportation in Amsterdam is fast, comfortable and safe. Buses and trams are always full of free space, because locals prefer to ride bikes. Ferries and the metro are quite popular, because they can take passengers not only to one of the districts of the capital of the Netherlands , but also to the suburbs. An important plus is the almost complete absence of traffic jams – everyone rides bicycles!

Transport in Amsterdam

Tickets and travel cards in Amsterdam

In the capital of the Netherlands, they sell 2 types of tickets, which can significantly save the budget of travelers. The first is a classic (and rather complicated) pass, which is used by almost all local residents. And the second one, created for tourists.

OV-chipkaart cards
OV-chipkaart Card

Recently, Amsterdam has stopped using ordinary paper tickets – now you can buy only OV-chipkaart with special chips. Such a card has one significant plus compared to a regular ticket – if you buy a reusable OV-chipkaart (De anonieme), you can pay for travel in all modes of transport (even in trains and trains).

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It is worth remembering that you need to apply the card twice – at the entrance and exit of the vehicle. It is very important not to forget to re-attach the card, since upon entering the transport with OV-chipkaart 20 euros are charged, and then, depending on the number of stations passed, the remaining amount is returned.

The card must be applied twice - at the entrance and exit

An important advantage of such a ticket is that the card can be bought immediately for several years, and pay only the fare. By the way, a ticket with a chip is anonymous, so you can give it to friends and acquaintances.

However, there is one not very pleasant rule: in order to pay for a card with a card, it must have at least 20 euros (for traveling by train) and 4 euros (on a tram and bus) on its balance. But you shouldn’t worry: if your card has less than € 30, then at the end of your trip to the Netherlands you can easily withdraw them at one of the cash desks of the capital.

  • Cost: 7.50 € + from 4 to 20 € for travel
  • Where to buy: from a tram / bus driver, in yellow GVB vending machines (they can be found on streets and metro stations), at GVB Tickets & Info office ticket offices.
Amsterdam travel ticket
Amsterdam Travel Ticket for 2 days

Amsterdam Travel Ticket is a better bargain for travelers than OV-chipkaart. Firstly, it includes two-way train travel, and secondly, it makes it possible to use Amsterdam’s public transport GVB network without restrictions. This list includes buses, trams, ferries, trains. Tickets are sold daily: you can buy for 1, 2 or 3 days.

As in the case of OV-chipkaart, at the beginning and end of the trip, you must attach a card to the validator.

  • Cost: one-day – 16 euros, two-day – 21, for three days – 26.
  • Where to buy: at GVB vending machines at metro stations and streets, at drivers of transport, and also at GVB Tickets & Info office ticket offices.

See also: I Amsterdam tourist map – a good offer for those who want to see the city .

Amsterdam Metro

Trains in the Amsterdam metro are real miniature museums of modern art. Each car has its own unique design, which was worked by Amsterdam artists, designers and graffiti artists.

Amsterdam metro map

If you look at the map of the Amsterdam metro, you can see that it is very well developed – there are 4 lines on which 52 stations are located. You can easily reach not only anywhere in the city, but also in the suburbs of the capital. By the way, today the 5th metro line is under construction, which will connect the northern part of the city with the center.

Working hours

The metro in Amsterdam is open from 06:00 a.m. to 00:00 a.m. (however, a number of trains can arrive at the terminal station at around 1 a.m.). The interval of movement is 5-6 minutes at peak hours, and 10 minutes at other times.

How to use the metro?
Subway train number 54

In order to get to the Amsterdam metro, you need to attach a travel card to the validator installed on the turnstile. Further, already at the station, a special board was installed on which you can see the arrival time of the desired train. By the way, there are 4 train numbers in the Amsterdam metro – 50, 51, 53, and 54. You can find out the route or just see the Amsterdam metro map on a special stand located on the platform.

Amsterdam metro door open button

A feature of the Amsterdam metro is that you must open the doors yourself at the entrance and exit of the metro car. This can be done using the buttons that are located on the side of the door.

At each metro station, 2 automatic machines are installed. The first (small and yellow) – to replenish OV – chipkaart with a credit card, and the second, also for travel cards, accepts cash.

The cost of one ticket in the subway is 2.6 euros.

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Buses in Amsterdam

Buses in Amsterdam are less popular than the same trams, as they do not always follow the schedule. However, this vehicle is still worth considering, because the buses in Amsterdam are very convenient and drive fast enough. Daytime runs from 06.00 to 00.30, and nighttime – the rest of the day. In order for the night bus to stop at the station, you must “vote”.

Tourist double decker bus

The city runs many double-decker tourist buses. Such small tours are designed for the whole day: in 7-8 hours, tourists will be taken to the most interesting places of the city and told about the sights. In all buses, headphones with a recorded tour in 5-8 languages ​​can be purchased for a nominal fee. By the way, the bus company Hop on Hop off offers an interesting solution: you can enter and exit any tourist bus during the day. Thus, the tourist himself decides how much time to spend on a particular attraction.

On a note! In Amsterdam there are a lot of peculiar thematic museums. Which ones are worth a visit, see this collection .


Amsterdam Tram

A tram ride is perhaps the best opportunity to see Amsterdam in all its glory. There are 16 tram lines in the Dutch capital that cross the city in all directions. Despite the apparent slowness, trams in the Netherlands develop decent speeds. Transport in Amsterdam is very punctual, and you can track its movement along the route using special displays at stops.

Entering the tram is allowed only through the rear doors – there is a conductor who sells tickets.

An unusual “museum” tram runs along the Haarlemermer – Amsterdam Forest route, the interior of which is made of wood, and the main highlight is the 19th century ticket composting device. True, the retro style tram runs only on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Bicycles in Amsterdam

Bicycles in Amsterdam, as in many other European cities, are the main mode of transport. On them, local residents go to work, to school, shops and parks. The streets of Amsterdam are ideal for cycling – there are many bike paths and parking lots. According to the latest data, there are more than 1 million bicycles in the Dutch capital, and this despite the fact that 300 thousand less people live in the city. As a rule, the Dutch choose old bicycles for traveling to work or to the store – it is not so bad if they are stolen. But on more expensive bicycles they go to sports fields and nature.

City tour by bike

Tourists who come to Amsterdam are advised by locals to buy or rent a bicycle and see the city there. The journey can be started both from the center (Museumplein, Jordaan), and from the outskirts of the capital. Do not forget to call in the city parks: Beatrixpark or Vondelpark. If you are a seasoned tourist, then perhaps the Amsterdam Forest, which is half an hour from Amsterdam, will seem interesting to you. By the way, in the Dutch capital is the world’s first museum, which you can visit without getting up from your bike – the Rijksmuseum.

Rijksmuseum Museum

However, before you drive a bike, you need to remember some rules:

If necessary, turn, raise your desired hand
  • do not rush and adhere to the flow rate (in some places it is quite difficult to brake quickly)
  • if necessary, turn, raise the right or left hand (depending on where you turn)
  • when you need to rush pedestrians, do not forget to use the call
  • in the dark, be sure to turn on the bicycle flashlight (fine – 55 euros)
  • do not drive if you have drunk

For the curious: Where in Amsterdam you can smoke weed – useful tips .

Public transportation
Bicycle transportation in public transport

As for the transportation of a two-wheeled friend, everything is not so simple here: if you are allowed to pass by on a ferry, tram or metro, then things are different with trains. Bicycles can be transported only when the transport is empty (from 10.00 to 17.00 and after 19.00) and at an additional cost (6.20 euros + ticket).

Cost of purchase and rental
Bicycle Batavus

Amsterdam has a huge selection of bicycles from the world’s best manufacturers: Gazelle, Batavus, Cortina and Vanmoof. The cost of such transport starts from 400 euros. If this option does not fit, then it is worth considering the supported models – their price varies from 100 to 150 euros. There are many shops in the Netherlands that sell old bicycles. When buying a two-wheeled vehicle, you will definitely be given a check that it is not stolen.

Remember that in no case should you buy a bike on the street (most likely it is stolen) from dubious individuals. Also, do not buy repainted bikes – it is highly likely that they were also stolen.

Renting a two-wheeled vehicle is the most attractive option for tourists. There are 942 bicycle rental agencies in Amsterdam:

Bicycle Rental Yellow Bike
  • Yellow bike
  • Orange bike
  • Mike’s bike tours
  • Bike city
  • Black Bikes et al.

In order to rent a bike in Amsterdam, you must come with a passport and leave a deposit of 400 euros. The approximate cost of the rental itself is 10-20 euros per day. Theft insurance will cost another 3-5 euros. If you have friends in the Netherlands, then you should turn to them – residents of the city with the name OV-chipkaart can rent a bike for 4 € per day.

Prices on the page are for June 2018.

As you have seen, the transport in Amsterdam is really good: it runs on time, there are many interesting routes, it is almost always empty and has an attractive appearance.

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