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Getting Around Amsterdam

Public Transport

The hub of public transport in Amsterdam is Centraal Station. If you are arriving by train from the airport, or on a bus, you will come into Centraal. Pick up a city map and some tourist information from the tourist office. Centraal is also where you can get on trams and out into the city. Get your tickets at the GVB (transport company responsible for trams, ferries, metro and bus in Amsterdam) office.

Trams are the best way of seeing the city and getting from a to b. There are 17 tramlines in the city, most of which go through Centraal Station. At night, the night buses take over. There are also two metrolines in Amsterdam, part overground, part underground. These run from the north to the south of the city, and are more for commuters than tourists.

To use public transport, you will need a strippenkart, which is the most common form of ticket, or a sterabonnement. Either type of ticket allows you to use either the tram, the bus or the metro. The difference between a strippenkart and a sterabonnement, is that the latter is valid for a longer period of time; a week, a month or a year. It is better value if you are sticking around. If you are planning on staying in Amsterdam for a while, and travelling on public transport a lot, then the sterabonnement is for you. You can buy individual tickets on the buses or trams, but this is more expensive than using a strippenkaart.

You will need to stamp your strippenkart in the yellow machines at the back of the bus or tram when you get on. If there is a conductor on board, they will stamp it for you. Ticket inspectors will check your tickets randomly on all public transport, and if you don’t have a valid ticket, then you’ll be fined. If you can’t pay the fine, then inspectors have the power to take you to the police in order to check your ID.


Bikes rule the centre of Amsterdam, and they are easy to hire.

  • Bike City - Bloemgracht 68 - 020 626 3721


Taxis are expensive in the Netherlands, so it is important to remember this.