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Home » Destinations » Netherlands » Amsterdam » Amsterdam Transportation

Airports nearby Amsterdam, Netherlands

Schiphol Airport Map

Schiphol Airport

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Latitude: 52.31, Longitude: 4.76

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the Netherlands' main international airport, located 20 minutes () southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. The airport's official English name, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, places the words in the Dutch order (Luchthaven Schiphol) instead of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (or Schiphol Airport Amsterdam) ...


Rotterdam Airport Map

Rotterdam Airport

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Latitude: 51.96, Longitude: 4.44

Rotterdam The Hague Airport (formerly (Dutch): Rotterdam Airport,Vliegveld Zestienhoven), located north northwest Rotterdam, is the Netherlands' third largest airport, coming after Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Eindhoven Airport (measured in passengers) ...


Utrecht Map

Utrecht

Utrecht, Netherlands

Latitude: 52.19167, Longitude: 5.14694


Get In

  • By bus

    Most international bus services are affiliated to Eurolines, which has a terminal at Amstel Station (train station, metro station 51, 53, 54, tram 12). One bus per day is usually the maximum frequency on these routes. There are other international bus services, but they are often aimed at very specific markets, e.g. Polish migrant workers. There are almost no long-distance internal bus services in the Netherlands, and none to Amsterdam.

  • By car

    The western part of the Netherlands has a dense (and congested) road network. Coming from the east (Germany), the A1 motorway leads directly to Amsterdam. On the A12 from Arnhem, change at Utrecht to the A2 northbound. From the south (Belgium), the A2 goes directly to Amsterdam: the A16 /A27 from Antwerp via Breda connects to the A2 south of Utrecht. From The Hague, the A4 leads to Amsterdam. All motorways to Amsterdam connect to the ring motorway, the A10. From this motorway, main roads lead radially into Amsterdam (the roads S101 through S118).

    In most cases, you should want to avoid going to the city centre by car: traffic is dense and parking spaces are expensive and nearly impossible to find. Instead, when on the A10, follow the signs to one of the P+R-spots (P+R Zeeburg to the east, P+R ArenA and P+R Olympisch Stadion to the south, P+R Sloterdijk to the west). Here, you can park your car, and take public transport to the city centre, for a single fare. There are also a few places a short walk from outer tram stops to park for free.

    The speed limit on Dutch motorways is 120 km/h, except where indicated. On the A10 ring motorway around Amsterdam, the maximum speed is 100 km/h, and 80 km/h on the Western section. These limits are strictly enforced and there are many speed cameras.

  • By plane

    Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is one of the busiest airports in the world, situated 15 km south-west of the city. Jet2.com, Easyjet, now merged with Air France. With partner Delta Air Lines they offer worldwide connections. The US, Asia and Europe are particularly well served at Schiphol. British Airways offer up to 15 flights per day to 3 London Airports; Heathrow, Gatwick and London City

    For very frequent visitors to Amsterdam (6 or more times a year) it may be useful to invest in a Privium card. This is available to EU passport holders only, but allows you to cut the queues at passport control. Instead of showing your passport you go to a special lane with an iris scanner, this will save a significant amount of time if the passport lines are long. Cost is currently €115 + €65 for a partner.

    When leaving Amsterdam, give yourself enough time to get to your plane and through security (especially when flying to the United States)! Schiphol is a large airport - be there at least one hour in advance. If you have time to kill, drop into the Rijksmuseum's Schiphol branch, between E and F Pier (non-Schengen area airside), which is free and open 7AM-11PM daily.

    Schiphol by train
    From Schiphol there is a direct train to Amsterdam Central Station, for €3.80 (or €7.00 for same-day return), in 20 minutes. Buy the ticket from the machine (yellow with blue writing); if you purchase your ticket at the counter you will pay €0.50 extra. Not all machines accept credit or debit cards. The train station at Schiphol is located underground, under the main airport hall; trains to Amsterdam Central Station usually run from platform 3.

    A new national ticketing system is in the process of being introduced, based on a contactless chipcard, which is currently valid in Amsterdam's public transport system and nationwide in the train. A train journey from Schiphol to Amsterdam is slightly cheaper using this card, €3.50, but it might not be interesting for tourists unless you already own one: a card costs €7.50, and you have to have at least €20 on it to be able to travel by train. The old system will be used in conjunction for the foreseeable future. See the section in the Netherlands article.

    There are 4 to 5 trains per hour between Schiphol and Amsterdam in peak times. Trains run all night, although between 1AM and 5AM only once an hour. The price and duration of the journey are the same as during the day.

    Watch out for pick-pockets and baggage thieves: a common trick is a knock on your window to distract you, so that an accomplice can steal your luggage or laptop. Another one is to have an accomplice jam the doors and then to steal your luggage. The thief jumps out and the door immediately closes, making it impossible to catch them.However, in recent years, railway police have made a great effort to reduce this sort of crime; nowadays it is at 'normal', big-city like levels.

    Schiphol by local transport
    If you are desperately trying to save money or are staying near Leidseplein, you could use local transport from Schiphol to central Amsterdam. A trip takes about thirty minutes and leads directly to the south-west of the centre of Amsterdam (namely Museumplein and Leidseplein). The price depends on which bus you take: on local bus 197 the trip would cost you €2.35 to Leidseplein using the OV-chipkaart (see below), or €4.00 on board; on "interliner" bus 370 (an express bus, although in this case the local bus is equally fast) you pay €3.00 using the OV-chipkaart, or €3.80 on board.

    Bus 197 currently runs every 15 minutes for most of the day, daily from 5:01AM till midnight; bus 370 runs every hour during the day and every 30 minutes during peak hours. From midnight till 5AM, night buses run to and from the airport. If you don't want to change buses, take either night bus N97 or N72 (both €3.50). These buses run once an hour, within about 15 minutes of each other unfortunately.

    Schiphol by taxi
    Do not use a taxi unless there is no alternative; travel to Schiphol by train or by bus, if possible. Taxis from Schiphol are expensive and priced unexpectedly. You pay around €7.50 (as of Oct 08) as a minimum charge and that includes the first two kilometers. Then the meter starts racing. The ride costs about €40-50 to go to, say, the Leidseplein. Depending on the time of day and traffic levels, it could take only 25 minutes. If you're unlucky, it could take twice as long. Choose the nicest cab as that driver is more likely to be reputable. You don't have to pick the first taxi in line.

    Schiphol, other modes of transport
    The Connexxion Hotel Shuttle serves over 100 city center hotels, with 8-seater shared van departures about every 30 minutes between 6 AM and 9 PM, cost to most city center destinations €14.50/22.50 one-way/return -- more convenient than the train if you have heavy luggage and still cheaper than a taxi. Buses depart from platform A7 and can be reserved for the trip back from +31-38-3394741.

    If you plan to rent a car for the duration of your stay, Schiphol has several car rental companies on site. Typical opening hours are 06:30 to 23:00 daily (some are open longer, 06:00-23:30). The car rental desk can be found in Schiphol Plaza, on the same level as the arrival halls. The A4 motorway leads straight from Schiphol to the Amsterdam ring road A10, in about 10 minutes.

    If you decided to bring your bicycle on the plane with you, there is a 15-kilometer sign-posted bike route from the airport to Amsterdam. Turn right as you leave the airport terminal: the cycle path starts about 200 metres down the road. There is a map of the cycle paths around Schiphol available on take a local bus (Hermes bus 401, duration about 25 minutes, frequency about four times per hour, €3.20 on board or €1.95 using a 15 strippenkaart) to the train station, from there take a train to Amsterdam (duration 1:20 hour, frequency four times per hour, single €17.50).Alternatively, take the express bus directly from the airport to Amsterdam central station, which takes 2:15 hours. This service only goes 3 to 4 times per day; see their website for a schedule. The ticket price is €26 for a single or €42 for a return.

    From Rotterdam The Hague Airport ("Zestienhoven") take a city bus (RET "airport shuttle" bus 33, duration 25-30 minutes, frequency every 10-20 minutes, €2.50 on board or €1.38 using the OV-chipkaart) to Rotterdam Centraal train station, from there take a train to Amsterdam (duration about an hour, frequency every 10-20 minutes, single €13.30).

    Schiphol airport is 11km from the centre of Amsterdam in a straight line, Rotterdam is 57km and Eindhoven is 107km. Other airports that could possibly be used are:
    • Groningen Airport Eelde (142km)
    • Maastricht Aachen Airport (173km)
    • Weeze Airport in Germany (121km)
    • Antwerp International Airport in Belgium (135km)
    • Brussels Airport in Belgium (167km)

  • By sea

    The maritime Passenger Terminal Amsterdam is close to the city centre, but is only for cruise ships. The nearest ferry port is IJmuiden (ferry from Newcastle upon Tyne) with DFDS Seaways, who offer a daily overnight ferry services from Newcastle-upon-Tyne (North Shields) in the United Kingdom see (official site). 125km away by car there is a ferry terminal at Rotterdam Europoort (ferry from Kingston Upon Hull), and Hook of Holland (ferry from Harwich). it's about 80 km by the road to Amsterdam by the most direct route. Hook of Holland has an train station. Take the train to Schiedam or Rotterdam CS and from there a train to Amsterdam.

  • By train

    Most trains arrive and depart from Amsterdam Centraal Station (with one extra 'a' in Dutch), located between the old centre and the IJ waterfront. Other train stations are Duivendrecht, Bijlmer-ArenA, Amstel, Muiderpoort (all southeast), RAI, Zuid-WTC (both south), Lelylaan and Sloterdijk (both west). Schiphol airport also has its own train station, which functions as a major hub within the Netherlands. It has at least seven trains an hour to Amsterdam Central, with additional trains going to other Amsterdam stations.

    Direct international trains run to Brussels (which is two and a half to three hours away and connects with Eurostar trains to London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet (Kent) in England), Paris, Cologne, Frankfurt, Berlin, Copenhagen, Milan, Zurich, Vienna, Prague and Moscow. See NS Hispeed for an international journey planner for trains into/out of the Netherlands.

Get Around

  • Car

    It is only practical to use a car outside of the historic center; within the historic center, the traveller is advised to stay with public transport. In Amsterdam, a car is generally a liability and not an asset. Use a car only if you are going to an obscure location many miles out that is not served by public transport.

    Driving around Amsterdam is a pain: many of the streets are narrow, the traffic (and parking) signs are baroque and obscure, and cyclists and pedestrians may get in your way. Plus, gas is about €8 (11 dollars) per gallon. You can try parking at one of the secured parking garages, for example under Museumplein, or near the Central Station, and then walk around the city centre, or use a tram. Car parking is very expensive in Amsterdam and it's often hard to find a place to park. You can choose to pay by the hour or for the whole day. Parking is free outside the centre on Sunday. There is always a spot available on the Albert Cuypstraat (which is a market during the rest of the week). From there, it is a 5 minute tram ride or 15 minute walk downtown.

    Another option is to park your car further outside the city-centre. For € 5,50 you get a full day of parking and a return ticket downtown. The ride takes about 15 minutes. Look for the P+R (Park and Ride) signs.

    You can also park for free in some parts of Amsterdam outside the city centre though this may be slowly changing. Parking is still free everywhere in Amsterdam-Noord, and you can just take the bus from the Mosplein stop to the city centre easily. Plenty of buses run through here.

    Popular car rental chains operate in a smaller capacity in Amsterdam, including Avis and Budget Rent a Car, a week long rental from more popular chains can run anywhere from $275 US for a micro car to $1000 US for a luxury sedan.

  • Metro line works

    A big project started in 2003 to build a new underground metro line to connect the north of Amsterdam with the south (the Noord/Zuidlijn or North/Southline). The project has proved somewhat of a disaster for the city government with big budget overruns and delays. Building in the wet underground of Amsterdam is difficult and some buildings along the line have sustained damage due to subsidence. For the visitor to Amsterdam, the only thing to note are the ongoing roadworks along the route of the metro line. Underground metro stations are still being built or finished and cause parts of roads to be blocked off for cars, busses and trams, often for the duration of months or longer. Usually you can pass on foot or bicycle. Currently (2010), in the city centre, building work is taking place at Central Station, Damrak, Rokin and Vijzelgracht/Weteringcircuit.

  • On foot and bike

    Amsterdam's centre is fairly small, and almost abnormally flat, so you can easily get to most tourist destinations on foot - from the train station, within half an hour.

    A pleasant way to cover a lot of ground is to rent a bicycle. There are approximately 750,000 people living in Amsterdam and they own about 600,000 bicycles. The city is very, very bike-friendly, and there are separate bike lanes on most major streets. In the city centre, however, there is often not enough space for a bike lane, so cars and cyclists share narrow streets. Cyclists have the right of way. If you are not used to that, be very careful, and also watch out for other cyclists. Avoid getting your tire in the tram rails; it's a nasty fall. Always cross tram rails at an angle. There are bike rental shops at stations, and several others in and around the city centre. Bikes cost about € 9 to € 20 per day.

    A good map for cycling (routes, repairs, rentals + also public transport) is Amsterdam op de fiets (a Cito-plan). When preparing a route, there's a digital bicycle route-planner for Amsterdam, see Routecraft.com

    Bicycles can be taken for free on all ferries across the IJ, and on all metros and some carriages of tram 26 using the bike supplement fee (€1.50 in 2010) on the OV chipcard. Use the special bike racks, locations indicated by a bicycle sign on the outside of the carriage.

    Make sure to get a good lock (or two), and to use it. Amsterdam has one of the highest bicycle theft rates in the world, see the Netherlands page. Note also that if buying a bike, prices that seem too good to be true are stolen bikes. Any bike offered for sale to passers-by, on the street, is certainly stolen. There's an old Amsterdam joke; When calling out to a large group cyclists passing by; "Hey, that's my bike!" about five people will jump off "their" bikes and start running.

    • MacBike Bicycle Rental. Perhaps the most ubiquitous bicycle rental agency in Amsterdam, their bicycles are painted red with a MacBike sign on the front, everyone will know you're visiting. The bicycles are reliable, and in very good condition. Several locations around the city centre for assistance or repairs. Online bicycle reservations at their website.
    • Orangebike, Rentals & Tours. Their bikes are not so obvious coloured, more discrete, reliable and sturdy. Even the typical Dutch Grandmother bikes are available at Orangebike. Every day you could go on the 3 hour historical city tour and discover the hidden treasures by bike for €19.50 only. Online reservations on their website.
    • Frederic Bike, insurance, bags, locks, and children seats all included for €10 a day. Extremely close to central station. Bikes are offered "incognito", for the discerning guest who does not want to appear "touristy".
    • Damstraat Offer daily to weekly rentals. Have promotions in place with several hotels for "discount tickets", ask at the front desk. €12.50 for the first 24 hours, insurance included. Offers repairs for your bike and new and used bike sales.
    • Het Zwarte Fietsenplan. Het Zwarte Fietsenplan rents traditional Dutch bikes. Tourists that rent bikes here will be able to explore Amsterdam as a local; not as a tourist. On a traditional black bike. The same on which the rest of Amsterdam is riding. There are no bright red, yellow, blue or orange bikes in their shops. There are 3 locations throughout the city centre and the shops have long opening hours, 7 days a week. Also rents out cagobikes for kids.
    The bicycle is ideal for exploring the surrounding countryside. Within half an hour you're out of town. Go North, take the ferry across the IJ to Waterland. Or go South, into the Amsterdamse Bos (a giant park), or follow the river Amstel where Rembrandt worked.You can also take your bike on the metro (with a reduced fare ticket, see public transport gvb.nl) to end of line Gaasperplas, and cycle along rivers and windmills to old fortified towns like Weesp , Muiden and Naarden.

  • Public transport

    Public transport within the city is operated by the GVB (Gemeentevervoerbedrijf). The tram (18 lines) is the main form of public transport system in the central area, and there are also dozens of (night-)bus routes. Regional buses, and some suburban buses, are operated by Connexxion and Arriva. All tram stops have a detailed map of the system and the surrounding area. You can also get a free public transport map at the GVB Tickets & Info offices (just outside Centraal Station).

    There is a four line metro, including a short underground section in the city centre, that serves the neighborhoods of the South East. It takes 15-20 minutes from Centraal Station or Waterlooplein to the Bijlmer (Amsterdam Arena stadium, Heineken Music Hall and Pathe Arena cinema and IMAX). A fifth metro line, the north/south line, is currently under construction.

    A fun way to travel is the GVB Stop/Go minibus that runs every 12 minutes between the Oosterdok, via Centraal Station and Leidseplein to the Waterlooplein. It follows the Prinsengracht and has no fixed stops; flag it down to stop. One-euro tickets are available from the driver, but GVB day passes are also valid.

    A new national ticketing system has recently been introduced, based on a contactless card, called OV-chipkaart ("Public Transport chip card"). Since 3 June 2010, the old 'strippenkaart' system has been abandoned on all forms of public transport in Amsterdam, making the chipkaart the only valid way of travelling in Amsterdam. To travel with a card, one has to check in at the start of the journey and check out at the end by holding the card in front of the card reader.

    Three types of OV-chipkaart are available:

    • a personal card on which you can load weekly/monthly/yearly subscriptions
    • an anonymous card on which you can load money which can be spend on public transport
    • a disposable card which can be used for a limited number of hours/trips only
    The first two types carry a fee of €7.50 for the card itself, and you have to have at least €4 on it to be able to travel. The OV-chipkaart can be obtained from GVB vending machines in all metro stations, from the desks at some bigger stations (including Centraal Station) and some shops (see (NS, "Dutch Railways"). Their website has English-language information.

    Ticket machines are the standard way to buy a ticket, it costs 50 cents extra to buy a ticket at ticket counters, and at Central Station, there are often long lines at these counters. Older machines are not in English and as such can be difficult to interpret. New machines come with a language selection, and support English, Dutch, French and German but usually only accept credit and debit cards (note that many foreign credit and debit cards do not work in most NS ticket machines). In Central Station, there is a machine that accepts cash and is in the hallway in front of the ticket office.

    You face a fine of €35, due immediately, if you are caught on the train without a ticket. The chance of getting caught without a ticket is almost certain on main routes during the day, but there is always a random element.

    For discount tickets and rail passes see the Netherlands page.

  • Taxis

    Taxis in Amsterdam are plentiful but expensive. Hailing taxis on the street is generally not to be recommended unless you are going to a big landmark (e.g., Central Station or Schiphol). The recent liberalisation of the taxi service in Amsterdam has meant an influx of taxi drivers who have little or no clue of where they are going and who drive erratically and dangerously (e.g., driving on bicycle lanes instead of the main road or ignoring red lights). Tourists are advised to stick to public transport if at all possible. Only get into a taxi if you know the route yourself and are able to give directions to the taxi driver, and if you know roughly how much the journey ought to cost so you don't get cheated.

    Some drivers, traditionally at Centraal Station or Leidseplein, will refuse short trips, or else they'll quote outrageously high fares, even though all taxis are metered. Even if you convince the driver to use the meter, he will often take a circuitous route that racks up >€15 or more on the meter. For reference, no trip within the historic centre should cost more than €10 or so.

    The Netherlands (and Amsterdam) is in the middle of a huge taxi liberalization scheme which has been jarring to all involved. After many missteps, the government has introduced an unusual pricing scheme. First you feel sticker shock as the initial fare is now €7,50 (as of Feb 08). Luckily, that includes the first two kilometres of travel and there is no charge for waiting in traffic. If you need to run in somewhere, you need to negotiate a waiting fee with the driver. 50 cents per minute is customary.

    Unlicensed, illegal, cabbies operate mainly in Amsterdam Zuidoost. These aren't easily recognized as such, and most certainly don't drive Mercedes cars. They are known as snorders and most easily reached by mobile phone. Rides within Amsterdam Zuidoost (the Bijlmer) range from €2.50 to €5, whereas Zuidoost-Center can run up to €12.50. Snorders have a shady reputation, so consider their services only if you are adventurous.

  • Tuk-Tuks

    A Thai-influenced transportation service using three-wheeled, open-air (but covered) motorized vehicles was introduced in August 2007 and may be a more economical and fast way to get around the city centre compared to taxis. Tuk-tuk pricing is based on a zone system. Within a zone, a ride is €3.50 per person, €5.00 for 2 persons and €6.50 for 3. If you go to another zone, €3.50 is added (irrespective of number of persons). This service is handy if it is past the regular tram/bus/metro service hours (approximately half past midnight). They take reservations 24 hours a day on 0900 99 333 99 and there is a fee of €0.55 per call.

Get Out

  • Publications

    • Amsterdam Weekly. An English-language free cultural weekly published every Wednesday. It provides coverage of Amsterdam city life, and an arts and entertainment calendar.
    • Mijn NL. A free bi-weekly magazine which lists all events happening in Amsterdam. The section is divided into Music, Night(clubs, DJs), Gay, Comedy, Cabaret, Stage, Festival, Musical, Dance, Expositions, Children, and also Movie listings. It can be picked up at any Albert Heijn supermarket, and many venues. Covers more events than Uitkrant and Amsterdam Weekly. Although written in Dutch, it would be easy to understand the basic idea. Also provides suggestions on bars, restaurants, shops and hair dressers. Check out the online edition.
    • UnderwaterAmsterdam. An online English-language guide to the Dutch capital which evolved from the free magazine Shark. It has an extraordinary number of daily events for English speakers – music, parties, theatre, opera, queer etc – plus annual events and upcoming gigs. It posts the latest gigs as they're announced by via Twitter. Written by an experienced travel writer, it also features a city guide – with the best places to visit in town – plus daily news and horoscopes (written by celebrity astrologer Bridgett Walther) .
    • Uitkrant. A free monthly magazine, listing all concerts, classical, jazz, pop etc., exhibitions, museums and anything cultural to do in Amsterdam. It can be picked up at many spots in the city, e.g. at the Uitburo at the Leidseplein.
    • Amsterdam Spoke. An English magazine featuring Amsterdam’s daily life, its ambiance and trends.

  • Religious services

    Holy mass in Catholic churches (Overview of cath. churches in Amsterdam (dutch):):

    • Begijnhofkapel (HH. Joannes en Ursula), Begijnhof 29. Sun: 10PM 11:15PM (in French); Mon-Fri: 9AM, 5PM; Sat: 9AM.
    • De Krijtberg (St. Franciscus Xaverius), Singel 448 (stop Koningsplein of trams 1, 2, 5). Sat: 12:30PM, 5:15PM; Sun: 9:30AM; 11:00AM, 12:30AM, 5:15PM; Mon-Fri: 12:30PM, 5:15PM.
    • Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, Keizersgracht 220/218 B (stop Westermarkt of trams 6, 13, 14, 17 or busses 21, 170, 172). Sat: 7PM; Sun: 11:15AM, 1:00PM (surinam.); Mon-Fri (chapel): 12:15PM, 7:30PM.
    • Papegaai (HH. Petrus en Paulus), Kalverstraat 58 (by feet 20 min from central station). Sat: 5:30PM; Sun: 10:30AM, 12:15PM; Mon-Sat: 10:30AM.
    • Zusters van Moeder Teresa, Amsterdam-Badhoevedorp, Egelantierstraat 147 (city center). Sun: 3:00PM; Mon-Sat: 07:30AM.
    • Vrouwe van alle volkeren, Diepenbrockstraat 3 (near to RAI congress centre), tel. (020)-6620504. Sun: 09:30AM, 11:15AM; Mon-Sat: 12:15PM; Tue: 7:15PM.
    The older generation of Dutch people tends to be more religious.


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