Transport around Amsterdam

Given the huge range of transport options to choose from, travelling through Amsterdam is a breeze. Bicycles are the most popular way of getting around (locals say there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam), but trams, buses and the metro system are options too. On the 9292 website you can plan your journey down to the finest detail, whether you want to take the bus, tram, metro, train or even the ferry. Make sure you download their mobile app or visit their mobile website and you’ll be navigating Amsterdam’s streets in no time.


Tram by Generaal GibsonThe tram system in Amsterdam is one of the largest in Europe. GVB (Gemeentevervoersbedrijf) is the official tram operator, running 16 tram lines traversing the city. Trams run daily from 06:00 to 00:30 (see map of all tram stops across the city). The ‘I Amsterdam’ card gives you unlimited use of GVB transport, which includes trams, buses and the metro, as well as several discounts and free access to attractions across the city. The card costs 42€ a day, 52€ for two days and for three days you’ll pay 62€. You can buy the card at several places, including the tourist information office at Stationsplein 10 and at Ticketshop at Leidseplein. 

Another possible payment option is a PT Smart Card (in Dutch known as an ‘OV Chipkaart’). You can use this electronic card with a built-in chip for Amsterdam trams, buses, metro and trains, which makes getting around the city pretty convenient. Before getting on board, you check in by holding your card up to the screen at the gate, and the same goes before you get off. GVB provides PT Smart Cards for tourists, ranging from one to seven days. A card for one day costs 7.50€ and rates for more days start from 12€ for two days to 32€ for seven days. You don’t need to top up this PT Smart Card with credit, because the fares include unlimited travel within the relevant time period.

If you’d rather explore the city on foot, and don’t plan to use public transport very much, you can buy an anonymous PT Smart Card for 7.50€ at supermarkets and ‘Bruna’ (book shops), which is valid for four to five years. Before you can use this card, top it up with credit at several service points across the city. You should bear in mind that you always have to check in and check out before you board and get off the vehicle. Otherwise, you would have to pay the full boarding rate, which is pretty pricey. If you want more information about the PT Smart Card, take a look at the OV-Chipkaart website.

If you intend to use the tram just once or twice during your stay, you can also buy a single-use disposable ticket direct from the tram driver.


Bus stop by yozzaGVB operates 55 bus lines in Amsterdam, with buses running from 06:00 till 00:30 every day. Night buses run from 00:30 until 07:00. You’ll see Amsterdam’s main bus station when you walk out of Central Station (a train station) heading towards the city centre. Bus timetables are on display at every bus stop in the city.


Because Amsterdam’s a relatively small city, only four metro lines operate across it. Even though the metro is a fast and convenient way of travelling, in Amsterdam it’s more useful when you want to travel to the outlying districts rather than around the city centre. The metro runs from 06:00 till 12:30 and has a total of 52 metro stops.


Riding a bike is often thought of as a typical Dutch activity, and in Amsterdam the stereotype is certainly very much in evidence. If you fancy seeing the city on two wheels, you’ll find plenty of bike rental places all over the city. Rates vary per company, but an average bike rental costs 10€ per day, depending on the type of model you want to hire.


In October 2012 new taxi standards were put in place by the municipality of Amsterdam, meaning that taxi drivers must be registered members of an Approved Taxi Organisation. You’ll be able to spot these legit taxis by their black colour, roof light with a unique number and blue license plate.

A taxi ride consists of three parts: a connection fee, the price per kilometre and a price for the duration of the trip. The maximum connection fee is 2.83€, the maximum rate per kilometre is 2.08€ and you pay 0.34€ per minute for the maximum time rate. You can either hail a cab in the street or find one at one of the 60 official taxi sites in the city (marked with blue signs saying ‘P-taxi’).


ferry by David SpenderThe ferry takes you on a boat trip over Lake IJ for free and transports you to various locations, like the IJplein (square near the IJ). The lake separates the heart of Amsterdam from Amsterdam-North and you can find the ferries right behind the Central Station. If you’re worried about getting seasick, you’ll be pleased to know the trip takes just five minutes. The ferries run every day, every quarter hour. You can plan your ferry ride at the official website of GVB.

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