How to Get Around Amsterdam Like a Local


Amsterdam is the ideal place to relax. The Dutch capital boasts a cosy atmosphere, so you can just sit back and enjoy the unique architecture, as well as, the beautiful canals. The city has plenty of things to offer, but tourists usually have limited time to experience the city. Therefore, it is best to learn how to navigate the city before you arrive. In this article, we prepared a few tips on how to get around Amsterdam like a local.

Arriving in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a major international transport hub, so there are many ways to arrive there. Most of the tourists arrive at the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, while the train is the preferred option by visitors from the nearby countries. The excellent road infrastructure allows fast and reliable travels to Amsterdam and the other cities in the Netherlands.

Schiphol Airport is situated 9 km from Amsterdam city centre. The airport has excellent connections with Amsterdam and other bigger cities in the Netherlands. Public transport includes regular train and bus routes that run several times a day. Amsterdam airport taxis are available 24 hours a day while renting a car at the airport is also an option.

Public transport is a cheap transfer alternative and perfect for solo travellers. Trains depart from the airport train station, one level below the terminal. The journey from Amsterdam Airport to Amsterdam Central Station takes 15-20 minutes. Buses leave from Schipol Plaza to Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands. The bus number 197 is an express bus service that will take you to the city centre in 35 minutes.

Amsterdam airport taxis are available 24/7 at the designated taxi rank. They charge by the meter with additional surcharges for luggage. For direct airport transfer at a fixed price, it’s best to book a private Amsterdam airport taxi before you arrive.

Public transport

Although most of the time you can explore the city on foot, you will need public transport to reach different parts of the city. The public transport in Amsterdam is integrated and seamless. It includes a vast network of metro, tram and bus routes that use the same ticketing system. If you plan to use public transport often, it’s best to buy an OV card and save money.

Amsterdam metro operates with four lines that run from the Central Station to the suburbs. It is the fastest way to get around the city. Travelling by tram in Amsterdam is a unique experience. You can easily recognise the white and blue trams, as you hear the bell ringing when they are passing near you. However, it’s best to take a map with tram stops and timetable. It will help you plan the journey more efficiently.

The bus network is extensive and perfect for travelling to more distant parts of the city. Buses connect the city centre with the suburbs, as well as, the greater Amsterdam area. During night hours the service is reduced and only a few night bus lines are available. Buses are perfect for day tours outside Amsterdam, as well. You can visit some of the nearby historic towns and villages, or simply head to the beach.

Taxis are always a great choice for travelling around the city, as the chance of getting lost is almost zero. In Amsterdam, it’s hard to find a taxi on the street, so it’s best to take a taxi from the taxi ranks spread all over the city. Another option is to book an Amsterdam taxi online and plan a custom sightseeing tour.

Bicycles in Amsterdam

It’s not a mistake if we say that bicycles are the symbol of Amsterdam. Locals use them as a primary transportation mode in their everyday life. Tourists adore them, as it is a great opportunity for them to blend in with the local crowds. Bicycles are available for rent at different locations in the city.

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