Amsterdam is a small city with a dense public transport system. Visitors that stay in a centrally located hotel will hardly feel the need to use public transport. Most of the attractions they want to visit are withing walking distance from their hotel. Here we name the modes of public transport in the order visitors are most likely to make use of them.
In the city center, trams are the dominant form of public transport. Most tramlines run from the Central Train Station in the center -the Centraal Station- to the east, south and west. Several other tram lines connect these lines in the form of a half circle.
Buslines are mostly important in the North of the city -Amsterdam Noord- that is seperated from the cenyter by the harbour, and the other suburban areas. Amsterdam is also the starting point for several regional buslines.
Public transport is available from around 6 A.M. until around midnight. Note that on Sundays most lines start around 7 A.M. When normal public transport is not in service, nightbuses cover most of Amsterdam and some destinations outside the city.
Another part of Amsterdam’s public transport are the metrolines. Two metrolines connect the Central Train Station (Centraal Station) with Amsterdam Zuidoost. From Centraal Station to Amstelstation the metro is underground.
The sneltram to Amstelveen, south of Amsterdam, also rides through the metro tunnel. The sneltram (fast tram) is usually considered a metro. The second sneltram connection, the Ringlijn, opened in May 1997. It runs from Sloterdijk Westpoort via station Zuid/WTC to Gein.
A number of ferriesprovide cyclists and pedestrians with a connection to Amsterdam Noord, the city area across the IJ. The ferries are free of charge.
Because there are few hotels in the Northern part of the city, most visitors will have no need for the ferries. However, they may also be used as a fun (and cheap) way of getting to know Amsterdam’s harbour area.
Public transport companies
Public transport in the city is operated by the municipal transport company GVB.
With several railway stations in Amsterdam trains also play a role in urban public transport. For example, the railway provides the best connection between Schiphol, the airport, and the Centraal Station in the heart of the city.
Tickets and information
The main source for information about public transport and tickets is the GVB ticket office opposite to Centraal Station, next to the VVV.
Public transport information for all of the Netherlands can be obtained by calling 0900 – 9292. The number is open on weekdays from 6.00 am to midnight and weekends from 7.00 am until midnight. Callers are charged 75 cents per minute (when calling from the Netherlands).