Amsterdam Tips - City Guide for Visitors & Expats

AmsterdamTips.com brings you up-to-date insider guides from local experts to help you get more from your stay in Amsterdam. You'll find the best English-language resource on travel and public transport in the Netherlands. Plus top tips on Amsterdam hotels, museums, what's on and things to see and do. Our expat section shows you how to move to Holland and get yourself settled.

What's on in Amsterdam
Late spring/early summer in Amsterdam. See what's happening duringMay 2016 and June 2016. Our comprehensive one-page monthly listing includes exhibitions, special events, festivals, concerts and sports.

Travel to Amsterdam
Amsterdam Schiphol airport (AMS) is a major European airport located 17km south-west of the city. It is a main hub for Skyteam members Air France-KLM and Delta and handles many other international airlines.

Getting from Schiphol to Amsterdam: Choice of taking the train to Amsterdam central (€4.20 single + €1 for disposable tickets, up to 10x hourly, 15-20 mins), bus 197 to Leidseplein (€5 single, 30 mins), Connexxion Schiphol Hotel Shuttle (€17 single/€27 return) or taxi (€40-€50). Uber (taxi app) is also present in Amsterdam.

Other principal airports in Netherlands: Rotterdam (RTM) and Eindhoven (EIN)which have convenient transport links to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Centraal (CS) is the main train station of the city. To get your bearings on stations, see this handy Rail map of Amsterdam.

International rail services include Thalys to Brussels and Paris, a German Intercity to Berlin, ICE International to Düsseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt, plus night trains to various destinations. London is reached via the Channel Tunnel by taking the Eurostar from Brussels.

There are international coach (bus) operators running services to/from Amsterdam including Eurolines (at Duivendrecht station), Megabus (at Zuiderzeeweg) plus OUIBUS andFlixbus/MeinFernbus (at Amsterdam Sloterdijk station).

Ferry services between the UK and Netherlands are Harwich-Hoek van Holland (Stena),Newcastle-Amsterdam (DFDS) and Hull-Rotterdam (P&O).

Hotels in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a wide range of accommodation with 17 5-star hotelsin the city plus a number of affordable 4-star and 3-star hotels. You should try to make your Amsterdam hotel reservation in advance of arrival. See our Amsterdam hotel recommendations.

Getting around Amsterdam
NS (Dutch Railways) operates a comprehensive domestic train service which is normally reliable and reasonable value. See How to buy a Dutch train ticket for tips and tricks on the system.

The OV-chip smart card is used for most forms of public transportation in the Netherlands.GVB is the municipal transport company of Amsterdam which operates the metro, trams,buses and free ferries. EBS runs bus services from Amsterdam central to the Waterland region (Edam, Volendam, Marken).
There are various Amsterdam transport ticket options available for visitors including good value day cards.

Taxis in Amsterdam are not particularly cheap - a short ride will cost around €10, a cross town journey about €20. Taxi cabs are taken from official ranks rather than hailed in the street.

Amsterdam has 400km of cycle lanes so go local and get on your bike!
If you are reasonably fit, the main sights of Amsterdam can be reached on foot. Just watch out for trams and cyclists.

Sandeman's New Amsterdam Tours gives free walking tours from Dam Square monument twice daily (1115/1315). 360Amsterdam also runs free tours from Dam Square at 1100/1300/1500 daily.

Amsterdam is truly a canal city (80km of canals and 1,250 bridges) - a must-do activity is taking a canal tour in a glass-topped boat.

Hostels in Amsterdam
For cost-conscious budget travellers looking for alternatives to hotels, Amsterdam has a reasonable range of hostels and appartments. The local Hostelling International (YHA) outfit in the Netherlands is branded as Stayokay and it has 3 hostels in Amsterdam. Generator hostels will open a large property at Oosterpark in Amsterdam in 2016.

Museums in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a number of excellent museums. We highly recommend purchasing the annual Museum Card (€59.90) which gives free access for 12 months to over 400 museums in the country. Note that recent changes to the Museum Card scheme means non-residents can only get a 31 day temporary card.

Alternatively there is the IAmsterdam City Card which is valid from 1/2/3/4 days (€55/€65/€75/€85) giving free entry to a number of museums, a transport pass and other discounts.

The top 5 museums in Amsterdam are Rijksmuseum - an amazing collection of Dutch history in a stunning building. Van Gogh Museum - the world's largest collection of Van Gogh paintings. Anne Frank House - the canal house where Anne Frank hid during WW2 and where she wrote her teenage diary. Stedelijk - modern and contemporary art on show. Maritime Museum - a multimedia journey about Dutch maritime exploits.

Other museum of note: the Dutch Resistance museum (Verzetsmuseum) is a fascinating look at events in wartime Netherlands; Micropia, the world's first museum about micro-organisms.

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