Getting around in Amsterdam

Getting around in Amsterdam

There’s so much to see and experience in Amsterdam; the world-famous canals, top-rated museums, the typical old-Dutch style houses and beautiful parks to name just a few things. But because the city has more visitors than residents on any given day, it’s essential to know how to move around as efficiently as possible, so that you don’t waste your precious time in the beautiful capital of the Netherlands.

Public transportation 

Amsterdam has a great public transport system, with trams, busses and a couple of metro lines taking you where you need to be quickly. The trams are mostly useful to swiftly get to a certain spot within the city center. If you plan to go outside the heart of the city, there are some trams you can take, but you might be better off riding the metro or taking a bus.

Picture: Tram Picture: Metro sign

A tram ticket can be purchased in the tram. A normal ticket costs € 2,90. With this ticket, you can take as many trams you like, within 1 hour. Be sure to check in and out though, otherwise your ticket is not valid.

Although these options are fine if you need to go somewhere fast, none of them will offer you a particularly pleasant experience. Trams, busses and the metro tend to get quite crowded and shield you from the city’s beauty. So below are some suggestions to get around Amsterdam at your own pace, meanwhile enjoying all the great sights the city has to offer.

Take a stroll

If you’re not in a hurry and want to keep your cash in your wallet, a great way to take in the true spirit of Amsterdam is to just stroll along the canals and look at all the picturesque houses that line them. While the main streets can be quite busy with traffic and people, you will find that most of the rest of the city is actually calm and peaceful. However, as you’re casually walking through the streets of Amsterdam, there’s something you just can’t ignore: all the people whizzing by on bicycles.

Rent a bike

Amsterdam can confidently call itself the bicycle capital of the world, as bikes are an integral part of life for anyone who lives there. There are more bikes than people there and with over 400 kilometers of bicycle paths, the city is a cyclist’s paradise.

Picture: Bike taxi  Picture: Bikes on the canals

So it should come as no surprise that renting a bike is a great thing to do if you want get around in Amsterdam. It’s not just a great way to see and do more in a day, you’re also immersing yourself in the Dutch way of life. You can rent a bike and just go on your own adventure, or take a guided bike tour through the city center. Renting a bike for three hours will cost about € 7.50 and a guided bike tour costs between € 15 and € 25.

Pedal (boats) around the canals

Another fun way to move around the city is by pedal boat (the Dutch prefer to call it a ‘water bike’). They say Amsterdam is best viewed from the water, so renting a paddle boat will give you a great up-close view of the canals, as well as the old houses, streets, and bridges that surround the canals. Renting a paddle boat costs about € 8 per person for an hour, and € 14 for two hours.

Picture: Pedal boats Picture: Canal boat

If you don’t want to do any of the hard work, but still want to enjoy the nice view from the canals, you can also choose to rent a motor boat or go on an open motor boat guided tour. These options are a lot more costly, however. But they might be worth it compared to the canal boat tours (the pointy boats with glass roofs) that you will see everywhere, because those offer you no freedom to go where you want to go, plus they get packed with tourists that block your view. The same goes for the hop-on hop-off bus tours in Amsterdam, by the way. Amsterdam simply isn’t big enough to warrant a bus tour to see all the sights. If you do like to go on a canal boat trip, typically, the price amounts to € 16 for a 1 hour trip.

Picture: Canal boat night cruise Picture: Walk around the squares 

Just walk, bike or pedal around this great city!

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